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Old 04-21-2006, 12:31 AM   #1
dancingbarefoot
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Default How much babysitting does mead need?

For lack of better term, how much babysitting does mead need?

I've been wanting to try a mead (wanted to make mead long before beer, actually, but wanted to drink the results sooner ), but because I'm a grad student who spends her summers and winter vacations traveling around, I haven't yet. If I start a batch that needs to sit around a while, I end up with nowhere to store it because I move (too) often.

This summer, I'll be doing fieldwork in Alaska (home sweet home!), so I'll be living with my parents (= place to store mead long-term). It would be totally possible for me to brew a batch of mead there this summer and leave it in their garage or basement. But then after 2-3 months, I'll be returning to Texas. Would it be safe to say that after 2-3 months, I could just leave it to age while I go off to school, or would that be the mother of all ****-ups?



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Old 04-21-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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Yes, you could leave the mead in a carboy for 3 months.

I would recommend a basement over a garage just because they are usually cooler.

The only problem is you have to make sure someone knows how to fill the airlock and check it weekly.



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Old 04-21-2006, 11:35 PM   #3
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In the 2 to 3 months you could always go for a higher Alcohol Dry Mead (say 10% to 11%) with a wine yeast and then campden tablet, clear it of the sediments and then age it sealed before you head back to Texas.
Leave it in the dark and cold. Forget it.
Mead needs time to develop.
When you head back to Alaska this time next summer (for another 2/3 month long break) you can probably either bottle it as a 'Still Mead' or you could think about adding a small amount of honey and fresh yeast to prime it for a carbonated version. I'd age it again for another 6 months before drinking either way.....

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Old 04-23-2006, 12:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Yes, you could leave the mead in a carboy for 3 months.

I would recommend a basement over a garage just because they are usually cooler.

The only problem is you have to make sure someone knows how to fill the airlock and check it weekly.
How cool are we walking? My parents' house is usually around 68, and the garage would be a good deal cooler. The basement's actually a half-basement (few people have real basements in Alaska), and it's the same temp as the rest of the house. I'll have to check how cold the garage gets, but it's the coldest part of their house.

The airlock will be trickier, but I think I can con my mom into checking it for me. My dad won't touch alcohol unless it's a margarita (or communion wine!), but mom would probably be interesting in the brewing process. We'll see.

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Originally Posted by Caplan
In the 2 to 3 months you could always go for a higher Alcohol Dry Mead (say 10% to 11%) with a wine yeast and then campden tablet, clear it of the sediments and then age it sealed before you head back to Texas.
Leave it in the dark and cold. Forget it.
Mead needs time to develop.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Plus, no temptation to drink it too early if I'm 4500 miles away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
When you head back to Alaska this time next summer (for another 2/3 month long break) you can probably either bottle it as a 'Still Mead' or you could think about adding a small amount of honey and fresh yeast to prime it for a carbonated version. I'd age it again for another 6 months before drinking either way.....
Now that sounds complicated... must go read up on mead-making.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 04-23-2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Anywhere over 70F will work. Remember the fermentation can raise the inside temp a few degrees also.

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Old 04-24-2006, 10:36 PM   #6
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Over 70F? Hm... that might be difficult, actually.

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Old 04-25-2006, 10:55 AM   #7
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Try placing it next to your water heater.

I have a gas stove in my basement kitchen. I place it near the pilot light and it keeps the bucket at a steady 72F.

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Old 06-02-2006, 11:36 PM   #8
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Try placing it next to your water heater.
That's a good idea. Not sure there'd be room for it (it's all wedged in kinda tight), but I can try.

Haven't made it over to the LHBS yet to check out honey prices yet. Guess that should be my first step.


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