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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > How long should my mead age?
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
Tubba
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Default How long should my mead age?

I made a very simple mead batch of 5 liters with some leftover mead yeast, 1.5 kg of honey (a bit much? I've been resuspending what ended up in the bottom even after a good 15 minute boil), and spiced with hops.

It's coming to the end of its primary fermentation, and I'm wondering how long a simple mead needs to age before it's good to drink? I've read 6 months in some places.



Also, judgment call: Still or sparkling? I'm leaning towards sparkling, but I'm one of those weird people who prefer sparkling wine to ordinary.


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Old 09-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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depends on the yeast. what is mead yeast? as in, brand? with some yeast, it might be a year, with others, only 4 months. assuming it was aerated and stuff while fermenting.
sparkle away, i like that as well.


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Old 09-14-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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Sweet Mead from Wyeast, smack pack. It's number... 4184

The 'must' tastes great, by the way, so I have pretty high hopes for it. Honey was locally produced (expensive as hell, 13 bucks á 500g, but awesome honey)
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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ok, with that yeast and that amount of honey/water i would wait a solid year before opening any. with a larger batch it wouldn't be a big deal to open one and if it's too hot, not a big loss because you have a ton more, but you would hate to waste any with a 5 liter batch. maybe bottle a few in 12 oz. bottles and sample those, but i don't suggest trying it for at least eight months.

i have played this game before. made some mead, got anxious and started drinking it young. it tasted allright. then i tasted it at a little more than a year and started kicking myself for not waiting.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Ah, okay. It's super easy to make though. Could you share a recipe that does not require too long aging?
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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5 gallon batch
15 pounds honey
1 tbsp. acid blend
5tsp. yeast nutrient
2.5tsp yeast energizer
2 packets Lalvin K1-V1116

degas every day once fermentation starts, stop as it slows down. a wfew days into fermentation, before degassing that day, add another 2 tsp yeast nutrient.
when ferm. stops, rack to secondary, top up to the skinny part of carboy.
that's as easy as i can say and should be drinkable in 6 months or so.
i could get into staggered nutrient addition levels and all that stuff, but this will work just fine for you.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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"Acid blend" is tartaric, citric and malic, right? I've got tartaric and citric but not malic. Will that be fine?

Thanks a lot, by the way. Any spicing you'd recommend, or will it be good just plain?
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubba View Post
"Acid blend" is tartaric, citric and malic, right? I've got tartaric and citric but not malic. Will that be fine?

Thanks a lot, by the way. Any spicing you'd recommend, or will it be good just plain?
Acid additions prior to ferment has been discredited as unnecessary. You get a lot of fluctuation of pH levels during ferment anyhow, plus the honey is already acid enough, its just masked by the high level of sugar/sweetness.

In any case, acid blends of all 3 main organic fruit acids are equally unnecessary. Only use citric if the recipe uses citric fruit (plus its generally the harshest tasting). There's recommendations out there that for "traditionals", a mix of 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric gives excellent results, but again, only added after ferment completion.

As for honey water ratio, I generally do 3lb to 1 imperial gallon (4.55 litres), so 1.5kg diluted up to 5 litre isn't far off. If you just mixed the honey/water with a hydrometer, to no more than 1.090 for the SG, then you're more likely to achieve "balance", which, in theory, should need less ageing. It can be back sweetened if necessary which might get you something drinkable, quicker.

Whatever spices you like, just remember, "less is more" i.e. no more than 1 clove per gallon, 1/2 a cinnamon stick per gallon, etc. You can easily add more but its a bugger to remove excessive amounts.

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Old 09-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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Generally speaking, it is wise to skip adding acid until after fermentation is complete. Acid blend may drop the pH low enough to impair the yeast depending on what type of honey you use.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
As for honey water ratio, I generally do 3lb to 1 imperial gallon (4.55 litres), so 1.5kg diluted up to 5 litre isn't far off. If you just mixed the honey/water with a hydrometer, to no more than 1.090 for the SG, then you're more likely to achieve "balance", which, in theory, should need less ageing. It can be back sweetened if necessary which might get you something drinkable, quicker.

Whatever spices you like, just remember, "less is more" i.e. no more than 1 clove per gallon, 1/2 a cinnamon stick per gallon, etc. You can easily add more but its a bugger to remove excessive amounts.

regards

fatbloke.
Thanks for the info on the acids!

My OG was somewhere around, I think a little above, 1080. I wrote it down as 1080, anyway.

Hm, clove and cinnamon... Not a bad idea. I think I'll give that a shot.


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