Leap Year Mead?

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Jan 3, 2008
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Hi all,

I've only been brewing cider until now, but am keen to try my hand at mead.

Purely as a novelty thing, I was hoping to start one off on Feb 29th. But I'm not sure, I know mead takes a good year to properly develop - but how long will it actually keep? Does mead turn bad after a certain time? Or will I get the chance to enjoy the novelty in four years time? :confused:

Because I've never actually completed a mead, (several in primary's now, just nothing drinkable yet) I have no real expertise, but I do know that Honey NEVER spoils, and properly bottled wine will almost never go bad, so it stands to reason that your Honey Wine will provide many leap years worth of good times.
Thanks for the idea, I too will work on a Leap Year Mead. Something simple. Honey, water....yeast?
I also like this idea. I started my first mead last weekend, but now I think I may try to get another one started on the 29th. I've heard that meads with a higher ABV (like in the 20% range) can require a lot of aging to mellow them out (i.e. several years). Since I'm a complete noob, hopefully an experienced brewer can support/refute this off the cuff claim. Thats my two cents.
Lots of folks make mead when their kids are born and keep it to share with the kid on their 21st birthday. Your leap year mead will be just fine for 4 short years.
I'm all in for this Leap Year Mead. My problem is that I live 100 miles from the brew shop, and I don't know if a store brand honey is sufficient. I have several meads now in fermentors using Store brand raw clover honey, but none of them will be done any time soon. I also have an alternative, still clover, but we do have honey from a local guy available in the grocery store, it's just SUPER expensive... like $10 per pound! I want a big mead, with very few ingredients. Will be a 3 gallon batch, and I will bottle it is 350 ML glass...Maybe I can find something creative for that too. Gavzilla: What are your plans? Someting Simple, SOmeting Fun, Something that resembles cyder?
Someone needs to get a recipe for everyone to do and start a new thread because Im in too. Lets do the same type of thing people did with the 888 RIS.
Well, how do you want to do it?

One option is to have a series of polls; start with one for style, then a couple for ingredients once a style is decided on.

Another is to just do the style poll then have people submit recipes in that style for consideration.

Or you can skip the polls entirely and just have people offer up recipes and hope a consensus is reached.
I'm planning to do a couple of batches I think. (Especially now that I've learned how well honey keeps!) I've got a couple of 10L barrels, so I might try something simple and something a bit more fun too.

I've got a good quantity of Orange Blossom honey from a local farm that I'm told should be a good mead honey?

I don't know of any particular recipes, but I'd love to try for something dry. I'm all up for suggestions. A poll sounds fun.
I'd be in to. I'd have to go pick up another carboy, since my other 6 are full.... but thats ok. I know we'll have another 5 gallons of honey middle of the month... so I could make a massive 18% one or so and make it semi-dry, then age for four years... or more.
I have some bottles that will turn 10 years old in November. They taste AWESOME.
I've been looking for a reason to blow a few bucks on mead ingredients so I'm in if we can agree on a recipe. I don't know much about mead, but since we're going to be aging it for 4 years, it seems like we might as well go for something dry. Those are the kinds of meads that really need aging, right? But, being a complete mead newb, I'm wide open to other ideas.

EDIT: One problem I might have, is that I'm moving out of this apartment in a few months, so a mead recipe that will let me bottle quickly and do most of the aging there would be ideal. I don't really want to move carboys full of liquid between places. I'm just one person, though, so if you guys want to do something else don't let me stop you.
I would officially like to cast my vote for something that I can make with the 12 pounds of Raspberry Honey that I found at the LBS (Local being a relative term) today. I would count on someone with more expertise than I have to formulate a good recipe, but Like BEALA Said, I'm just one guy here, so this is only a suggestion, and of course it fits my needs. I also have yeast nutrient, Acid Blend, and Pasteur Champagne yeast. 3 or 5 gallon batch is Fine. If I am to have a chance to make this happen, We need to get a recipe together ASAP, as I will need to order any additional supplies online.
I get the feeling that we are about to part of something pretty darn special... even if I can't come together on a recipe with the rest of you, I'll still brew up a batch with what I've got.
GAV, Time to start a new thread...with a recipe.
I think that maybe we should keep this recipe a bit loose as it seems that we are all spread out enough that our local honey may have some variation, as well as availability of other products.
Everyone seems to want a dry, simple mead. What does everyone think about:

2.5#'s of the best local honey you can get per gallon of water.
Champagne yeast, or dry Mead yeast
(Yeast Nutrient?)
When we go into secondary, I might like to throw a vanilla bean in there.

Simple, and should get everyone on track for a nice drink.
do we want to use the same yeast or everyone use something different?
Im a total noob to mead. I going to have to do alot of reading first.
I'm in...

I will try to get 12 lbs of local honey from my co-worker (has bees) and supplement that with BJ's clover honey if I need more.

I would like to try something other than Honey, water + yeast...vanilla sounds nice.

I would be game for all trying to get the same yeast...I have a Pasteur Champagne yeast that I had planned to use, mostly because it's under a dollar, supposedly will ferment must to "DRY" and I have it on hand. I would be able to order something different if someone has any recommendations that we all agree on. Now my mouth is watering for something vanilla.
Is it normal that I'm so excited about this that I'm checking this thread every 20 minutes? Again with the OCD...and enthusiasm of a 12 year old. I just get excited about things.
Well, I think we should agree on a recommended yeast, but of course we won't force anyone to use that specific one.

The vanilla sounds good, but just to get some more ideas out there, we could try a citrus-y one. My experience concerning mead entails reading a lot of recipes, so hopefully someone more experienced can critique this:

1lb clover
1.5lb orange blossom
0.1 oz orange zest
Top up to 1 gallon
Champagne yeast
Pasteur champagne yeast sounds good to me. I guess we'll all be using different local honey anyway, so that should get some really interesting different results.

I think BigKahuna's recipe sounds great, leaves it nice and simple, and also open for extra ingredients at secondary if anyone chooses.

This should be a great way to start off my first mead brewing!
but I just got 20lbs of goldenrod honey, will that work? I am still new at this..
I'm in on this one too.
If we are going to do a citrus, why not Malkore's Not So Ancient Orange? It has cinnamon and cloves in it too just to keep it interesting. We could change the yeast from sweat mead to the champagne yeast easy enough.

I'm also good with the Vanilla. Quick, someone call the ball and decide!
My preference is vanilla; but if I get outvoted I could be down with a citrus.