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Old 11-09-2006, 11:59 PM   #1
Evets
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Default Sweet Mead

I'm about to make my first mead. I have about twelve pounds of premium raspberry blossom honey. I'm not sure if I'll make 3 or 5 gallons yet. I could use a good "fool-proof" recipe for each. I'm thinking it'll be a still sweet mead.
Should I use a "sweet" yeast, or can I ferment it down to dry and back-sweeten with more honey? Thanx - Ev

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Old 11-10-2006, 12:31 AM   #2
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You can make either one, but I'd opt for the sweet.

With 12 lbs or 1 gal you can make a pretty potent 5 gal batch.

About 3 lbs of raspberry will work well.

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Old 11-10-2006, 03:09 PM   #3
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I'd say 3 gallons, if you go with the "keep adding honey until the yeast dies" approach. That normally takes 3-4 pounds per gallon.

http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/obc_ex...bc_gmeade1.pdf for an interesting mead/yeast experiment.

Love this recipe:

Honey from dad's bee hive let sit over summer in hot shed

Another one:

Traditional Mead Recipe

Recipe Ingredients
This is for a 5 gallon batch:
12 lbs honey (dry mead with Original Gravity as low as 1.070-1.090), 15.5 lbs honey (medium mead - with Original gravity in between dry and sweet guidelines), 22 lbs honey (sweet with Original Gravity as high as 1.120)
Yeast Nutrient
Irish Moss
5 gallons Spring Water

Recipe Process
(Important: Always sterilize anything that will touch your mead first!) Bring 5 gallons of water up to 160 degrees and hold temperature. Pour in honey and stir until dissolved. Pasteurize honey water mixture at 160 for 20 minutes skimming off white protein foam as you go. Add Irish Moss (to help clear) with 15 minutes left.

Cool mead to 70 degrees for yeast pitching. Add mead mixture (must) to sterilized 5 gallon fermentor. Add yeast nutrient. Pitch in yeast (dry or sweet mead yeast depending). Add oxygen to must for 2-3 minutes by shaking with lid covered. Place airlock on top of carboy. Let ferment in dark room at 70 degrees.

Rack to secondary fermentor once yeast activity appears to have stopped. Rack to trimary to help clear. Bottle or keg when all fermentation is done and final gravity has reached required level. Carbonate when bottling or keep still. Depending. Enjoy!

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Old 12-04-2006, 07:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
...and final gravity has reached required level.
Okay so I am getting ready to start my first mead in about a week and a half or so.. and alot of the recipies I see say this.. is the final gravity some across the board number that everyone already knows (and I missed the memo on?) I heard it is hard to mess up a mead but if anyone can do it I can.. hehe.


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Old 12-05-2006, 01:39 PM   #5
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What's the diff of using Sweet vs Dry yeast? I want to make a sweet mel (not toooo sweet) with blackberry honey and a yet-to-be-determined fruit. Would the 3-10 pounds of fruit I add compensate for only having 12 pounds of honey?

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Old 12-05-2006, 06:53 PM   #6
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Hey Cheesefood,

I will try and answer your questions and keep this as short as possible. First off, great choice on honey (my favorite).

If you want a semi-sweet mel you should aim for four gallons (3 gallons water with your 1 gallon honey). This will give you a OG of about 1.11 . . . unfortunately, fruit adds little to the total % of fermentables (though it does add some good nutrients). For instance, if you used blueberries or cherries which are higher in flavor (compared to strawberries) you would want to use at least 2 lbs per gallon. Eight pounds of cherries would raise your OG to 1.117. This is about 15.8% potential abv.

The difference between sweet and dry mead yeast is their potential . . . sweet goes to like 12% and dry to 14% (ish). However, I have had horrible luck with both leading to stuck fermentations. I would recommend using either Lalvin D47 or 71B. Both are great for mel's (like D47 for cherries and 71b for blueberries, etc). They both are 14% potential so that would leave you with 1.8% sugar which is a semi-sweet (or off dry . . . a fine line). Either way, you can always back sweeten with more honey if it goes to dry.

Last bit of advice. I would split your fruit between primary and secondary. 1/3 in primary and 2/3 in secondary. In my experience this gives a better accounting of the fruit. If you go with five gallons and 12 pounds of honey it will ferment completely dry and you will have to sorbate/sulfite and then back sweeten to get a semi-sweet mead (but it will be ready sooner). Up to you.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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Old 12-05-2006, 08:08 PM   #7
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Good info, thanks! I was thinking of either blueberries or mixed berries for my fruit. So I should aim for 4 gallons and use 8 pounds of fruit. I've also read that the fruit should be broken up every few days to avoid forming a cap which can kill the yeast (due to heat build-up). I've also read some suggestions to go with open fermentation. Any experience with these suggestions?

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Old 12-06-2006, 01:36 AM   #8
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Definitely break the cap with a sanitized punch. I open ferment for the first couple of days (until 1/3 sugar break) and then airlock. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Old 01-08-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
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Wow! Frozen blueberries are expensive. $3.00+ per pound! Anyone know where I can find them cheaper?

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Old 01-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
Wow! Frozen blueberries are expensive. $3.00+ per pound! Anyone know where I can find them cheaper?
Go and pick your own at a fruit farm or grow a few bushes! Actually fresh cultivated blueberries are twice that price here in stores. I can get the wild version for free in the summer but it involves a lot of work (ever had your eyeballs and the inside of your nasal passages bitten by moor midges? It hurts!)
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