Mead recipe request for first mead

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byronyasgur

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I've made one of those 3 week 2 litre orange spiced meads but I have access to a lot of honey and I want to make a regular mead. I know they typically take a year to finish so I'm looking for a safe recipe that will give me a good mead, not something experimental or difficult or anything like that. I have 1118 yeast I'd prefer to use that if possible so I don't have to wait on the mail order but I do have some us05 but I've heard mixed reviews on using that for mead. Does anybody have any solid tried and trusted recipes? BTW nothing that calls for specialised honey please unless it can be substituted - I already have it and it's Irish honey which is typically a blend ( mainly wildflowers and clover I think ) as we don't have huge fields of single crops here like in other countries.

Everything I find on the net for standard mead is fairly generic or doesn't give much information ( like lots of them just say use yeast not saying which type - or how dry it ferments - or how long it should take to age ) I'm concerned that if I had enough honey in the must and added 1118 I could end up with an 18% mead that might take 2 or 3 years to age - I want to avoid this ideally - but at the same time I'd like a reasonably strong dry mead ( but one that's good in a year or less )

Thought about the BOMM but I don't have the yeast right now - will def do it next though
 

_BullDog_

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BOMM will take a month... it would be worth waiting to get the yeast and nutrients. Especially if you are making a lot.
 
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byronyasgur

byronyasgur

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I wanted to get the regular mead off today or tomorrow - I can do a bomm anytime - like the next week or two - any reason I should not do a regular mead in the meantime too?
 

voltron

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I've made one of those 3 week 2 litre orange spiced meads but I have access to a lot of honey and I want to make a regular mead. I know they typically take a year to finish so I'm looking for a safe recipe that will give me a good mead, not something experimental or difficult or anything like that. I have 1118 yeast I'd prefer to use that if possible so I don't have to wait on the mail order but I do have some us05 but I've heard mixed reviews on using that for mead. Does anybody have any solid tried and trusted recipes? BTW nothing that calls for specialised honey please unless it can be substituted - I already have it and it's Irish honey which is typically a blend ( mainly wildflowers and clover I think ) as we don't have huge fields of single crops here like in other countries.

Everything I find on the net for standard mead is fairly generic or doesn't give much information ( like lots of them just say use yeast not saying which type - or how dry it ferments - or how long it should take to age ) I'm concerned that if I had enough honey in the must and added 1118 I could end up with an 18% mead that might take 2 or 3 years to age - I want to avoid this ideally - but at the same time I'd like a reasonably strong dry mead ( but one that's good in a year or less )

Thought about the BOMM but I don't have the yeast right now - will def do it next though

To brew a basic mead it can be done several ways, and its a matter of which technique you like best. I personally brew a lot of base meads and i make them dry bc i split my five gallons batches later into one gallon batches and add different flavor to each one gallin batch.

i too prefer very dry meads but the people im my household prefer sweet, so one gallon i will save one gallon for myself and bottle as a dry mead.

But in general I make use about 2 1/2 lbs of honey per gallon, yeast nutrient, lavlin ec1118 and 8oz of orange juice (imuse this in place of acid blend) and let it age in primary for many months. many times i wont do the first rack until the third or fourth month. Purist may not like this, but i have never had an issue and peop,e who tasted the mead love it the final result. Then i let it age. after my first rack. .i usually bottle at the year mark. .the mead bc of the lavlin yeast will come out dry which is ok, bc you can alway flavor it and sweeten it. But there are other ways to make mead and you pick the one that makes sense to you and you like.
 

bernardsmith

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In my opinion, if you make a lower ABV mead (and there is no law of nature that all meads need to have a high ABV - I make tej and sour meads and gruit meads all as session drinks ) using a yeast like 71B , 47D or even Nottingham or another ale yeast (SO-4 or SO-5) you can be drinking this in about 6- 8 weeks (if not earlier). The secret is to use enough yeast, and enough nutrient.
Sorry, but I disagree with Voltron aout the value of using a champagne yeast (EC-1118). That yeast acts like a sledge-hammer and removes all flavors. IMO, it's value is in adding the yeast to help ensure that any added priming sugar will be fermented if , for example, the ABV of the wine is very high or the wine or mead has been aged so long that you are concerned about the viability of the yeast still in solution.
 

Lefou

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I would keep the gravity of the must between 1.060-1.080 to yield a lower ABV and use a much less attenuative yeast. Yeast will typically eat most of the available sugars in must, more so than they would do in a beer wort with dextrins.
You'll want something that might age well in less time comparable to a table wine, not Ron Rico 151. Given the right conditions and nutrient additions an ale yeast normally used in a 5% beer can go beyond its stated alcohol tolerance. I've done this with S0-5 in a JOAM that was a hot mess at 14% ABV.
To me, this really isn't drinkable but would be a more along the lines of a cooking wine. I'm past the half-century mark and my head won't cope with the alcohol content, mostly by choice.

Furthermore, there are professional mazers doing commercially available "session meads" here in the U.S. One of them is brash and quirky Ricky Klein of Groennfell Meadery located in Vermont. He does a very quick turn-around with his variety of carbonated specialty meads. You should see his website, it's a bit non-traditional but very unique and informative with regards to "session" meads.

Here in NJ there is ONE commercial meadery doing business in special artisanal meads. Like beer, there is so much to choose from and the only barrier is demand.
 
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byronyasgur

byronyasgur

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great thoughts there - I'm starting to see patterns here - I'll probably figure something out.
 
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I've read and heard a lot recently that you can make a fine mead in just a few weeks with today's techniques. Experimental Brewing interviewed a commercial maker that makes finished batches in 2 weeks! If anyone has a good reference that details the faster procedure, please post...
 
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