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Old 11-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
redrider736
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Default My 1st Mead

Only have a few All-Grain Home brews under my belt, but wanted to give this a try but have a few questions.

I thought the best way for me would be too do Three 1 gallon batchs. I have never made or tasted a Mead before so don't want to make a large batch, and I thought of doing three different recipes would be a great way to try three different flavors.

The 3 recipes that I want to try are;
1.Basic Mead, Water & Honey 2. JAOM 3. Joe's Quick Grape.

Just looking for any tips on these recipes. How Long in Primary, How long in Secondary, What Yeast would work best, and I am not sure when in the process or IF I should use Mead Stabilizer, Clarifier, Fermaid K & Go-Ferm ???

ThX

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider736
Only have a few All-Grain Home brews under my belt, but wanted to give this a try but have a few questions.

I thought the best way for me would be too do Three 1 gallon batchs. I have never made or tasted a Mead before so don't want to make a large batch, and I thought of doing three different recipes would be a great way to try three different flavors.

The 3 recipes that I want to try are;
1.Basic Mead, Water & Honey 2. JAOM 3. Joe's Quick Grape.

Just looking for any tips on these recipes. How Long in Primary, How long in Secondary, What Yeast would work best, and I am not sure when in the process or IF I should use Mead Stabilizer, Clarifier, Fermaid K & Go-Ferm ???

ThX
I have been making mead for about 2 years now and have made only show meads, so that's what I'll give tips on.

Generally speaking, you don't want to boil the honey as you lose the nuances of the taste when it gets heated. Because honey is already bacterostatic(sp?) you don't have to worry about other things being able to easily take over your yeasties. I would suggest using some rehydration powder (Go-ferm I believe) 1.2g of rehydro powder per gram of yeast in about 100 Mls of water. Just add the go-ferm to the water, heat it to about 100 degrees, let it cool for a few moments and then add the yeast, stir the yeast just enough to saturate the dry pellets, don't mix it.
I use about 10 g of yeast for a 5 gal, so one packet is more than enough for one gal.

If you are using a liquid yeast culture, like white labs, you don't need to rehydrate. Just take it out about an hour before and give it a good shake before you toss it in.

I use 2TBsp of fermaid-k to the initial must before I add the yeast and stir everything together to completely dissolve the honey. I have found that unless you boil the water, some of the nutrient wont dissolve no matter how much you stir, so don't worry about the bit that remains, you'll just siphon the good stuff off it once you're done fermenting.

I oxygenate the must by stirring the crap out of it initially and then degas each day until the 1/3 sugar break. I let it sit in primary for about a month before transferring. And then I just rack about every 4-6 weeks.

Once it's done fermenting you can add clarifier if you'd like, but I would just wait, as it will clear on its own given time( plus it'll taste better!)

Depending on how sweet/dry you want the mead is just a combination of starting brix and yeast. I'll give a few of examples of the ones I generally use:

For a sweeter mead, I use cote de blancs and it tends to have a fruity character to it. It will stay below 14% ABV and I average at 12% regardless of how much honey I put in it.

For a mild dry, I use Pasteur champagne yeast, this brings it to about 16% and averages out at 14%.

For a really dry or really strong mead( I just made a mead that has 20% ABV with it) I useKC-1118, this is the yeast distillers generally prefer as it works very quickly( took 8 months to clear without clarifier) but its strong enough to knock a moose out.

I would highly suggest reading the compleat mead maker and looking at gotmead.com for more information, hope it helps!
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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Allot of great info, going to start with getting that book !

Do I add the yeast to a fully cooled rehydo powder/Go-Ferm water mix ?? Adding the yeast to a heated source I thought was not a good thing for the yeast ??

What dose the "clarifier" do ?? is it needed or would a longer fermentation /conditioning /aging be better?? (not sure the tremenoligy?)

what is Show Mead ??

ThX you for the info and advice !!

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nessus View Post
I oxygenate the must by stirring the crap out of it initially and then degas each day until the 1/3 sugar break. I let it sit in primary for about a month before transferring. And then I just rack about every 4-6 weeks.
Not understanding the "degas each day until 1/3 sugar break" ?? Is this simply removing the Airlock ??

So sorry about the Newbie questions !!!
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider736

Not understanding the "degas each day until 1/3 sugar break" ?? Is this simply removing the Airlock ??

So sorry about the Newbie questions !!!
In all honesty, with the aging that a mead normally sees before being bottled, 1-2-3 years or more, the mead is usually degassed naturally. Ideally, you need the ferment to complete before you truly attempt degassing.Many do not even have their mead in a carboy and under airlock until the 2/3 sugar depletion and are stirring once or twice a day anyway-- but not with the intent to degas, it is more of an oxygenization thing, offgassing comes later if even necessary. Once the airlock goes on, at least for me, I do not remove it unless I have to rack, or I have to dose quarterly with k-meta. I have yet to purposely degas a wine/mead (unless making a kit and following their directions). Bulk aging has always naturally degassed and CLEARED my creations. But this is just my experience.

Sugar break means drop in S.G., in the quoted reference 1/3-- means SG drop by 1/3.

Visit Jack Keller's site, he has great overview of winemaking, terms, processes, etc http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/

And the Got Mead website is many a,mead makers go to website. They will have a list/classification of the many types of mead: show, short, melomel, cyser, pyment, etc.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:23 AM   #6
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Show meads are made with water, honey and yeast ONLY.

As above but using nutrients etc, would make it "traditional", the other terms depend on juices, spicing, etc.

Aerating the must down to the 1/3rd sugar break, is to introduce air/O2 for yeast development - but a side effect is that it also removes.some of the dissolved CO2/carbonic acid and that in turn, helps to reduce the swings in pH.

For the JAO and quick pyment recipes, its just a case of following the instructions for probable timings etc, for.the traditional one it depends on to many variables to predict "how long".

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbloke
Show meads are made with water, honey and yeast ONLY.

As above but using nutrients etc, would make it "traditional", the other terms depend on juices, spicing, etc.

Aerating the must down to the 1/3rd sugar break, is to introduce air/O2 for yeast development - but a side effect is that it also removes.some of the dissolved CO2/carbonic acid and that in turn, helps to reduce the swings in pH.

For the JAO and quick pyment recipes, its just a case of following the instructions for probable timings etc, for.the traditional one it depends on to many variables to predict "how long".
Ah you're right, sorry about the wrong wordage.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #8
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Add your yeast to the go ferm solution at 104°F, sprinkle on top and no need to stir unless clumped up when you pitch. Don't pitch till your little yeast starter is within 15° of the temp of your must. You can add small portions of the must to the yeast if you're waiting longer than 30 min for it to acclimate, which should generally not happen.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
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MY Mead Brew Day was GREAT!! Found a Mead producer in my area and bought a few bottles to try as I was brewing my 3 mini- 1gallon brews !!

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:59 PM   #10
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@Redrider

Where's the mead producer near London? I'm down there reasonably often - wouldn't mind grabbing myself a bottle

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