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Couple mead Questions

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Kampo

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ok first question, not about making mead but I'm getting married in a couple weeks and Fiance added a wine ceremony to the ceremony. basically you lock a bottle of wine with letters you wrote the night before the wedding in a box nail it shut for 10 years (or if a major rift earlier) so she loves resielings, white zifs, wines like that, none of which age over 10 years. I remember then she liked some mead I got her when I was at bells in kzoo once and heard that mead ages great. does all mead age well? or is it only certain types. was at the liqour store yesterday and they had some 15 dollar 375ml splits of various b.nector mead, also had a 50 dollar split (might be a bit to rich for me...) we bought a split to taste this weekend and if there good thinking of buying 2 more would these age well?

and second question. thinking of making a mead, its something i've wanted to do for awhile and I wish I hadn't waited so long to get back into the hobby because I could of just made the mead for the wedding. anyways thinking of doing a simple 1 gallon batch of a strawberry mead with the following rough recipe, anyone have any additions or changes to amounts?

3LB of Honey (not sure what type will prolly just go to the grocery store)
3lb Strawberry's (will most likely just use frozen thaw them and puree them)
Yeast Neutriants/energizer
water to a gallon
Montriarch or Champagne Yeast
 

biochemedic

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1) yes, mead ages well, and that sounds like a fantastic way to age a mead for 10 years!

2) sounds like a decent, simple recipe. Some tips:
- You may want to do your primary in a larger container (perhaps a 2 gallon bucket) so you can add the strawberries and still have a gallon of volume to go into secondary for clearing.
- I'd also recommend adding the strawberries after the primary fermentation has slowed/almost finished. You will get more strawberry flavor and color by adding after the primary fermentation. By adding the fruit into the same container as you fermented in though, you will avoid another racking to get the mead off the fruit after a few weeks. So basically, make a gallon of mead in a container big enough to hold that plus the 3 lbs of berries, add the berries after the main fermentation has almost stopped. Wait another week or three. Rack to a 1 gal secondary and allow to clear/age.
- Consider 71-B yeast -- works great for melomels (fruit meads)
- Finally, many melomels benefit from a little additional acid blend and tannin, as well as some residual sweetness. While you're working on this mead, start to read up on stabilizing and backsweetening in case you find that you end up too dry.
 
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Kampo

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read somewhere you want to get the seeds out of the strawberry's to avoid bitterness if I do like you say and add the puree strawberrys at "secondary" then rack off them in a couple weeks is that a big concern?

also kinda light on small fermentation vessels. I have a primary 5 gallon bucket getting free this week sometime, is that too big?
 

Arpolis

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I have heard that the seeds do carry a lot of bitterness as most seeds do. To prevent much of that, don't puree your strawberries. Just dice them up with a knife so the seeds don't get broken up like they do in a blender. Using the freeze/thaw methods 2-3 times will allow for plenty of the flavor to seep into the mead.
 

biochemedic

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read somewhere you want to get the seeds out of the strawberry's to avoid bitterness if I do like you say and add the puree strawberrys at "secondary" then rack off them in a couple weeks is that a big concern?

also kinda light on small fermentation vessels. I have a primary 5 gallon bucket getting free this week sometime, is that too big?
You'll never get the seeds out, unless you're planning on trying for the all-time world's zen patience record! As Arpolis said though, the freeze-thaw cycle will do plenty to get the fruit extracted, and you can just rough chop them.

I generally plan ahead when I'm going to add fruit, and just ferment less volume for primary, then add the fruit after it is almost done. The ferment will lightly kick up again from the fruit sugars, and then I leave it for a few weeks before racking off the fruit. I generally do primary in a 6 gallon carboy then rack to a 5 gallon so I have minimal headspace in secondary, where it matters much more.

I also forgot to mention, you will be well served to add the fruit in a nylon sack or muslin bag...really helps contain the mess.

Regarding the bucket...5 gal could be a bit big, although it's definitely less of a big deal for primary when you're actively producing CO2...you'd still probably be better off with something smaller...check out the local supermarket or bakery...I've heard that the buckets they get icing in are food grade and can make great fermenters...not sure exactly how big they are though...

5 gallon bucket is fine for 2 gal battch for the primary
Remember he's really only fermenting 1 gal...I just said 2 gal bucket so he'd have room to add the fruit as primary is slowing down.
 
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Kampo

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I have heard a lot of great stuff about B Nektar meads, havent had the opportunity to try any myself yet
had some of there strawberry pizzaz with dinner, was very good for a sweet wine (bit sweeter than I like but fiance loved it) have some cherry cyser in the fridge for dinner tonight.

changed my plan a bit because some some blueberry pom juice on sale today and fiance's eyes lit up at that idea so going to make a 3 gallon batch using Joes Quick Grape Mead recipe.

strawberry mead will be next wine I do.
 
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