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Old 12-12-2008, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Mead and High Alcohol Content vs Taste

Thanks To Poobah57 im making a new thread on this topic...

Ok, Im a noob I freely admit...but here's the deal...I want to brew up my mead with the highest alcohol content I can reasonably get without compromising the honey taste...Im thinking Id ask in here for some tips and some wrote in stone recipes! So what you old hands got in here? ;-)

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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Thanks To Poobah58 im making a new thread on this topic...

Ok, Im a noob I freely admit...but here's the deal...I want to brew up my mead with the highest alcohol content I can reasonably get without compromising the honey taste...Im thinking Id ask in here for some tips and some wrote in stone recipes! So what you old hands got in here? ;-)

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ruger12pk View Post
I want to brew up my mead with the highest alcohol content I can reasonably get without compromising the honey taste...
I read these high alcohol or high SG mead posts all the time and I can't figure out what the attraction is. Yes, I'm over 50 and yes, I've been drunk my share of times over the years and I understand that young people want to party and get stupid. But I just don't understand why anyone would want to boost alcohol levels in a beverage so delicate and nuanced as mead. It's really all about balance and high alcohol tends to throw everything out of balance, not to mention resulting in lengthy aging times.

Why not just buy some MD 20-20 if you want high alcohol, or better yet, get some Ever Clear and mix it with honey and the fruit juice of your choice?
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Why not just buy some MD 20-20 if you want high alcohol, or better yet, get some Ever Clear and mix it with honey and the fruit juice of your choice?
I'm only 30, prolly been drunk more than I should....but not so much in the last 10 years or so....My solution to your problem....Make a good mead, and if you're just concerned with getting tossed....serve it with shots.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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How high are you talking? I'm a total noob and couldn't tell you about brewing techniques, but I've had a couple excellent commercial meads that were around 20% abv. So I know that's a reasonable range where you can still have a great mead. I suspect if you're looking for a lot higher than that though, you're missing the point.

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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High alcohol meads do not really have a "honey" taste. They have a honey essence, but it doesn't taste like honey. Also, high moderate to high gravity mead will take a minimum of a year of aging to start getting good (~12+ ABV).

If you really like honey and want high booze... look into barenjager. It is German honey liquor and is pretty awesome at 40ABV.

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Old 12-12-2008, 08:28 PM   #7
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You can push some yeasts like EC1118 or K1V to 18+%ABV. If you want much honey flavor then you will have to exceed that level of sugar to leave some residual sugars.
This type of mead will really stress the yeast, and if you have no problem fermenting it, it will have plenty of hot alcohols. At 1 year this type of mead might be drinkable. It will probably be best after 2, 3 or more years.

If you just want alcohol then a lower gravity mead between 12% and 14% will be easier to drink and be very tasty. If you need it more potent, then add a shot of distilled beverage.
If you want to challenge yourself to brewing a high gravity mead that you intend to age for significant time then do some studying, make a plan, write it up and ask about how it looks, plan some more, then maybe give it an attempt.

Craig

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Old 12-12-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
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High alcohol meads do not really have a "honey" taste. They have a honey essence, but it doesn't taste like honey. Also, high moderate to high gravity mead will take a minimum of a year of aging to start getting good (~12+ ABV).

If you really like honey and want high booze... look into barenjager. It is German honey liquor and is pretty awesome at 40ABV.
Interesting. Dansk Mjod is a Danish meadery that makes several meads with ABVs around 20%. I've had three of them. While I couldn't tell you a thing about how they do it, they all tasted like honey to me. Here's a link to ratebeer's page on my favorite of the three,
Viking Blod.

I also talked to a guy recently who said he brews meads at around 20% abv. I have no clue how his finished product tastes, but he starts with 5 lbs of honey per gallon.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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Interesting. Dansk Mjod is a Danish meadery that makes several meads with ABVs around 20%. I've had three of them. While I couldn't tell you a thing about how they do it, they all tasted like honey to me. Here's a link to ratebeer's page on my favorite of the three,
Viking Blod.

I also talked to a guy recently who said he brews meads at around 20% abv. I have no clue how his finished product tastes, but he starts with 5 lbs of honey per gallon.
I think you can make 20% meads that taste like honey, you just need to leave them plenty sweet, which may require adding sugar after the fermentation has finished to get the desired sweetness.

My understanding is that the 20% Danish meads are 2 or 3 years old. So age is definitely a good thing for these big meads.

I think if you are trying to achieve a good copy of one of these meads, that is a good goal. Unfortunately the OP sounded like a young noob trying to make quick rocket fuel to get blitzed with. We have all seen too many of those types of posts.

Trying to make a good copy of a really big mead is great.

Trying to make the highest alcohol beverage you can to get blitzed is wrong. This forum is about appreciating and brewing good beer/mead/wine.

Craig
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:40 PM   #10
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Hey thank you for all the replies...first off several of you had to make one or two curmudgenly comments as If all I wanted to do was get high on my mead and wear a freaking lampshade. Im 52 and have drank plenty in my years. Im not a kid and if I have a question I would rather have decent informative answers as opposed to lectures on why the high alcohol Mead I want to drink might be lacking in Nuance! Or that I should go drink some rotgut! Excuse me fellas but I like nuance and I also like my Mead strong. I dont need or even like MD 20 20....if you do thats fine. But lets get something straight. Im not a kid looking to brew up a load of hooch for my frat homies. Now, having said that...I was looking for around 18 to 20 % in my Mead...I should have been more specific and I will be in the future as this is new to me as a hobby and Im loving it so far!
I realize any higher than that and things can go askew rather quick. Im working a one gallon batch of show mead right now that im using K-V1116 to get it started right. Id be very interested in any specific recipes or advice to a beginner to try to acheive at least 18% abv.

For those of you who gave replies I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope since Im new on here, that from here on we all can take what we need from here to drive our great hobby along!

Thank for all those replies regardless.....Ill be here for awhile.

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