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Old 05-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 183
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Right now I'm in the process of brewing my first beverage (a cider), and it's going pretty well. So well that it has inspired me to try brewing a batch of mead. I've tasted mead before and thought it was great, especially the meads that are more medium/dry with slight carbonation.

Since this is second attempt at brewing anything, and I've never tried mead before, I'm going to brew just one gallon. Looking around online, I found this website, Brewing a 1 gallon batch of mead, with this recipe for one gallon:

* 1 gallon of spring water
* 3 pounds of honey
* 1 package of yeast (Lalvin D47 recommended)
* Yeast energizer
* Yeast nutrient

Simple enough. The website also states that if I'm going for a dryer mead, I can go with just 2 pounds of honey.

Here's my question. I want to juice some apples (or peaches or strawberrys, i'm not sure yet), pasteurize them with campden tablets, and substitute that fresh juice/cider for the spring water.

Obviously fresh juice is going to be full of sugars, so for that reason I'd likely use less than the 3 pounds stated in the ingredients. And also because of the sugary nature of fresh pressed cider/juice, I'm probably going to have to do a one gallon mixture of water and juice, to dilute everything so that isn't overwhelmingly sweet.

How would people suggest I go about doing this? Keeping in mind that I prefer a mead that isn't extremely sweet and that is more medium/medium-dry, what mixture of cider to water would you reccomend (if the recipe originally calls for one gallon of water)?

And how much honey would should I add, considering I'll be using juice (which is naturally sweet), and that the recipe says to use 3 pounds for a medium sweet mead, and 2 pounds for a more dry mead.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #2

I've read your post twice and I didn't see any mention of a projected starting gravity. This figure is what you'll build your entire recipe around. Without a hydrometer, everything's just a crap shoot. I've made cyser (apple mead) with pure apple cider and no water that didn't turn out too sweet. Get a hydrometer and mix your honey and cider to get a gravity reading of 1.090 - 1.110. If you want to retain some residual sweetness with D-47, go for the higher number.

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #3
Apr 2009
Posts: 183
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Summersolstice: Thanks for the response. I have a hydrometer that I used for my first brewing endeavor (apple cider), so I'm familiar with the concept of measuring the initial gravity and all of it; I'm still fairly new to this however, so I have no idea what to shoot for in regards to what reading would equal what i'm shooting for.

Thanks to your response, I have a plan of attack. I'm going to juice a gallon's worth of whichever fruit I decide upon, and mix that with the mead/honey must. I'll fill my gallon carboy up 3/4 of the way, at which time I'll use my sterilized turkey baster to take an initial gravity reading. Based on that reading, I'll either top it off with the cider, or dilute the cider with spring water to raise/lower the gravity as needed.

Here's another question: I've heard that fresh ginger mixes very well with the sweetness of mead. If I wanted to add fresh ginger root, at what point would I do so? Based on what I've read, it seems like I would add the ginger after the primary fermentation, once I'm racking into another glass carboy for the secondary fermentation. Is this correct? Thanks

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #4

I've used sliced fresh ginger at all stages of mead making. You'll get more of the ginger flavor in the secondary but don't use more than a thumbnail sliver to start with. You can always add more later at any stage prior to bottling.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #5
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
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make sure any fruit juice you use is free of preservatives, namely potassium sorbate.

a lot of frozen concentrates are straight juice and maybe ascorbic acid, which is ok.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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