Good Starter Recipes?

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I've made about 4-5 batches of mead over the course of my first few years of brewing. All but 1 of them were sorta just me experimenting and in my eyes all failed, even the one with the recipe. So I wanna try starting fresh, using the resources I have via the internet, and try something better for a beginner. Now when I drink I don't like no alcohol taste, I'm a big fan of citrus flavors so if anyone has a good starter recipe for lemon mead or well any kind of mead that goes down smooth I'm all ears. I can make up to 5 gallons at a time given my equipment. But 1 Gallon batches are also possible. I'll check back on this thread later as I need some rest, thanks for reading and all the help. Hope yall have a nice day or night!

Sincerely, Isaiah Prather (Lucas Aubergine is an old D&D name I used to run with)
 

Miraculix

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Look up the bomm thread in the mead forum, best starting point one could have.
 

Dan O

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Look up the bomm thread in the mead forum, best starting point one could have.
I second that. BOMM is a great mead.

 

Kriswithak

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I'm interested in a starter recipe as well. I've looked into BoMM numerous times, but the yeast isn't available here (and neither is Fermaid K) and most people poohoo the alternatives, and adding so many additives doesn't seem that new brewer friendly, even though the quick results are pretty attractive.

I kind of like the approach from City Steading, with basically no additives and was going to give their starter/beginner mead a try, but was hoping for some interesting alternatives as the 'all natural' approach seems to exclude most more quickly drinkable options.

I'd give BoMM a try personally out of desperation but like I said, I can't get the most important ingredients and the general consensus seems to be don't bother if you can't.
 

Miraculix

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I'm interested in a starter recipe as well. I've looked into BoMM numerous times, but the yeast isn't available here (and neither is Fermaid K) and most people poohoo the alternatives, and adding so many additives doesn't seem that new brewer friendly, even though the quick results are pretty attractive.

I kind of like the approach from City Steading, with basically no additives and was going to give their starter/beginner mead a try, but was hoping for some interesting alternatives as the 'all natural' approach seems to exclude most more quickly drinkable options.

I'd give BoMM a try personally out of desperation but like I said, I can't get the most important ingredients and the general consensus seems to be don't bother if you can't.
You can also just use tosna 3.0 and fermaid o. There are dry yeast options as well, they are somewhere in the thread, the bomm op has an article about them on his homepage.
 

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Hi Kriswithak - and welcome. I don't wish to sound like a meanie, but I would always be a little bit skeptical of any Youtube video that purports to teach novices how to make mead or wine that also tells you how good their wines and meads are. I would also be very skeptical about any site that does not provide you with the reasons for anything they do or choose not to do. And thirdly, I would always be very skeptical about the quality of the notes such wine makers take when they cannot recall the date when they pitched the yeast, the starting gravity, the amount of honey (if a mead) they used. Sure, sites can be very inspirational but just watch that they don't lead you off a cliff: self-proclaimed non-experts should not be claiming to teach anyone, while there are more self-proclaimed experts on the interwebs than you can shake a stick at.:bigmug:
 

Dan O

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Hi Kriswithak - and welcome. I don't wish to sound like a meanie, but I would always be a little bit skeptical of any Youtube video that purports to teach novices how to make mead or wine that also tells you how good their wines and meads are. I would also be very skeptical about any site that does not provide you with the reasons for anything they do or choose not to do. And thirdly, I would always be very skeptical about the quality of the notes such wine makers take when they cannot recall the date when they pitched the yeast, the starting gravity, the amount of honey (if a mead) they used. Sure, sites can be very inspirational but just watch that they don't lead you off a cliff: self-proclaimed non-experts should not be claiming to teach anyone, while there are more self-proclaimed experts on the interwebs than you can shake a stick at.:bigmug:
@bernardsmith, well said. When I started making mead, it was largely inspired by several of those (& including CS brews)😶......& then I found HBT & gotmead.com. .....& the rest was history. I still go looking for ideas, but, for ADVICE, it's mainly here & gotmead.com.
 
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Huh well thank you all for your suggestions and help. Anymore is always welcomed but I do think I'll try the GOMM recipe as recommended. I'll do a small batch first and see where that goes.
 

Kriswithak

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Hi Kriswithak - and welcome. I don't wish to sound like a meanie, but I would always be a little bit skeptical of any Youtube video that purports to teach novices how to make mead or wine that also tells you how good their wines and meads are. I would also be very skeptical about any site that does not provide you with the reasons for anything they do or choose not to do. And thirdly, I would always be very skeptical about the quality of the notes such wine makers take when they cannot recall the date when they pitched the yeast, the starting gravity, the amount of honey (if a mead) they used. Sure, sites can be very inspirational but just watch that they don't lead you off a cliff: self-proclaimed non-experts should not be claiming to teach anyone, while there are more self-proclaimed experts on the interwebs than you can shake a stick at.:bigmug:
Of course, it's only mean if it's meant in malice, and we're all adults here. CS covers that as I'm sure you're aware, so not too much to worry about at this early stage.

It definitely is difficult filtering out the self proclaimed experts, as well as the elitists who think their way is the only 'correct' way and those regurgitating actual expert advice without the wisdom (or at times just common sense) required to know where to apply it. Had the same issue with photographic equipment a few years ago, which was very frustrating, at least mead is cheaper if mistakes are made. It's an extremely rare gift to find people with some level of expertise, as well as the wisdom to be able to teach or impart it in a meaningful and useful way, especially to disparate audiences.

Enjoyment or rating of ones brews (as with most things) will always be a subjective area, that can be entirely meaningless to anyone else unless they share your preferences, so it's very difficult indeed to take those self assessments too seriously at times as you say, with your own results really being the only true indicator. As a new brewer there's a lot of trial and error there, but if you know any resources that can help I'm all ears. I like more 'easy drinking' style stuff (much to my serious beer drinker friend's dismay). I'm currently trying some 'session' style recipes to see how that goes, and mainly lurking here for inspiration and recipes I can follow.

I just got some honey from a local farmers market, so next up will be the tosna 3.0 and fermaid o BOMM that Miraculix suggested, once the the fermaid o arrives and I can source a yeast that someone has good results with.
 

bernardsmith

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I agree that there may be a subjective element to "rating" wine or beer but there is also an objective element too. A) I may dislike a particular wine (say, a Malbec or a Chardonnay that is oaked, or I may dislike the flavor of say, buckwheat honey in a mead) but that does not mean that I cannot assess a Malbec or a buckwheat bochet mead for faults OR for their qualities even though I would not consider drinking either for pleasure and B) if I am unable to recognize faults in a wine or mead I may give my wines and meads gold stars despite the faults that any seasoned wine or mead drinker would notice and certainly anyone qualified as a beer or wine judge would recognize.
 

bernardsmith

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@bernardsmith, well said. When I started making mead, it was largely inspired by several of those (& including CS brews)😶......& then I found HBT & gotmead.com. .....& the rest was history. I still go looking for ideas, but, for ADVICE, it's mainly here & gotmead.com.
Gotta say that Gotmead is the mead site on the interwebs and the people who run it are associated with both commercial meadmakers across the US and are involved in the Mazer Cup, the number one world wide mead making competition.
 

MaxStout

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You can't go wrong with a traditional show mead--just honey, water and yeast. This can give you the chance to experiment with different kinds of honey and different yeast strains to see what you like. Then you can build on that with other ingredients.
 

cmac62

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You can't go wrong with a traditional show mead--just honey, water and yeast. This can give you the chance to experiment with different kinds of honey and different yeast strains to see what you like. Then you can build on that with other ingredients.
Max that is true, but it also sets OP up for a stalled ferment, at least use the TONSA or some nuts in the process. Instead a "traditional" where nutrients are used. :mug:
 

videojunkie1208

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I find a simple cyser using grocery store apple juice (Motts) and clover honey (2.5 lbs per gallon) is a nice scalable recipe that with proper nutrition and something robust like D47 or EC-1118 makes an easy, very drinkable mead in 3-6 months.

From there you can change the juice, change the honey, change the yeast, but it gives an easy on-ramp to successful brewing.

Hell, you can probably make it without any special tools other than an airlock and proper sanitation chemicals.
 

bernardsmith

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Max that is true, but it also sets OP up for a stalled ferment, at least use the TONSA or some nuts in the process. Instead a "traditional" where nutrients are used. :mug:
But a show mead is a very specific type of mead and that mead does not use anything but honey water and yeast. I have never tried to make a show mead but my understanding is that when you make it properly it does not stall and indeed, in the dimly lit historical past there was no acquired knowledge (scientific or otherwise) that suggested that a mead needed nutrients for the yeast. But folk learned how to coddle their yeast and how to make a fine (or a good enough) mead (given all the problems with water and extracting honey from the hives... The thing is that WE expect a mead to finish fermenting in a couple of weeks (more or less) but it may be that show meads are meads made in slow or slower motion and may take months to finish fermentation.
 

Dan O

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Mr. Smith, does the "yeast" have to be alive? That would take care of part of the nutrients. You could boil some bread yeast and toss it in there. :mug:
Not addressed to me, but, it's my understanding there are a number of dead yeast mixed in with the live to provide a food source for the live yeast during fermentation, but, not enough to sustain it all the way through.
At least, that is my understanding of it, I hope if I'm wrong, someone who has more knowledge than I will correct me/Gibbs slap me.😋🤣
 

cmac62

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Not addressed to me, but, it's my understanding there are a number of dead yeast mixed in with the live to provide a food source for the live yeast during fermentation, but, not enough to sustain it all the way through.
At least, that is my understanding of it, I hope if I'm wrong, someone who has more knowledge than I will correct me/Gibbs slap me.😋🤣
As long as dead yeast count as yeast I guess you could stagger the additions. Right? :yes:;)
 

Dan O

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As long as dead yeast count as yeast I guess you could stagger the additions. Right? :yes:;)
The dead yeast act more like a food source for the live yeast to feed on. After all, yeasts are cannibals. To answer, I would say yes, you could stagger the additions.
 

bernardsmith

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And I do not know enough about BJCP guidelines and regulations to say whether the addition of dead yeast cells is banned when submitting a mead as a show mead for competition but for all intents and purposes dead yeast cells contain all the building blocks and nutritional needs that the yeast culture need for their health. The one exception may be (and I am also not a microbiologist) whether the dead cells will provide enough organic nitrogen. (I believe that lab cultured nutrients include some of the latter).
 

cmac62

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And I do not know enough about BJCP guidelines and regulations to say whether the addition of dead yeast cells is banned when submitting a mead as a show mead for competition but for all intents and purposes dead yeast cells contain all the building blocks and nutritional needs that the yeast culture need for their health. The one exception may be (and I am also not a microbiologist) whether the dead cells will provide enough organic nitrogen. (I believe that lab cultured nutrients include some of the latter).
My understanding is that fermaid O is made up of basically dead yeast, so I'd guess it is a pretty good source, but I'm shooting from the hip here. If anyone knows better please respond. :mug:
 

Dan O

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My understanding is that fermaid O is made up of basically dead yeast, so I'd guess it is a pretty good source, but I'm shooting from the hip here. If anyone knows better please respond. :mug:
This is off of the Scott Labs website today....

Fermaid O™ is a blend of highly specific inactivated yeast fractions that are rich in assimilable amino acids (organic nitrogen). It's amino acid profile is highly consistent. Though Fermaid O does not supply a lot of Measurable YAN (see pg 43 for more info), it is a highly effective nutrient. It reliably lowers peak fermentation temperatures, produces lower levels of negative sulfur compounds, and improves fermentation kinetics. Organic nitrogen use has been correlated with positive aromatic expression (thiols and esters) and mouthfeel.

Fermaid O does not contain any DAP or supplemented micro-nutrients. For optimal results, Fermaid O should be used in conjunction with Go-Ferm Protect Evolution™ rehydration nutrient.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 

cmac62

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This is off of the Scott Labs website today....

Fermaid O™ is a blend of highly specific inactivated yeast fractions that are rich in assimilable amino acids (organic nitrogen). It's amino acid profile is highly consistent. Though Fermaid O does not supply a lot of Measurable YAN (see pg 43 for more info), it is a highly effective nutrient. It reliably lowers peak fermentation temperatures, produces lower levels of negative sulfur compounds, and improves fermentation kinetics. Organic nitrogen use has been correlated with positive aromatic expression (thiols and esters) and mouthfeel.

Fermaid O does not contain any DAP or supplemented micro-nutrients. For optimal results, Fermaid O should be used in conjunction with Go-Ferm Protect Evolution™ rehydration nutrient.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
My take is, yes dead yeast have available organic nitrogen, but how much is still a question. Thanks DanO
 

cmac62

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And I do not know enough about BJCP guidelines and regulations to say whether the addition of dead yeast cells is banned when submitting a mead as a show mead for competition but for all intents and purposes dead yeast cells contain all the building blocks and nutritional needs that the yeast culture need for their health. The one exception may be (and I am also not a microbiologist) whether the dead cells will provide enough organic nitrogen. (I believe that lab cultured nutrients include some of the latter).
I just looked up the BJCP mead description and there is no mention of "show mead". I think this is more for the mead makers than comps perhaps. :mug:
 

cmac62

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^^ just talking. LOL Trying to circumvent the "show mead" title and still provide the active yeast with nuts to make getting through 10 lbs of honey. I'm always trying to get over on "the man". Right!! :ban:
 

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My understanding is that fermaid O is made up of basically dead yeast, so I'd guess it is a pretty good source, but I'm shooting from the hip here. If anyone knows better please respond. :mug:
The difference between ordinary dead yeast and fermaid o is that the fermaid o yeast has been forced to ingest as much food/vitamins/proteins and whatnot as possible, before being killed and dried. That is a process that insures maximum nutritional value (from a canibalistic yeast's point of view) so it is way superior to "normal" dead yeast.

BUT normal dead yeast is still a great source of nutrients for living yeast.
 

Maylar

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I just looked up the BJCP mead description and there is no mention of "show mead". I think this is more for the mead makers than comps perhaps. :mug:
It does mention them under the "ingredients" section of standard meads:

"Show meads feature no additives, but this distinction is usually not obvious to judges."
 

cmac62

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The difference between ordinary dead yeast and fermaid o is that the fermaid o yeast has been forced to ingest as much food/vitamins/proteins and whatnot as possible, before being killed and dried. That is a process that insures maximum nutritional value (from a canibalistic yeast's point of view) so it is way superior to "normal" dead yeast.

BUT normal dead yeast is still a great source of nutrients for living yeast.
I'm guessing most dried yeast are treated the same, so boiled dried bread/bakers yeast should have a good supply of nutes.
 

bernardsmith

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I'm guessing most dried yeast are treated the same, so boiled dried bread/bakers yeast should have a good supply of nutes.
I think that yeast is yeast is yeast as long as the yeast is c. Sachromyces and as to treating the yeast like pate de foie gras you could do a great deal worse than simply proving the yeast before boiling it. That will give the yeast time to use the sugars to build and repair their cell walls and to use minerals in the water (or juice) to make the yeast maximally healthy.
 

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