Recipe Advice Needed
I am an experienced beer brewer planning to make my first mead with a buddy of mine. He was planning to do five gallons of mead and I said I'd join him and we can do 10 gallons.
What I'd like to do is make 4 smaller batches with different recipes instead of one big batch.
My buddy is interested in making a sweet mead with cardamom. Do you have a recipe to recommend?
What do you suggest for the other three batches? I'd like to vary yeast varieties or add fruit or otherwise experiment to compare and contrast different recipes.
You might start in the recipe section on this site: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/
Or on the gotmead site: http://www.gotmead.com/
Also, I've found Ken Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker to be invaluable:
Hope that helps. Regards, GF.
I did something like this... It depends on when you want to add the differences. I did a primary and when I racked, I split my 5 gallons to 5 1 gallons with flavorings.
Being in Apple Country, definitely try a "Cyser" for one of the batches.
I don't know what the vineyard situation is up there, but a Pyment would be another good batch to experiment with.
I'm not an expert, but I've got several batches under my belt. My best advice is probably this: Don't be afraid to use yeast nutrients and DAP, they are your friends. I think a big noob mistake is trying to do the organic (although most yeast nutrient is organic, people just don't like long multi-syllable Latin phrases like Diammonium Phosphate) or no-additive thing, and the results aren't always very good until you have a better hands-on understanding of the process. Unlike malted barley, honey doesn't have a whole lot of nutrients for the yeast, and your mead could suffer without a little extra help.
I also will second the www.gotmead.com website. A word of warning, they don't take too kindly to answering the same questions over and over from noobs, so take the time to read the "Newbee Guide" and use the search function for a while before asking too many questions that have already been answered 10000 times.
One final pro-tip: Only use honey that is 100% made in the USA, if you see any other nation of origin, don't buy it. The government doesn't regulate what defines "honey" from outside the US, so you could be buying sugar paste with yellow#5 unless it's American.
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