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Old 02-13-2008, 02:10 AM   #1
Homercidal
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I'm considering starting a small batch (1 Gallon) of mead to bring to a beer-tasting party at a local establishment in around April. The reason for 1 gallon is that I have a 1 gallon jug handy, and the ingredients will be cheaper (not sure yet if I will like mead).

How much of everything will I need? I'm looking for a sweeter mead I think. Should I carbonate it? Can I even make it in time??

 
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal
I'm considering starting a small batch (1 Gallon) of mead to bring to a beer-tasting party at a local establishment in around April. The reason for 1 gallon is that I have a 1 gallon jug handy, and the ingredients will be cheaper (not sure yet if I will like mead).

How much of everything will I need? I'm looking for a sweeter mead I think. Should I carbonate it? Can I even make it in time??
I have a couple of meads in various states of fermentation so I am not an expert. However:
For a sweet mead you will need about 3# of honey per gallon of must. And you need to use a wine or mead yeast with lower tolerance so that it stops fermenting before finishing the sugar.
Another option is to use a lesser amount of honey (2-2.5#) and then stabilize and back sweeten after fermentation is complete. The second method is more consistent and reduces the chance of fermentation in the bottle but is less traditional.
Carbonation is up to you but you can't bottle carbonate a sweet mead (or you can but it is very tricky). If you want a carbonated sweet mead you will have to force carbonate in a keg.
I don't think you will have a decent mead by April. Maybe some of the quick meads like Joe's Ancient Orange Mead or similar could be drinkable by then but most meads seem to take a year or more for best results.
One possible option is to make a lower alcohol mead with about 2# of mead per gallon and then back sweeten when its done. The lower alcohol levels take less time to age and the sweetness hides some of the flaws.
Craig

Here is a good link to a tool that helps determine the quantities to add to make your must.
http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?opt...=745&Itemid=16


 
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
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April of 2008 or 2009? If you're looking to make a batch for April 2008 you are at least 5 months too late.

See my recipes for ideas on 1 gallon size meads...
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:24 PM   #4
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Ah, darn. Well, I still will plan on making a mead, but I think I'll pick up another carbouy and just start on a full 5 gallons or so. Should be ready in time for autumn, right??

 
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:27 PM   #5
sirsloop
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depends on what kinda mead you make... may or may not be ready by then. I'm planning on 12 months for mine...
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:15 AM   #6
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the sweeter the mead, and the more ideal fermentation conditions were, the less aging required. also, the lighter the honey, the less 'mellowing' needed (i.e. buckwheat is so strong, most just use a little buckwheat honey, and a lighter base honey).

Most mead needs to age 3 months before it'll be in its prime. it may be drinkable sooner, especially very sweet dessert style meads, and those in the lower ABV range, like 13%.

For example, Joe's ancient orange mead is drinkable when its cleared, though it might have a little hotness to it still. But an 18% abv, dry mead (especially if using champagne yeast)...you're looking at 12 months before you want to start sampling it.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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I'm still thinking about making some mead. I recently purchased a 3 gallon glass carboy and will probably use that. Not sure exactly what mead recipe I will try, but I will likely go with a Sams club honey, and probably add some kind of fruit, as I've read here that using cheap honey is helped by the fruit. I'll have to get details on that later.

I still need to get nutrients, and figure out what kind of yeast to use. Anyone eevr heard of watermelon wine? I heard about it on a Charlie Pride album when I was a little kid, but never seen it in actuality...

 
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:34 PM   #8
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My meads (with the exception of the various 'quick-meads' that are out there - JAO being one of them) are all bulk-aged for at least 2 years before I either bottle them, or continue to bulk-age them. You need patience with meads.

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