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Old 12-10-2005, 06:44 AM   #1
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Default Mead for beginners?

I keep seeing more and more articles appearing in homebrew magazines about mead--and it's slowly starting to intrigue me. I have enough carboys to make the long term commitment, and the process explained seems simple enough. Being someone who, heretofore, has brewed solely beer, are there any huge differences or variables in the process I should know about that differ greatly from standard homebrew practices?

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Old 12-10-2005, 02:31 PM   #2
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The big difference is you should not boil your honey for longer than 15 mins. It'll break down the specific honey flavor; tupelo, orange blossom, etc.

While it's boiling you should skim the white stuff off the top.

Fruit can be added to the primary or secondary. I puree my fruit and add it to the primary. If you add the fruit to the secondary you will get more of the fruit aroma a flavor versus more alcohol like in the primary. The fruit flavor and aroma will still be in there, just more subtle.

I have a peach melomel in the secondary right now.

HB Bill
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
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I agree with homebrewer_99 but i'd just bring the honey up to boil for a few minutes to sterilise rather than the full 15. 'Horses for courses' though - everyone makes their own choice.
I prefer to add fruit in primary too - easier to control sugar content and most fruity tones age nicely in mead given it can take a while to mature. If you add fruit to a secondary just ensure it's as clean as you can get it for the fruit involved - you don't want to add unwanted bacteria!
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:25 AM   #4
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I personally don't use any heat when making my meads. I just add the honey to the water with some nutrient, aerate the hell out of it, and pitch the yeast (White Labs liquid). I have added fruit and other things to my mead. The fruit as been in the secondary, but my vanilla mead gets a bean in the primary and a fresh one in the secondary.
Michael Herrenbruck
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