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-   -   Meads without sulfites? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/meads-without-sulfites-2432/)

AHammer16 09-21-2005 12:06 AM

Meads without sulfites?
Is there any way to make a mead that has no sulfites in it?
From what I understand of mead is that you ferment it but you want to stop short of complete fermentation. Am i correct?
Sulfites and the goofy compounds in red wine give me migranes that lead to minor strokes. :drunk: :mad:

ScottT 09-21-2005 12:38 AM

The sulfites are used to kill off any unwanted nastys in there that would infect your batch and interfere with the yeast doing it's job.

In beer we don't use sulfates because we boil the whole batch and that kills off the nasties.

If you boil your complete batch of must you will loose some of the honey's uniqueness but you will have steralized the batch without using sulfates.

You can than use an ale yeast with a lower attentuation than most wine yeast to make a sweet mead or for a medium mead, just use a clean wine or mead yeast and let it ferment completely before botteling or for a sparkling mead, priming and botteling.

Use champaign yeast only for extremely dry meads.

AHammer16 09-22-2005 06:21 PM

Will try one asap.
Could you suggest a good basic recipie?

ScottT 09-23-2005 12:26 AM

Basic Recipe
My recommendation: Not knowing how large a batch you want to make, Iíll give you a 5 gallon batch and you can reduce it as your needs require.

Remember that mead can take a really long time to ferment so be prepared to wait it out.

4.5 gallons good, non chlorinated water.
1 gallon plus 1 pound raw honey (13 pounds honey)
Yeast nutrient added according to directions on bottle for 5 gallons
10 lemons Squeezed and strained into must post boil
1 cup cold tea brewed black tea (optional) (if you want tannin to offset the sweet)
Lalvin 71B-1122 from starter. (Look up yeast starter on the net and follow directions)

Boil honey and water for 15 minutes, skim foam as it boils, Donít let it boil over.
Add yeast nutrient as per instructions and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and tea if desired while still HOT! Cool to below 80 degrees F and transfer to sanitized primary fermentor, oxygenate and pitch yeast.

When fermentation slows to 1 bubble through the airlock every 60 seconds, transfer to secondary, airlock and leave it for 2 months. Verify that airlock is completely still at that time also verify that SG is stable for 1 week.

Bottle into sanitized bottles. If you want the mead sparkling, prime with corn sugar and bottle in campaign bottles. Cellar it for a year. Patience is a virtue.

These are some good guidelines about mead:


AHammer16 09-23-2005 06:45 PM

What is the end ABV% for this mead?
I really can get away with no sulfites in a bottle that is going to age for a year?
great help thanx

ScottT 09-23-2005 07:22 PM


Originally Posted by AHammer16
What is the end ABV% for this mead?
I really can get away with no sulfites in a bottle that is going to age for a year?
great help thanx

Somewhere around 12-13% ABV depending on the honey you use and the actual attentuation you acheive. That yeast has a 59-80% rate.

Yes, you can get away without using sulfates. Just make sure you've keep the highest sanatation standards and make sure that it's furmented completely out before botteling.

How do you think that they bottled mead and wine before camden tablets? :)

Here's another link: http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages...20501201720172

homebrewer_99 09-25-2005 03:40 PM

I've never used them in my meads.

I still have a couple of bottles over 10 years old that taste great. :D

Mr. HighGravity 10-04-2005 02:41 AM

I have never used sulfites either. My technique uses so much honey 20-22 lbs in a 6 gal batch that when the champagne yeast dies nothing much else can live in it. The last batch i made had 2 lbs of orange marmalade in it in addition, it fermented the fastest I have ever seen ( 6 weeks) and cleared in the secondary after 3 weeks. This batch was 14.4% before it went into the secondary. I made one before that hit 16.8% right at the champagne yeast alcohol tolerance, I would not label this one as my best tasting though. Even at this high alcohol level it is not dry, and from what I read this is one of the traditional receipes.

Rookie 10-09-2005 06:17 PM

I have never used sulfites. I heat the must to over 160 and steep for 20-30 minutes.
I've made mead from 9-18% and have had no problems, but maybe I've been lucky.
Make sure to pitch plenty of yeast.

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