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Old 01-20-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
centworthy
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Default Wedding mead suggestions needed

My step son announced his engagement at Christmas, he wants us to do a wedding mead for them when they get married (fall 2014). So we're trying to figure out what would be the best mead to serve at a wedding. Must have a broad appeal. Any suggestions?

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Old 01-20-2013, 12:44 AM   #2
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I have made semisweet raspberry mead for two weddings now. Not a drop left, even the 'I only drink dry' crew kept asking for more.

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc
I have made semisweet raspberry mead for two weddings now. Not a drop left, even the 'I only drink dry' crew kept asking for more.
That's a thought! Yeah exactly, it needs to appeal to the Newby ( typically a sweet drinker) as well as the dry drinker, And spring is coming for raspberries, I'm just really glad to have the luxury or time with this. As long as we get it in the carboys by fall we'll still get a year of aging in
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centworthy View Post

That's a thought! Yeah exactly, it needs to appeal to the Newby ( typically a sweet drinker) as well as the dry drinker, And spring is coming for raspberries, I'm just really glad to have the luxury or time with this. As long as we get it in the carboys by fall we'll still get a year of aging in
Yes, exactly. I have mastered the recipe and have been ready to bottle at seven months with a minimum of a month in the bottle before the wedding. Also made Raspberry Skeeter Pee, it was actually requested by the Bride's 70-something Grandmother who never drank wine until I showed up with some Skeeter Pee one time. She gets embarrassed just saying the name, too cute.
The mead label even provided the history of the word honeymoon and how mead plays into it all.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by saramc View Post
Yes, exactly. I have mastered the recipe and have been ready to bottle at seven months with a minimum of a month in the bottle before the wedding. Also made Raspberry Skeeter Pee, it was actually requested by the Bride's 70-something Grandmother who never drank wine until I showed up with some Skeeter Pee one time. She gets embarrassed just saying the name, too cute.
The mead label even provided the history of the word honeymoon and how mead plays into it all.
It'd probably be helpful for you to post your recipe and method then.......

I've found raspberries notoriously difficult to use. The batches have to be sweet(ish) otherwise the fruit/acid flavour can be overpowering and that even batches that have only partial amounts of raspberry still need to be treated with caution i.e. more of another balancing fruit than the raspberry.

They're weird, as raspberry is such a common fruit item in many products, it's strange to find that it can be a bit of a bugger to make fruit wines/meads with (note that it's not a big favourite in commercially made booze and I'm wondering if this is why)......

Apart from that, the time scale that centworthy has posted, would allow this to be done, finished, bottled and even aged a bit in whatever quantity is considered necessary by mimicking your recipe..... which is good as most of the "wedding mead" recipe requests seem to be far to close to the actual date for any reasonably good results (ha! and it'd give me enough time to find a suitable amount of fruit to try and copy a small 1 gallon batch.... I'm only too happy to plagiarise others, successful recipes ),
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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saramc, I'm also interested in this recipe.

I'm new to home brewing and rasberry mead is one of the recipes that got me interested....aside from the fact that drinking mead is WAY cooler than drinking straight beer or wine IMO. :-)

please post or point it out in the DB if you don't mind sharing.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc

Yes, exactly. I have mastered the recipe and have been ready to bottle at seven months with a minimum of a month in the bottle before the wedding. Also made Raspberry Skeeter Pee, it was actually requested by the Bride's 70-something Grandmother who never drank wine until I showed up with some Skeeter Pee one time. She gets embarrassed just saying the name, too cute.
The mead label even provided the history of the word honeymoon and how mead plays into it all.
I.ll third that, would love the recipe for both the raspberry and skeeter pee if you don't mind sharing. And I agree, with the honeymoon story on the label. Told the bride she can pick whatever she wants for the front label but that I was going to back label it with the honeymoon mead explanation
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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Pink Panty Peeler (aka Pomegranate Mead)

The recipe is very, very easy and doesn't require much in the way of aging.

per gallon you'll need;

1 1/2lb -2lb clover or wildflower honey
~ 1 liter of pure 100% pomegranate juice (little bit more if you want a heavier flavor)

no boil, no fuss, no muss.

Warm water to about 120*f to 150*f on the stove, add the honey to the brew bucket, add water and dissolve the honey, 2 parts water for every one part honey by liquid volume works pretty well.

Once it has reached room temp or 65*f to 70*f take your bottles of pomegranate juice and sterilize the outside of the bottles, open and pour.

Top off with sterile room temperature water.

The yeast I use is Lalvin 71B-1112. This has a moderating effect on tannin and works well for young red wines. I just rehydrate using a honey-water solution the night before. I'd suggest trying to do 100ml of starter per gallon, maybe even consider using a 2nd packet to give a higher starting cell count.


This should take about a month in primary, and about two weeks to a month in secondary. Depending on the quality of the pomegranate juice and how much you used, it'll come out to be anywhere from a mid-blush color to looking like a nice clear red.

I myself received this recipe from another local brewer who has been making it for about ten years. The name "pink panty peeler" came about because of how easy drinking it is and that it kicks like a horse.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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System hiccup--double posted.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Raspberry Mead recipe

PER GALLON:
*used 12oz red rasp + 2 cans apple-rasp concentrate
1.5 tsp pectic enzyme
1/4 tsp nutrient
1/4 tsp energizer
1 cup less than 1 gallon water
1 Campden tablet (or equivalent in k-meta)
Approx 3 lb honey


Place frozen/thawed fruit into straining bag, add everything else except the CAMPDEN into the primary and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours, then add Campden and allow to rest for 12 more hours, then add your honey not to exceed OG of 1.090 (for my batch I had OG of 1.086 and my TA was 0.5). Pitched yeast according to packet directions, Cotes de blanc or 71B works fabulously. Stir must twice a day, gently squeeze straining bag if you opt to use one, remove fruit approximately 3 days after you pitch the yeast--it takes on a WHITE appearance when it has given up all it has to give. When O.G. has dropped by 2/3 or no later than Day#10, transfer to carboy and apply airlock. Rack in approximately 30 days and then approximately every 60 days thereafter until mead is clear and no longer dropping sediment. Dosed again with k-meta at the first 60-day racking & then made sure to dose it once every 90 days thereafter. I typically ferment at 65-68F and then drop the temperature by at least 10 degrees after the first month. Both wedding parties opted to use 1/2# honey or sugar or blend of both to backsweeten after stabilizing the clear mead with k-meta + sorbate, though you can also use thawed apple-raspberry concentrate. If you want to have raspberry concentrate on hand, I keep Brownwood Acres(FruitFast label) in my refrigerator--if you need a smaller volume than what they sell online just call them and tell them what you need and they almost always will custom fill a smaller bottle for you. If you find your final product needs acid balance on the tail end, then adjust according to taste.

This recipe has CONSISTENTLY been ready to bottle within 7 months, and ready to consume if need be.
I have also made it using up to 4# fruit per gallon along with the concentrate for a longer aging time, and have made it with all fruit with a minimum of one year aging using 8# fruit/gallon. Found if I exceeded the 8# per gallon it was off-flavor and you had to really work to balance the acids out. Believe it or not, thelow fruit + concentrate version was preferred by my friends when they picked out which version for their wedding. It was not light on fruit at all, had nice body and simply flowed out of the bottles. Had I more time I would have loved to make a few bottles of sparkling, semisweet mead for the wedding toast. Let me locate what I provided for the history of the honeymoon and the tie to mead & I will post that also. And obviously, to make in quantity greater than 1 gallon simply multiply by the gallons needed, though one 5gm packet of yeast will typically kick off 5 gallons of mead.

The SkeeterPee recipe is at www.skeeterpee.com -- I simply started the Raspberry Skeeter Pee when I transferred from primary to the carboy, using the fresh lees to kickoff the SkeeterPee, threw in another 12 ounces of raspberries for 6 gallons of Skeeter Pee because it is about the lemon kissed by the berries, in my humble opinion. Read the Skeeter Pee recipe in advance, so you are prepared to start the recipe. If you fall behind, just stash your lees in a mason jar, seal it and store in refrigerator--but do not leave them there too long. You can obviously use a new yeast packet to start the Skeeter Pee, but there was something about using the lees from the wedding mead to start the wedding Skeeter Pee. Call me a romantic at heart!

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