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Old 01-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #11
saramc
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In regard to oak, you may want to consider making an oak extract (oak plus high proof pure grain) and do a taste trial with the finished product and simply add the extract then. It is very controlled, and very simple. Then you can dabble with oak spirals in future batches.

But in regard to the wedding mead itself, do you know if you want a dry mead? If not, what level of off-dry are you seeking? That decision alone will help as others mull over their response(s).



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Old 01-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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I'm thinking of sticking to the dry side with the mead (we prefer dry). The big thing here is the tradition of having a celebratory drink every year - so the most reliable recipe to accomplish that is what to go for.



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Old 01-16-2013, 05:35 PM   #13
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Firstly, I'd like to say that this isn't corny at all.

I think your best bet would be just a simple mead made out of your favorite honey. Schramm's book has a dry show mead in it, 10lbs honey, water up to 5 gallons, yeast, done. Of course, following the staggered nutrient additions in the sticky.

For the honey, my favorites are Tupelo and Blackberry. On Amazon, there's a honey called "Blackberry Twist" and it tastes like roasted marshmallows... seriously some of the best honey I've ever encountered. I have 3 gallons of a medium dry mead made out of that aging away right now.

If you really want to go nuts and don't mind the added cost, Fireweed honey is also very interesting. It has some very subtle and almost elusive spicy notes at the end. I've never made mead out of this, but I'd imagine it would be very well suited for an aged dry variety.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #14
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My suggestion is to make a still mead. You like it on the dry side so for flavor considerations I would sugest a fig mead, maybe paired with a fruit such as peach or orange. Possible a little spice, such as cinnamon or allspice. Go very light on the spices, for a 5 gal batch, I would only do 1 stick of cinnamon about 6 inches long. And if you do allspice possibly only a few buttons. You don't need much. But for flavor profile, keep it light. Keep the oaking very light, I would use lightly toasted cubes 1 oz for 3 weeks at most.

Caps or Corks, it doesn't matter too much. But if you want to go fancy: Cork with wax and make an impression on the wax on the top like a signet ring that suits you both. Some like to put a ribbon under the wax for ease of removal and it looks fancy too.

Matrix

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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I would go with a solid traditional mead, no fruits and other stuff in it. Make it ASAP, and at least 5.5-6 gallons (so you can bottle at least 5-5.5 gallons). Make it stronger too. 16-21% would be my aim. Once it's cleared well, you can add oak cubes to it. I used about 1.5oz of medium toast Hungarian cubes in 3 gallons of mead. I wish I had used more. I let them sit for 4-6 weeks before bottling the batch up. I plan on using oak in another batch (very soon) that needs some help. This time I'm using a piece from a bourbon barrel (cut into a 1"x1"x4" piece). The mead was made over a year ago, and I'll drop the wood into it for 4-8 weeks.

Since you have almost 1-1/2 years before your first anniversary, you have a decent amount of time to let the batch age both in bulk and bottle. Plan to bottle it at least a few weeks (or month) before your anniversary, then open a bottle after dinner.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #16
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You could always wait till your wedding and you and your wife make it to Gethsemane this way it has a special meaning to both of you...BTW you can make a still cider in about 2 months for your reception ...just a thot

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #17
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Decided to go with a dry show mead. 12lbs clover honey, 71b-1122 yeast. Rack in 2weeks. Temp where the mead is will stay in the 64 degree range.

After about 30 hours, no bubbles yet. I'm afraid the yeast packets I had from the fall are no good... If nothing in the next 24 ill repitch with new yeast.

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #18
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just a thought. But from my readings (I have not been doing this 20 years), buy good corks. Not all corks last 20 years. The wax sounds like a nice touch as well.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #19
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So the fermentation never took off, repitched and still nothing. Took more temp readings and realized it dropped to 57. Think I can save it by raising the temp?

I built an insulated fermentation chamber that will fit two 5-6 gal buckets/carboys. Best excuse for building it! Now waiting on stc-1000

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holgar
So the fermentation never took off, repitched and still nothing. Took more temp readings and realized it dropped to 57. Think I can save it by raising the temp?

I built an insulated fermentation chamber that will fit two 5-6 gal buckets/carboys. Best excuse for building it! Now waiting on stc-1000
If you raise the temp to the mid 60's it will probably take off. Put it in a closet or cabinet and check it after a day.


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