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Mead recipes/equiptment

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Kotzbrocken

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Same equipment you use to make beer. At least, that's what I used.

The "recipe" I used:
15 lbs clover honey.
Water to make mixture 5 gallons
1 or 2 tablespoons yeast nutrient (can't remember, it's been awhile)
Some sort of champaigne yeast (I found out later that there is mead yeast available)

I boiled the honey and 2 gallons of the water for a half hour or so. Let it cool, added the rest of the water, the nutrient and pitched the yeast. I let it ferment for a month and a half at around 70 degrees (F)

You can't really call it a recipe. I only made it as an experiment, and it turned out extremely sweet but with a definite kick.
 

mmehawich

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Mead is much more simple to make than beer. The downside is that 1) honey is expensive! (not uncommon to spend $50 on honey for a batch of mead, unless you buy huge quantities or know a beekeeper...) and 2) brewing mead requires a great deal of patience as it takes months rather than weeks to ferment and age. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

1) Always buy unfiltered, unpasturized honey. Honey has many volatile aromas that are lost if it is heat pasturized.

2) Never boil the must. Rather, hold the temp. below the boiling point when skimming the waxy stuff that floats to the top. I usually only hold the must at this temperature for 20 min.

3) Don't feel like you have to use campden tablets to sterilize the must. Just keep all your gear sanitary, aerate the must properly, and pitch yeast that you've given a good head start to.

4) Honey can be deficient in certain nutrients that yeast need. If you don't have fruit in your mead, make sure to add some yeast nutrient.

5) For melomels, try Lalvin 71B- I've had really consistant results with it.

6) Be patient! The longer you wait to drink it the better. Mead can stand up to some serious aging.

Hope this helps!
 

arachnyd

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beekeepers are all over the place - they are easy to find! If you find you enjoy making mead enough, you may even want to keep your own bees. You don't need a lot of room - I recently read an article about a guy who keeps a couple of hives on a balcony in Paris.

Still, most folks will not want to get right into beekeeping just to support their fledgling mead habit. If you want to find local honey, go to Honey Locator (honeylocator.com). They do not list all beekeepers but they will list enough to get you started.

Another thing to do is look for beekeeping clubs in your area - google is a good way to start with this. If you are in Michigan as I am, check the SouthEast Michigan Beekeepers Association (SEMBA) at www.sembabees.org

Good luck! Have fun!!!!!
 

crum

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I still don't even know what mead is or taste like, but the talk about it has me curious. I may have to follow some advise and make some.
 

arachnyd

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If you do not want to spend the money on something you may not like, try making only a gallon. It is so easy to make that you should at least give it a whirl even if only for the experience.

the hardest thing about mead is waiting
 

Brewman

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Hmmmmm, if my neighbor on a balcany had bee hives I would prob hate him...... but none the less I was thinking of trying this one day soon. Sounds like its pretty easy.

Are there any good ingrediant kits to buy? Any recomendations on the type of meed?
 

arachnyd

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there are a few out there, you could try Williams Brewing - they have a kit here

but it is really so simple you can pick up a couple of things at your local homebrew shop, get some honey from your friendly neighborhood apiarist and take it from there.

Either way, remember Charlie's advice and relax
 

KingDeer

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If you're looking for local honey - just hollar, I have access to local beekeepers all over the country and Canada. More than likely, I can hook you up somebody local if you're having trouble finding one.
 

rightwingnut

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How does the addition of fruit work? Do you add it at the start? How much fruit for a 5 gallon batch? I was thinking of a boysenberry mead. Also, is there anything to add to balance the sweetness, as hops do in beer, or would that make it "not mead".
 

arachnyd

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if you boil the fruit, you will develop pectin and it will always be there as a protein haze in the finished product - it will not clear. I generally use campden tablets - crush them up in a little water and put them in the must and let it sit for 24 hours - then pitch your yeast. The campden tabs will kill all the nasty beasties that hang out in the fruit and give you a nice clean home for the yeast when you pitch it.
 

mmehawich

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I recomend freezing/thawing the fruit before adding it to primary (use a nylon fruit bag for easy removal). This helps break down the cell walls of the fruit and let the most amount of juice flow into the wort. I don't use campden tablets, so I just pour boiling water over the fruit- if you're worried about pectin, use pectic enzyme- I have never had a pectin haze in a mead before. As far as amounts of fruit to use, it really depends on what you want to achieve in the finished product. If you want to bring out the honey character and just have a hint of fruit use 1-3lbs, but again this varies. If you want lots of fruit character, use way more than you think you would. My last mead was a raspberry melomel and I used 15lbs of frozen raspberries in there! Some would say that this is way to much, but it really did turn out fantastic. Spices are not an uncommon addition to mead (check out some metheglin recipes). I had a blueberry metheglin that was yummy- had cinnamon stick, whole cloves, slices of ginger, and lemon peel. Here is a link to Got Mead's recipe links: http://www.gotmead.com/mead-recipes/
Good starting point for doing some recipe research.

Good luck!
 

Janx

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rightwingnut said:
How does the addition of fruit work? Do you add it at the start? How much fruit for a 5 gallon batch? I was thinking of a boysenberry mead. Also, is there anything to add to balance the sweetness, as hops do in beer, or would that make it "not mead".
When it's done fermenting, mead is dry as a bone. No sweetness to worry about.

Boysenberry should be good (freeze em first). Tangy fruits have always given me the best results. Best were kiwi and pineapple meads. I still have two 10+ year-old bottles of the pineapple mead.
 

Dude

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Janx said:
When it's done fermenting, mead is dry as a bone. No sweetness to worry about.

Boysenberry should be good (freeze em first). Tangy fruits have always given me the best results. Best were kiwi and pineapple meads. I still have two 10+ year-old bottles of the pineapple mead.

Kiwi mead, now that sounds delicious!!!
I might go out and get another carboy and try that!
 
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