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Old 04-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
flyboy
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Default First time mead recipe

I've been brewing for a while and have had good luck with some stouts, ales, and ciders. I'd like to try my hand with mead. I've had a plain mead and a prickly pear and really likes both. Any recommendations on an easy mead recipe for me to start with? I know the easy is a relative term in brewing but looking for something that will minimize the chance for failure. Thanks



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Old 04-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy
I've been brewing for a while and have had good luck with some stouts, ales, and ciders. I'd like to try my hand with mead. I've had a plain mead and a prickly pear and really likes both. Any recommendations on an easy mead recipe for me to start with? I know the easy is a relative term in brewing but looking for something that will minimize the chance for failure. Thanks
I am by no means an expert at mead. But just bottled my very first mead last month. We handed out 10 bottles and it was a big hit.

I started with plain no boil mead. It's easy and it turned out great. I talked to some of the guys from Austin homebrewers and I got the hit that a prickly pear is very picky. I figured the no boil was a start and I will branch out from there.

My next batch will be a no boil with higher gravity, and possible a 10-15 min boil, than start with fruits. This is just my two cents...

Recipe in this book:

image-34813654.jpg


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Old 04-03-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
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Can't really mess it up, just give it time. And I can't stress that enough. Even if you think its fine or good, with time it will get amazing. My first attempt at a raspberry mead was at first a fail. I left the berries in there for way too long and it was way too bitter, and don't even get my started on the heart burn. After sitting in bottles for 6 month it was the best mead I ever drank.

Long story even longer. If good or bad, let it sit and forget about it. It's going to be worth it.

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #4
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Boiling isn't necessary, although it's not going to "ruin" your mead.

A lot of people rave about the JAOM (Joe's Ancient Orange Mead) recipe as a good recipe for first timers. I think your plan for a simple straight mead is a fine one. Take the time though to build up a good knowledge base on some mead-specific topics such as staggered nutrient additions. Everything the others mentioned about patience and time is true, but if you treat mead properly it can be ready a lot sooner than not (but we're still talking months, as opposed to the weeks you may be used to with beer.)

EDIT: definitely get the book pictured above...

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Old 04-03-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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I don't rave about JAO, but it is a good first recipe and if made as a benchmark, you have a reference point.

Also, despite what the recipe says, I've never found it drinkable once its finished and clear. To my mind, it needs a good 6 months ageing.

Young meads are often quite rough, though depending on recipe/ingredients, as well as intended style, some steps can be taken to mask the young roughness.......

Often its found, that the higher alcohol, the longer the ageing that's required. Equally, if you do make a high % batch, then making it a sack styles can help get it drinkable earlier, etc etc....

The only proviso being, that with meads, patience is paramount !

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Old 04-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Fatbloke, I understand and agree with you about patience. I once made an Imperial stout that sat a little above 12% and had to wait a good 6 months before it was drinkable. I'm also going to pay a visit a local brew store here in Tempe to get som advice from them as well. This forum has alway treated me well so it's my natural first stop for questions.

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:54 AM   #7
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Please see my thread above from neanderthalman51 for a first time question .

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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I'm a believer in the "k.i.s.s." philosophy, "Keep It Simple, Stupid", IMO a simple straightforward traditional recipe like, 3 pounds per gallon of honey, decent water, yeast and some nutrients is a good starting point.

For the first batch it's really a technical learning experience, working out the steps which vary from beer making so the less technical you get the better. I think the allure of the JAOM is that it's grocery store ingredients thrown in a container and forgotten awhile, but it's a bunch of ingredients and reactions that seems to alway bring a bunch of worried questions to the forum as people have yet to learn how mead behaves through it's different stages.

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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Something else I think gets overlooked when someone asks about making their first mead is documentation. I know most if not all of us do it so we probably just take for granted that it's truly one of the steps in the process.

It should be recommended to every new mead maker, before putting their first batch together to go pick up a cheap notebook. Keep a journal of all of the details.

The recipe, including type/brand honey, amounts used, the yeast brand and strain, did you use bottled or tap water, make a yeast starter, pitch it dry or rehydrated, what nutrient was used and how much and when.

The steps, everything you did from prep to setting it to ferment, what sanitizer you used, was the water or honey warmed or cold mixed, the OG, everything.

When was any type of activity noted, time elapsed from pitching to bubbling, what was observed throughout.

This way if something goes awry it's easy to back track and see when or if there were missteps. Conversely if it turns out super amazingly incredible there is a reference to either duplicate it as closely as possible or use it as a base for other recipes.



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