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Old 01-22-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
klcramer
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Default Never tried Mead before

Heres the thing I have been an extract brewer for about a year now and have heard that mead is really good. I would like to give this a shot. I have a few questions:

Is the process the same as beer?
How long does it take to age?
Do I bottle it in beer bottles?
Where do I find a good recipe for a beginner?
What type of honey do I use?

Im sure I have more questions than that but I can't think of any now.

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klcramer
Heres the thing I have been an extract brewer for about a year now and have heard that mead is really good. I would like to give this a shot. I have a few questions:

Is the process the same as beer?
How long does it take to age?
Do I bottle it in beer bottles?
Where do I find a good recipe for a beginner?
What type of honey do I use?
basicly

that can depend. I have a recipie thats ready in a couple months I have another that takes up to 5 years

Bottle it in beer or champeign bottles if it's carbonated. If it's "still" wine botles will work fine.

try http://winemakermag.com/feature/629.html for a couple recipies. I like the Rabbit's Foot Meadery clone and will be trying the Redstone Meadery Vanilla Bean/ Cinnamon Stick clone soon

That all depends on what flavors you are looking for (from that same link above . . . it's actually a nice article I have had bookmarked for a while now . . .)
Quote:
The characteristics of honey vary depending on which plants the bees have visited and honey is almost always labelled with a varietal name. For example, orange blossom honey is honey made from bees that visited mostly orange trees. Popular honey types for meadmaking include orange blossom, tupelo, huajillo, mesquite, sage, buckwheat, raspberry, wildflower and clover. (Note that honeys made from the nectar of fruit bearing plants don’t taste like the fruit of that plant. Orange blossom honey and raspberry honey do not taste like oranges or raspberries.)

Most times, a meadmaker will use honey varieties that are available locally. These days your neighborhood supermarket may have three or four types of honey on the shelves. In my homebrew shop, I carry at least six types of honey on a regular basis. I stock some special types from time to time depending on my supplier and where he places his hives. I would advise the home meadmaker to explore his locale for unusual honey types. Small farm stands may surprise you with an unusual honey type that no one else has.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:12 AM   #3
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I am in the processes of making my first mead. I tried for a very simple dry mead. Basically all you do is dissolve a gallon of the honey of your choice. I went to a local beekeeper and got a "darker" variety of clover honey, she said meadmakers prefer. Then add yeast nutrient to your pot as you are dissolving. Cool down and add yeast just as you would beer. (I used champagne yeast) Mine took about 2 months to finish primary fermentation. After that you go through some processes similar to winemaking. If you are interested in knowing more let me know.

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Old 01-23-2007, 02:03 AM   #4
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being a newbie myself to both brewing and mead making i think i would tell you what most have told me so far......read....read...read.....lol.....
i have also been visiting a site www.gotmead.com that is super as well as looking through this section of this forum.

I have started with a basic cyser.....here is the recipe:

Viking Thunders Cinnfull Cysyer:


4 cinn sticks
3 lbs apiary fresh clover honey
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
fill 1 gallon with organic tree of life apple juice

red star cote de blanc(1 packet)

heated apple juice enough to mix in honey, added everything else and shook the crap out of it for several minutes.

sg 1.12 might have still beem a hair above room temp
(C&P from www.gotmead.com)

i found the recipe to be a bit dry though it is still is the clearing stages. I racked off the dead cells to remove risk of imparting bad flavors.......it fermented out a bit dryer then i like so i back sweetened with about 2.5 oz of honey...next time ill use half that.

I find the mead to be a bit less complex in the procedures but again i am only a newbie to this as well.
I just ordered some sweet mead yeast (WLP720) from white labs and a dry mead yeast (not sure of the number) but both are liquid yeast specimens from white labs. looking to make a batch of sweet mead (5 gallons) and after it completes fermetation (approx 2 months) ill rack off to 1 gallon batches and flavor in the secondaries. there is a great little video on basic brewing .com

view in this order:
this is the mead making video:
http://img670.libsyn.com/img670/6287...1/bbv04-06.mov

this is the flavoring video:
http://img668.libsyn.com/img668/e4d9...bv06-02-06.mov

this is the last update video:

http://cache.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/bbv12-27-06.mov

the whole video library:
http://www.basicbrewing.com/radio/index.php?page=video

good luck, hope this helps
anthony

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Old 01-24-2007, 06:42 PM   #5
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If you've never tried mead before, you're probably not going to want to wait years to enjoy your first batch. For that reason, I would recommend that you begin will small amounts of honey that will not require the arduous aging process that higher OG meads do. With small amounts of honey, however, there will not be very much flavor, so I would suggest that you do a melomel.

The last recipe I used to make a quick mead (should be ready in about three months) was for 1 gallon, and it seems like it would be useful to you so I'll post it. I used 1.5 lbs clover honey (1 pint), the juice from one lemon, 0.75 lbs frozen raspberries, 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and half a packet of Red Star Pasteur Champagne dry yeast. I did not pasturize anything because this strain of yeast is known as a "killer" strain and will out compete a reasonable amount of wild yeasts or bacteria present. I put all the honey, yeast nutrient, and lemon juice into my 1-gallon jug and filled it half way with luke-warm water. After shaking the heck out of it for aeration, I filled it the the rest of the way will water and pitched the yeast. Once I put it in secondary, I'll add the thawed, crushed raspberries and rack on top of that. Once it clears I will bottle in beer bottles and prime as I would a beer.

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Old 01-25-2007, 01:03 AM   #6
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how long does it take to carbonate? Is it the same as beer? Beer takes 3 weeks to carbonate

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Old 01-25-2007, 02:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klcramer
how long does it take to carbonate? Is it the same as beer? Beer takes 3 weeks to carbonate
Three weeks should do it. If you crack one open and it's not done, give it another week.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
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This may sound foolish but when a recipe calls for 15 lbs of honey is it by weight or volume? I mean if I put 16oz of honey in a measuring cup that comes to 2 cups by volume if I put it on a scale will that still be 1 lbs by weight? I hope that makes sense.

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Old 01-28-2007, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klcramer
This may sound foolish but when a recipe calls for 15 lbs of honey is it by weight or volume? I mean if I put 16oz of honey in a measuring cup that comes to 2 cups by volume if I put it on a scale will that still be 1 lbs by weight? I hope that makes sense.
As long as your 16 ounces was a weight to begin with I dont think the wieght of 2 cups will change MUCH between honeys. I sure there probably is some difference but not enuff to go monkey nutz over. If your 16 ounces was fluid ounces wiegh it and find out if it is a pound. 16 fluid ounces of feathers doesnt equal 16 fluid ounces of lead if we are comparing wieght. Anytime I am looknig at ingredients for my beers I always look at wieght with the exception of the amount of water I am using and the final volume.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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I think I am going to try 2 5 gal batches one dry and one sweet. I will put them into 1 gallon batches after primary is finished then add flavorings. What yeast do you recommend for each?

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