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Is there a commerical mead company?

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TxBrew

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I've never even tried Mead. Asked around the local speciality beer stores but they were clueless. Where can I find mead?
 

Janx

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There are several commercial ones, but most of them suck really bad and make sickening sweet mead. I think that's because people hear honey and expect sweet, not realizing that all fermented beverages start out sweet.

Good mead is dry like wine. The best, most authentic commercial mead I have found was in a little place in Western Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge, and for the life of me I can't remember the name. I think it was in Madison County. Really small place. I imagine he would ship mead to you. I went there in person.

I have had some others...there's one called Chaucer's mead that you can find that's pretty sweet (blech). Like I said, though, most of them suck, and you can make much better mead at home with patience.
 

Dude

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TxBrew said:
I've never even tried Mead. Asked around the local speciality beer stores but they were clueless. Where can I find mead?

Hmmm...good question TXbrew....

I was asking my HBS owner the same thing the other day (hoping he would give me a sample) because I've never tasted mead either. It sounds so damn intriguing, but a 5 gallon batch of something you may not like (and may never drink) doesn't tickle my fancy, especially when you have to take out a loan pretty much to buy all that honey!
I'll end up doing mead someday. Janx has me all hot and bothered with that kiwi one he did. :p That sounds veddy interesting.
 

rightwingnut

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I hadn't tried mead until I was at the BOP shop buying honey...I loved it. I'm really exited about my blueberry batch...been fermenting for ages.
 

seven77

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A liquor store here in town sells bottles of english mead for $14 for a 12oz bottle. I've always wanted to try it, but I don't feel like spending that much money on something I might not like.
 

BitterRat

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There's a Meadery in No. Wisconsin called White Winter. They make some decent meads, the Blueberry Mel and Rasp Mel are excellent. I made a recipe from "The Compleat Meadmaker", that called for 15 lbs honey, 16 lb Peaches and some ginger, excellent stuff!!
 

Stearmandriver

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Hi folks,

I'm brand new to homebrewing in general, and thinking I'm going to start with beer instead of mead, but I'm fascinated with mead too. I was also looking around for a place to buy some, and this place might be worth checking out:
https://www.redstonemeadery.com/store/product_list.asp

I've never tried any of their stuff, but it looks like they're committed to quality. Of course, I have no idea what I'm talking about, so feel free to correct me!

Joe
 

Buddhabuddha

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Just drank a bottle of "Camelot Mead" from www.oliverwinery.com
(not by myself)
It was good, a little sweet, would have liked it dryer....
but for like $7.55 I would buy it again :)

I can't wait to brew some!! SO MUCH TO BREW NOT ENOUGH CARBOYS!!!

or money..... :(
 

seven77

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Janx said:
There are several commercial ones, but most of them suck really bad and make sickening sweet mead. I think that's because people hear honey and expect sweet, not realizing that all fermented beverages start out sweet.
yick!! I know what you mean now Janx! I broke down and purchased that $14 bottle of mead at the store the other day. It was so sweet I had to choke it down, thankfully one of my drinking buddies was there and choked down the other half(literally... we were laughing at each others facial expressions after taking a drink... lol!!). It tasted like 10lbs of sugar dissolved in 6oz of kerosene. It did have a pleasant aftertaste, however--much like a flower-garden smells.
 

Ramp

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The problem with most commercial meads is that they are back sweetened after fermentation is complete, so you get an "in your face" experience, like Chauser's. Also, they are not aged long enough to smooth out the edges, or allow the meads to really show what they can become. To make a mead that you are really going to like, chances are you are going to have to make it yourself.

That being said, there are many truely terrific meaderies out there. You just have to look hard for them. Check with local apiaries, or on your states home website, or just Google it. If you find a place that makes good quality mead, all the searching is worth it.

~Cheers!
 

kilroy

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Well - Only Living 20 Miles away from a VERY FINE meadery

http://www.rocky-mountain-meadery.com/

I can tell you after tasting their goods, they are very good.

here is a small sampling from their website:

King Arthur (dry) Aged in oak, King Arthur is an excellent accent to fish, poultry, and wild game.

Lancelot (medium dry) Lancelot is especially good with chicken, turkey, and seafood.

Guinevere (semi-sweet) Guinevere enhances cheese, fruit, stir-fry or spicy dishes.

Camelot (sweet) A dessert wine, Camelot can be served by itself or as an accompaniment to desserts. During the winter months, warm up with a glass of hot spiced Camelot wine.
I would very highly suggest that you check these guys out.

Andrew
 

Cheesefood

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Several years ago, I saw the Bennegans was selling some brand of mead so I bought a bottle. It was reasonably priced, probably $3-$4. I remember it being a bit sweet and a bit sour. It wasn't so awesome that I devoted my life towards it. I would like to make the prickly pear mead that's in the Home Brewers Companion. He said he lets his age for 2 years.
 

SpinDance

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I'm surprised you could find Camelot Mead outside Indiana. Last I knew IN didn't permit export. I'm in SW Ohio and know some folks in Indiana, so I can get some now and again. It's the driest I've found commercially, although I haven't tried very many. The others I've tried are, as said above, very, very sweet.

There is an incredible store in the Cincinnati, Ohio area called Jungle Jim's. They have about everything one can think of, much of it imported from all over the world. They have a very large selection of wines, beers, ciders and mead. If you ever get a chance to stop by there, do! :) They have a web site, I think, but I don't know about them sending by mail.
 

Streethawk

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I understand not wanting to try 5 gallons of something you might not like - so why not make a 1 gallon batch?! We are!
 

Windaria

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Yes... that is what all those great 1 gallon carboys you get from making cider with expensive applejuice are for.

The only trick is that, if you are a beer brewer who hates waiting, you will kill yourself waiting for a mead. <smiles>
 

rewster451

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I have tried some meads, and like most of you, I found it too sweet. However, I really want to make one of my own. Is a straight mead good, or should I do more of a melomel, or whatever the blank you call it? I think I would really like it dryer than sweeter. That's the way I like my wine.
 

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Barkshack Gingermead

For 5 gallons
7 lbs light honey
1.5 lbs corn sugar
1-6 oz. freshly grated ginger root
1.5 tsp. gypsum
1 tsp. citric acid
3 tsp. yeast nutrient
¼ oz. yeast extract
¼ tsp irish moss powder
1-6lbs crushed fruit (sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, grapes, grape concentrate, cranberries, chokecherries, etc) all optional
3 oz. lemongrass (or other herb or spice flavorings-but go easy on the cloves, cinnamon, mint, hops; lemon or orange peel is also nice) –all optional
1-2 pkgs. Champagne yeast
¾ cup corn sugar (for bottling)

Procedure:

Boil for 15 minutes 1.5 gallons of water, the honey, corn sugar, ginger root, gypsum, citric acid, Irish moss and yeast nutrient. Turn the heat off. If you are going to add fruit, then take a small strainer and fish out as much of the ginger root shavings as you can, but don’t worry. Then add your crushed fruit to the pot of hot wort and let it steep for about 10-15 minutes.
Pour the entire contents of the ‘wort’ (unsparged if fruit is added) into a plastic open primary fermenter and add about 3 gallons of cold water. When cooled to 70-78 degrees F, pitch the yeast.
After specific gravity has fallen tot 1.020(5) or within 7 days, whichever comes first, rack the brew into a secondary fermenter. If you use fruit, remove fermented fruit with a sanitized strainer or carefully manipulate siphon hose so that no fruit (or very little) passes to the secondary fermenter.
Age 1-1.5 months in the secondary fermenter.
Bottle with ¾ cup corn sugar. If herb, spice, or tea flavoring desired, add a strong strained tea to the finished mead at bottling time. In this manner, you may add the ‘tea’ halfway through the bottling process, enabling you to bottle 2 flavors of mead!
The flavor of mead will change with age. Harsh and sharp flavors will mellow. A tasting after 6 months will give some indication of your results. But a sparkling cold Barkshack Ginger-mead of 1 year or more – that’s heaven.
 

homebrewer_99

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Looks like you already found the recipe before I got back to you. Sorry. I was busy making starters for tomorrow and the day after.:D

I highly recommend the Barkshack Ginger Mead. I still have a bottle or two that over 10 years old....New Years is coming up...:D :drunk:

I just checked my recipes from 1994 on this and I noted that the ginger should be cut back by 1/3 in my 2nd batch of this mead. Ginger imparts a very bitter bite when young. A lot like Vernon's Ginger Ale if you've ever had that. After 6 months to a year it will become mellower than a normal ginger ale.
 

DragonTail

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I've had a few from Rabbitsfoot Meadery ( www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com ), pretty good. I tried Chaucers (sp?), a little on the sweet side. I've also had a few from an orchard near my house ( aeppeltreow.com ). They do ship, but the online ordering isn't working right so you have to print out an order form and mail it in. :)
 

Thor

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Beermaker said:
Barkshack Gingermead

For 5 gallons
7 lbs light honey
1.5 lbs corn sugar
1-6 oz. freshly grated ginger root
1.5 tsp. gypsum
1 tsp. citric acid
3 tsp. yeast nutrient
¼ oz. yeast extract
¼ tsp irish moss powder
1-6lbs crushed fruit (sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, grapes, grape concentrate, cranberries, chokecherries, etc) all optional
3 oz. lemongrass (or other herb or spice flavorings-but go easy on the cloves, cinnamon, mint, hops; lemon or orange peel is also nice) &#8211;all optional
1-2 pkgs. Champagne yeast
¾ cup corn sugar (for bottling)n.
Beermaker, all - why the corn sugar vs. additional honey? Does using all honey as the fermentable do something foul to the taste? Just curious, as I may try this recipe for a mead contest in my local homebrew club (summer contest, so I hope it will be in good form by then).

Also, what is "yeast extract?" I use yeast nutrient, but never heard of yeast extract.
 

Tomico

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My husband and I brew mead. O.K. he brews, I just behave like the mad scientist adding odd ingredients. Bob says brewing mead is a lot easier than brewing beer. Also, brewing it at home makes it a pretty high proof. Mead can be sweet or dry. Depends on the taste of the brewer. I prefer a sweeter mead, Bob prefers a dryer mead.
We found that we can get a decent price at Costco for bulk honey.
Adding anything other than honey, water and yeast gives it a different name but it is just easier to call it mead.
Usually the benefit to mead is the longer you age it the better it tastes. Fruit meads can go off if you don't use them in a couple of years but many meads are at thier peak in five years. Most people can't keep the bottles long enough to have them age that long.
I'm hoping this year to make a flower mead with as many edible flowers as I can grow. It may have to be a couple batches that are blended together or we will add more flowers as the season progresses.
I've also been playing with liqueurs and want to something with flowers there as well.
Something Bob and I have found is that adding certain liqueurs to mead make for an interesting taste.
 

brandonj

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I'm a big fan of mead. I have a couple of batches going right now. Here is a really easy one that probably breaks taboo for many brewers. I saw it and despite my reaction to deviate I followed the directions and it came out shockingly good. It is a 'quick' mead that is drinkable in about two months but I hear ages very well. It is a lot better than many commercial meads.
Joe's Ancient Orange Mead

And for those looking for commercial meads.. GotMead? has a list and reviews. The forums have a huge wealth of information if you're interested in making mead.

Here is a direct link to their list Commercial Meads
 

Caplan

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Joe Mattioli's 'Ancient Orange and Spice Mead' recipe seems to be very popular on various sites - have you tried it yet brandonj?

Edit - you just updated your sig! :)
 

brandonj

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Yes I have and it's quite good. I can only imagine what it's potential could be but I don't have any left over to age :drunk:

Yeah I did but I haven't yet added the 1 gal batch of cyser, or the new 1 gal batch of spiced cider I just started today. The other gal of cider is racked and I'm waiting for it to clear.
 

Caplan

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brandonj said:
Yes I have and it's quite good. I can only imagine what it's potential could be but I don't have any left over to age :drunk:
Did you use bread yeast? I'm not sure that stuff will age well anyway! Better to drink it early :D
 

brandonj

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Yes, those on the GotMead forum have had success in aging it so it shouldn't hurt to try a bottle or two.
Joe said he had some aged 2 years that was very good. He's guessing it will continue to age well up to five years.
 

DrewsBrews

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brandonj,

Have you ever made this in a five gallon batch? If so, what modifications if any did you make? I figure multiply everything times 5, but after reading posts in that link you listed, I'm not sure 5 oranges would work out.

Would you say this recipe comes out sweet or dry?
 

brandonj

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It has come out sweet for me. If you read the thread on GotMead where it's posted people have scaled it up to 2 and five gallon batches with some minor problems due to the oranges. I haven't made anything larger than a 1 gal batch myself. Joe made it to be as foolproof as possible if the directions are followed to the T. People have had problems when they've altered elements of it. It's made for the beginning mead maker to show how easy it is so they can get their feet wet. I have a 5 gal batch of traditional mead going that is going to be a year or more before it's ready so I like to make it because I can have some in 2 months that is drinkable to tide me over :D . A mead I've really been considering is making a honey/maple syurp mead. I will as soon as I can get a 1 gal primary free.
 

The Happy Mug

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I went to the Internation Mead Festival in Boulder on the 11th. There were some incredible meads there. According to the literature, there were 97 different meads from 30 makers, each pouring out 1 oz samples. www.meadfest.org

Here's a few highlights and places to look.

One of the ones that really stuck out to me was Makan Meadery's iQhiliji Chili mead (www.iqhiliki.co.za), made with african birdseye chile peppers. It had this great burn all the way down the throat, like drinking bees. Awesome.

Pasieka Maciej Jaros & CORPO Gadek Rogalski Sp. J. (www.corpo.biz.pl) had some really nice meads (all aged 6-8 years), but they're not sold in the U.S. yet.

Stawski Imports (www.stawskiimports.com) does some great polish style meads in Chicago. I highly recommend them, they were one of my top choices.

Rabbit's Foot (www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com) had a sparkling lemon cyser that was like a nifty lemonade. It was a very nice change of pace.

Dogfish Head craft Brewery (www.dogfishhead.com) had Midas Touch Golden Elixer, a Braggot (honey/malt) with saffron and white muscat grape designed after a recipe found in king Midas' tomb.

Edit: Fixed broken link for Makan Meadery
 

RichBrewer

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I made a batch of Mead 10 years ago. It never did mellow. It was very dry and not sweet at all. It definitely had a bite to it. I didn't like it nor did anyone else who tried it. I finally threw it out last year.
 

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