To mead or not to mead

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Edbert

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I am pre-newb when it comes to making mead, been doing homebrew for 8+ years though.

I need to buy another recipie and was thinking i should try something different than just one I've never made before, like maybe try making mead. My taste in beer is high ABV belgian ales with (relatively) low hoppieness.

I buy all my stuff at a local store (Austin homebrew supply) and they have a good selection of recipies which is good for me since even with beer I'm not one to experiment much other than pump up the alcohol content a bit. I know almost nothing about mead though and I need tobe talked into or out of making some. My equipment is for a 5 gallon batch of beer so l just assumed i'd make that amount of mead but don't want something I do not want to drink either. I hate dry wine, so I'm thinking of steering clear of the dry meads, I guess the term is roughly analogous. I sort of like sweet wines, including sake, which leads me back to mead.

So should I try one? Since I am asking that in a mead forum I'll guess the answer is yes. So pick one listed as sweet? What about a fruity one, peach or apple sound interesting? What about floral, I see a habiscus one? Go with straight honey on the first batch? Plan for final ABV of 15% or so?

Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated!
 

hunter_le five

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Check out the recipe for Joe's Ancient Orange Mead.

It's a simple, easy to make, relatively quick turnaround recipe for 1 gallon. It seems like a pretty good introductory recipe for mead as it's a low commitment in terms of cost, time, and fermenter space.
 

TheZymurgist

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DO IT!!!!!!!!!!! I've tried some amazing meads, and just did the 1 gallon Dry Mead from AHS. It's clearing and aging right now, but I can't wait until it's done!!

Dry mead is nothing like dry wine. There is still a lot of residual sweetness, and you don't get any harshness from tannins like you do with wine. Also, go to www.gotmead.com and do some reading. That has helped me out a ton. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!!
 
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Edbert

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Joe's sound like a great way to start...cheap and low quantity in case it goes wrong or I don't like it. But i don't want to wait months either.

AHS sells a 1-gallon equipment kit so that my beer gear isn't tied up so long.

Hmmm decisions decisions!

Maybe i can start a 1-gallon mead batch and a 5-gallon ale together.
 

TheZymurgist

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Joe's sound like a great way to start...cheap and low quantity in case it goes wrong or I don't like it. But i don't want to wait months either.

AHS sells a 1-gallon equipment kit so that my beer gear isn't tied up so long.

Hmmm decisions decisions!

Maybe i can start a 1-gallon mead batch and a 5-gallon ale together.
All you need to do a one gallon batch is a 1 gallon jug. You probably already have a bung that will fit into the top, and you probably already have air locks since you've been brewing for so long.

A mini racking cane is nice, but not necessary. Of course, for $30, you really can't go wrong with that AHS kit!!
 

Halbrust

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I hate JAOM!!!!!
I think it tastes like plastic.
It gets 'fed' to the newcomers because it's so easy. But I believe it's easier to make a nice melomel (fruit mead), and I definately think it tastes better.

Mead is easier than beer... Mead with beer yeast is nice... I won a competition with a banana mead using a saisson yeast.

If you want 15%ABV you will have to let it age. But you can make a nice 8% mead that will be drinkable in a few months. It will get better with age, but will be real nice at 4-6 months.

(Not taking into account infections) - I've had bad beer, but the only bad meads I've had ended up quite nice with more time.
 

loveofrose

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JAOM is one way to start, but based on your tastes for Belgian beer, probably not going to impress you very much. I would suggest you try Bray's One Month Mead (the BOMM). I've posted the full recipe here on the forums for 1 or 5 gallon batches.

JAOM also takes longer to be delicious. It runs around 12% ABV and is delicious in a month as opposed to a year. If you can filter, BOMM is ready at 20 days!
 

WVMJ

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I would suggest that you dont make any mead. You sound like you are going to halfass it and make a bag batch and then run around telling people mead doesnt taste good. But, if you got a little more serious about it, you already have all the skills, its easier than making beer in some regards, like its not going to spoil so easy, a little patience pays off, get used to committing a carboy for longer terms than you do for beer, this gives you an excuse to buy more carboys. WVMJ
 

Lungus

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this gives you an excuse to buy more carboys. WVMJ
Hahahahaha, Funny you say that, I have now built up a little forest of one gallon jugs in different stages of fermentation and aging.
 

WVMJ

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I meant real carboys, 3 gallon ones, or 5 or 6 or even 7 gallon ones. I tried to get a 15 but wifey said it had to go where my lazyboy sets, then I could have really sat on the floor to watch it but hard to watch the telly from down there. WVMJ
 

Lungus

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With my space limitations I also have to think about where do I put the bottles later. Currently I have 2x23L and a 26.5L carboys and about half a dozen 1gal. jugs and 2 2.86L jugs with a few empties for more. I have a 700Sq.ft. flat. I started in June! It'll look like "Hoarders" in here once I get the current stuff in bottles and new batches started.
 
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Edbert

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Just wanted to update...the "BOMM" is excellent!

I'd been tasting the drips off the bottom of a hydrometer before it was finished and backsweetened and frankly was not very happy with the flavor. I cannot say if it came out right or not since I've never even tasted mead before I made some. Right out of the bottle it is a little tart (dry?) for my tatstes but by adding some honey it is DELICOUS.

I highly recommend this recipie for ease-of-use and speed-to-drink purposes alone. If a raw noob like me can do it anyone can. Just don't shake the fermenter! lol
 

loveofrose

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I am glad to hear you enjoy it. Dry mead takes some getting used to. I personally enjoy it dry, but most people have some difficulty getting past a honey beverage that isn't sweet. Drink it the way you like it!
 
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