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Old 12-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #11
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Golddiggie earlier talked about how they have adapter their beer brewing techniques to mead. You could also consider besides its low alcohol level in that style that is also carbonated and bottled in little beer bottles, often with a beer cap, served cold etc.

A mead maker in NZ, what kinds of honey do you guys use, eucolyptus? I bet your wildflower honey is extrodiare.

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whaaaaaa??? I've not said that, nor do I do that. ALL my meads are in the 14% ABV range and ABOVE. I have one in process that's 21% (needs the flavor additions started) and another on deck that will go (I hope) above 24%.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #12
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:14 AM   #13
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Whoops, shows what I know about making beer then One thing you mentioned about the fruit, if you add enough fruit it doesnt get blown away by the fermentation, a few pounds per gallon gets blown away, 5 or 6 pounds doesnt. I do like to add a few pounds of strawberries a couple of days before racking to add even more nose to the meads, that little bit of strawberries can fill a room up. WVMJ

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whaaaaaa??? I've not said that, nor do I do that. ALL my meads are in the 14% ABV range and ABOVE. I have one in process that's 21% (needs the flavor additions started) and another on deck that will go (I hope) above 24%.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:17 AM   #14
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Whoops, shows what I know about making beer then One thing you mentioned about the fruit, if you add enough fruit it doesnt get blown away by the fermentation, a few pounds per gallon gets blown away, 5 or 6 pounds doesnt. I do like to add a few pounds of strawberries a couple of days before racking to add even more nose to the meads, that little bit of strawberries can fill a room up. WVMJ
I've never added fruit to any beers, just to ONE melomel (a blackberry) that I made over two years ago. Early on, it wasn't all that good (unlike my traditional meads). I'm hoping that after spending another 1-1/2 years on bottles, that it will be good to drink. I don't know if I'll ever make another melomel. I have much better luck when NOT using fruit in my meads.

BTW, before you start comparing mead making and beer brewing, you should (IMO) become more knowledgeable in brewing beer.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:13 AM   #15
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Some beer brewers have adapter their beer brewing techniques to mead. You could also consider besides its low alcohol level in that style that is also carbonated and bottled in little beer bottles, often with a beer cap, served cold etc.
that more bottling rather than brewing.
beer dosn't have to worry much on nutrient, often a different heat range, mead doesn't have any mashing etc.
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A mead maker in NZ, what kinds of honey do you guys use, eucalyptus? I bet your wildflower honey is extrodiare.

WVMJ
your thinking of aussie.

i'm not having much luck with manuka and bush honey. official description of manuka honey includes "earthy" and thats exactly the taste that comes through. so next lot i may just stick to clover.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #16
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GD, We make very good melomels, maybe go back and read post #1 to help Wife likes the Black Raspberry best, I like the Dried Elderberry, lots of fruit is the key, most melomel recipes add so little fruit it turns out more like a Rose. The acid also has to be there and degassing to eliminate the CO2 bite. WVMJ

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I've never added fruit to any beers, just to ONE melomel (a blackberry) that I made over two years ago. Early on, it wasn't all that good (unlike my traditional meads). I'm hoping that after spending another 1-1/2 years on bottles, that it will be good to drink. I don't know if I'll ever make another melomel. I have much better luck when NOT using fruit in my meads.

BTW, before you start comparing mead making and beer brewing, you should (IMO) become more knowledgeable in brewing beer.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #17
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GD, We make very good melomels, maybe go back and read post #1 to help Wife likes the Black Raspberry best, I like the Dried Elderberry, lots of fruit is the key, most melomel recipes add so little fruit it turns out more like a Rose. The acid also has to be there and degassing to eliminate the CO2 bite. WVMJ
If you read all of my post (that you quoted) I was talking about your referencing to the beer making process. Since it seems like you have very little (if any) beer brewing experience, IMO, comparing them is invalid. About all they share is you pitch yeast and need to take care of them. Virtually everything else is different. Since I've made ONE melomel (also in my posts) I've NOT seen the need to use tannins, or acid, in my meads. In my traditional (and even flavored meads) degassing hasn't been an issue, nor have they needed acid. IME, adding acid will [shock] reduce the ph, which can seriously stress out the yeast (they really don't like it below a ph of ~3.2, getting grumpy around 3.3-3.4) and give you issues. Adding acid to a must that's already high in acidic fruit is (IMO/IME) stupid. Also, without checking my notes for specifics, I ended up adding about 6-7 pounds of blackberries (mashed up) to my 3 gallon melomel batch. Some in primary, the rest post fermentation (maybe 3# in primary). It's been sitting in bottles for about 1-1/2 years now, and I hope it's finally getting to the point where it's good in the glass.

Just as I wouldn't apply the exact same ingredients, and techniques, to all beer styles, applying the same techniques to all mead types/styles is unwise (at best).

Maybe you should actually read MY posts again.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #18
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GD, I was going through the posts on the mead section and seeing how different some of the mead makers make mead here with their beer brewing backgrounds as being different from winemakers making mead. Most beerbrewers I understand dont care about the total acidity of their brew because the ingredients are not acidic. As your last post in this thread shows you dont seem to have an understanding of the total acids in wines. Yes, you would have to be stupid to add acid to a high acidity fruit, but winemakers know how to measure the total acidity of the must and adjust it with acid blend for each batch. Adding acid blend is not the same as adding sulfuric acid, there are many things that contribute to the total acidity, and its only a part of the pH. There is very little acidity in honey, once its diluted in the must its hard to even taste, so adding some acid to a traditional mead would bring the pH down to where the yeast prefer and give a healthier fermentation and help keep the must from being contaminated.

As far as degassing, if you let them bulk age enough you wouldnt have to degass, but sometimes even a year in a carboy they still have some gas, reducing the CO2 reduces the sharp taste, not a problem in beer as its supposed to be part of the taste, but in a still mead or wine its not supposed to be there so removing it is beneficial to the final taste.

I like 6 or 10 pounds of fruit per gallon in melomels and bring the sugar level up with honey and keep adding honey until it stops, then add a little before bottling to freshen up the honey taste so its kind of equal fruit, equal honey. Traditionally its more often made with so much less fruit that you can barely taste the fruit even if you add it at the end, you get a blush of a wine if you are lucky.

There is a book called Award Winning Wines by Bill Smith, he likes to get a fermentation going and then add the fruit at the end of the fermentation to preserve the fruit flavor, I think that is what the trend is in traditional mels, its a good book to read to give meadmakers some more insight on how to balance the entire batch, acidity etc and make a better melomel, and one that doesnt take a couple of years to drink. Ours with all that acid blend etc are good out of the carboy before they are even aged a year. I think if the traditional meads were made more balanced to support the health of the yeast a better product would be made and you wouldnt probably have to wait years for the offtastes to settle out before enjoying a bottle.

WVMJ

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Old 12-16-2012, 01:59 AM   #19
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GD, I was going through the posts on the mead section and seeing how different some of the mead makers make mead here with their beer brewing backgrounds as being different from winemakers making mead. Most beerbrewers I understand dont care about the total acidity of their brew because the ingredients are not acidic. As your last post in this thread shows you dont seem to have an understanding of the total acids in wines. Yes, you would have to be stupid to add acid to a high acidity fruit, but winemakers know how to measure the total acidity of the must and adjust it with acid blend for each batch. Adding acid blend is not the same as adding sulfuric acid, there are many things that contribute to the total acidity, and its only a part of the pH. There is very little acidity in honey, once its diluted in the must its hard to even taste, so adding some acid to a traditional mead would bring the pH down to where the yeast prefer and give a healthier fermentation and help keep the must from being contaminated.

As far as degassing, if you let them bulk age enough you wouldnt have to degass, but sometimes even a year in a carboy they still have some gas, reducing the CO2 reduces the sharp taste, not a problem in beer as its supposed to be part of the taste, but in a still mead or wine its not supposed to be there so removing it is beneficial to the final taste.

I like 6 or 10 pounds of fruit per gallon in melomels and bring the sugar level up with honey and keep adding honey until it stops, then add a little before bottling to freshen up the honey taste so its kind of equal fruit, equal honey. Traditionally its more often made with so much less fruit that you can barely taste the fruit even if you add it at the end, you get a blush of a wine if you are lucky.

There is a book called Award Winning Wines by Bill Smith, he likes to get a fermentation going and then add the fruit at the end of the fermentation to preserve the fruit flavor, I think that is what the trend is in traditional mels, its a good book to read to give meadmakers some more insight on how to balance the entire batch, acidity etc and make a better melomel, and one that doesnt take a couple of years to drink. Ours with all that acid blend etc are good out of the carboy before they are even aged a year. I think if the traditional meads were made more balanced to support the health of the yeast a better product would be made and you wouldnt probably have to wait years for the offtastes to settle out before enjoying a bottle.

WVMJ

Actually one of the reasons why acid blend is not added up front to a mead is because during fermentation the PH can take a wild swing downward thus stalling out the yeast.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:58 AM   #20
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Actually one of the reasons why acid blend is not added up front to a mead is because during fermentation the PH can take a wild swing downward thus stalling out the yeast.
Correct.

Plus reading other posts here I find a little frustrating at times.

Because of the massive amounts of beer making experience hereabouts, a lot of people move over to trying meads but using similar methods to their beer making.

Whereas those of us who're more wine and mead people see those kind of practices completely differently and sometimes get shot down in a shower of sh1t when we try to explain some of the finer points in the different techniques.

Of course, there will always be some parallels, but generally meads are closer to wines, than to beers, even if you can make some stellar brews with honey and a beer-like technique.

It's easily forgotten that with beers, the starches need converting first, or that they need extracting from the grain etc etc, just because you end up with the carbs/sugars to ferment, the earlier processes make it very different. Wines and meads generally already have the carbs/sugars ready to go, and with meads and/or honey it's all sugars and very little else, hence a reliance on nutrients/energisers/etc etc to get it to do it's thing "properly".

Also it doesn't help, that it would be much easier to get our point across in the sense of which the advice/guidance is really offered in a big debating chamber - especially as so much of communication/interaction between people is visual, whereas here we're trying to pass on our ideas, points of view, etc purely by text.

Ergo, it's very easy to take someones posts/comments out of context and feel that they're being critical, when they're just trying to convey something in the more direct method with text. It'd be great if we could all do this with a giant "conference call" that included visual/webcam input and still be searchable like with forum posts etc....

See, stuff like WVMJ alluding to using dried elderberry. Now I've done a couple of dried elderberry batches and they both came out with a "dusty" or "earthy" note, whereas I like using fresh elderberry. Those batches come out fine but now, I wouldn't use dried elderberry (and yes I'm fully aware that the base genus of elderberry grown in the US is a bit different from those available this side of the pond).

Or as Golddiggie alludes, I also do mostly traditionals, but can be quite picky on the type of honey I use for those. We don't have a wide range of varietals available here, the ones that are, seem good, but shipping costs preclude attempting a wider range - and yes, most of my trads also weigh in at about the 14% ABV range or thereabouts. And no, I understand the basics of beer making but don't make beers as I haven't got the space for the additional kit and that beer takes up more room, given the bigger volumes generally made, so I don't make them.....

I like it here, but I also like it over at Gotmead as the main focus is mead, yet I also get frustrated when it's clear that someone posts a question that's been answered a number of times (whether by me or other "regulars") because they haven't used the search facility, or if they have, haven't learned that you only need to vary the search terms/criteria a tiny amount to get completely different answers.....

Well that's my tuppence worth ATM. I like threads like this as they're conducted how I presume the original person/people who start such forums intended. Civilly, with respect for others points of view, understanding and tolerance.

Keep it up all
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