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Old 07-03-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default First timer: Do i do it?

I'm new to mead making an was thinking of giving it a go myself. I figured I'd make a small batch to start and go from there. I read the wiki or whatever but I still have questions. Figured you are all nice people so lll just come right out and ask.

1) what does mead taste like? I've never had it, but I saw a bit about it on "drinking made easy" and it sounded appealing. Is it just like white wine, or is there more to it? Could I make an apricot mead or something to jazz it up bit? I'd like to eventually have a couple of bottles of something really special and awesome that I can pull out for special occasions, like a random Tuesday.

2) I have 2 lbs of local honey sitting around. How much mead would this make? I could get more, but it's kind of a rip off right now.

3) is there a special kind of honey required? When it comes to maple syrup, i like it low-grade and dark for more mapley taste. Would it make sense to talk to a local beekeeper to get some "lesser quality" honey to get more flavor out of it (if such a thing exists).

4). It's July. If I make this and then just let it sit in my cold cellar, when am I looking at bottling it up? I live in Canada so it's hot now and cold in the winter. Fermentation chamber is on its way though (tomorrow!).

Thanks peeps! Happy drinking!

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Old 07-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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1. thats kind a hard question to answer. its like trying to answer what does beer taste like. well it depends on the ingredients/type etc. Theres so many different types of meads its boggles the mind! from beer type braggots, to still traditionals, sparkling traditionals, to fruity melomels. DME is a awesome show BTW.
2. 2 lbs of honey will make about a 9.75% ABV 1 gallon (US) batch if its a traditional ( Honey water nutrient) I always use ~3lbs of honey per gallon
3. Crap in= crap out. Most of us use "raw" honey to preserve to sublte flavors, however if you make a braggot, melomel, bochet, etc you dont need some really expensive varital honey as alot of those flavors will be masked by the added flavors.
4. Time tables are crap, but a rough estimate 6 months to a year..
Im sure Im missing some important info, but Ive been drinking for a couple hours now, and Im sure someone will answer more indepthly

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Old 07-03-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulster2626 View Post
1) what does mead taste like? I've never had it, but I saw a bit about it on "drinking made easy" and it sounded appealing. Is it just like white wine, or is there more to it? Could I make an apricot mead or something to jazz it up bit? I'd like to eventually have a couple of bottles of something really special and awesome that I can pull out for special occasions, like a random Tuesday.
I Jazz up all my meads. I can’t leave well enough alone and stick with honey/water/yeast. Look around this site & GotMead.com. There are lots of great recipes to choose from. Probably several with apricot.

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2) I have 2 lbs of local honey sitting around. How much mead would this make? I could get more, but it's kind of a rip off right now.
Go to Gotmead.com and look at the mead calculator. It is under the “Recipes & Mead Making” drop down on the left. 2# of honey will make a 1 gallon batch of mead but the normal amount people like to add is about 3#. Depending on the actual sugar content. If fermented completely dry then 2# of honey in 1 gallon will make a mead at about 9.74%ABV.


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3) is there a special kind of honey required? When it comes to maple syrup, i like it low-grade and dark for more mapley taste. Would it make sense to talk to a local beekeeper to get some "lesser quality" honey to get more flavor out of it (if such a thing exists).
Getting Raw un-boiled honey from an Apiary is always great. You can make good mead with proper technique and handling with any honey but with a proper honey you can make excellent mead.

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4). It's July. If I make this and then just let it sit in my cold cellar, when am I looking at bottling it up? I live in Canada so it's hot now and cold in the winter. Fermentation chamber is on its way though (tomorrow!).
You bottle after you can read news print through it; however some like to keep mead in the carboy for 1+ years before bottling. Regardless you want your mead aged at a year usually before trying to drink it., Some recipes though boast to being drinkable within 6months or like 3 months for the famous JAOM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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The honey flavors you use will come out in the final mead. If you want a bold flavored honey try buckwheat. If you find a good online honey distributor the often describe the flavors of the different honey. I buy my honey from flyingbeeranch.net

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by paulster2626 View Post

1) what does mead taste like?
somewhat like honey, but not really. hard to pin it down really. it tastes like mead.
Quote:
2) I have 2 lbs of local honey sitting around. How much mead would this make? I could get more, but it's kind of a rip off right now.
plan for 3lbs a gallon
Quote:
3) is there a special kind of honey required? When it comes to maple syrup, i like it low-grade and dark for more mapley taste. Would it make sense to talk to a local beekeeper to get some "lesser quality" honey to get more flavor out of it (if such a thing exists).
any will work. the "best" is really subjective
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4). It's July. If I make this and then just let it sit in my cold cellar, when am I looking at bottling it up? I live in Canada so it's hot now and cold in the winter. Fermentation chamber is on its way though (tomorrow!).
3 months is possible with nutrient, a fast yeast, constant degassing and finings. 6 months/1 year is a better plan, so do a bunch of small batches 1 month apart
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:07 AM   #6
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You could make a decent Cyser (honey and apple juice) with your 2 lbs honey. Just add the honey to the apple juice with no added water, add nutrients, yeast and you are good. Using .8333 gallons of 1.05 sg juice and 2 lbs of honey should yield a OG of 1.114 and 14.84 potential abv%. Never heat the honey above 110 F or so except for specialized situations.

A touch of vanilla and cinammon is great in a cyser

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulster2626
I'm new to mead making an was thinking of giving it a go myself. I figured I'd make a small batch to start and go from there. I read the wiki or whatever but I still have questions. Figured you are all nice people so lll just come right out and ask.

1) what does mead taste like? I've never had it, but I saw a bit about it on "drinking made easy" and it sounded appealing. Is it just like white wine, or is there more to it? Could I make an apricot mead or something to jazz it up bit? I'd like to eventually have a couple of bottles of something really special and awesome that I can pull out for special occasions, like a random Tuesday.

2) I have 2 lbs of local honey sitting around. How much mead would this make? I could get more, but it's kind of a rip off right now.

3) is there a special kind of honey required? When it comes to maple syrup, i like it low-grade and dark for more mapley taste. Would it make sense to talk to a local beekeeper to get some "lesser quality" honey to get more flavor out of it (if such a thing exists).

4). It's July. If I make this and then just let it sit in my cold cellar, when am I looking at bottling it up? I live in Canada so it's hot now and cold in the winter. Fermentation chamber is on its way though (tomorrow!).

Thanks peeps! Happy drinking!
Well first off yes you should absolutely give it a go !! Mead is a fermented honey beverage so to describe the flavor without sounding like a wise ass it tastes like honey. At least in its most basic form. You absolutely can jazz it up you can add fruits, spices, hops which makes different mead variations like pyment, metheglin, etc. you also have different styles of mead ie. dry, semi sweet or sweet meads. The type of yeast plays a role in the type mead you will end up with I personally like D-47. With two pounds you will probably make a 1 gallon batch and it will be dry. Mead takes a while to finish and age plan on a year. It takes time but my God is it worth it. Check out the recipe for JAOM joes ancient orange mead it is actually very good IMHO and is a great starting point for a first time mead maker. Good luck !
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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I first bought couple gallons of apple juice for the glass bottles. For use as fermintation tanks. (Organic, Unfiltered, Paturized) But now I'm thinking instead of just drinking it and making straight honey mead, maybe I'll uses the juice and make my first atempt as a Cyser instead
Wolf

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