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Old 09-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default What do I need to make some Mead?

I'm a long time brewer. I've got all of the goodies in the brew equip dept (keggle, burner, oxygen stone, 10 gal MLT, etc.) I don't have a stirplate yet though (someone sell me a cheap DIY one because I'm crap with electronics!). Back to topic, what do I need to make some mead? I don't have a corker either. Can you bottle mead in bottles like beer? I'd assume so. What would be the advantage of corking? Anyways, I'm moving next August, would that be enough time to let a batch ferm?

So I guess it's two questions, is it enough time and what extra equipment would I need?

As always, thanks in advance,

Eric



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Old 09-29-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Primary w/airlock, sanitizer, racking cane, etc. (Same as beer)
I always bottle in beer bottles because I don't want to drink that much at a time and I have a million beer bottles.
Honey, water, nutrient, yeast. That's it. You are ready to make mead.



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Old 09-29-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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All you need is the honey, water, yeast, yeast nutriant.. primary bucket, racking cane, carboy, and something to stir the primary with daily the first 10 days of fermentation. You can bottle in beer bottles.. or if you feel so inclined keggin works just as well. Mead is increadibly easy to make. The last Sack mead i made took around 10 months before I bottled it So you should have just enough time.

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Old 09-29-2008, 11:47 PM   #4
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Don't heat the honey.
Use some sort of yeast nutrient. Some add all at once and others add in doses, before pitch and then every 24 hours up to 72 after pitching the yeast. Tried both ways, didn't really notice any difference.
Aerate the s#&t out of it.
Relax, it will take much longer than beer.
I usually go , at least, 1 month primary, 2 months secondary, and sometimes another month tertiary, to clear.
You can bottle in wine or beer bottles, corked or capped, still or carb. I've done all depending on how I want to serve, you could even keg.

Hope that helps,
Cheers,

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Old 09-29-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
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Yes you have enough time, a full year should yield pretty good results from almost any recipe you choose. The advantage of corking is mainly aesthetic in nature, people just like the feel of uncorking a nice bottle of fine brew. Thought there are differences between capping and corking, like oxygen permeation, aging characteristics etc.

I would suggest a glass carboy. Once primary fermentation is complete, rack over into your carboy and let it age and clear there. This part can take between weeks and many months.

*Edit: Holy SH!t three posts in < 1min.

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Old 09-30-2008, 12:28 AM   #6
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The MLT and the keggle won't get much use here - though you could make a braggot as well...

I've made a few batches without nutrient, but on at least one of those I did use an un-hopped wort starter. Still, it's a good idea, may well save problems, and you are sort-of in a hurry (mead timelines can be rather long).

To get it bottled in a year, stick to 3lbs per gallon or less. Less might be preferable, really - say 12lb in 5 gallons. I usually bottle condition and use beer bottles and crown caps - I bottled part of the last batch still, still using crown caps. Good use for the clear bottles - no hops, so no skunking. Try to ignore most of the batch for another year after you bottle it, and DO NOT toss out if it goes weird after bottling - it may just go right again - one of my batches took 4 years to come right in the bottle, but it did. Hopefully the over-the-top bulk aging (4 years+) on the batch I just bottled will avoid that.

Use a glass carboy for secondary/tertiary (you may want a tertiary if the secondary picks up a thick layer on the bottom). If the sediment smells OK, you might find that a coffee filter and a funnel are worthwhile - I'm slowly dripping about 2 cups of brown goo from the bottom and getting clear, good tasting mead out the other side of the filter. But the goo smelled good - if it didn't I wouldn't have bothered saving it for the experiment.

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Old 10-02-2008, 09:00 PM   #7
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I don't even think about bottling mead till a year after fermentation stops; even then there's no rush. Beer bottles & crown caps work just as well as wine bottles & corks; better when it comes to sampling. Regards, GF.



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