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Old 03-17-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Holiday Drinking Plans and Ideas

Hello everyone,

Last night, my wife came to me and asked "What can you brew now (March) that's different and have ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years?"

So with that question asked to me, I turn to you all for help. She's looking for a mead and she enjoys a sweeter drink. She's a big fan of JAOM and wines such as cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir.

Thanks in advance for any help and recipes.

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:55 AM   #2
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You will get a lot of naysayers here who will insist that mead takes much longer than that, but it is possible. For a mead to be ready and drinkable in that time frame, think: lower ABV (8-9%), oxygenate your must, pitch appropriate amounts of yeast, do proper staggered nutrient additions, and degas frequently during the primary fermentation.

If you do all this with a yeast that produces quicker maturing meads (Lalvin 71B comes to mind), and do a semi sweet melomel, I'm pretty sure you can have something ready by Thanksgiving. (Not that it won't be better *next* holiday in 2014, because it probably will...)

What I would do is just ferment my main must, leaving room to add a big can of a fruit puree of choice after the primary ferment finishes. Once it settles down again, stabilize it with metabisulfite/sorbate and backsweeten to taste. If you need to, hit it with some finings to get it to drop quicker, and then package

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:32 AM   #3
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Outstanding advice...thank you so much!!!

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:41 AM   #4
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A lot of recipes wouldn't be ready, what biochemedic says is feasible and its possible to use a few other tricks to short cut the time.

Personally, I see little point in making a mead to beer strengths. You end up with having to be really anal about method/technique and sanitation. Because there's not enough alcohol to act as a preservative etc, so IMO you might as well experiment with putting teaspoons of honey into shots of vodka......

You say your "erindoors" likes JAO ? well while I disagree with Joes idea that its ready once its clear and the fruit has dropped, you've enough time to get a batch in and made, with enough time for a bit of ageing for crimbo......possibly even aged enough for Thanksgiving.

Yet not so much for any "normal" sort of recipes as they'd likely need aging more.

Mix up a JAO and give it a try.....

At worst, it should mean you know what you're likely drinking to see in the New Year.....

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #5
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Melomel is well known for being ready to drink sooner than traditional mead. I have had great success with a semisweet raspberry mead with 12% ACV which is ready to consume as early as seven months from start to finish.

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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Thanks folks....good stuff. She does like JAOM. Mostly at the 12-15 month range although it's been known to be given good reviews by her after only 8 months (2 months in the primary and 6 months in the bottle) and that does account for a darn good "Plan B" so I'm going to mix up a batch this weekend.

The semisweet rasberry mead sounds really good and I've had a raspberry on my to brew list for a while now. Would you mind sharing the recipe here?

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Old 03-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Try a braggot, it's different & depending on the recipe, might be ready for Christmas.
Regards, GF.

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