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Old 11-08-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
hopmeup
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Default first mead

i am not the most computer savy person so maybe i did not read or use the spread sheet sheet correctly. i started my first mead last fri. 103009. i used 20# of wildflower from a local beekeeper. i don't know what the water % of the honey was. the honey was warmed enough to pass through a course filter to remove comb pieces by the keeper. he said that he keeps the temp under 100 deg.
that is the background of the honey now to what i did and my readings.
20 # of honey dissolved in 2 gal.heated water.
poured into 7 gal bucket. top off to 6 gal mark.
aerated well mixed very well first reading was 1.120 o.g.
added nutrients and energizer as perscribed by hightest methods
used wyeast dry mead activator #4632
second reading was taken on sun 110109 in the am it was 1.11 at this point i added more nutrients stired to degas.
took reading again on 110209 1.10, again on 110309 1.095 i then added more nutrients. did not check again until 110809 in the am the reading was 1.054. i do not have a ph test kit i forgot to get one the last time at the LHBS. it is an hour away have to get it next time. does anyone see any problems. everything seems to be progressing smoothly torwards a 2 week ferment i hope. any input would be great i have been brewing for almost 20 years but this is new territory for me. and a room full of homewine and mead will go nicely with a fridge full of kegs.

thanks D

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Old 11-09-2009, 05:52 AM   #2
MattTheBlack
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I find the fermentation slows considerably after a week or two, and usually have my meads in the primary 1 week, then in their secondary for 6 weeks (re-racking at 3 weeks). Then a minimum of 4-6 weeks in the bottle before being ready. The bottle conditioning does make a big difference, I've found. Sounds like you make your meads pretty strong too (I usually use about 14lbs for a 6 gallon batch).

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Old 11-27-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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had the time to check this today 1.000 time to go to secondary. will put away for a while to clear.

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Old 11-28-2009, 02:41 AM   #4
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Wow, you got 1.000 in primary, that's awesome. Just a note: I find that when I do a 2-week primary and then 6 weeks in the secondary (whether or not I re-rack in the middle), most of the clarification of the drink actually happens with the bottle conditioning. I'm not sure if that will be the case with you, now that fermentation is complete and you've got it in the secondary--you may see a ton of clarification there--it's just how I've done it. Enjoy!

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:41 AM   #5
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8 weeks, not enough to be bottling. no wonder you see clearing in the bottles, you don't even give it a chance to do any bulk aging.

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Old 11-28-2009, 04:10 AM   #6
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True, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument for bulk aging mead (but I'm willing to be convinced). I tend to approach my mead a lot more like beer than like wine (though I actually see it falling somewhere between). After 8 weeks and a bottle-conditioning of (minimum) 6 weeks I find it highly drinkable, and I haven't tasted any local meads (there are maybe 2-3 meaderies in BC) that do the longer aging that I find a significant difference in.

So I guess I'm wondering, jezter, why do you do it? I want to know the benefits of letting my carboy be occupied for so long. What qualities does it impart to the mead you make that I might be missing?

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Old 11-28-2009, 04:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTheBlack View Post
True, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument for bulk aging mead (but I'm willing to be convinced). I tend to approach my mead a lot more like beer than like wine (though I actually see it falling somewhere between). After 8 weeks and a bottle-conditioning of (minimum) 6 weeks I find it highly drinkable, and I haven't tasted any local meads (there are maybe 2-3 meaderies in BC) that do the longer aging that I find a significant difference in.

So I guess I'm wondering, jezter, why do you do it? I want to know the benefits of letting my carboy be occupied for so long. What qualities does it impart to the mead you make that I might be missing?
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpos...83&postcount=4

I also prefer no sediment in my bottles, it may be purely aesthetic but I have got to think the remaining sediment would impart some flavor.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:56 AM   #8
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+1 on bulk ageing and letting it clear prior to bottling.
Higher ABV meads can take months to mellow out and become the great drink they are.
I cheat and crash chill, back and forth just cause I have no patience, but I don't want to pull out a bottle and have a layer of "stuff" on the bottom.
A fine mist of pure white is OK, but a layer of anything is just not presentable. I want my friends to consider homebrewing craft brewing.
But, hey if you decant it into a pitcher, and it looks and taste good, its on!

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Old 11-28-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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i tasted it when i took a sample and it is very hot. hopefully a year from now it will be much better. it has a very nice honey aroma still. i hope that does not go away. this is my first though. i am happy so far next batch goes in the fermenter as soon as the stout in there now comes out. maybe next weekend. was thinking of bulk aging 3 gallons of the next batch on cranberries. 5 or 10 pounds for 3 gal. what would be better.

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Old 11-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTheBlack View Post
True, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument for bulk aging mead (but I'm willing to be convinced). I tend to approach my mead a lot more like beer than like wine (though I actually see it falling somewhere between). After 8 weeks and a bottle-conditioning of (minimum) 6 weeks I find it highly drinkable, and I haven't tasted any local meads (there are maybe 2-3 meaderies in BC) that do the longer aging that I find a significant difference in.

So I guess I'm wondering, jezter, why do you do it? I want to know the benefits of letting my carboy be occupied for so long. What qualities does it impart to the mead you make that I might be missing?
You're also making a sub 11% abv drink. The less alcohol, the less (generally) it will need to age out.

Also, bulk conditioning means every bit of the mead conditions the same, and will be more equal bottle to bottle. Bottle conditioning a young mead means some bottles will age slightly differently. Even at 7 months (in the bottle about 2 months) I have a batch where each bottle is very different. Some are very good and smooth, others still have the alcohol bite that needs to age out. It was only my second drinkable mead, so I bottled early because I want to drink the crap out of it while my other batches are aging out.

Getting into the 3# honey per gallon range, you will notice that it will be still too "hot" to drink at 3-4 months and may take closer to a year for that to go away. I have one that was made in january that is just starting to lose the last of that hot alcohol burn.
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