Is Mead Good?

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Homercidal

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I tried some Cyser, from a local maker, and I kind of liked it. The bottle said something like 80% apple wine, 18% honey wine. My wife did not like it at all, and a friend of mine tried it and said it tastes like wine gone bad to him.

Can I even use this as a basis for liking mead? I have an urge to make some, but I want to make something I'll enjoy drinking. I had no idea that there was so much apple wine when I bought it.

I think it was pretty fresh cyser, because it was made just up the road from wher ei bought it, and the store clerk said they keep a good turnaround on it.

Perhaps I should go back and buy just the straight mead? Or should I try making a cyser/melomel instead?
 

CBBaron

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I'm very much a newbie at mead, both making it and tasting it.
My experiences so far.
Tried a commercial dry traditional mead: Did not care for it. Could taste some honey but it tasted like a white wine gone bad to me.
Made Joe's Concord Pyment: At bottling tasted way too grapey. Will give it some time.
Made a Cyser with local apple cider and 2# honey per gallon: At bottling it had a nice delicate apple taste complimented with some floral honey flavors. At last something worth while.
I have a traditional mead and a spiced mead in glass jugs and I am planning on a 5gal Pyment made with Pinot Noir concentrate.

So I would suggest trying several different types. Maybe make a few 1 gal batches yourself. I know many people here have stated they have not had a commercial mead they liked but love the ones they make.

Craig
 
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Homercidal

Homercidal

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Thanks for the input. I have no doubt that mead is a romanticized product. But, the cyser I had I liked, even though two others that tried it did not care for it.

I may end up making small batches after all. I've been meaning to do this for about a year now, but have been hesitant based on some of the descriptions I've read. I do have a gallon jug ATM it's being used for some Apfelwein, and needs at least 3 more weeks of ferment.

1 gallon batches would give me a taste, and not require as much honey. And, I can try different recipes to see what I like.
 

Judd

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I have had nothing but bad luck with commercial meads. All the ones I've made have been fantastic. Has anyone had a good commercial mead?
 

malkore

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I've not found a good commercial mead either. local vineyard here makes a 'honey wine' but its simliar to the apple wine blend you mentioned. but its drinkable

Chaucer's Mead...horrid stuff.

Red Stone makes some good mead, so I have heard. no first hand knowledge.

one can always make their own 'house mead'. as long as its honey (or honey and malt from a braggot) you can call it mead.

I only like sweet meads...don't like em dry at all, and cyser's can easily get too dry due to extra sugar from apples.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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Some of the "Honey Wines" and "Honey Beers" at the local place is wines and beers that have had honey added AFTER they filter out the yeast. So not true meads by any measure.

True meads vary greatly since they are nearly 100% fermentable. Much of the flavor comes from additives (like fruits, spices, apples, grapes, malt, etc). Generally, using the honey will make a very dry version of whatever you add to.

A big problem is it also seems to take a while to balance the flavors. Especially some of the braggots I've made. They were rather course for the first few months.

nick
 

Bobby_M

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The prez of our brewclub makes mead about half the time and he's won a lot of firsts in comps. The two that he's brought for the flight, Prickly Pear and Coconut flavored were amazing. They were both sweet meads using orange blossom honey. They were much better than any commercial mead I've had, and that is limited.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I like mead quite a bit. As does my brother and one of his co-workers. Other than that I don't know anyone who likes mead. (Some of my European friends think it is OK). I can't remember what brands I have liked off the top o' me head (sorry). I am a dry mead fan, although a select few flavored meads and melomels have been good as well. My brother and I recently started a few meads, so next year I will let you now how the homemade stuff is.

While the winter lasts, try a dry mead warmed in a pot with some mulling spices. This can be very pleasant and warming on a cold night by a fire! :)
 

Moonshae

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Judd said:
I have had nothing but bad luck with commercial meads. All the ones I've made have been fantastic. Has anyone had a good commercial mead?
I found a nice one, once, but I'll be damned if I can remember where I got it or the brand. It came with a spice pack to include to make it mulled. That was much nicer than the straight mead.
 

malkore

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Moonshae said:
It came with a spice pack to include to make it mulled. That was much nicer than the straight mead.
That's one of the Chaucer's Meads.

I didn't like the mulling spices at all. Too much clove. I also thought the mead itself (sans spices) had a very odd phenolic smell...kind of plasticy/medicinal.

And I realized I never answered the main question...do I like mead?

yes, I do. I find the words "ambrosia, nectar of the gods" to be quite fitting. I have only really had my own meads, two commercial types, and a sample of one that was ice cold and only 4 weeks old (very hot alcohol burn to it still).
Over my brewing lifetime I've made almost as much mead as beer. :tank:
 

CodeRage

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A guy who use to work with me several years ago use to make a mead. He was really into the SCA so I dont know if it was period specific but it was HORRID. Really put me off. When I went to the local home brew club and people were passing samples around and one was a sweet mead. It was very very good.
 

Judd

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Right. The main question. Do I like Mead? Yes, sort of. Is is worth making? Definitely!
 

z987k

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Make a really sweat mead, I've yet to meet someone that didn't like the sweet mead we did. And don't back sweeten, overload the yeast with more honey than they can turn into alcohol.... and use a lower tolerant yeast. These are also ready to drink a lot faster.
 
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Like the old Nike Ad said...JUST DO IT!
Get a bottle if you can find it...Just so you can compare.
I just racked my Honey+Water+Yeast=Mead onto Vanilla beans, and it is already better...although VERY much like the bottle I got at the big Licker store. Make it a gallon at a time, See what you like, make 2 or 3 or 4...whatever SWMBO will let you get away with.
 
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Ok, so it seems that I might as well, not bother with store-bought, since it is very likely not going to represent what I'd make myself.

I think I'd probably like a sweet mead more, so could anyone post a recipe for a good sweet mead for 1 gallon, or 3 gallon batch?
 

malkore

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Try Joe's Ancient Orange Mead...or (not to rag on Joe), my revised recipe (link is under my avatar, click MOAM). I just don't like bread yeast for brewing. It gives weird off flavors IMO.

go for a sweeter, lower alcohol mead. less aging needed to get to peak flavor.
 

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