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Old 08-12-2011, 01:52 AM   #1
BonnieJ
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Default Not "Easy", Not Quick 1-Gallon Mead Recipe?

I'm new to mead making but I've done a little bit of beer brewing and I'm moderately familiar with the fermentation process. I'm also patient and am fine with waiting a fair bit (6 months to a year sounds pretty reasonable) for good mead. I want to make a dry, still mead.

I don't want it to be unnecessarily difficult recipe, but I want one that doesn't cut corners for quickness, or something like that.


Can someone recommend a good recipe?



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Old 08-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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Take 4 lb honey, mix with water to 1 gal. Aerate using whatever method you prefer. Add 1/4 t Fermaid-K. Pitch Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast and add it to the must. Carboy and airlock. Done.



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Old 08-12-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Take 4 lb honey, mix with water to 1 gal. Aerate using whatever method you prefer. Add 1/4 t Fermaid-K. Pitch Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast and add it to the must. Carboy and airlock. Done.
the only thing i would add is after a month or so, whenever fermentation has slowed or stopped, adjust your pH to about 3.2 or 3.3, somewhere right around that range. for a one gallon batch that would be somewhere around 1/2-3/4 tsp, i think, but it really depends on the honey.

adjust your pH with an acid blend containing tartaric, malic and citric acids. if you do this before ferment, you can have slightly angry yeasties, and we always strive to keep the yeasties happy!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
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the only thing i would add is after a month or so, whenever fermentation has slowed or stopped, adjust your pH to about 3.2 or 3.3, somewhere right around that range. for a one gallon batch that would be somewhere around 1/2-3/4 tsp, i think, but it really depends on the honey.

adjust your pH with an acid blend containing tartaric, malic and citric acids. if you do this before ferment, you can have slightly angry yeasties, and we always strive to keep the yeasties happy!
Why adjust the pH if it doesn't need it ? Honey is quite acid anyway (the sweetness of the sugars masks most of the acid flavour), but it's not always easily tested/judged during the ferment, because the actual process/ingredients make the pH value swing quite wildly. So if it stayed somewhere between 3.2 and 3.8 pH, there's little to be gained by meddling with it.

Oh, and there's a fair amount of literature out there, that points out that unless you want to have a lemony/citrussy type flavour, citric acid should not be used. I use the mix recommended in Ashton & Duncans "Making Mead" book (out of print, but available usually via amazon market place), their suggestion is 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric, which suits a lot of meads quite well IMO......
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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fatbloke, i would say it just depends what you are looking for. i want a dry and crisp, white wine style mead, that means 3.2 or 3.3, in my experience. as it gets above that, even just to 3.8 it tastes different, and, at least to my tongue, not as good.

i certainly agree not to try to adjust acid before ferment, and i pointed that out. although after re-reading my post, i could have made that more clear in my last statement.
i have never noticed citric acid giving any lemony flavors to my mead, granted, i don't have much of it in my blend. there's also lots of literature out there telling you to boil your honey, which is a terrible idea, that's why i don't tend to trust literature.

bottom line to the OP, all of these suggestions work and we are debating nuances in mead. for your first batch, taste it after its all done fermenting and resting, about 6 months in. take off 4 oz of mead and take a sip, adjust as necessary to your liking in the little glass. when you find something you like, increase the amounts per the proportion of mead, dump it in your jug, gentle swirl, let it sit one more week, then bottle.



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