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Old 12-05-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
dchabino
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Default rough draft mead making

I'm pretty new to mead and very new to wine making in general. In fact, I've never brewed anything myself before. Except that I recently began experimenting with mead - in a gloriously unsophisticated manner, until I learn my likes, dislikes and techniques. I'm starting from square one.

So far, I have not invested in much of any wine making specific equipment. I've only purchased a dry wine yeast (can never remember what it's called), some bottles, and a bottle capper (I know beer bottles with caps aren't best, but I'm the only one drinking the stuff). I've been brewing a gallon at a time to experiment.

My first batch was a disaster. I used only 1 pound of honey and thought it might be neat to see if leaving the yeast alive in the capped bottle would produce bubbly mead. Still cleaning mead off the ceiling from when I opened the first bottle, and it's a pretty weak tasting mead. I like the second batch I made, with more honey and lots of herbs and spices, some of which I grew myself. It's only about three months old, but I like it anyway. I'm way too impatient, but am currently leaving at least some of it untouched for several more months. I just finished my third batch, this time as a white pyment with Welch's raspberry white grape juice concentrate. After one week of fermentation, the stuff sort of smells bad. Does a pyment need more aging than a cyser? My cysers had a pleasant smell at this point.

In any case, this is great fun. I have yet to make anything anyone but myself likes, but I'm sure as I get more sophisticated and comfortable with the process, my mead will improve. The main thing I have to learn at this point is patience in the aging.


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Old 12-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #2
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I have some 9 year old bottles of mead. Don't get ahead of yourself. the aging process takes a while, and you can end up with a large stock of 'young' mead that hasn't hit its prime/peak flavor.


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Old 12-06-2007, 03:34 AM   #3
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The best mead I ever had was a Blackberry mead that my friend's father had made... while breaking out the brewing equipment to teach me to brew they found it on the back shelf... made in 1999 drank in 2007 it was AWESOME!!! He also found a 1999 Raspberry Mead that he gave me a bottle of... I am saving it for as long as I can stand..
I like to put some of my batches in the smallest bottles I can find... so I can try A glass every six months or so... works out really well if you can do it.. allows you to test without opening a full bottle.. I found some 100ml bottles that work really well.. can't remember where... but for 1 less full bottle.. I can test every 6 months for 3 to 4 years..
The one gallon batches are the way to go.. I haven't made any 5 gallon mead/cider batches that wern't first a 1 gal batch or an off shoot there of.. it helps you get all the skills down..
I recommend in addition to this fourm that you go visit the fine people over at www.GotMead.com they really know their stuff.. they also have a mead calculator so you can figure what your OG and FG will be and how much alcohol you should end up with ect.. ect..

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:44 AM   #4
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A great base mead recipe is 2.5 lbs of honey to 1 gallon of water with lalvin k1-v or red star champagne or cotes des blancs yeast. Throw an airlock on it and rack after a month or so. Then leave it alone for six months and bottle. By a year later you'll have a tastey semi sweet mead. This recipe can be added to in any way imaginable, from fruit to spices and anything else you can imagine. The best part is that you can add these things after primary fermentation, so if you make three gallons in one gallon jugs, you can make three different meads in the end.

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Old 12-09-2007, 04:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLynchLtd
A great base mead recipe is 2.5 lbs of honey to 1 gallon of water with lalvin k1-v or red star champagne or cotes des blancs yeast.

By a year later you'll have a tastey semi sweet mead.
With only roughly one gallon of honey per 5 gallon batch, any of the yeasts you listed should ferment this to bone dry with little effort on their part.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:00 AM   #6
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yeah kick that up to 2.75 or 3 lbs of honey per gallon of water if you want any residual sweetness.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:35 PM   #7
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or use an ale yeast with low alcohol tolerance.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:18 PM   #8
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Sorry, I forgot that I backsweetened the batch i wrote before. :P I personally like dry meads, but for a few batches I fermented them out and added honey back to them when I knew the yeast was no longer active. I think it makes for a safer mead to bottle when I know there's no more yeast in there.

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