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Old 04-24-2009, 11:47 AM   #1
adelaidebrewer
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Apr 2009
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One of the pleasures of mead making is of course the sheer pleasure in making something today that you can enjoy over the next few years. Some of us have first hand experience and some of us are just starting on this journey.

Now that I have young children I can appreciate how the years now pass quickly. Today I want to develop 3 meads (one for each child). The idea is to brew a large batch (23 litres) each time with the intent of having some bottles left for the child's 21st Birthday celebration, in the lead up I intend every 2 years on their birthday to celebrate the occasion by opening a small 375ml bottle...

I'd be interested in other people's ideas on recipes that they've done over time or would be good candidates to mature over time. As I'm new to this my key questions are:

1. It seems that Cysers and some Melomels will have a peak age of 1-3 years. I really want something that is going to come into its own in 10-20 so does this mean a traditional or spiced is the way to go?
2. with extensive ageing a high alcohol content is likely to be a good idea. Over 10 percent but are there recommendations
3. I thought adding fruit to the secondary (and racking off of course) such as rasins, dates might add some good complexity for the final product.

My thoughts as of today are:

Primary fermentation

3kg Blue Gum Honey (local to Australia) Quantities to be worked out
1kg Orange Blossom Honey (I live in the Orange capital of Australia) smaller quantity

2 Cinamon sticks
2 cloves

Volume of water to be worked out based on suggestions on ABV to aim for.

I was considering using a fruit such as apple juice, grape juice (or a apple and passionfruit which I'm seriously having second thoughts on) to replace some of the water, on second thought I'm not sure if it will add or detract from the mead in 20 years. Will the fruit cause the mead to age poorly?

Interested in your feedback if you've tried such a project and people's thoughts on alternate recipe(s) that I could consider

Many thanks

Adelaidebrewer

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
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I'd be tempted to make a pure orange blossom honey mead. I think I'd go for a higher ABV since it would have plenty of time to age out. I'd also be sure to use synthetic corks as they're supposed to be the best for long term. There are so many choices out there, and so many of them would be good choices, you have to go with YOU like, or think you'd like. I just think the simpler, the better when it comes to long term bottle aging. It'll be interesting to see what others think & to see what you finally decide on. Regards, GF.

Edit: As far as fruit goes, I'm partial to plums & blackberries.


 
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:24 PM   #3
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I will be doing the same. I will be choosing a varietal, and making a dry mead to about 15% ABV.

I really only like dry mead, so it is an easy choice for me. The yeast will make a big difference so do some research on those.

Some light spicing could be nice, but remember a little goes a long way and simplicity is tough to screw up.

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:36 PM   #4
ScottM
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Mar 2009
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Sounds like a great idea, and I wish you luck on your journey. I'm far from an expert mead maker, in fact my very first is in the primary as we speak. However, from what I've read I think you're on the right track. Something a bit stronger in flavor and alcohol bite will definitely benefit from the aging. I'd even consider a darker honey. I can get buckwheat honey regularly. It's got a great taste right now, but after 20 years I'd bet the complexity really comes out.

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
Dude123
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From what I've heard prickly pear mead ages extremely well. I might be doing a big batch of this soon myself
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planning:Dogfish head 60 minute clone, a stout of some type, prickly pear mead, cherry melomel

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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I'm not going to be much help with recipe development, but I will say you should send one of each to me at the same time you are going to open yours, so you will have a second unbiased opinion of the outcome

(oh yeah, I got to be that guy )
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:08 PM   #7
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/21-year-mead-24813/

just for reference....if it was me i would deffinitly go upwards of 15%. If your going to be aging this thing for 20 years you will need the alcohol. Of the meads that i have tried which were very high alcohol and aged become very smooth. A showmead (just honey + water etc no juice....) a buddy of mine brewed with Orange blossom honey, water and nutrients was by far the BEST mead i had ever had so i would have to suggest that since i havent tried the other honey you mentioned. His was Dry and delicious and with age which reveals the honey character and a very nice nose. You will be very surprised with the flavors which come out after many years...

For the cinnamon, with a 5 gallon batch, i will usually use a single cinnamon stick because it will become cloying. They definitely have more of a kick than you would think...You will NEED nutrients since honey is devoid of pretty much anything, and with a mead this big, you will need to add them at multiple points. Rasins are a good idea because the tannin from the skins should help make it a bit rounder and ballanced. You could always use powdered tannin but i always used raisins. Good luck.

Ahhh yes- and a MASSIVE starter
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:23 PM   #8
MacGregorBrewer
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Papazian just (well, a couple months ago) did an article on Gayre's old meads and included in the article was a recipe for brochet, which I jumped on right away. If you can't get it online, I'll try to dig up the back issue and post it.

 
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:40 PM   #9
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I have a bottle of mead that I made in 1994.

I'm probably going to open it up at my retirement party...next January...
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I have a bottle of mead that I made in 1994.

I'm probably going to open it up at my retirement party...next January...
what kind of mead is it? sounds delicious
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