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Old 03-20-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
Zardoz014
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Default Mead help

So after purchasing a bottle of the golden good stuff, my partner in crime and I decided lets give making mead a whirl, we purchased some champagne yeast, 3lbs of honey and 2 gallons of spring water combined all of them in our throw together mr.beer kit, that we modified to have an airlock, using an old army medic trick with a latex glove. We also have a second batch brewing at one gallon with some apples and cinnamon in it, for this we used just a simple brewers yeast. We are keeping them at a constant 70 degrees. Any tips, ideas, or help. If we are doing something wrong let me know we want this to be a drinkable experience. If anything here's hoping it's turns out OK

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
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I would do a little searching around on the the website but it from everyting I've done and read the ratio of honey to water is normally 3lb:1gallon. everything else sounded good though.
RLTW

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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You will end up making mead, but the end product will be very dry and likely will be hot (harsh) for a while. Try doing some searches here, on the net, and on a site called gotmead. It can get a bit involved.

It's pretty easy to get honey to ferment out into alcohol, however there is a bit more involved in getting the product an optimum fermentation for a refined product. You'll need some special nutrients, and you'll need to keep an eye on fermentation temps and PH. It's more than I can explain in a couple sentences, and I have fairly limited experience myself.

Also be aware the timeline for a smooth drinkable mead is many months of aging, and by many is often measured in years.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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So my issue seems to be too little honey in the mixture, from what I am being told good to know, and do a batch at that measurement to see how it compares to what I have brewing away. Thank god I joined this forum. There were other places telling me two pounds per gallon.

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Old 03-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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2 lb per gallon would get you an ok mead if you use a low-alcohol tolerant yeast, but it would probably still take it dry. 3 lb is much more common.
Just a FYI:
1.5 lb per gallon : 7.3%
2 lb per gallon : 9.7%
3 lb per gallon : 14.1%
4 lb per gallon : 18.3%

Though actually hitting 18% in a mead is pretty involved and requires a lot more effort to do, as just mixing it up probably would get the yeast that far even if they have a tollerence high enough.

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Old 03-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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I picked up a high end champagne yeast, at a brewing company. What kind of percentages will that produce for me without it dying off?

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Old 03-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #7
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Odds are good you'll hit 15-16% just doing what you did. Hitting 18% (which they can be capable of) requires a little more technique. It's not too late to add a little honey to your batches.

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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I would like to add to this thread that using 3# of honey in two gallons is not bad. You may end with an ABV of around 7.5-8% which is as good as a good beer. The norm is about 3# per gallon but your way will result in less alcohol and it may lend itself to be drinkable sooner. While you wait for this to ferment get a hydrometer to read gravity measurments later and look up stableizing mead. When the ferment is done you can stableize with simple cheap chemicals to prevent further fermentation and add more honey to get the gravity you want. This may finish somewhere below .998 gravity but you can add honey a little at a time until wou hit 1.01 for a slightly sweet drink, 1.02 for a medium sweet & 1.03 for a sweet drink.

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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You may also want to get some nutrients into there as well. The best nutrients and what most mead makers use is something like DAP or Fermentaide( Not sure what this one's called, Ferm-K, something like that) I use DAP, your local brew store should know this. Many use a cup of finely chopped rasins or something similar. I say chopped due to the fact it will be easier for the yeast to get to the nutrients. As far as DAP, I use 1 tablespoon per 5-6 gal. I have read that 1 teaspoon may be suficient too. I tend to use yeast that are nutrient hogs, I believe champaign yeast is a nutrient hog in general but I wouldn't go over 1 tablespoon for it. Oh, in case you are interested 3 teaspoons equals 1 tablespoon.

Also, after the fermentation slows down a lot (usually 3 weeks to a month) you will need to rack it (that is take it from one vessel to another leaving the lees or sediment in the previous container) This will make it clear quicker. Once you can read through it, you can bottle and age it. Aging is just letting it sit in a nice dark, cool place. A basement or closet will do, or back of cubbard. You should age it 8 months to a year, and that's after it's clear. It may be palitable after 6 months but it is sooo much tastier after a year.

Hope it goes well.
Matrix

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Old 03-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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Thank you guys for all the input, are they any brew kits you guys would recommend? I am currently looking online and going to brew shops and seeing wine kits that are more than capable on producing mead, but my friend would also like to be capable of doing a couple batches of beer in between mead, so no matter what we are in the end going to purchase several five gallon buckets, but what kits have worked best for you and why?

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