Basic Lagered Mead Recipe

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biggmatt

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This is my basic recipe for lagering mead that I have been over brewing the last couple years. It's easy enough for beginners and extract brewers. It's affordable because it takes a lot less honey than a still mead. You can add what ever you like to it, the same way you would for an extract beer kit. It's hard to beat cold clean crisp mead. I am surprised that recipes like this are not more common. Hopefully this recipe might change that.

6 pounds of Dark Honey
Yeast Nutrient (according to Label)
2 packs Lager yeast.
5 oz priming sugar.

O.G. 1.055 F.G. 1.004 aprox. 6% alc/vol.

Gravities will vary with the honey, but not enough to matter.

Boil 1 Gallon of water. Remove from heat. Add Honey. Pour into 5 gallon fermenter.

Top up to shoulder of fermenter with cold boiled water.

Allow to cool to 70 F.

Add one pack of yeast and yeast nutrient.

Shake or stir for 15 minutes.

Immediately Store at 55 f.

In 24 to 72 hours it should begin bubbling.

In a week to 3 weeks, a day or two after the airlock has slowed to less than a bubble every half hour, store at 70 degrees for 24 hours.

Rack into a clean jug.

Return to 55f for 3 months or until clear.

Add priming sugar and 2nd pack of yeast. Top up to 5 gallons with cold boiled water.

Bottle.

Return to 55 degrees for one month. Longer if not carbonated.

Store at 35f from one month to two years.


Notes:

The darker the honey, the stronger flavor. Light processed honey might have hardly any flavor at all. Also darker honeys have more solids which increases head retention. Dollar store honey may turn out like soda water and alcohol.

I like saflager w-34 70 yeast. It is very forgiving. I can brew on my basement floor that varies between 47 and 68 degrees depending on the time of year without off flavors. If your making a melomel you might want saflager-s23 for it's fruity esters. A slight banana\berry taste went really well in the cherry melomel.

You should rack into a clean jug just after the diacetal rest (storing at 70f for 24 hours), so that diacetal and off flavors have a chance to escape while racking. I like to bring mine up stairs and let it rest in the spot i will rack it, so everything has a chance to settle for 24 hours.

The second pack of yeast at bottling is necessary because the lager are so clear and the yeast has all fallen to the bottom. At 55f the small amount of yeast left isn't enough to get a good start all the time.


Braggots:

You can add hops and specialty malts as you would for any beer recipe. Follow their recipe for the boil and add the honey at the end of the boil.

Melomels:

It is easy to replace a pound of honey with a few pounds of fruit. Like cherries are approximately 20% sugar. So, 5 pounds of cherries equals one pound of honey. See my cherry melomel recipe, "Fairy Blood."

You are not restricted like you are with beer. What ever goes good with honey, goes good in this.. I have done, blackberries with milk sugar and canel spices. Peaches, cherries, and cranberry. Most of the recipes I have made are adapted pie filling recipes.

Citrus really comes through nicely. The zest and the juice of a citrus fruit per gallon about 10 minutes before the end of the boil. Large oranges, grapefruits, should count as two.


Metheglins:

A teaspoon or two of spices like canel spices. A quart of mint leaves per gallon. Smoked wood chips. You can add them at the start or end of the boil, or in the secondary (dry hopping), just as for beer.

Hope you enjoy.

mead.jpg
 

viking1984

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Thanks for sharing this recipe and info. I'm hoping to make a braggot by the end of the year with an ale yeast, just still trying to decide on what malts/grains to use.
 
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biggmatt

biggmatt

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When I made a braggot I used Carafoam malt to add some body to it.
 
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biggmatt

biggmatt

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To kill germs. Honey is not supposed to have any but I prefer to not take any chances. There's a number of ways to go about it. You can bring the water and honey up to 160 and scrape off the scum for 30 or 45 minutes for the best result. You can use campden tablets. I like to add the honey to boiling water so it comes up to temp and gets cooled right back down. So, it doesn't cook very much flavor out. It's also easier. Don't have to worry so much about keeping to the right temp.
 

viking1984

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Researched carafoam, I will have to try that. Do you notice any flavor added with that? It looks like it is mainly used for head retention and like you said, to add body. I was thinking of adding some DME in for some added flavor, something along the lines of CBW Traditional Dark for a malty flavor. Was thinking of using midnight wheat malt also, but not sure about that yet.
 
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biggmatt

biggmatt

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It's got a slight caramel taste, but with the others your using, you probably won't notice it. Yes, i wanted more head too.
 

viking1984

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So maybe a crystal malt rather than something dark to help bring out a caramel flavor. The only beer brewing I have done has been from kits, so I am trying to get more into mixing and matching and substituting things here and there to learn more about what certain grains and malts add to a brew so I can make something that is more unique than whatever is offered in a box. Thanks again for the recipe.
 
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biggmatt

biggmatt

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Most dark malt has some caramel taste with the carafoam you'll get just a bit more. It's really personal preference. Find a beer you liked and google a clone recipe. Check out some kits and see what they have in them. Most don't say on the store page, but in their instructions or a online pdf in the details
 

Timmead

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Hey I'm new to making mead and I've sort of Taken a gamble/uneducated punt with recipe but after initially starting the brew (5 days bubbling) I've decided I want to turn some if not all into lager/IPA is this possible now that I've started or will I have to try again next time with new ingredients/method

Recipe..
4kilo raw Yorkshire honey
Added Almost boiled water up to 4gals
Packet of 28g Bulldog High Alcohol Mead Yeast & Nutrient Ingredients: special dry mead yeast, nutrient, vitamins. Stired in cool boiled water for 15 mins then added to mixure

Currently bubbling in wardrobe with blanket round as it is a bit late in the year to start messing


Thank in advance
 

A-man

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Lager in the sense of colder fermentation or taste more like beer? If the latter then you'd need to add malt sugar either through a grain mash, cool and add to the fermenter, or similarly, add boiled DME/LME +/- specialty grains which have been cooled to the must temp. You have a large amount of yeast in there so that should be adequate with the possible addition of added yeast nutrient, though you should be using a hydrometer to know where you are in fermentation.

As for the IPA style, just add hops. Boil for the IBU desired, cool to must temp and add. When fermentation stops rack to secondary and can add aroma hops to the secondary, in a bag, for 3-5 days then remove the bag.
 

Timmead

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Would I be ok to leave fermenting for the remainder of 30 day period then rack to 4 demijohns and add hops and aroma to a couple of them or does the hops need some fermentation aswell?
 

A-man

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In my opinion there's no problem finishing fermentation and then splitting up the batches. Investing in a hydrometer will give you a much better idea when fermentation is complete as opposed to waiting a prespecified amount of time. This site has many good discussions on hydrometers and everything else for that matter.
 

Timmead

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Thanks, suppose my next question is would it have to age for 6months+ like mead or does the hops Alter everything and does it have to be carbonated (invest in more equipment)
 

A-man

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I don't think you would "have" to do anything as far as aging or carbonation. It's mead, do what you feel.
 

Joel chrysler

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This is my basic recipe for lagering mead that I have been over brewing the last couple years. It's easy enough for beginners and extract brewers. It's affordable because it takes a lot less honey than a still mead. You can add what ever you like to it, the same way you would for an extract beer kit. It's hard to beat cold clean crisp mead. I am surprised that recipes like this are not more common. Hopefully this recipe might change that.

6 pounds of Dark Honey
Yeast Nutrient (according to Label)
2 packs Lager yeast.
5 oz priming sugar.

O.G. 1.055 F.G. 1.004 aprox. 6% alc/vol.

Gravities will vary with the honey, but not enough to matter.

Boil 1 Gallon of water. Remove from heat. Add Honey. Pour into 5 gallon fermenter.

Top up to shoulder of fermenter with cold boiled water.

Allow to cool to 70 F.

Add one pack of yeast and yeast nutrient.

Shake or stir for 15 minutes.

Immediately Store at 55 f.

In 24 to 72 hours it should begin bubbling.

In a week to 3 weeks, a day or two after the airlock has slowed to less than a bubble every half hour, store at 70 degrees for 24 hours.

Rack into a clean jug.

Return to 55f for 3 months or until clear.

Add priming sugar and 2nd pack of yeast. Top up to 5 gallons with cold boiled water.

Bottle.

Return to 55 degrees for one month. Longer if not carbonated.

Store at 35f from one month to two years.


Notes:

The darker the honey, the stronger flavor. Light processed honey might have hardly any flavor at all. Also darker honeys have more solids which increases head retention. Dollar store honey may turn out like soda water and alcohol.

I like saflager w-34 70 yeast. It is very forgiving. I can brew on my basement floor that varies between 47 and 68 degrees depending on the time of year without off flavors. If your making a melomel you might want saflager-s23 for it's fruity esters. A slight banana\berry taste went really well in the cherry melomel.

You should rack into a clean jug just after the diacetal rest (storing at 70f for 24 hours), so that diacetal and off flavors have a chance to escape while racking. I like to bring mine up stairs and let it rest in the spot i will rack it, so everything has a chance to settle for 24 hours.

The second pack of yeast at bottling is necessary because the lager are so clear and the yeast has all fallen to the bottom. At 55f the small amount of yeast left isn't enough to get a good start all the time.


Braggots:

You can add hops and specialty malts as you would for any beer recipe. Follow their recipe for the boil and add the honey at the end of the boil.

Melomels:

It is easy to replace a pound of honey with a few pounds of fruit. Like cherries are approximately 20% sugar. So, 5 pounds of cherries equals one pound of honey. See my cherry melomel recipe, "Fairy Blood."

You are not restricted like you are with beer. What ever goes good with honey, goes good in this.. I have done, blackberries with milk sugar and canel spices. Peaches, cherries, and cranberry. Most of the recipes I have made are adapted pie filling recipes.

Citrus really comes through nicely. The zest and the juice of a citrus fruit per gallon about 10 minutes before the end of the boil. Large oranges, grapefruits, should count as two.


Metheglins:

A teaspoon or two of spices like canel spices. A quart of mint leaves per gallon. Smoked wood chips. You can add them at the start or end of the boil, or in the secondary (dry hopping), just as for beer.

Hope you enjoy.

View attachment 365483
looks delicious
 
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