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Old 06-11-2006, 02:25 AM   #1
gonzoflick's Avatar
May 2006
Orlando, FL
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OK so I have been wanting to brew a traditional mead for a while now and I am a little confused. From most of the postings I have read on this site, 15 or so lb of honey takes up to a year to ferment properly into mead ready substance. Well reading the section of "The Joy of Homebrewing" with mead recipes, the author states that with the use of yeast extracts, fermentation can be achieved in 6 weeks. Is this a true fact, or would 6 weeks be an unfinished product, even with extracts.
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:33 AM   #2
Feb 2005
Lancaster, PA
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I have a feeling that the information from the "Joy of Homebrewing" may be a little outdated. Everything else I've read--magazine articles, posts on this site, etc--usually say a year. I had the misfortune of brewing a batch labeled an ale, with equal parts honey and barley. It was actually a braggot (mead/ale hybrid). After six weeks, I thought it was finished, and so I bottled it...and ended up with bottle rockets. If you're going to brew a mead, expect a year!


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Old 06-11-2006, 02:47 AM   #3
Mykel Obvious
Feb 2006
Huntsville, Alabama
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If you are interested in making mead, I would highly recommend The Compleat Meadmaker By Ken Schramm... it has all the info you could ever want to know about mead making, styles etc. Very good read IMO

hope that helps!

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Old 06-11-2006, 03:01 AM   #4
Beer Snob
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Dec 2005
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I have the second edition. I'm not seeing him nail down a specific time frame. There is one recipe that uses 7 pounds and he says that it would need 3 months to a year to mature. He uses "ferment to completion" a lot. You figure if 7 pounds takes 3 months to a year... 15 pounds will take a bit before its ready. The one time I tried to make mead I only made a galon... it tasted terrible cause I did not age it long enough. This is something that you just have to make and have the space to just put it somewhere and forget about it.

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Old 06-11-2006, 04:18 AM   #5
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Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
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I've done 15 lb meads, but I really prefer 7 lb meads (1 gal is about 6 lbs). You can always reduce the water to about 4.5 gals and use 1/2 gal of honey.

Look at it this get twice the mead for the same price...and in half the time.

I highly recommend the Barkshack Ginger Mead in Charlie's book if you like ginger.
HB Bill

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Old 06-11-2006, 02:05 PM   #6
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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You can ferment meads much faster if you stage the honey: 5 lbs to start, 5 lbs at a week and 5 lbs at 2 weeks and do yeast additions at each stage. Traditional meads have such a high SG that the yeast have trouble drawing sugars into their cells. Saki is staged for the same reason.

I doubt they would be ready to drink at 6 weeks, though.
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Old 06-11-2006, 04:51 PM   #7
May 2006
Posts: 11

Sometimes thay may ferment in six weeks but you need to let it age in the bottle for allot longer.

Honey just like grape wine isn't ready to drink as soon as it finishes fermenting.

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Old 06-11-2006, 05:13 PM   #8
Nov 2005
Posts: 60

I could be off base but I think you are confusing "ferment" with ready to drink. Mead is much closer to wine than beer. It may be done fermenting (for the most part) in six weeks but it takes up to a year (the longer the better) for it to mellow and be ready to drink. Patience is the key with meads.

And, just for information sake. A gallon of honey is 12 pounds (avg is actually like 11.6-11.8). The amount of honey used determines the residual sugar which is what makes it a dry/semi-dry/sweet/dessert mead. Using less honey does not always mean it will be ready to drink earlier (but, on average my dry meads are quicker than the sweet). Hope this helps. Good luck.

PS. It is worth the wait!

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