Simple mead recipes for a first-timer.

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tuffstuff152

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I've been home brewing for awhile now, and finally decided to take the plunge into mead making. Im just about done with Schrams Complete meadmaker, and cant wait to whip up my first batch.

Im planning on making two batches, one Ive already determined will be malkores not so ancient mead. It seems relatively easy and fail proof.

For my other batch I would like to make a sweet melomel. I know I'm probably asking for a bit much here, but i'd like it to be fruity and sweet in flavor, economic/cheap(ive heard of using store bought fruit juice), I'd like it to be a speedy ager(this isnt of too much importance, but something I could drink in about 4 months or sooner), and I'd also like it to pack a little kick maybe 15% ABV or more.

If any of you have a recipe that would fit the bill of the above description PLEASE let me know. Im looking to make a 3-gallon batch.

Even if you have a recipe that comes close, or if you think you have a recipe that I might really like please let me know.

I've browsed the recipes here, and there are A LOT of appealling ones I'd love to try. But I would like to know which recipes are recomended by people who have made them and enjoy them, and can describe the flavor.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks.
 

CBBaron

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Joe's Quick Grape Mead meets all the requirements you stated. It was developed by the same Joe as Joe's Ancient Orange Mead and is a proven recipe. It is supposed to be quick but I have found I much prefer it after 6+ months.

Craig
 
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tuffstuff152

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Thank you very much, I'll be making a batch of this stuff this weekend
 

malkore

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I would NOT use bread yeast though, like Joe's recipes often state. it works, but its only good to use in a pinch.

if you want a sweet mead, use Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast. it'll attenuate the same as bread yeast, with fewer off flavors, and better flocculation.
 

CBBaron

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I would NOT use bread yeast though, like Joe's recipes often state. it works, but its only good to use in a pinch.

if you want a sweet mead, use Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast. it'll attenuate the same as bread yeast, with fewer off flavors, and better flocculation.
Joe's Ancient Orange Mead uses bread yeast but his Grape Mead uses wine yeast. So no problem.

I prefer Lavlin D-47, 71B or similar wine yeast. If you want it dry use less than 2.5# of honey per gallon. Sweet use 3+# honey per gallon. Though I have not tried the sweet mead yeast yet. However only use EC1118 for a dry yeast as its tolerance is 18+% ABV.

Craig
 
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tuffstuff152

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I want to make it sweet so im planning on making it with 3lbs. per gallons. However, I only have lavlin EC1118 on hand. Does mead stop being sweet and begin to be dry at a certain ABV, or can you have a relatively sweet mead at 15-18%???????
 

CBBaron

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I want to make it sweet so im planning on making it with 3lbs. per gallons. However, I only have lavlin EC1118 on hand. Does mead stop being sweet and begin to be dry at a certain ABV, or can you have a relatively sweet mead at 15-18%???????
EC1118 will ferment to 18+%ABV. This means you have to use a ton of honey to exceed the alcohol tolerance of that yeast to get a sweet mead. If you do allow the yeast to go to tolerance you will get a very hot mead that will take years to mellow.
A much better idea would be to get a different yeast like D-47 or 71B. These yeasts will peter out at about 14% and leave a sweet mead if you use more than 3# of honey per gallon.
Another alternative is to use about 2.5# per gallon with the EC1118 to get a nice dry ~12% mead. Then use potassium sorbate and K-meta to stabilize the mead and back sweeten. The sorbate and K-meta prevent renewed fermentation allowing you to control the sweetness by adding honey.
The two solutions will produce different meads but both can produce good results.

Craig
 
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Not off topic at all.

My mead with Red Star Cote des Blancs pooped out at 1.010 which is almost exactly 12% ABV It was a strong healthy fermentation, no funny flavors, beginning gravity of 1.102.

It's a good choice in my book.
 
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