Vanilla Mead - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Active Member
Jan 25, 2007
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The recipe is in the recipe database and what follows are our notes and impressions of this mead. The recipe was a generous gift to us from our friend and tutor here on the brew board Nurse Nan.

The gravities are a bit skewed because I messed up on water additions at the beginning but with the help of Nurse Nan we were able to nurse this baby into something wonderful that will tantilize your nose and drive your taste buds into XTC.

The recipe called for adding water to the 5 gallon mark and I had bought 5 gallons of water so after the short boil of the first gallon we just added the remaining four gallons the same way we did with the traditional mead we made the same day. We ended up adding an additional 3 Lbs. of honey when we racked to the secondary but with Nurse Nans help it turned out great. Here is how it went. We had to sub Raspberry honey for the Fireweed.

15 LBS. of Raspberry Honey
Made a starter with Go Ferm according to recipe 12.5 grams
Followed the SNA (staggered nutrient additions)
Added 4.5 Grams of Fermaid K and 4.5 Grams of DAP at inoculation
At active fermentation add 2.8 Grams each Fermaid K & DAP
At mid-point add 1.8 grams each of Femaid K & DAP
NOTE: Had to get a friend with XCL to calculate mid-point for us, we added it as close as we could get.
4 gallons of spring water plus the original gallon we dissolved the honey in.
Temperature @ pitch 73F
Date: 4-21-07
Gravities were taken each day and nutrient feedings were added along the way, first before pitching, then at first sign of active fementation and finally at the mid-point. This fermented very fast as you will see by the daily reading that follow. All gravities were taken at the same time each day to maintain a 24 hour time line to track the fermentation.

4-23-07 SG:1.073, Temp: 73F, Time:10:00AM
4-24-07 SG:1.052, Temp: 73F added 3rd stage nutrients 1.8G each DAP & Femaid-K. Slight foaming, good CO2 release
4-25-07 SG:1.033, Temp:73F
4-26-07 SG:1.022 Temp: 70F
4-27-07 SG: 1.012, Temp: 70F
Taste a bit watery today, first time for that, cant wait to add honey.
4-28-07 SG:1.002, Temp: 70F
4-29-07 SG:1.001, Temp: 71F
4-30-07 SG: To low to read. Added 3 LBS of honey and racked to Secondary. Now has a nice vanilla flavor with a bit of bite to it, still very round on the tongue, now to wait.............
5-1-07 It has resumed fermentation, a bubble about every 4-5 seconds.
5-5-07 SG:1.013, Temp:72F
5-9-07 SG:1.001, Temp:70F
5-10-07 Decided to add 1 oz each of Hungarian light toast and dark roast cubes to give it just a nudge in the direction our taste buds were wanting.
5-14-07 SG:1.000, Temp: 70F
6-9-07 Racked off Oak cubes to tertiary still cloudy but tasting great.
Its sitting quitely in our brew room resting and clearing now, very still not even a hint of a bubble in the carboy or airlock.
We plan to let it clear and bulk age a bit may bottle in Sept if clear.

Once again we have to thank Nurse Nan for getting us through the mess up and saving this fantastic mead, we never would of made it without her help. She has given us permission to post the recipe on the board for others to try and we think you should its really good and we plan to make it again but hopefully without the Uh-Oh.......................:)

OK the floor is open for discussion and we hope the Nurse is in to help with answers. We did the best we could to document the entire fermentation so everyone could see how it progressed and hopefully learn from our mistakes.


Bloody John Roberts
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Jun 20, 2006
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Behind the Zion Curtain
I'll start the discussion...

I have done one mead so far (see my recipes).

This is pretty detailed in terms of the process you went through, racking, adding nutrient, etc.

The brewing books (granted, are primarily focused on beer) typically have about two sentences or less on mead. What reading do you recommend so I can get educated on the fine workings of doing mead?

Please post an update on how it turns out...


Active Member
Jan 25, 2007
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The best book I've read has been,"The Complete Mead Maker" by Ken Schramm. The book is very detailed and gives you an overview of the mead making process and all the different types you can make. The other book we have is,"The Complete Joy of Home Brewing 3rd edition by Charlie Papazian, it also has a section worth reading about mead making and some recipes. The Schramm book is IMHO the best of the two as it is aimed solely at mead making and has several recipes and ideas to work from. It should be available at your LHBS or you can order it over the net from several different sources.

I do have to tell you at this point that the best advice we got was on the brew boards and that we learned more by participating in group brews where we were led through the process by very experienced mead makers. This mead in particular would of never been possible for us without the gift of the recipe, guidance and help of Nurse Nan. The shared knowledge on the brew board is pure gold and should not be overlooked.

I will give updates but we can already tell, we will be making this one again and again. The nose is superb and the taste is........well lets just say its worth making and we both love it. Good luck on your new adventure in mead making its a great hobby and very rewarding.:mug: At this particular time ours is sitting in the brew room clearing and aging. We plan to bottle in late summer or early fall.


Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2008
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Bridgeton, NJ
I've been pouring through those pages for the past hour or so! I was looking at something along the lines of this one Not a lot of difference but there is some!
I've made a "couple" vanilla meads, and I've found the best version is produced by first making a base traditional mead. Then once in the secondary (racked off any lees), add the vanilla beans (split and then cut into 1-2" segments), and forget about it for 30-60 days.

Then rack once more and allow to fully clear (or fine, if you so desire).


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2008
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I have my first meglathin in the carboy now and it has been racked twice so far. It is a Vanilla Almond mead. I started off with 5 vanilla beans and about 1 pound of sliced almonds. This is also the first experience I have had with Nuts as well. So I didn't know how much to put in. Hope the Nut Flavor comes out. I am fairly certian that the 5 6-7 inch vanilla beans, split, will be plenty of vanilla flavor. Most recipies have 2-3 that I have seen. I have a good feeling about it but sense that it will take a long time to age.