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Old 09-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
Barleyman
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Default Need honey mead recipe

Hello, i am a all grain brewer but i stumbled across 15 lbs of honey. I like 2 make a honey mead (sweet) if i can. Last nite i back sweetened 3 gallons of strawberry wine witch is my 1st attempt 2 make a drinkable wine so any help would b appreciated .



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Old 09-02-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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Mead can be made 1000 ways. What are u looking for when it come to flavor? Or do you just want a strait traditional mead?



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Old 09-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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What kind of honey? If it isn't anything special I'd look into doing a Bochet Mead. If it is a nice floral honey I'd do something very specific and simple with it so those flavors can come through.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/medieval-burnt-mead-112163/

I've made this one (I don't do a lot of mead though) and it came out great

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Old 09-02-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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The Bochet is fun. I had good results too. If you like Caramell or toasted marshmallow flavors then read up on the above posted link. If you want a simple traditional mead with nice honey, consider this recipe:

1gal

2.5# honey
1tsp yeast nutrient (DAP)
1tsp yeast energizer (to be used after 1/3 of the sugar is fermented)
Spring water to 1 gal
Yeast (Lalvin D47 if you can keep the fermenting temps at 68*F or lower. Or use Lalvin 71B if temps may go a little higher.

Stabilize after primary and racking with 1 crushed Camden tablet and potassium sorbate. Then sweeten the mead with 1/2# of honey or to taste. Let age at least 6 months but much better after 12 months.

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Old 09-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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15lbs of honey? 5 gallons of water, add honey, yeast, yeast nutrients into a container. Wait a year, then...

Mead!

Pretty much how I did it in college, but I never made it to a year.

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Old 09-02-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleyman View Post
Hello, i am a all grain brewer but i stumbled across 15 lbs of honey. I like 2 make a honey mead (sweet) if i can. Last nite i back sweetened 3 gallons of strawberry wine witch is my 1st attempt 2 make a drinkable wine so any help would b appreciated .
For a first attempt at mead I generally recommend a simple traditional. That way you can learn the basics of mead and how it differs from making beer or even wine.

For a sweet mead thats not too over the top sweet (ie: cloying dessert wine) a decent recipe I could suggest is.

15 pounds of honey
Water to 4.75 gallons, I use room temp bottled spring water because my tap water isn't great, you can use tap thats been boiled and cooled to room temp if yours tastes good.
Yeast Nutrients with staggered additions
2 packets of Lalvin ICV D-47 yeast if able to ferment under 67*F
or
2 packets of Lalvin 71B-1122 If ferment temps will be higher (up to 85*F)

Do NOT heat the honey, it is antimocrobial, antibacterial and all around good ****. Applying heat beyond perhaps soaking the container in hot tap water if you absolutely have to to get it out easier, wastes volitile flavor and aroma compounds and has no benefit at all, so why lose the greatness that makes mead what it is?

First sanitize EVERYTHING including stuff you don't know if you might need but as a brewer you already understand that concept


Then combine the honey (save a couple spoonfuls for a later step) and the water and 1/3 of the yeast nutrients based off of package instructions. If using a carboy, plug it and shake it to mix, if using a fermenting bucket stir to combine. it'll take a couple minutes but still making a batch of mead is fractional in time consumption to an all grain brewing day.

If you start getting tired its ok, take a break, even if it seems it may seperate a little there will be more shaking and stirring in a few minutes.


Next, rehydrate your two packets of yeast in water that is 104*-109*F, I like to add 2 tsp of the honey I am using and about 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient to the water and shake the crap out of it, that mixes it well and gets some oxygen in it then I dump the yeast on top and set it aside for 15 minutes.

Check your must, you've made wine so I'll assume you know thats the mead equivalent of wurt. See if it needs a little more mixing, if so give it a gentle go, you have 15 minutes to kill.


Now the fun, take a hydrometer reading, with the above recipe you should be sitting at approx. 1.113-1.115 which will have the abv potential of 14.8-15% which settles in nicely with the two yeasts mentioned above to finish slightly sweet.

Since you're working at room temps, here is the beauty, no hassle of cooling to pitch temps like in brewing, don't get me wrong I still enjoy brewing, so not bashing it at all, I've just switched to making braggots instead of beer and use a partial mash method.

Now mix up your yeast slurry and pitch it. now shake/stir the bejesus out of the whole thing to mix and oxygenate it. (if you have O2 for brewing that works awesome at this step too)

Airlock it and let her roll....

when you have active fermentation, which could take a little longer than you may expect with beer but also somtimes it's faster. Shake or stir again to off gas (aka aerate), start slow then a little more vigorous as it will foam up, do this til most of the foaming has stopped. If you don't it will erupt at the next step and mead geysers on the ceiling, while funny when it's not you, suck to clean up. Add the second 1/3 of your nutrients, preferably mixed with just enough water to make a real thin paste for ease of mixing, stir her up.

Just remember this isn't a beer so it acts/reacts a little different, you may get some foaming in a simple mead but not the krausen you may be expecting. Also, active fermentation of mead could litterally be a bubble every 5-7 seconds in an airlock, it may be more but if it's not no worries, It's still working, you can see bubbles cascading up the side of a carboy or even on the surface in a bucket.

Now let it settle and be happy, checking hydrometer readings and aerating daily (twice daily aeration is better if time allows) until you are at about 1.075-1.076. Wine yeast likes a lot of oxygen in the begining. At this point give it a final and thorough aeration, really let it degass well and get a fair amount of oxygen in there, then add the final 1/3 of the nutrients again in a paste/slurry, a final mix...Airlock it and forget it for awhile.

When you stop seeing any activity in your airlock check the gravity and write it down, in 2 days try it again, if its the same you know you may be ready for the next step, wait two more days and if the third reading is the same, rack it off the gross lees into a secondary and let it chill there for awhile.

Here is where there is some debate, in one camp people like to rack again anytime the sediment on the bottom gets to maybe 1/4 of an inch thick again, while the other camp says just leave it be there until it is crystal clear.

I like to give it a couple day in my basement where in the cold cellar its about 50*F year round and do a mock cold crashing, if you have a refridgerator with available space that works even better, 48 hours seems good, most everything falls out, then I rack into a aging/clearing vessel and just leave it alone for awhile.

Some like to bottle as soon as it is clear enough to read a newspaper through and your sediment is minimal, others like to bulk age it for sometimes a very long time that is up to you.

I am not a huge fan of using stabilizers and clarifyers like sorbates, sulfates etc. but there is nothing wrong in using them if you wish, just follow the package instructions, I like just letting racking, time, and gravity make sure ferment is done and it is clear.

BIG REMINDER....Mead is going to test your patience, just getting a clear product could take 3-6 months, getting a drinkable one up to 9 months, getting an enjoyable drink 9-12-18+ months, depending on your actual recipe. Mead ages well and it is encouraged to allow it to do so...if you want to drink it at the end of primary, go for it, it's not poison it's still mead, just don't expect it to taste great (and maybe even like hot rocket fuel), occasionally everything works out and it does taste good then, but in time it will taste amazing. But then that's why we brew beer inbetween, so we have something to drink while waiting

Now, if you also happen to have an empty gallon jug laying around and you want to keep playing with honey, search the recipe threads for JAOM (joes ancient orange mead). It is one of the rare concoctions that you can just set and forget, it uses all ingredients you can buy at the grocery store, including bread yeast, you throw it all in a jug, airlock it, set it somewhere and don't touch it again for a couple months. It's a fun recipe to have sitting on a shelf while your big one is working and it requires no maintainence. At the end you will have a rather pretty crystal clear golden orange colored mead that is sweet as hell like a dessert wine with strong orange and and bitter flavors, not bad stuff, I personally cut it with gingerale as it is too sweet for my tastes to drink straight. But it's cool to watch so I keep making it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
I'd look into doing a Brochet Mead.
Bochet (there isn't an R in it) can be awesome, but for a first mead it can be a little tricky as the rules change a bit, the boiling of the honey, nutrient demands and such, plus the time involved, it needs to age longer and such. I often recommend that people get a couple batches of traditional, a JAOM and maybe a melomel and/or metheglin under their belt before tackling the bochet.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:48 AM   #7
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OK im gonna try this recipe. so once it ferments out can i just bottle in 750 ml with cork or do i bottle in .5 gallon jugs? Will it ferment in the bottle?

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Old 11-17-2012, 05:35 AM   #8
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For ~5 gallon batches, a single packet of yeast is fine. No need to dump more into the batch. I've used a single packet of EC-1118, D-47 and even 71B-1122 for up to 5 gallons with solid results.

Keeping the yeast going in the temperature range it works best in, will be an important factor. Depending on where you are, that could mean doing any of several things. From making a swamp cooler to setting up a warming system.

Nutrient schedules will also vary by mazer.

I would advise NOT using 71B-1122 for your first mead. It's a yeast that you'll want to get the mead off as soon after it's done fermenting as possible. D-47 is much more forgiving.

I also highly recommend going over to the Got Mead? forums and looking up the newbee guides there. Look over the different ways to add the nutrients to the mead. IMO, for something in the 14% range (the tolerance of both yeasts listed by TheBrewingMedic) you can easily add all the nutrients up front. You will want to aerate/degas the must until you hit the 1/3 break point. After that, leave it alone.

As for how long to give it... IMO/IME, a ~14% mead can easily go 10-12 months before being bottled. I have two batches that are almost a full year old now, and have yet to be bottled. I also have a batch of 21% mead that's the base for my mocha madness mead mkII batch. I started it within a few days of the other two batches (first week of December, 2011) and I've yet to even start adding the flavor elements to it. I plan to do that starting this month. Chances are, it will go about another year before it goes to bottle.
I've also started a ~16% mead over a month ago (using RC-212). Looks like it's about done fermenting now. I'll probably transfer it for the first time sometime between the coming week and end of the year. I also plan on starting another batch using K1V-1116, that will go to 18%. I might even go for broke and try to make a 25% batch using WLP099. That one will, most likely, need at least 2 years before it goes to bottles. Should be epic considering the honey I have to use. I won't let it go to bone dry, so that there will be some flavors of the honey left in it. I do expect it to be very hot for at least the first few years, which is why I don't plan to bottle it until it's ready. I can see putting it on oak for a span, maybe even a couple of rounds of oak additions.

Just remember, be patient with your mead. TIME is one of your best tools/ally's when it comes to making a really great mead. Something that might not be so good, in the glass, after a year can become really good in a few more years. Or even epic a few years after that.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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Ok thanks 4 the help. I made this on 1-24-13. I had OG of 1.110 a little low but i mixed it well. I stirred it daily ( I now know what a geyser is, not on ceiling but messy all the same) on 1-30 it was down to 1.074 so I put in the remaining nutrient. it is fermenting at 62 degrees. The air lock is rolling at bubble every 2 seconds. when it stops will it react like beer or will it linger? Thanks 4 the help if I missed something let me know. By the way it smelled AWESOME when I stirred it. I used D-47 yeast. I'm also curious about the secondary. in my 5 gal carboy it has 3 ridges. I have noticed with beer the ridges collect debris, is there a better way or method? Or does it matter?

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:35 AM   #10
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The air lock is bublin every 14 seconds yet 2day. It has been at 61 degrees since it started. My ? is how long do i wait b4 i cold crash it or age it out. When do I rack it off the nastys?



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