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Old 01-11-2010, 10:51 PM   #1
Joeywhat
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Default Help With Mead Recipe

I'm thinking of starting on a mead here next weekend, and would like some opinions on good recipes.

I'd like a relatively sweet mead that isn't too hard to do. It's my first one so I don't want anything too difficult. ABV in the 12% range, no less then 10% no more then 15%. 5 gallon batch, just a plain jane mead no spices or herbs or adjuncts or anything.

Thoughts on this? Is there an easy way to tell how a mead will turn out based on the recipe?

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:45 PM   #2
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Use hightest's Mead calculator in the FAQ sticky.

Find a yeast that will crap out where you want it to go, and find out how many pounds of honey will take you where you need to go.

Say D-47 I think is ~14%. Take the FG you would like it end at (Probably somewhere between 1.015-1.025 should be decently sweet -- your tastes may vary) and put that in the FG field. Then start adding honey + water until you get to a final batch size of 5g that is right around or just above the 14% marker, and you have a basic recipe.

Personally, I think Wyeast Sweet Mead craps out between 11-12% and is easy to overwhelm with sugar, so you could take 12% as your given number. Keep the FG the same, and start adding honey and water until you get a 5g total recipe that's right around that 12% mark.

I would imagine that with Sweet Mead yeast, somewhere between 12-14# of honey would do the trick, but I don't have excel on this PC.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:47 AM   #3
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Thanks, that should get me the info I need.

Another question, do meads typically have any formidable krausen when fermenting? I'll be brewing this in a 5 gallon fermenter and trying to keep it right at 5 gallons (no less).

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:34 AM   #4
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compaired to beer, the mead will have very little, if any.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
Thanks, that should get me the info I need.

Another question, do meads typically have any formidable krausen when fermenting? I'll be brewing this in a 5 gallon fermenter and trying to keep it right at 5 gallons (no less).
I didn't have much krausen at all on my mead- it would depend on the yeast, but you'll probably be safe with very minimal headspace.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:45 AM   #6
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If you're doing a traditional mead with a traditional yeast, you shouldn't see much of a head, but what concerns me is: are you planning on doing a single fermentation? Not sure what your usual brew is, but this mead won't see a bottle for quite some time. You're going to, at the least, want to get it off its primary sediment, where you'll lose volume, and you're going to want to take sg tests, where you'll lose volume again.

I made the mistake my first mead of bucketing to the 3 gallon line for my 3 gallon carboy, and ended up with ridiculous oxygen exposure by the time it hit my carboy. I highly recommend filling .5 gallons past your target carboy volume in a bucket. Especially since its your first mead, you'll be able to take some readings, record them, and learn the nature of the beast while you avoid the metaphorical ****ting of bricks which occurs when you find things didn't go to plan.

Just sharing my minimal experience, though. Not sure if others would agree

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:51 AM   #7
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I was planning on possibly starting this in a 6.5 gallon better bottle, with a 5.5 gallon recipe adjusted from a 5 gallon (basically a little more honey as to not water it down). I've got a 5 gallon carboy I'd use as a secondary, or I'll just buy another BB if I have to.

Depending on how much money I have I may have to start in a 5 gallon carboy, hence the question. I realize that too much headspace is an issue with a secondary, but what about with the primary?

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:57 PM   #8
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You can always "top up" when moving it into secondary. In primary, there's co2 coming out and will blanket the mead and should not have much issue for almost any size batch in the primary, but when it's moved to secondary and less co2 is coming out (and you keep opening the bung to sample if it's ready to bottle) - you're rising more exposure.

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverie View Post

I made the mistake my first mead of bucketing to the 3 gallon line for my 3 gallon carboy, and ended up with ridiculous oxygen exposure by the time it hit my carboy. I highly recommend filling .5 gallons past your target carboy volume in a bucket. Especially since its your first mead, you'll be able to take some readings, record them, and learn the nature of the beast while you avoid the metaphorical ****ting of bricks which occurs when you find things didn't go to plan.
So I am planning my first mead batch and I was thinking about doing roughly a 3 gallon batch for the primary fermentation and then splitting into 3 - 1 gallon batches with various fruits and spices.

My question is, is it okay to have the 3 gallon primary fermenation done in a 5 gallon carboy or will that extra oxygen space cause problems? Would it be better done in a 3 gallon?
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