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Old 06-19-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default My first mead, any suggestions?

Hello everyone.

This week, I will be making my first mead. I want to start out dead simple, so I worked off of a recipe/process I found online for a one gallon batch. Would you mind looking this over and giving me any suggestions?

Like I said, this is my first time. Any help would be appreciated.

2 and 2/3 lbs Orange Blossom honey, divided
1 gal water
1 tsp. yeast energizer
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
Lalvin D47 yeast

Pour half a gallon of water and 2 lbs of the honey into the (1 gal) carboy.

In a small mixing bowl, mix energizer and nutrient with 2 cups of water. Stir well and add to the honey-water mixture.

Place stopper on the mead and shake to make it homogeneous.

Heat two cups of water on the stove to between 104 and 109 degrees.

Pour water into mixing bowl and add half a packet of yeast. Wait 15 minutes before stirring.

After the fifteen minutes, stir gently until homogeneous and add to the honey-water mixture.

Top off with water, plug with rubber stopper, and shake vigorously for five minutes.

At intervals, take off the stopper for a moment to release pressure, then resume shaking.

Attach airlock and let ferment for 2-3 weeks (until there is less than one bubble in the airlock every 5 seconds.

Rack to second carboy and let sit for another month.

After one month, siphon into bottling bucket onto ⅔ cup of additional honey (for priming), mixing gently, and bottle.

Let age for 6 months to a year.

Thank you for your help!

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Old 06-19-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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Don't rely in bubble activity ...use your hydrometer to know how the ferment is going.

Also if you are doing your primary in a gallon jug you will have to leave headroom for krausen or have a blow off tube. I usually leave headspace then top off with water and my back sweeting when I rack to my secondary.

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Old 06-19-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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I would let it go in primary until it's done, not going by airlock activity or X days/weeks... Could be two weeks, or two months. Once stable, rack at least once, to get it to clear (the biggest difference between beer and mead, IMO)...

Are you intending to have this as a sparkling mead? Personally, I think you'd be better off planning on having a still mead the first time around. I would also either let it go 6+ months before bottling, or stabilize it before bottling. Mead can take 6+ months, since it can take a long time for the fermentation to actually finish.

I would also advise using hydrometer readings... Until the first 1/3 of the sugars have been consumed, you'll want to aerate/oxygenate it. Once that's done, leave it the F alone and let it finish. You can also opt for a stepped nutrient schedule. A good number of mazers do this with solid results.

Personally, I have four batches of mead (my initial batches) either in bottles, or still in batch form. I bottled my blackberry melomel (stabilized and bottled) as well as one of my batches of traditional mead. The blackberry still needs more time. I have one three gallon batch of traditional in a basement, bulk aging. I have my one gallon PoR Mocha Madness mead in the fridge for just over a week now (needed to with the heat we got just over a week ago). I plan to stabilize and bottle that pretty soon, maybe...

I started all of these back in November 2010... The melomel used D47, and the others used EC-1118... All but the madness hit the listed tolerance of the yeast. This was my intention from the start...

BTW, where did you locate the recipe you're basing your batch off of?

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #4
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Sounds a lot like the recipe i followed for my first mead apart from priming it at the end and I used 4.5 lb in a 4.8 litre jug.

Mine was too warm and completed fermentation in about 3 - 4 days and tasted like paint thinner for ages. So I would recoment finding somewhere you can put it thats a bit cooler than the 21c room I had mine in!

I had no krausen in my attempt at a traditional, though it's something to watch out for as I've had some mad foaming for other (fruitier) batches since.

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