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Old 01-16-2013, 04:00 AM   #1
Holgar
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Default Wedding Mead

Hi All,
I'm getting married this summer and was looking to make a 5 gallon batch of mead for the occasion... with a twist. I want to bottle it and age it for years to come having a bottle on our anniversary every year. Corny but great at the same time (hoping that marriage and mead get better with every year). I figure half liter bottles will give me 35ish bottles total.

Does anyone have suggestions on a simple recipe (nothing too abstract so that the lady will like it as well)? Also, should I age this in bottle with a cork, oxygen reducing caps, batch age in 5gal carboy with/without airlock, etc? Ideally I would like to bottle by the first year (also because there may be a move in there somewhere). Oak spirals, other additions? The other thought was still vs. sparkling... but I'm leaning away from sparkling as I don't want tiny bombs attempting sparkling for the first time.

Please let me know if I've missed anything!

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:07 AM   #2
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not giving your self very much time for a mead. math is on with the bottles, or close enuff. ive never corked, but id say do a cap and wax dip. make it fancy since its your wedding and all.

i have never made a mead, but drinking wise, i like a no frills stawberry mead. hope it all works out for ya. its a great idea.

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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I'd have thought given the time frame, one of the few recipes that should be good by then is JAO/JAOM.

Plus for choice of guests also do a "Joes quick pyment"...

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:47 AM   #4
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I think you both missed the part where he wants to age it all for the first anniversary and beyond...

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:56 AM   #5
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yeah, i read that, was going to add that it will def. be better in the years to come.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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You are correct. I'm looking to age this mead, having a bottle a year for the next 30 (however many bottles I get out of 5 gal) years.

So things I need to nail down:
-recipe (with yeast type)
-racking, crashing, etc
-bulk aging vs bottle aging
-oaking?
-bottle type (cork or cap)
-other missing considerations?

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holgar View Post
You are correct. I'm looking to age this mead, having a bottle a year for the next 30 (however many bottles I get out of 5 gal) years.

So things I need to nail down:
-recipe (with yeast type)
-racking, crashing, etc
-bulk aging vs bottle aging
-oaking?
-bottle type (cork or cap)
-other missing considerations?
Well, I think you would want to consider what type of mead you would like. Fruit, spice, with grapes incorporated, basic honey and water, etc?

A fruit mead is a safe bet for bottling within the year, plus you should be able to enjoy a bottle on your first anniversary. I have a semisweet red raspberry mead which has consistently been ready to consume seven months from the start, and it ages quite well.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding. I hope you plan to include your future spouse in the making of this mead, as I think it would have even more meaning.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Given your questions, I'm assuming this is your first mead. With that in mind, I'd keep it very simple, and just do a straight up no frills mead: 15-18 pounds of honey in a 5 gallon batch. Follow guidance in the stickied thread above on staggered nutrient additions, and bulk age for the next 12 months. That will allow you to bottle about six months before your first anniversary. Also, given the desire to have the bottles age for literally decades, I'd advocate making it sparkling and corking the bottles, as still mead in capped bottles may not survive such a long period of aging. Also remember to store the bottles appropriately for aging, so that you don't skunk them. Good luck and congrats.

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback.

This will be my third 5gal batch of mead (I have a couple 1gal batches under my belt as well). I've so far made the mistake of fermenting too hot and thus getting fusels... And have a great batch in the secondary now. I'm going to follow the forum suggested to the T regarding staying at the lower range of yeast temps, etc.

The idea of a sparkling mead sounds great but only have experience capping still mead (half liter uniform bottles for free from work...) and none with priming and corking.

In planning out the secondary and racking for aging to bulk (for 6-12 months), does anyone suggest oak spirals? There is a blackberry mead on YouTube where he uses them.

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #10
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Since you haven't used oak spirals before, not sure I'd recommend experimenting with them on a brew of this importance. Even though you haven't corked before, I'd recommend doing it anyways, or your mead may not last the years you want it to.

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