Coldbreak Brewing HERMS Giveaway!

HomeBrewSupply AMCYL Brew Kettle Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead Suggestions, Please
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-26-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
ronclark
Constant Brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ronclark's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 210
Default Mead Suggestions, Please

Hey all,

I'm new to brewing in general. I am closing on bottling my fourth and fifth beer batches and would love to add some mead to my homebrew collection.

I have the ingredients in route for two batches and would like to get as much bang for my buck as possible. I am looking for semi-sweet or sweet mead and of course the largest quantities I can brew with what I have.

Here is what I have on the way:

1 Gallon of Wildflower Blossom Honey
1 Gallon of Clover Blossom Honey
2 lbs. of Lactose Sugar (if needed for sweetening)
4 Ounces of Fermax Yeast Nutrient
2 packs of Lalvin ICV D-47 Yeast

I also have additional fermentables available in the form of a small jar of honey and about 2 pounds of Agave Nectar.

Any suggestions on how I might utilize what I have to make two decent batches of semi-sweet or sweet mead would be greatly appreciated.

-Ron


ronclark is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
biochemedic
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
biochemedic's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Carnegie, PA
Posts: 2,005
Liked 168 Times on 128 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

If you can get a hold of some good cider (5 gallons...it may be a bit late to get cider, especially up in MD...we're already pretty much done with the apples here in NC), you could make a cyser (5 gal of cider, plus 1 gal of honey = 6 gal of mead, usual OG ~1.110). Once this is done fermenting, you can bcksweeten with the lactose, and still add some honey or dextrose (more accurate) and have a sparkling cyser. I use this technique every year for my *cider* -- I've never done it with my cyser (which I like just fine still...), but I'm sure it would work the same. About 1 lb of lactose in 5 gal gives about 10 gravity points of sweetness -- just enough for me for lightly semi-sweet...


__________________
Packaged: Red X Weimea SMaSH
Recent Meads: Mead Day '11 Ginger Metheglin, Mead Day '12 Traditional (orange blossom) Mead, Simple Cyser '12
Primary: Empty!
Secondary: Why do I keep this line here...?
Bulk Aging: Cocobochet, Wild Cider, Simple Cyser
Planned: Hop Metheglin #3 (NZ hops), Trad. Gesho T'ej
biochemedic is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2011, 09:06 PM   #3
llamabox
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 77
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Jack Keller's web site has this recipe posted for 1 gallon I have scaled up and used. At about 12lbs per gallon of honey beersmith says 1 gallon of honey in a 5 gallon batch will get you an OG of 1.081 est FG at 0.982 with an ABV 13%

Varietal Mead, Sweet
3 - 3-3/4 lbs quality varietal honey
1-1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1-5/8 tsp citric acid
1/4 tsp yeast energizer
Water to make up 1 gal (about 3 liters)
1 sachet Montrachet yeast

Boil the honey in half the water, stirring occasionally until the honey is dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, skimming all scum off top as it forms. Stir in citric acid, yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. Cover primary and set aside until it assumes room temperature. Add activated yeast as a starter solution and recover the primary to keep dust and insects out. Stir daily until fermentation ends - about 2 weeks. Transfer mead to secondary and attach airlock. Retain in secondary for 60 days from transfer date. Rack to a sanitized secondary, top up and reattach airlock. Set aside undisturbed for 60 days and rack again. If brilliantly clear, wait 30 days to see if light dusting develops on bottom. If so, wait additional 30 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock for another 30 days. If not brilliantly clear, wait full 60 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock. Then follow previous instructions when mead is brilliantly clear. Sulfite with one finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, bottle and set aside to age one year minimum.
llamabox is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,696
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamabox View Post
-----%<-----
Boil the honey in half the water, stirring occasionally until the honey is dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, skimming all scum off top as it forms. Stir in citric acid, yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. Cover primary and set aside until it assumes room temperature. Add activated yeast as a starter solution and recover the primary to keep dust and insects out. Stir daily until fermentation ends - about 2 weeks. Transfer mead to secondary and attach airlock. Retain in secondary for 60 days from transfer date. Rack to a sanitized secondary, top up and reattach airlock. Set aside undisturbed for 60 days and rack again. If brilliantly clear, wait 30 days to see if light dusting develops on bottom. If so, wait additional 30 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock for another 30 days. If not brilliantly clear, wait full 60 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock. Then follow previous instructions when mead is brilliantly clear. Sulfite with one finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, bottle and set aside to age one year minimum.
That's an old i.e. dated, method. A quick search/research of current suggest technique would show that you don't heat the honey, as it removes/kills much of the aromatic/more subtle flavour compounds (same reason for not using any kind of champagne yeast).

Also, adding acids at the ferment stage is also considered poor practice, as honey is acidic enough already i.e. once mixed with water any test of pH will show that it's likely to be lower than 5.0pH already, and any lower than 3.2 pH can cause a stuck fermentation, or even for the yeast not to start, so why add something that can be problematic at such an early stage.

At most basic, I'd suggest honey/water ratio that gives a gravity reading of 1.100 or 1.110 (IRO 3 to 3 1/2 lb per gallon), a teaspoon of combined nutrient such as Fermax (per gallon) then rehydrate the yeast as per the pack instructions and pitch it in. I'd also aerate it at least once daily for the first 3 or 4 days by giving it a good stir, but certainly not for the whole ferment time. Whatever the starting gravity is, then I'd divide that by 3 (approximately) and just aerate until it hits the 1/3rd point of the ferment, then airlock it off and let it finish.

p.s. if the OP uses D47, then remember that the ferment needs to be carried out below 70F/21C, too prevent the formation of any fusels that might take forever (if at all) to mellow out. It's better not to produce any than to make some with too warm a ferment (with D47) and hope that they'll mellow over time.
__________________
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!
fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
ronclark
Constant Brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ronclark's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 210
Default

Thanks for all the replies so far. Anything I can learn before my supplies get here is great. Being that mead-making is a much longer process than beer-brewing, I am looking to get started as soon as I can and get the process underway.
ronclark is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #6
gratus fermentatio
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
gratus fermentatio's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 10,620
Liked 1721 Times on 1012 Posts
Likes Given: 4295

Default

I'd suggest reading The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm, it really will help when making mead. Next, I'd say DON'T BOIL HONEY! you just lose flavour by doing so.
+1 on fatbloke's advice in general, but especially on the fermentation temps with D-47, I've had that exact problem in the past & I had to learn the hard way.
Regards, GF.
gratus fermentatio is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,696
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronclark View Post
Thanks for all the replies so far. Anything I can learn before my supplies get here is great. Being that mead-making is a much longer process than beer-brewing, I am looking to get started as soon as I can and get the process underway.
Here's some light reading on the subject, courtesy of Gotmead......

Certainly enough info to get you going.....
__________________
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!
fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
Matrix4b
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 623
Liked 38 Times on 32 Posts

Default

I use Lavin D-47 for my winter yeast. Because the fermenting area that I have goes past 70 degrees in the summer but in the winter it goes from 57-65.

In the Summer I actually use Lavin-71B because it has a temp tollerance of up to about 82 and in the summer my brew area goes to about 80 at times, depending on the day.

So if your brew temp is too warm for D-47, I would recomend 71B. The thing about 71B that I have heard is that you don't want to leave it on the lees for a long time. General rule is that if the lees is over 1/4 inch, rack with in 2 weeks at most. So a little more matanece involved.

Hope this helps.

Matrix


Matrix4b is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first mead, any suggestions? docubus Mead Forum 3 06-20-2011 08:33 AM
Suggestions for a Honey Dew Mead? 2ndGenBrewer Mead Forum 7 07-08-2010 12:46 PM
I needs some suggestions on what to do with this mead ukdkbr Mead Forum 1 06-03-2010 08:19 PM
2nd mead suggestions? tahlorn Mead Forum 4 06-03-2007 01:42 PM
Suggestions for First Mead? Walter Sobchak Mead Forum 9 01-13-2007 03:55 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS