Suggestions??? - (for a mead recipe)

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My FIL came into a bunch of honey and was asking me for mead recipes. Neither him or I have made mead before I was looking for suggestions. He says he has enough to make sweet and a dry.
 

homebrewer_99

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Sweet and a dry, huh? That'll be 2 gals of honey, 1 for each.

The difference will be the yeast you use.

Use a Champagne yeast for a dry mead and a liquid Sweet Mead yeast for the other.

Remember honey, unlike DME, has volume. If you heat up 1 gal of water and add 1 gal of honey you'll have 2 gals in the pot.

Boil ever so lightly, but skim the protein/bee parts, etc., off the top. when that's all gone you're ready to move your wort to a primary.
Top off to 5 gals and you'll have a killer mead. :drunk:

Topping off to 6 gals will reduce your potential alcohol content, but you'll have 6 gals when you're done and not 5. :D
 

malkore

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there are a lot of no boil methods to mead making too that will preserve the honey aromas and delicate flavors.

Waht you'll find is this: if there are 10 'right' ways to make beer, there are 20 'right' ways to make mead.

its older, and has a lot more variety to it.
 
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Boil ever so lightly, but skim the protein/bee parts, etc., off the top. when that's all gone you're ready to move your wort to a primary.
Top off to 5 gals and you'll have a killer mead. :drunk:
I would hate to differ with a man that has over 100 bottles of mead in his cellar, as mine is limited to only a few batches and LOTS of carboys bulk aging...But I would not boil honey. Even for cooking the honey people recommend that if the water is too hot for your hand, it's too hot for their honey.

I will experiment with a side by side comparison as soon as possible. 1 boiled lightly, 1 made with hot tap water.
 

Beerthoven

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Follow [thread=50201]Malkore's (Not So) Ancient Orange Mead recipe[/thread], except use Champagne yeast for one batch and sweet mead for the other.

I've made this recipe once, and can personally say it's wonderful.
 

homebrewer_99

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I would hate to differ with a man that has over 100 bottles of mead in his cellar, as mine is limited to only a few batches and LOTS of carboys bulk aging...But I would not boil honey. Even for cooking the honey people recommend that if the water is too hot for your hand, it's too hot for their honey.

I will experiment with a side by side comparison as soon as possible. 1 boiled lightly, 1 made with hot tap water.
Well, that's true, one could always pastuerize the honey, but that usually comes with a price tag called a hangover. :D Drinking a Prickly Pear Cactus Mead as I'm typing...:drunk:

When you no-boil do the proteins come to the top for skimming? Color me curious. :confused:
 

GrantLee63

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You do not have to boil or pasteurize your honey - the only thing that will do is drive off flavors and aromas. The key is to kick-off with a strong fermentation to overpower any nasties that may be present. Also, I would steer clear from any of the liquid yeasts as they have proven to be very inconsistent, and almost guarantee a stuck fermentation.

How much honey do you have?

- GL63
 
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When you no-boil do the proteins come to the top for skimming? Color me curious. :confused:
I think that you may be on-to a question I haven't been able to answer....
If you boil and skim, this could be why your Leap Year Mead is clear, and mine is just starting to clear....4 months later...and a LONG way from done.

Another mead I have is beginning to get some nasty on top...I was wondering what the heck...but it's what comes out for you when you boil.
 

beerthirty

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BigK, I think your on to something. I am a total noob with mead, having only made a single batch. I boiled the honey water mix for 20 min,added irish moss for the last 10 min. skimmed the skum as it formed. put it into the primary with prickly pear I sent through the juiceman, pasteurized and added some pectin enzyme to. used one packet of champagne yeast. it fermented for about 1 month before activity stopped,then I let it sit for another week. I added the rest of the P.P. juice that I had kept frozen to the secondary and racked on top of the juice. it was already very clear coming from the primary. when tasted from the primary it was dry with very fruity aroma and slight fruity taste. Its been in the secondary for about 2 weeks and has cleared some more. I need to rack again(I think due to the second addition of hi pectin juice). I have a question that I 'm sure has been answered already on this forum(advance apologies) What do you top mead with after racking. after all this racking I'm afraid there wont be much mead left.
 

homebrewer_99

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I think that you may be on-to a question I haven't been able to answer....
If you boil and skim, this could be why your Leap Year Mead is clear, and mine is just starting to clear....4 months later...and a LONG way from done.

Another mead I have is beginning to get some nasty on top...I was wondering what the heck...but it's what comes out for you when you boil.
It could be the cause of the problem, I don't know for sure since I've always boiled my honey. Why not give it a try next time?

All my meads are clear before I bottle and I have nothing floating around in there.


Warboss1000: The recipe is in Charlie Papazian's "The Homebrewer's Companion", page 360. ;)
 

summersolstice

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As was said previously, there are many, many ways to make mead. Boiling (lightly or otherwise) seems to have been the preferred method for a long time but in the past several years it's been losing favor in the meadmaking community due to the fact that you lose a lot of flavor and aroma.

The easiest thing for you to do with three gallons of mead would be to make two five gallon batches. You don't need to use sweet mead yeast to make a sweet mead. The best way to get a sweet mead is to ferment to dryness and backsweeten to your preferred level of sweetness. Check out the Lalvin yeast chart to get an idea of a yeast suitable for the flavor profile you want, nutrient needs, and fermentation temperature. I like EC1118, K1V1116, and D-47. The first two are fast fermenting with a wide fermentation temperature while all three have relatively low nutrient requirements.

For a dry mead, why not add a few spices in the secondary? You could try vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves in different combinations to make a delightful spicy mead.

Fruit and fruit juices (juice is probably best for a first mead) make great tasting sweeter meads. Try fruit in a straining bag or plain juice in the primary. To backsweeten, I usually add one pint of honey and a half can of frozen fruit concentrate per 5-gallon batch of melomel but to each his - or her - own.

Just remember that your dry mead will need at least a year before drinking while your sweet mead can likely begun to be enjoyed after 4-6 months.
 

nealf

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When making my LYM I didn't boil at all and it was crystal clear after a couple of months; I think it has to do with the fact that I did a 1 gallon batch and used a whole (maybe half) packet of yeast so I pitched a lot more.

To the OP:

Basic brewing recently did a basic mead making podcast and there is a LOT of information; he advises against boiling for some of the reasons mentioned by other people in this thread; here is the link.

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr05-22-08meadbasics.mp3
 

homebrewer_99

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As was said previously, there are many, many ways to make mead. Boiling (lightly or otherwise) seems to have been the preferred method for a long time but in the past several years it's been losing favor in the meadmaking community due to the fact that you lose a lot of flavor and aroma.

The easiest thing for you to do with three gallons of mead would be to make two five gallon batches. You don't need to use sweet mead yeast to make a sweet mead. The best way to get a sweet mead is to ferment to dryness and backsweeten to your preferred level of sweetness. Check out the Lalvin yeast chart to get an idea of a yeast suitable for the flavor profile you want, nutrient needs, and fermentation temperature. I like EC1118, K1V1116, and D-47. The first two are fast fermenting with a wide fermentation temperature while all three have relatively low nutrient requirements.

For a dry mead, why not add a few spices in the secondary? You could try vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves in different combinations to make a delightful spicy mead.

Fruit and fruit juices (juice is probably best for a first mead) make great tasting sweeter meads. Try fruit in a straining bag or plain juice in the primary. To backsweeten, I usually add one pint of honey and a half can of frozen fruit concentrate per 5-gallon batch of melomel but to each his - or her - own.

Just remember that your dry mead will need at least a year before drinking while your sweet mead can likely begun to be enjoyed after 4-6 months.
Do you also use potassium sorbate to retard further fermentation when backsweetening? if you don't then what do you use to keep it from fermenting in the bottle?:confused:
 

summersolstice

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I do sometimes use potassium sorbate, but always in conjunction with potassium metabisulphite, to stabilize my meads. Either one, alone, doesn't do the job. I've never had problems with renewed fermentation, even when backsweetening, when I allowed ample time in the secondary for the mead to finish fermentation (3-4 months at 66F or above) and I used my hydrometer to ensure that the gravity was .996 or lower. I don't use potassium sorbate when making a dry mead though I always use k-meta for all meads.

The only times I've had problems with renewed fermentation was when I got anxious and bottled a quick mead too quickly, and these were always meads that weren't backsweetened and bottled when they dropped clear. No hydrometer reading was taken and they most certainly contained some residual sweetness, however small. I've had corks pop once but usually it results in a slight fizziness that's an undesireable flaw in both wines and meads.
 

CBBaron

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I've done several meads in the last year using the techniques usually recommended on http://gotmead.com. No heating of any kind. Just mix the honey and water and nutrients and pitch the yeast.
If you use a yeast like Lavlin D-47 or 71B then you can make a dry mead with about 1gal of honey (12#) and a sweet mead with between 18 and 22#. I have found lots of good recipes on gotmead and in the book The Compleat Meadmaker.

Good luck
Craig
 
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