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-   -   Help me turn my 18 pounds of honey into mead! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/help-me-turn-my-18-pounds-honey-into-mead-359671/)

biggrigs173 10-08-2012 05:37 PM

Help me turn my 18 pounds of honey into mead!
 
I have been home brewing beer for some time now and would like to make the cross into mead making. I currently live in Sicily and bought 8kg, roughly 18 pounds, of delicious wild flower honey from a local bee keeper. Help me turn it into mead! I am looking for someone to help me come up with a basic recipe to make a five gallon batch. I would like to make something basic that will show off the flavors of the natural honey. Any help you guys can provide will be most appreciated.

sonofgrok 10-08-2012 07:27 PM

Do you want a sweet or dry mead?

Arpolis 10-08-2012 08:56 PM

Try this for a simple traditional recipe:

5 gallon traditional

5.5 kg of honey (just over 12 lb)
2.5tsp of DAP (yeast nutrients)
3tsp of yeast energizer
Water to 5 gallons

Yeast starter

2cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp DAP
10 golden or normal raisins torn in half
yeast Lalvin K1V-1116

First make your starter. Mix it all together and sprinkle the yeast on top, do not stir it in. Let this sit 8 hours.

Next mix all of the other ingredients lack 2tsp of yeast energizer. You will mix that in 1 tsp at a rime 24 & 38 hours after yeast pitch.

Once your starter and must is ready then pitch the yeast but strain the raisins out. Make sure to aerate the must a lot at the start and twice a day for the first 5 days. A wine whip chucked into a drill works wonders. If you are cheap like me you can make a wine whip out of a coat hanger.

Let this sit at minimum 2 months.

Then rack off the lees into a new Carboy and top off with a little water to reduce head space or rack into smaller containers.

Let this sit another month to let any additional yeast drop out. Once clear enough to read newspaper through then do a final racking onto 5 crushed Camden tablets and 2.5tsp of potassium sorbate. That will stabilize the mead so if you choose to back sweeten with more honey then fermentation will not start up.

Taking gravity readings while back sweetening, 1.01 = semi sweet, 1.02 = sweet, 1.03 = desert mead. I like my wines/meads between 1.01-1.015.

This can start to get food in as little as 8 months and will get real good after 1 year of aging.

vespa2t 10-09-2012 01:20 AM

Honestly, if this is your first go at mead, do some 4l batches first to try different things rather than make 20l. The honey won't go bad as you have a smaller batch going.

Buona fortuna

biggrigs173 10-09-2012 05:51 AM

I would like to do a dry mead. Vespa2t, are you in Italy?

Onihige 10-09-2012 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vespa2t (Post 4481677)
Honestly, if this is your first go at mead, do some 4l batches first to try different things rather than make 20l. The honey won't go bad as you have a smaller batch going.

Buona fortuna

He can make a 20 liter batch and THEN split it. Seems smarter, to me at least.

vespa2t 10-09-2012 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Onihige

He can make a 20 liter batch and THEN split it. Seems smarter, to me at least.

Can't try different yeasts and ferment temps if you do that...

And no I'm in Kansas... Been to Sigonella a bunch of times for work though :)

biggrigs173 10-09-2012 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vespa2t (Post 4482711)
Can't try different yeasts and ferment temps if you do that...

And no I'm in Kansas... Been to Sigonella a bunch of times for work though :)

Have you ever found a place to get homebrew supplies over here? The shipping costs from Midwest are adding up fast.

Onihige 10-10-2012 08:33 AM

I could ask an Italian friend, whom I help with his first mead. Kinda weird helping a guy who grew up on a wineyard. :P

Edit: Not Sicily, I think, but domestic shipping should be cheaper and faster: http://www.mr-malt.it/
Edit2: And if that NOT cheaper. DAMN you Americans! That store is 60% cheaper than the stores in Sweden. :P


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