First time mead-maker

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hooligansteve

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Relatives of mine are amatuer bee-keepers (in the middle of suburbia) and have supplied me with honey for my first batch of mead. They gave me more than I need for one batch, so I decided to buy a little extra honey and make two.
I think I'll make a dry, sparkling mead with Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast which I plan on aging over some oak, and a sweeter melomel which I plan on racking onto some sour cherries which I picked in June and which are currently in my freezer.
What would be a good yeast to yeild a medium sweet mead (for the melomel)?
 

will_cbe

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How much honey are you planning for each batch?
 

DUCCCC

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for the sweet one....Use D-47 and keep adding honey till it craps out....about 12 - 14 %.....It's always easy enough to stabilize and backsweeten.
I used the D-47 with an OG of 1.113. FG now is 1.010. It's sweet, like desert wine sweet. The D-47 crapped out at 14% ABV. My recipe was 15 lbs clover honey and enough water to top off to 5 gallons.
 
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hooligansteve

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Was planning on 14-15 lbs for the sweeter batch and 12 lbs for the dryer batch.
Kahuna, could you explain what you mean by keep adding honey until it craps out? Do I add honey in increments after I begin brewing? When I rack, do I top off with more honey or with honey/water, or just water?
Also, what do you propose would be a good period of time for aging on the fruit? A month? Two?
How long should they dryer mead age on the oak? Days? Weeks?
I appreciate all the advice you guys give, thanks.
 
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