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Old 10-27-2012, 01:47 AM   #1
Oct 2012
Posts: 2

Hello, I have just racked my very first mead batch ever. Hell this is my first brewing experience ever! Anyway here what i did and the time frame in which it has been done. I'd very very much appreciate an experienced critique. I have a couple ideas and realizations now but thanks in advance!!

On sept 21st I warmed 2 15 pound Costco honey jugs to the point where the honey becomes liquid ( personally I didn't want to boil anything and lose any nutrients, keep it natural if you will). I then added water to make the must. While it cooled I activated my yeast (which is good ol bread yeast). I poured the must into a 5 gallon Sparklets water drum added 1 liter of apple juice 2 lemons (quartered), 2 limes also quartered. A handful of raisens, approx 60. And 2 tea packets. Once all was in the jug I filled it the rest of the way up eith water and then pitched the yeast which was 4 packets. I topped it with an extra large ballon poked with holes for an airlock.

The reaction was astounding and it began to bubble vigorously within the fisrt day (I realize now WAY TOO MUCH YEAST). After about 3 weeks the bubbling subsided and my balloon deflated.

Today, Oct 26th, I racked the mead, as I siphoned it I filled up a glass to get a sample. It was extremely alcoholic, not much sweetness at all. A faint citrus flavor. The aroma from the jug was incredible!!!! I DEFINITLY know I used too much yeast. And, as I've read on posts, will add some sugar to the batch once I'm sure nothing will activate again. I'm actually very please with what I've made to this point. Especially going against every one who stresses the use of purified water and expensive honey. This 5 gallons was made with tap water, cheap honey and set me back about 20 bucks and with a bit of sugar, tastes amazing! Thanks in advance for ur help and info!

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Old 10-27-2012, 06:53 AM   #2
May 2012
Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 1,617
Liked 317 Times on 209 Posts

the most important taste opinion is your own as long as you like it it's all good.
if it was me since this is your first batch what I would do is divide it up into 5 different 1 gallon batches, for each batch I would try different sweetening levels and aging time and see which 1 you like the best
You cant always be young but you can always be immature

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Old 10-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #3
fatbloke's Avatar
Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
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Why go to all the aggravation of splitting it up etc.....

Just hit it with sulphites and sorbate to stabilise it, then mix some honey 50/50 with water, then add it incrementally, tasting (and measuring it with a hydrometer) after each small addition.

That way you'd get the whole batch to a level of sweetness that you enjoy, and any possible honey haze (I believe it's a protein issue) that might happen will be cleared as the rest of the batch clears.

Either just let it clear with time, or hit it with finings of some sort.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

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Old 10-28-2012, 06:05 AM   #4
gratus fermentatio
gratus fermentatio's Avatar
Jun 2008
Posts: 12,347
Liked 2649 Times on 1458 Posts

Why bread yeast? Dry wine yeast is like $1 a packet, 1 packet is good for 1-5 gallons & I use 1 per 6 gallons regularly. Choose your yeast like you would choose a tool...

You don't use a rolling pin when the job calls for a screwdriver. You'll get better results without the bread yeast. You might want to think about getting an actual airlock & bung to replace that balloon.

I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just saying you'll get better & more consistant results if you use something better than improvised equipment & ingredients. Then again, it's your mead, you make it the way you want to make it; all that really matters is that you like the end product.
Regards, GF.

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Old 11-04-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
opus345's Avatar
Mar 2012
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 705
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Back in March I did a JOAM experiment with bread and wine (Lalvin D47) yeast. Initial tastings of both were palatable, bread yeast was very "hot" or alcoholic, but the mead with the D47 was already much better tasting, even at the incredibly young two month stage. Both have been bottled and I am sure will get much better with age. I'm in no rush to drink yet, I need to experiment more and will be trying other yeasts, fruit, and spice combinations. I agree with the other posters that you mead will get exponentially better as you refine your process.

BTW, welcome to HBT.
Primary: Skeeter Pee
Secondary: Meads: Carmel Apple, Wines: Sangiovese, Dragon's Blood, Viognier, Beer: None
On Deck: Dragon's Blood Blueberry, Double Dragon's Blood Original, Pinot Noir

Sleepycat Brewery

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