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Old 04-24-2007, 02:02 AM   #1
fritz_monroe
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Default First time mead question

Hello folks. I'm new to mead, but I've made some wine and beer. I want to give mead a shot. I know that I'm going to need to wait to taste it for a long time. I've been reading through the posts, and I would like to find a good first timer recipe. I'm going to do a 1 gallon batch first. I want to do a traditional recipe, but I've found recipes with from 1 to 3 pounds of honey per gallon.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-24-2007, 11:58 AM   #2
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I wouldn't go the 1 lb route, as it turns out watery and very low abv. (one of my many failed experiments in a quick mead) I've gone to 4.5 lbs per gallon (stuck ferments galore, but a whopping 15% sweet mead), but you can go as low as 2.5 lbs.

As a matter of fact, when asked this question the owner and chief meadmaker at Rabbits Foot Meadery said that 2.5 gal of your favorite honey, some nutrient, and a good fermenting yeast, like lalvin k1-v1116 or champagne yeast will yeild a very good, semi sweet, drinkable abv mead. Aging is key though. I've learned to brew beer just to keep my mind off the dusty gallon jugs in the closet

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Old 04-24-2007, 09:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Wouldn't 4.5 per gallon create rocket fuel? I don't need to go to 15%, but 8 to 10 is ok.

As for sweet mead, do you stop the ferment or let it run it's course? Is there a threat of bottle bombs leaving some residual sweetness in there? How about for carbonation, could I use additional honey to carbonate the mead? If so, how much per gallon?

BTW, I used to do a lot of wine, and since I wanted to experiment, I went with gallon jugs. I dug through some that I had bottled more than a year ago and what did I find? An apple melomel that I forgot about. I've never tried it, so hopefully it's aged properly. I'll give ti a shot this weekend.

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Old 05-07-2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default The honey

You will find most receipes calling for that same amount of honey. Be careful on the initial amount of honey as the yeast will flounder if there is too much. You can always add at the end before bottling. I have added about a pound of honey to some receipes and then dropped some campden tabs and it can out still. You can use different yeast to reduce from 15% to the 8% to 10% alcohol content but I would not suggest it. You will want to get the primary ferm going as quickly as possible to make sure alcohol can fight off anything that might be bad or trying to grow. I only use honey, nutr, and yeast. No boiling as it does remove some aroma and flavor. This is to my taste and I have had some really nice meads that have been boiled.

I would agree on not making just a gallon batch. So long for a gallon is almost not worth the effort. Try to use a blend of different honeys as this will add good depth for flavor and smell.

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Old 05-10-2007, 09:17 PM   #5
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When I first wanted to make mead I was talking to a guy at the homebrew shop, getting some information about it. I told him Id thought about just making a gallon or two. He said to go ahead make it in five gallon batches. That way you have enough to run you while you are making more. Sounded pretty logical to me.

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Old 05-11-2007, 01:37 AM   #6
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I'm just starting on mini-meads too. I picked up "The Homebrewer's Recipe Guide" and "The Joy of Homebrewing", looked at their recipes, modified one and divided the ingredients by 5.

I've got an Orange Blossom-Mint-Local honey mead chugging away right now.

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Old 05-11-2007, 01:49 AM   #7
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You can make a very nice mead with only 7lbs of honey.

If you have Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing there's a recipe called Barkshack Ginger Mead. If you like ginger then this is the mead for you. Just don't use any of the optional fruit listed.

If you can hold on to a bottle or more of this after a year you're going good.

Me? I still have a bottle or two of mead I made 13 years ago and a couple from 3 years ago. I've been sampling a couple I made 2 years ago and I have to admit they are great tasting.

I do not recommend peaches or mangos. I've tried them and wasn't really pleased with the flavor. The buzz was great, but the fruit flavor did not come through.

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