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-   -   Quick Sweet Mead? Seems very drinkable after only a month. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/quick-sweet-mead-seems-very-drinkable-after-only-month-134655/)

KCPyrate 08-31-2009 06:39 PM

Quick Sweet Mead? Seems very drinkable after only a month.
 
I started two one-gallon batches of sweet mead on National Mead day, just a month ago on August 1st... This is my first official stab at mead though I have made Cysers and Melomels before. I fully expected it to take six-months to a year of aging to taste good from everything I had read and from previous experience with the cysers and melomels but this stuff is pretty amazing after only a month.

Both gallon batches were variations on the same recipe using 3.5 pounds of honey in approx 1 gallon water, plus golden rasins, yeast nutrient & Wyeast Sweet mead yeast. (One recipe used Orange Slices, Clove & a Cinnamon Stick, the other with a cup of Jasmine Tea & Orange Zest). Since almost a month had passed and there was quite a bit of sediment/yeast at the bottom I racked to secondary this weekend. It is currently at 13% ABV which is supposedly the max for the sweet mead yeast. A couple of friends and I tasted the hydrometer sample and found it to be very tasty and totally drinkable. Since racking and topping off with water this weekend another 1/4" of sediment has dropped out and it is a beautiful color and almost clear.

Is this normal for sweet mead? If it only gets better with age it seems this stuff will be amazing... Is it mainly the drier stuff that requires aging to remove harshness & clarify? I'll definitely age at least a bottle of it but if it's this good after only a month why not drink it now & get regular batches of this stuff going all the time and just age the next batch? Thoughts?

KCPyrate 08-31-2009 06:49 PM

Also, just looked at Wyeast web page & it says the yeast tolerates 11% ABV so 13% seems high... The temperature was roughly the same for the initial reading & the reading at racking.
SG on 8/1/09 before addition of yeast = 1.148
FG on 8/29/09 before topping off with water = 1.070

jezter6 08-31-2009 06:49 PM

Chances are with 3.5# of honey the residual sweetness will probably mask some of the things we normally age out (like the alcohol burn). Sweetness definately hides a lot of potential faults.

Edit: looks like you posted your gravity while I was typing. 1.070 is damn sweet and will probably mask almost any off flavors.


If it's that good and that quick - start another batch and start drinking. If you've only got 1 gallon - then it's realy not going to last long anyways. Get a bigger carboy and put together a 5g batch and relax while sipping your creation.

Edit: If you like what you made, then by all means - make more! However 1.070 is a super sweet dessert mead and you'll likely tire of a lot of super sweet stuff like that.

jezter6 08-31-2009 07:00 PM

Something's....off here...


3.5# honey + water to make 1 gallon of must comes out to 1.126.

The only way I could bump the starting grav up to 1.148 is 4.5# of honey in the same volume of water to make a 1 gallon must.

Consider double checking your overall recipe/technique/gravity readings...as something seems a little strange here.

With that high gravity reading, I'm very surprised you even got down to 1.070.

KCPyrate 08-31-2009 07:02 PM

Thanks, It's definitely a sipping dessert mead not something for drinking in mass quantities. I kind of wondered if it was the sweetness covering any harshness. I'll bottle this stuff & start another batch in my 3 gallon carboy once my Apfelwine is done bulk aging, In the meantime I'll start a dry batch & probably let it age for a year as needed.

KCPyrate 08-31-2009 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jezter6 (Post 1518150)
Something's....off here...


3.5# honey + water to make 1 gallon of must comes out to 1.126.

The only way I could bump the starting grav up to 1.148 is 4.5# of honey in the same volume of water to make a 1 gallon must.

Consider double checking your overall recipe/technique/gravity readings...as something seems a little strange here.

With that high gravity reading, I'm very surprised you even got down to 1.070.

Thanks, I may have been off on the initial recipe as the honey seller sold me what he said were two 5 lb containers and the recipe called for 3 1/2 lbs so without a way to measure by weight, just volume, I did eyeball it using around 3/4ths of each container which would be 3.75# give or take a little. The samples were at around the same temp when I did the readings & I did spin the hydrometer to release any bubbles but maybe it has to do with lots of stirring to aerate the must initially?

jezter6 08-31-2009 07:22 PM

FWIW - there are 12# (roughly) to a gallon.
Which would make 3# (roughly) for a quart.

Should be able to closer measure 3.5 based on those for the next recipe.

Also, never trust their measurements. I buy honey in 5 gallon jugs that are "60 pounds" of honey - at least in cost. I usually end up 5-10 pounds more because they tend to over fill the container.

5# seems like an odd container size -- which makes me think it's probably not measured 100% accurately on his part..

KCPyrate 08-31-2009 07:29 PM

Thanks for all of the info jezter, I guess to reproduce this I'd better make sure I have a better grip on how much honey actually went into it... the 5 lb jug was something like this & I poured into a large pyrex measuring cup to get the approx volume.
http://www.ceres-co.com/store/images/honey/honeyjug.jpg

jezter6 08-31-2009 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KCPyrate (Post 1518208)
Thanks for all of the info jezter, I guess to reproduce this I'd better make sure I have a better grip on how much honey actually went into it... the 5 lb jug was something like this & I poured into a large pyrex measuring cup to get the approx volume.
http://www.ceres-co.com/store/images/honey/honeyjug.jpg

Can't tell what that volume is based on the strangeness of the jug. Out here, it comes in 1 gallon jars and quart jars.

You said you poured it out to get a 'volume' measurement -- what was that?


When you poured out the 3/4th or whatever - what did you do with the jug and leftover honey?? If it's still there - go buy another jug and weigh it full, then weigh your 3/4 empty jug...subtract the difference and you have at least a close guess (aside from the math which says it was closer to 4.5# or you have less than 1 gallon of total must).

If you like it - make more of it. Can't hurt to have something that is quick and drinkable while you're waiting for some others to get ready.

Speaking of quick and easy - I tasted Homebrewer_99's lemonade mead from the recipe database - and it's supposedly mighty quick, uses exactly 5# of honey (good for you) and tastes great...might want to give that a run while you're doing some of the others.

And get more carboys...mead takes long enough, don't want to wait until bottling the 3 gallon recipe before you start another one, else you'll be out of mead again real soon!!! :)


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