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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > My first mead, my own recipe
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:31 AM   #1
FabilaJ
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Default My first mead, my own recipe

Hey all, I made my first batch of mead tonight. After researching a little, I kind of came up with my own recipe, and was wondering how it will turn out.

I added 10lb clover honey to 2.5gal 180F water and disolved it all. Then I added cinnamon, cloves, a handful of dried cranberries then boiled it for 10 minutes.

After the boil, I removed it from the head and added a little puree I made from juice from 2 lemons, and 8 strawberries, along with another handful of cranberries, and 1 pinch of irish moss, and the lemon peels from the juiced lemons.

I cooled it down then strained it into my carboy and added a champagne yeast I bought. It was white labs WLP715.

OG turned out to be 1.149 at 60F

1) I don't have any yeast nutrient, what will be the effect of not using any?
2) Will this recipe give me something good to drink in a few months?

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Old 04-22-2008, 09:54 PM   #2
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Hey Fabila,

I don't know if I can answer all your questions but I'll take a stab at some of them. I may be corrected even then, hehe.

Recipe sounds interesting. You have slightly more honey than I used in my batch, which means your mead will either be sweeter than mine, or stronger

I used a sweet mead yeast rather than champagne yeast. That may go well for you; after the fact I've heard the sweet mead yeast can be trouble... slow fermenting, at least. I'll have to pay attention.

The yeast nutrients are there to keep the yeast healthy enough to ferment to their end. The ferment can get stuck and nutrients added can help then. You saw from my post that I was worried about forgetting to add mine, but the reply I got suggested I didn't need to hurry too much. I don't know what the implications are of never adding any.

As for the timing, a "few months" might be a little quick. I'm prepared to wait 6 months before trying mine and saving some for a lot longer than that to get the best flavor.

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Old 04-23-2008, 12:22 AM   #3
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Honey doesn't have the nutrients for the yeast to be healthy. Also, you added some acid with the citrus which will make it a pretty hostile environment for yeast. You can add nutrient now or soon by boiling up a cup or two of water with some nutrient.

That is a really big mead. It's going to take longer than a couple months even if you get it going with some nutrients.

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Old 04-23-2008, 07:17 AM   #4
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Also, I hope you made a starter for that vial of yeast. 1.149 and citrus with no nutrients for the yeast is a very very hostile enviroment for the yeast to get going. I'm sure they will, but they're probably stressed to start, and may not finish as dry as you'd like... if you want it dry at all.

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Old 04-23-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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You may end up with a stuck fermentation with the yeast strain you chose - WL yeasts with mead have been know for inconsistent results. Also, you need to pick-up or order some Fermaid-K, which is a nutrient and add about 5 grams as soon as you can.

Did you aerate twice a day for the first 4 days? Also, should this get stuck on you, pick up a couple packs of Lalvin D47, properly rehydrate it per the manufactuers directions, then pitch. Drinkable in a few months? I don't know, I'm sure you can drink it, but my meads are bulk-aged a minimum of 2 years before I decide to bottle, or continue to bulk-age longer. YMMV

Check out www.gotmead.com for LOTS of additional info.

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #6
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not just yeast nutrients, but yeast energizer. honey is also super low in nitrogen...a basic building block for yeast, and Energizer is a form of nitrogen.

you can add nutrients and energizer early in the primary, and some people actually do half in the boil, and the other half like 10 days into primary.

either way, you need to make the yeast happy.

generally you shouldn't add any acid blend or lemon juice until you've tested the pH. often its not needed for fermentation, and is only added post fermentation to balance the flavor (sweetness gets balanced with acidity so it isn't a cloying flavor).

the good thing about mead is it can be tweaked along the way...so this is by no means a lost cause.

but 10lbs in 2.5 gals of water...with champagne yeast....you're looking at 12 months of bottle aging to be a smooth, drinkable mead.

2 months from now its going to taste like lighter fluid.

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Old 04-24-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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hah lighter fluid. Well, thanks for all the info. I ordered some yeast nutrient and yeast energizer online today. Hopefully they come soon, cuz I've still got no bubbles. I haven't been aerating though, so that is a problem too. Nice to know that I shouldn't have added any lemon juice beforehand... next time I'll get it right. I'll post again if I ever get this to ferment. Cheers.

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Old 05-31-2008, 11:50 PM   #8
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Default It's just about finished fermenting!

Quick update on this mead that I made. After several days, the mead finally got fermenting, and once it did... I couldn't stop it if I tried. I never did aerate it, which was probably the cause for the slow start.

It's been about 41 Days since I started this mead, and it's just about finished fermenting. It's clearing nicely, and I'm thinking I'll transfer it to a secondary for a week or so before bottling. I'm a little afraid of bottling too soon, because I don't want to end up with sparkling mead, or worse yet, exploding bottles.

I'll keep you all posted. Cheers

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Old 06-01-2008, 02:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabilaJ View Post
I'm thinking I'll transfer it to a secondary for a week or so before bottling....
.... I'm a little afraid of bottling too soon, because I don't want to end up with sparkling mead, or worse yet, exploding bottles.
Doubt if the exploding bottles is an issue...but let'er sit a while. Why the hurry in secondary? Let that sit for a few months...not a few weeks.
It'll be worth your time. I would make sure it is at very least crystal clear before you bottle...I speak from experience when I say how frustrating it is to have what you think is clear mead end up with a mess of floaty junk at the bottom of the bottle 2 months after bottling.
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