Originally Posted by fatbloke
The obvious choice is the JAO recipe.
May seem obvious because this is almost like the Mr.Beer kit of the mead world. However it doesn't really teach anyone about making mead, It's a set it and forget it for a couple months or years, and it's done, I'm not a huge fan, too sweet for me, I'll drink it as a mixer with some ginger ale.
IMO, a traditional 1 gallon mead should be the obvious first choice for someone interested in the craft.
- It's size makes it more managable
- The initial ingredient list is short
- It's easy aerate and follow nutrient schedule
- Primary fermentation is "relatively" short
- Initial equipment requirements are not too expensive
I'm not saying people should not make a JAO, and that it can't be part of their initiating process, on mead making day a gallon of each can be put together, one thrown in a closet and forgotten the other properly managed.
Or they can save it until they get a good grasp on making mead, I'll agree that it should be in the repertoire, and everyone should eventually have some bottles of it in their cellar to at least use for tasting to introduce people to mead.
But learn how to make a quality traditional mead and the possibilities are endless, you already know the base for melomels and metheglins, then move onto cysers, bochets, pyments..... You can also then tweak your personal techniques, decide if you wanna be a racker or a stabilizer, use primary additions or secondary, want simple meads or let your imagination run rampant with exotic blends, etc. etc.
OK...jumping off my soapbox, Y'all can continue on with your regularly scheduled thread....