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Old 09-12-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
seanluvsbeer
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Default my first mead

making my first batch ever and i was wondering if someone with some experience could give me there 2 cents on how they think it will turn out. any guesses on alcohol content or anything else?
OK so the brew day is Sunday.
here's the plan of action.
make a yeast starter tonight with lalvin 71b-1122 (supposed to accentuate fruit flavors)
on Sunday bring 3 gallons of water to a boil, turn off heat, add 1lb. golden light dry malt extract. cool and add to carboy
then add 10lbs. wild flower honey and water as needed
puree 10lbs. of strawberries and add to car boy
add yeast nutrient and top off to 5 gallons aerate and add yeast.
let ferment for 2 weeks and add whole puree granny smith apple.
add an apple every week for 3 weeks. after 2 whole months in fermenter add lightly charred oak chips and top off water too 6 gallons if needed.
let fermentation complete
prime and bottle
let bottle condition for at least 2 months

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:02 AM   #2
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Sounds pretty good! Let me know how it comes out!

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Old 09-12-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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Just made my first Mead myself, so I'm curious why the DME? and doesn't that really make this a Braggot?

Thanks

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Old 09-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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I'm no expert, and can only give a couple basic suggestions:

1) You'll want to run the honey under hot tap water to get it pourable, and add it to hot water while stirring to get it mixed. Some people bring the water to pasteurization temps for an hour, others do not.

2) Mead can take a while to ferment. Usually people rack onto fruit as opposed to adding it to primary, but you can add it to primary. From what I've read, adding fruit to primary will give you more of a "fruit wine" character whereas racking onto fruit would do more to grab the fruit flavors. I don't know offhand how much fruit you'd want to work with in either situation, but you might want to take a look at some recipes to make sure you're in the ballpark...or just run with it.

3) 10 pounds of fruit in a carboy will ultimately be "fun" to clean out. A fermenting bucket would be a better primary.

4) Are you sure about the apples?

5) Typically, when I make a mead, I ferment to completion in primary, then rack to secondary. It usually clears up there, and it can be racked again for bulk aging. Just saw "2 months in fermenter" but I would suggest that you do your aging after you get the mead off the lees.

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:58 AM   #5
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Fruit, especially soft fruit like strawbs, does not need to be blitzed before addition.

At most, freeze it, then thaw and add. Crack seeds and pips and you'd likely get some bitterness.

As for alcohol content ? Your hydrometer is your friend, but 71B will go to 14%. There's a number of tables floating about for the mean sugar content of.various fruit.

Finally, don't think in days other than as points to check the brew. Meads don't work like that. It may finish faster or slower. Your hydrometer is.........etc etc

Also I'd start it in a bucket and be aerating it until the 1/3rd break. Which you'll know of once you've got a starting gravity......

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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thanks for the helpful tips and advice guys! =)

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeehillbrewer View Post
Just made my first Mead myself, so I'm curious why the DME? and doesn't that really make this a Braggot?

Thanks
i heard the dry malt extract will help as a yeast nutrient.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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DME as in dry malt extract. Isn't it not fermented by wine yeast due to the complex sugars in the malt?

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:57 AM   #9
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with the fruit I would (if its not to late) first add pectic enzyme to clarify the mead at least 6 hours before you put it in the primary, and a Camden tablet to sterilize the batch from wild beauties invading your must. You really should use Camden when using fresh fruits. I just cant remember when to use it before or after the petic enzyme. However you can check this with your local HBS, Google it or Midwest Supply's website.

I usually don't pasteurize my mead's, because it tends to detract from the base flavor. Never had a patch go bad. I also rarely use Camden tablets with me, because I use frozen fruit from the local store and I know its already been freeze dried and therefor safe.

Sounds like a good recipe though.

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for your help. I'm at the piont of no return now. Put the honey and strawberries in the fermenter and pitched a very large starter and added some yeast nutrient. Fermentation started really quick within 30 min. In the middle of the night I noticed it over flowed through the air lock so I ran a blow off tube instead. Its still fermenting away after a couple days so I feel good about it. Those strawberries smell amazing by the way. Can't wait to add some apples. Thinking about adding some oak chips towards the end still not posotive about it though. Either way I decided to finisj up with a champagne yeast at the end a couple days before bottling. Bottled a 10%abv oatmeal stout with maple syrup that day as well. First time using DME to prime with hope it works out. No bottle bombs yet. Lol cheers!

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