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Old 06-04-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
lucasszy
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Default First Mead.... Lots of thoughts and questions!

Being so new to beer brewing in general, I poked my head into the mead section and decided to go with a simple mead since it takes so little time.

I went with a 1 gallon batch.
3 lbs of honey (a mix of clover and mesquite)
1 orange (rind and all, cut into eights)
2 cloves
1 cinammon stick
Bread yeast (thats what the recipe called for)

Now, here is where I show myself to be a TOTAL newbie to mead. What the heck is it and what can I expect?

I've never heard of it till I read about it. I know that I've heard about it in medieval movies and such, but what can I truly expect... flavor wise and such?

How do I drink it? Shots? Warmed up in a beer glass?

I dont really know what I put together, but Im willing to experiment!

Cheers

Lucas

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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This is where you are fogetting the RELAX part.
There are no rules to mead. If you like it warm...drink it warm. If you want to mix it with a sprite...go for it. If you want to mix it into party punch, that's fine too.
The big thing to remember is that you have a lot of time and effort in it, and that should be considered when mixing... even with spices. I have no interest in spending months or years to make something I'm gonna mix with sprite anyway. That's what Mogan David is for.

I like mead chilled....in a wine glass...about 4 or 6 oz at a time.
If you decide to continue with mead, you should get Ken Schram's book the Complete Mead Maker. It'll cost you less than the honey for a 1 gallon batch...and the info is priceless.
Having said all of that, don't give up on mead if you don't like your AOM. Try a "Show Mead" and see what you think. And don't be afraid to make the grape "Quick Mead"

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Old 06-27-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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Default Mead is perfectly clear

So my JAOM is about 3 weeks old and its become perfectly clear over the last day. Its an AMAZING color and crystal clear!

What do I do with it now? Should I bottle it and let it age for a good while or what?

I was thinking of 750ML bottles and letting it sit... or should I let it ferment more ?

Still a total newbie to mead, and BEER, so sorry for asking this if the answer should be OBVIOUS!

Thanks

lucas

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Old 06-27-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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The only way to know if it's done fermenting is to take a hydrometer reading. If it's cleared like you say it has, it's probably done, but unless you want exploded bottles, it's best to be sure.

As to letting it age... sure! if you can stand it. Or drink it now. It's pretty much up to you. It'll improve with age, but if it tastes good now, go ahead.

If you're planning to age it, you can also just leave it in the fermenter for a while, this is called "bulk aging," and will let you really not have to worry about the fermentation being done. A buddy of mine has a mead that's still in the carboy after 7 years (he's a little nuts).

The bigger question is how to bottle it. You can carbonate mead, or you can bottle it still. It's really up to you and your preference. Since you probably don't know your preference, you can always do it both ways (bottle some still, then add priming sugar to the bottling bucket and bottle the rest).

Don't bottle carbonated things in wine bottles, still mead is fine in them, but you need a corker, which is pretty expensive. If you really want to cork them, though, a lot of homebrew stores will rent their corkers pretty cheap (mine rents theirs for $10 for 3 days).

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Old 07-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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Well, at six weeks I decided to bottle my JAOM in 750ML belgian ale bottles. I like the way corked brew looks with the metal cages and all that.

As to taste, since the previous taste was at 3 weeks, I have to say that its markedly improved with another 3 weeks. The orange and spice is coming through really nicely, and the bite of alcohol is down.

With the intent of opening it during this coming x-mas, I hope that the next few months mellow it even more.

Any thoughts?

Lucas

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Old 07-21-2008, 09:31 PM   #7
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Age is pretty much the best thing you can do for any mead once its done. you should have a pretty decent mead by Christmas time.

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Old 07-21-2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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Champagne bottles are pretty resilient. Unless you were way off from being done fermenting, they shouldn't explode.

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Old 07-21-2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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I too drink mead in a wine glass. white or red...doesn't matter to me.

but a pint glass of mead...omg I'd be in such horrid shape the next day, i don't wanna think about it.

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Old 07-22-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
I too drink mead in a wine glass. white or red...doesn't matter to me.

but a pint glass of mead...omg I'd be in such horrid shape the next day, i don't wanna think about it.
I like to use a snifter, although I got some really nice cordial glasses the other day that I bought for use with grappa that I might appropriate for mead sometime.
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