Advice on simple show mead?

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lowtones84

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Hello everybody,

This is my first post in the mead forum but I've been brewing for a few years and I am kind of a raw honey fanatic. I want to try my first mead and I want to do a simple, semi-sweet show mead with some local star thistle honey that I really like. I don't want to buy much (if anything) extra outside of my brewing equipment.

I like the simple process of JAOM, but I want the only ingredients to be honey, water, and yeast. Is the process of JAOM still appropriate if I don't use all of the same ingredients? Also, does anyone have any suggestions on a 1 gallon recipe?

Thanks all! :mug:
 

fatbloke

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Show mead seems to equal long, torturous, difficult ferments that often end up finishing sweet.

There's anecdotal evidence that show meads made with a stir plate are much more successful.

Personally I'd suggest a careful calculation of nutrient needs, staggered nutrient addition and the usual aeration, ferment dry, then back sweetened to your required level of sweetness.....

S'up to you.......
 

Arpolis

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Show meads are difficult and if you treat it like a JAOM then you will have some poor results IMO.

If you really want a show mead then it can be done but it may be better to follow a protocol like described in the following thread:

BOMM Mead

But for a show mead there is some different thing you want to do.

1) water choice is important. You want a good spring water with a good mineral count. When I am water picky I like to use FIJI water.

2) start with a low gravity and work up. Mix up water and honey to a gravity of something like 1.040. Record this gravity so you do not forget and watch the gravity closely as it ferments. When the gravity drops down to 1.010 then add honey to 1.030. What ever the point difference is between the two gravity points you get needs to be recorded down. You can add that point difference to the starting gravity so when fermentation stops for good you can calculate an accurate ABV. When you start to get closer to the yeast ABV limit add less honey so that your additions do not go over 1.02 so just in case the yeast poops out the mead will not be overly sweet.

3) O2 and degassing is your friend. Before pitching yeast using a wine whip is preferred to whip the must for a few minutes to make sure there is plenty O2 and that step is probably important for the first couple honey additions. Degassing is just rocking the carboy and swirling slightly to release CO2. That should be done twice daily at a minimum and that may be important for a show mead until the fermentation is over. As FB suggested a stir plate which will constantly degass is a great idea.

4) yeast choice! Yeast is important since that is going to be a big factor on taste. Use whatever yeast you like after researching around but i suggest to NOT use champagne type yeasts or something like Lalvin ec-1118 because even though they are strong yeasts that are less likely to get stuck they are overly aggressive and will blow out your star thistle character out of the airlock.
 
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lowtones84

lowtones84

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Great, thanks to both of you for the replies! I'm alright with a little bit of sweetness, but don't want it too sweet obviously. I'm alright with having to pay a lot of attention to it. Will I have to keep degassing that often it if I let it sit in the carboy to condition after fermentation is done?
 

Arpolis

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Once fermentation is over just leave it alone. CO2 is no longer being produced so should not be an issue.
 

IJesusChrist

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If you want it done in a year you're going to have to buy yeast nutrient.
 
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lowtones84

lowtones84

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Yeah, I've read through the BOMM thread and will likely take that course to be honest, just using the star thistle honey that I like instead. Since it's my first mead I don't want to wait a year+ to check the results, but I don't mind 3 months or so of aging. I'll pick up the nutrients and such because I could see myself getting into this :D
 

IJesusChrist

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Yeah, I've read through the BOMM thread and will likely take that course to be honest, just using the star thistle honey that I like instead. Since it's my first mead I don't want to wait a year+ to check the results, but I don't mind 3 months or so of aging. I'll pick up the nutrients and such because I could see myself getting into this :D
If you maintain sanitary methodologies for your first batch, take hydrometer measurements to make sure you're matching the recipe, and use the yeast people recommend - its very hard not to get into it :tank:
 

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