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Old 06-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default First mead, questions

Ive made two batches of beer and wanted to try mead since it looka considerably simpler and interesting to try. I have a gew questions regarding mead in general, and how it should be fermented.
First, Ive seen separate posts on this forum where one states they added whirfloc tablets to kill the yeast and another where they let the yeast continue through bottling. Should mead be carbonated like beer or flat like wine?
Secondly, since ive never actually had it, should it end up fairly sweet or dry and alcoholic?
Finally, how should it be served? Chilled, room temp, warm? And any suggestions on glassware? Any recommendations are appreciated.

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Old 06-26-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Mead spans all the world of wine. You can have a dry or a sweet mead and anything in between. You can make it as simple as yeast water and honey, or make it more complex with fruit and spices. There are even recipes that have peppers in them. If this is your first and you are just going to try it out it is recommended that you make the one gallon batch of joes ancient orange mead it's simple and quick and doesn't take a lot if work and it is pretty hard to screw up. On the plus side is everything you need comes from your local wal mart. If it's something you are looking to get into then I would suggest starting with a show mead that is honey water and yeast it serves a two fold purpose. First is to show off the honey you are using because that is the only flavoring you are putting in. Second it will also show you any off flavors of the mead due to your brewing technique. The first rout produces a drinkable wine quick the second rout takes longer and focuses on brewing and aging. There is a handy calculator that will also show you how much honey to use in a batch to get the desired dryness out of your mead ( sorry I don't gave a link for it ) other than that there is loads of advice on the forums and it helps if you post your recipes on here for help so people can offer advise based on what you are doing

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearwall View Post
Ive made two batches of beer and wanted to try mead since it looka considerably simpler and interesting to try. I have a gew questions regarding mead in general, and how it should be fermented.
First, Ive seen separate posts on this forum where one states they added whirfloc tablets to kill the yeast and another where they let the yeast continue through bottling.
I think you could be referring to Campden (potassium metabisulfite) rather than Whirlfloc (which is essentially Irish Moss - a fining agent used in the boil with beer to assist with protien coagulation.

In any case, even Campden can't really reliably *stop* fermentation. You can (most of the time) prevent it from re-starting by adding both Campden and potassium sorbate together. This does allow you to add back sugar if you want it to be sweeter than what fermentation left you with.

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Originally Posted by Clearwall View Post
Should mead be carbonated like beer or flat like wine?
Secondly, since ive never actually had it, should it end up fairly sweet or dry and alcoholic?
What Lunchbox said...
I personally like very dry meads for the most part, although some lightly semi-sweet depending on the type. I've never bothered trying to make sparkling (carbonated) mead, although I think if I ever make a straight show mead, I might bottle condition some of it.

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Finally, how should it be served? Chilled, room temp, warm? And any suggestions on glassware? Any recommendations are appreciated.
Again, what was previously posted...
I tend to like it cool but not cold, and to really show off a mead, you'll probably want some sort of wine glass or a brandy snifter style glass.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. The recipe I used was the 'melo-meth' on this site. Cranberry, apple juice with honey, allspice and clove. I opened it today to agitate it and take a hydro reading and it reminded me of that sparkling grape juice. Really has a good fizz going which sounds very interesting. I hope i will be able to keep that going and will make it to the bottle in similar condition.

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Old 06-29-2011, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clearwall View Post
Thanks for the responses. The recipe I used was the 'melo-meth' on this site. Cranberry, apple juice with honey, allspice and clove. I opened it today to agitate it and take a hydro reading and it reminded me of that sparkling grape juice. Really has a good fizz going which sounds very interesting. I hope i will be able to keep that going and will make it to the bottle in similar condition.
Probably not. If its still fermenting then depending on the amount of fermentable sugars you started with and the yeast, it'll probably end up dry, flat and need back sweetening/carbonation. If you want it sweeter and sparkling, then don't stabilise it when its finished the ferment.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:44 AM   #6
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Can you explain that? 'Dont stabilize ...'

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Old 06-30-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
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Can you explain that? 'Dont stabilize ...'
In other words Don't use Campden and potassium sorbate, But if you want it carbed i suggest highly that when its done you treat it just like a beer, and bottle it in beer bottles(its easier than wine bottles blowing corks,trust me) and will work just as well. Also if you made it anywhere near wine strength, let it age for at least 1 year!
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:54 AM   #8
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Im kind of worried about the ABV comtent. In 5 days its already 8%. How can i make sure it stays relatively sweet and doesnt go over 11-12%?

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #9
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Im kind of worried about the ABV comtent. In 5 days its already 8%. How can i make sure it stays relatively sweet and doesnt go over 11-12%?
if you let it alone, it will go to whatever the yeast can manage i.e. whatever there's fermentable sugars are there and also as far as any nutrient will take it.

Most sweet meads are still, not carbonated, so you could feed it until it won't ferment any more, or you could treat it as one that will ferment dry, then bottle condition it but at the same time add some non-fermentable sugars/sweeteners.....
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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So, add about another 1/2 gal or so of the cranberry juice right before bottling?

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