Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > first time mead maker
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #1
w8indq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: auckland, new zealand
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 4

Default first time mead maker

Hi, ive been reading through what problems people have had with batches so heres my story hopefully you can help me out. Im from new zealand so units will be metric etc.

4.5 kg of manuka honey (very dark native honey)
13.5l of nz spring water
50ml of vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks
Yeast starter
wine yeast (good brand just cant remember make)

Done all the normal things to start the must etc and fermented at 23 degrees ceciius, starting sg of 1.085 fermentation took a while amd finished at 1.002 from memory have rackd a few times now and its a beautiful golden colour and clear as, bu im not sure if its tasting right a mouthful and all you get is an intense alchol taste and very sweet but the aftertase is a nice honey and vanilla but i have nothing to compare it to, is this right for a mead i started making 4months ago?
Does it just need time to age or should i check ph etc? Any help or advice would be great,

thanks

__________________
w8indq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2012, 02:22 AM   #2
Arpolis
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,090
Liked 202 Times on 186 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

That sounds a bit right. Mead takes a minimum 6 months to be lighter on the alcohol taste and starts getting real good at 12 month. If you used Lalvin D47 yeast then that one would produce many fusal alcohols at the temp you posted. You really need it fermenting at 18c - 20c. So give this another 3 months prolly and taste again. You will be amazed at how much it changes.

__________________

A painting says a thousand words. But a painting while on good mead just looks funny!

Arpolis is offline
w8indq Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2012, 02:34 AM   #3
w8indq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: auckland, new zealand
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 4

Default

Thats good to know i had some people try a little bit of it, they all splutered except the old man he loved it reckoned it to a sherry haha, also could i get aay with bottling as i want to free up my demi jon

__________________
w8indq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2012, 03:11 AM   #4
Arpolis
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,090
Liked 202 Times on 186 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

Sure you can bottle as soon as it is clear and nit droppin lees. Some say blasphomy to that and that you should bulk age the first year for this reason or that. However I don't think you will notice any difference. So go for it.

__________________

A painting says a thousand words. But a painting while on good mead just looks funny!

Arpolis is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-22-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
MeadWitch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South of Weird, TX
Posts: 311
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

If the only reason you are bottling is to free up your demijon, I would say go for it. However, in my own personal experience, every mead that I didn't put into secondary but went straight into bottles, they ended up with lees at the bottom of the bottles. Now if it is just your best buds and you kicking back a few one night, no problem but if you are wanting to show it off sometime, those lees don't look so hot. I would try to find another demijohn for cheap.
__________________
Primary: Cider House Rules Cider

Tertiary: Sweet Dried Cherry/Vanilla Mead, Prickly Pear Mead, Jalapeno-Peach Sweet Mead

Bottled: Huajillo Honey Mead - 4 bottles only, first ever mead, Light Draft Style Cider, Raspberry Mead, Hibiscus Mead, JAOM, Peach Melba Mead, Limoncello, Kahlua, Spiced Winter Cider, Orange/Vanilla Mead
MeadWitch is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2012, 08:27 AM   #6
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,682
Liked 174 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by w8indq View Post
Hi, ive been reading through what problems people have had with batches so heres my story hopefully you can help me out. Im from new zealand so units will be metric etc.

4.5 kg of manuka honey (very dark native honey)
13.5l of nz spring water
50ml of vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks
Yeast starter
wine yeast (good brand just cant remember make)
Ok, but I notice no mention of yeast nutrients of any kind.....
Quote:
Done all the normal things to start the must etc and fermented at 23 degrees ceciius, starting sg of 1.085 fermentation took a while amd finished at 1.002 from memory have rackd a few times now and its a beautiful golden colour and clear as, bu im not sure if its tasting right a mouthful and all you get is an intense alchol taste and very sweet but the aftertaste is a nice honey and vanilla but i have nothing to compare it to, is this right for a mead i started making 4months ago?
Does it just need time to age or should i check ph etc? Any help or advice would be great,

thanks
Well, if you didn't use nutrient, then it's good to have reached 1.002

You've racked it, it's gone clear (presumably to the definition of clear being "that you can read a newspaper through it). Which is also good.

Now you mention a few taste issues....... Not knowing what the yeast was, there's a few yeasts that "have issues" i.e. D47, while a good yeast for traditionals, is known to produce fusels if fermented at over 70F/21C (with honey musts - I don't know about using it for grape musts), which might be the intense alcohol taste you allude too. Or 71B also is good for traditionals (and some other melomels - it metabolises something like 1/3 of any malic acid that might come from the fruit - depends on the fruit).

Notwithstanding the points above, it's more likely that you're describing the "alcohol hot" flavour that you can often get with new/young batches. Presuming this is what we're alluding to, then it's not an issue as it mellows with age usually, though of course, how long it takes varies from batch to batch etc.

Generally, young meads aren't particularly good, but when you age them the transformation is amazing - it's almost like you're tasting something completely different.

There are a couple of things you can do to mask any "young" flavours. Back sweetening is the main one as that gives you a more sweet flavour that covers some of the alcohol hot, yet it may be that you need some acid, or tannin to give it some bite, so you don't feel that you're tasting watered down honey. Of course, it's usual to do these additions both "too taste", but also after it's aged for a while.

I find that if I'm back sweetening with honey, it's easiest to do that to a chosen level, once the ferment has finished and it's been stabilised with sulphite and sorbate (which prevent any refermentation that could result from the addition of more fermentable sugars, especially if there's still some alcohol tolerance left in the yeast - and yes, even if the batch is completely clear, there will be some yeast cells still present, unless you've run it through a "sterile" filter of some sort). Back sweetening with honey can cause a haze in a clear mead (protein I believe), hence I like to back sweeten to the level of sweetness I usually like i.e. 1.010 to 1.015 and I do that before clearing, as it's a pain to have to clear it a second time.

Acid additions ? Well I like to use the mix suggested by Ashton & Duncan in their now, out of print, "Making Mead" book (you can usually find a copy cheap on Amazon markets). It's a mix of 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric (I don't like to use citric in most meads, unless they had some citrus fruit in them, as it can make them taste too "lemony"). I add it half a teaspoon at a time, gently mix/stir it in, then taste.

Tannin ? I just use grape tannin powder from the home brew shop. I take a little of the must in a sanitised jar, then add half a tsp of the powder, put the lid on and shake the hell out of it (grape tannin is very fine, "sticky" powder that can make sticky lumps easily, so I mix it like this to try and avoid that). Then add it in, stir and taste a little. With tannin addition like this, I've found that after 24 hours or so, you can often get another sediment dropping out. Which is fine as you just leave it for a couple of days, maybe a week and then taste, and rack it off.

Even after describing all that lot for you, I'd still suggest that you just bottle the cleared mead and leave it for a minimum of 6 months. You can bottle it in small bottles i.e. beer bottles if you can find corks/stoppers for them, or even get a capper and crown caps and use those. It makes it easier to taste a bottle periodically to see how it's getting on.

That way, you can follow how it's progressing while you set too, with your next batch.

Luckily for you, being in NZ, the manuka honey is gonna be a hell of a lot cheaper than it is here..........
__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
3
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
w8indq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: auckland, new zealand
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 4

Default

Thanks for the advice, how much is manuka honey in the uk? I can pick it up for 30nzd for 4kg that or rewarewa which is very nice to but not as popular as manuka

__________________
w8indq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,682
Liked 174 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by w8indq View Post
Thanks for the advice, how much is manuka honey in the uk? I can pick it up for 30nzd for 4kg that or rewarewa which is very nice to but not as popular as manuka
Well I won't bore you with the actual numbers, but this link is where I get a lot of my honey from, and I'm sure you can work out the exchange - and that generally the Manuka is very, very expensive.

While the rewarewa is quite reasonable.

I suspect that it's because according to the hippy/new age/health nazis think that Manuka has magical properties.

It's a bit like Buckwheat. If you can find some, it tends to be very expensive, because a couple of years ago, some newspaper jouro' type published an article about it being the ideal replacement for winter cough medication for kids. I've only found it in a couple of places, one had 500g for £8 and another had 340g for £5. Yet after talking to a few people on a couple of forums and a colleague at work, I managed to get 14kg of Polish buckwheat (which seems to be similar to "West Coast"(American) Buckwheat honey) for £1.90 per lb. A considerable saving.

Hence most people in the UK won't use Manuka, because of the price......
__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
w8indq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: auckland, new zealand
Posts: 4
Likes Given: 4

Default

You thin youve got it rough i was lucky to find this beekeeper, on the shelf it retails from 15-40nzd for 500grams

__________________
w8indq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1st time mead maker. Where do I start? ToddPacker69 Mead Forum 7 04-10-2012 11:36 PM
First time mead maker and i need help! TacomaHomeBrew Mead Forum 23 01-30-2012 03:16 AM
First time mead maker..here's what I did AintLifeGrand Mead Forum 4 01-24-2012 08:00 PM
First time mead-maker hooligansteve Mead Forum 4 10-02-2008 10:38 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS