Originally Posted by dummkauf
I know I've heard people say mead is easy to make, but this just seems too simple(though that may just be the brewer in me coming out too
So what is the recommended amount of peaches for a 5 gallon batch?
Mixing up a mead must is easy. Waiting 1-2 years to enjoy it will test the patience of Job. Patience is the most difficult ingredient to find in mead making (and the most important), but you rarely see a recipe include it.
For a 5 gallon batch, 10 pounds of peaches will give you a noticeable presence. 20+ pounds will lay it on strong.
With the starting gravity you have, even Cote des Blancs (which is a fine yeast by the way) is going to take it bone dry. You will probably be able to make it sparkling, but it will be dry sparkling.
If you want to make it semi-sweet, you can let the yeast take it dry, and let it clear. Then add sulfite (potassium metabisulphite) and potassium sorbate - you need both - which will prevent the yeast from fermenting when you add more fermentable sugar. This is known as "stabilizing" the mead.Then you can add in more honey to bring it up to just the level of sweetness that suits you (which is called "backsweetening").
The easy way is to take a big glass of mead and add honey a little at the time until it tastes just right. Then measure the gravity of the sweetened mead so you know what your goal is. With that, you can calculate how much honey by weight you need to add to the rest of the batch to reach your target final gravity.
I hope that helps.
P.S. Chaucers is a good mead but very,very sweet.