Mead

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Mead

Postby Shine0n » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:54 pm

I found a store that is a salvage type place and they have 2.11 kg honey for 5.99 (organic)
Blue agave 3.99 a jar which at Walmart they are 7-9$

I've only had some mead at the Renaissance Festival in Annapolis Maryland, pretty interesting stuff it is!

Anyway, I've found a site for mead and the most of them say to have 3 lbs per gallon with a potential abv of 15%ish.
I don't think I want it that high, more like 10% max I'm thinking but what do I know... I've never made it and the folks who did make it in MD had their lips locked like ft knox. It didn't seem too strong and just judging off my crazy mind it was somewhere around 6-7% I may be wrong but that's what it seemed like in the taste.

Here's what I'm going to try
10.465 lbs honey (10.5lb) 30+$
5 gallon water (free)
1 pack of cider or mead yeast 6.99$
This should have a potential abv of 10.13ish and a sg of 1.075
I'm open for the yeast but the guy at the brew shop said either is good, I know I know the salesman. lol

Fermentation for 2 months and aging for 3 months minimum.

I also have an extra 5 gal Balcones barrel and either mead or apple cider will go in there, suggestions??? Maybe ferment in the barrel?

I'll pick up the honey tomorrow and get this rolling soon as I can get the yeast.

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Re: Mead

Postby NZChris » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:11 pm

I've had good success with Joe Mattioli's Ancient Orange, Clove and Cinnamon Mead. It's a very easy method and I've never had a failure.
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Re: Mead

Postby jb-texshine » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:12 pm

What he said ^^^^
Jimbo has a recipe for raspberry mead that is awesome as mead or distilled.
There are a couple mead yeasts around . Some for dry mead and some for sweet mead. I like Ec1118 then step feed it till it won't start back up. Comes out strong though but you hardly notice the strength for the flavor is awesome.
Check with jimbo and I bet he will let you in on the recipe if you say please and thank you.
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Last edited by jb-texshine on Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:10 am

Thanks NZChris, when researching last night I rand across that thread, sounds pretty interesting.

Jbt, I bet that would be awesome! I love raspberry but them things are crazy expensive around here and the 2 that I have get eaten along with the blackberry very quickly by the cardinals. Them birds stripped my mulberry tree in one weekend, never even turned, they ate them green.

I'll buy some if not too many are needed though, and with the price of the honey I might do the ancient orange as well.

I got to thinking last night and I'm going to save my barrels for rum and bourbon.

My brew shop has only one mead yeast, I'm headed to another shop today and see what they have after work.

Thanks guys,
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:24 am

After more and more research I've found that 3 lb honey to a gallon is going to have better results than my first plan.
The guy at the brew shop who goes to the same Ren fest and knows a guy first hand that said his is made of 3 lbs per gallon as is the general rule of thumb so I guess I'll go that route.

Now I'm lookin into the raspberry also, now my plan has changed once again.
I'll start off with the original recipe and in a week add the other 5 lbs honey and after some more research a couple lbs of raspberries before that comes next week.

The yeast I got is wyeast 4184 sweet mead, I've looked it up and it has very positive reviews on it although I'm sure there is something better or cheaper. As this being my first mead I'd like to spare no expense to make the finest I can make.
I'll look into the mead threads and see what I can come up with.

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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:56 am

2017-08-31 15.50.44.jpg

Well here we go, I'll bring into the house where I have a constant temp of 70f and keep it in a dark closet or just out of direct sunlight idk but I got her started with the 10 lbs and will add another 5 lb honey and 5 lbs raspberries in 2 weeks and see what happens in a few months.

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Re: Mead

Postby jb-texshine » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:07 pm

Looking tasty!
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:23 pm

I hope so, I'm looking forward to a pour around Christmas :thumbup:
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Re: Mead

Postby NZChris » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:45 pm

Christmas? Which Christmas?
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:04 am

I seen jimbos recipe and he said femented 2 weeks add the raspberries and ferment 2 more weeks then wait 2 months soooo, I figured this Christmas.

Come on man, can't a fool just get a taste. lol

That is the plan but I have no intention on drinking it all at that time. I've read to let it age for a year, 6 months, I just want a taste. Just kidding, what ya thinkin, age for a year or so?

I'm in no hurry, just going by what I've read from jimbo.
Sounded good!
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Re: Mead

Postby NZChris » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:32 am

Of course you can have a taste, but don't waste it by letting your friends scoff it before it has a chance to mature.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:42 am

This is for me myself and I, I'm not about to start showing people giving out samples. lol
I know how they are, if it turn's out really well I'll share the recipe with them so we can compare.

OR, I'll tell them to read until their eyes bleed, wipe it off then keep on reading. lol

I think I like the oak aging idea too, I do have an extra (not really extra) Balcones barrel, then I'd put some HBB in it for a long rest.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:05 pm

The airlock is popping and you can smell the fermentation taking place but I thought it would go just a bit faster than this.
The yeast is a liquid that had a smack pack inside, you pop it and let sit for 3 hours which I did and the package expanded decently. When I poured it in it was very yeasty, smelled good, looked good but I'm wondering if I should add some sort of nutes to it to insure the ferment???

I got on a few mead forums and they do all kinds of weird shit to it, some I can see helping but others I don't see the point.

I'm not trying to win a metal with this but I'd like to see it do well.
After this one I may do some of the things they do but they make this stuff for a living and spend an astronomical amount of money on this, I guess I do in Makin likker.. eh!

I'm glad I didn't add all 15 lbs at once just for the shock factors on the yeast, Friday after next I will do 5 more lbs honey and the raspberries. The yeast says it's good to 14% and as of now I have just over 10% in there.

I'd also like to make some sparkling mead so that's more research I'll have to do, I know I'll have to refrigerate it so the yeast stays settled as I don't want no bombs going off.

I'll do this with brown plastic bottles from the brew shop, I have the room in the fridge for a couple gallons that way.
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Re: Mead

Postby Pikey » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:56 pm

Dunno - Honey is something it is hard to dissolve in alcoholic beverages.

- You wanna make mead - go to a winemakers forum. It is specialist.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:16 am

Yea Pikey, I've been on them.
They speak of degassing everyday for a week, adding all kinds of stuff to the ferment. One chick said she mixes and leaves and has won medals to prove you don't need all this other stuff. I'll go that route and just keep an eye on it.
Funny part is is that it reminds me of HD, some of the folks sayings like READ!READ!READ! and posting links to the Newby section, I guess we're all the same doing different things. lol Hell I almost felt home being there, you cant ask questions or comment because you need to pay 30$ for it although you could read alot of it for free and it pretty much answered any question I had just from reading the posts on what people done and the answers Givin back to them. So I guess it pays to read!!!



It's called Got Mead, seems like a fine site with plenty of good knowledge there for those who are interested.

Anyway I'm just rambling now but my point is I don't need to add a bunch of stuff to this for it to work out. Obviously there's more than 10 ways to skin a cat.

I'll go with the plan of step feeding honey and berries this Friday and strain in a month and rack to another fermenter.
I'll keep it posted ,
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:23 pm

blurp, blurp, blurp!
I can hear this thing from the other room! This is the first thing ever with an airlock and I'm about to stick it in a closet. lol
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Re: Mead

Postby Jimy Dee » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:26 am

ShineOn,
as a beekeeper myself i never made mead with my honey, to me I always preferred just eating then honey.
However I searched our national beekeepers association for their recipe to add to your thread and the following appears:

Now you have to select a nice light to medium Honey (clover, or blackberry). Remember a top quality honey will give a top quality mead, never use a strong scented honey like heather or hawthorn these will take 3 to 4 years to mature, the lighter honey will mature between 1 to 2 years.

Mead can be either sweet or dry, 4.5 pounds for a sweet and 3 pounds for a dry. I suggest for a person starting off to use 4 pound of honey and you will get a medium mead and when you get a little experience and know how to use a hydrometer to measure the sugar content of the honey.

Make sure all equipment is well washed and sterilised. Next chose a recipe and study it well, make sure you have all the ingredients and now you are ready to proceed.

Put the 4 pounds of honey into a large saucepan, add 6 pints of water and mix well. Then bring it to the boil this will kill the wild yeast in honey. Just as it starts to simmer turn off the heat, skim off any froth that will come to the surface, cover with a clean cloth and allow to cool.

When the temperature has fallen to 21 Degrees Celsius empty the contents into a 2 gallon bucket, add the yeast nutrient, a half cup of strong tea (tanning) and the juice of a lemon.

It is kept in the 2 gallon bucket for one week stirring daily, after a week the contents are transferred to the demijohn, fill the demijohn to the neck only. Fit airlock and the put the remainder of the contents into a pint bottle and cotton wool is added to prevent the vinegar fly from attacking the wine.

After 4 to 6 week's when the fermentation is complete as indicated by the cessation of bubbles escaping through the air-lock.

The mead should be racked off using a racking tube and siphoned off into a clean demijohn leaving the heavy sediment behind, top up with content's of the smaller bottle and add 1 Camden tablet.

A solid cork is then applied and jar is put in a cool dark place and is racked again when a large deposit is at the bottom of glass jar.

After 12 Months the mead can be bottled and stored for a further 12 months by this time it will be drinkable and will continue maturing for a further twelve months.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:36 pm

Well damn Jim, thanks for that :thumbup:
Sounds like a great recipe and I'll give it a go before too long.
There'salot more to it that I anticipated, I would never have thought about degassing something multiple times at the beginning of the ferment, I've only done it at the end of one.
The sg on these are high as all get out that's why I decided to step feed it, I'll do that this Thursday after work along with the raspberries.
I'm looking on CL now for 5 or 6.5 gal carboys so i can get multiple ferments going, staggering them monthly to not completely overwhelm myself or go broke doing them. lol
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:31 am

It's been a week and I'm going after my dentist appointment to feed the mead!!!

With most of the reading I've been doing on honey I see it needs additional nutrients so I'll boil some yeast to add with the feeding today.

Smells really good and I can't wait for a taste but I will :wink: Christmas better hurry!!!

I'm also wanting to start the ancient orange, clove, cinnamon one next and I'll do multiple 1 gallon ferments with that one.

I think I've found another addiction to deal with, I hope they have a 12 step program for someone like me. lol
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:40 pm

2017-09-07 17.33.15.jpg

The feeding is done along with the addition of 5lbs clover honey and 3lbs raspberries, (all Walmart had) frozen!!!

I boiled 1/4 cup bread yeast for 20 minutes for the nutes in a pint or so of water, let cool and stirred in.

airlock was about 1 minute in between blurp within an hour, it should pick up to a full cap by the am.

3 weeks I'll rack to another fermenter for the long haul and see around Christmas (just a sample) then next July we'll see the results and possibly longer.

next week is the ancient mead!)
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Re: Mead

Postby jb-texshine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:20 pm

Wow, I disappear for a couple days and you are all in on this! Pretty fun huh.
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Re: Mead

Postby bilgriss » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:56 pm

Just ran across this thread. I've made a number of meads over the years, and they generally turn out well, but there's a really wide range of finished product. I tend to favor between a dry and medium finish; I'm just not a fan of overly sweet drinks. Having said that, I've had good luck with the infamous Joe's Ancient Orange as well. Just not my style.

As Jimmy Dee said, good honey will yield a good mead. Once the honey ferments and some of the sweetness subsides, the more subtle flavors of the style emerge. I absolutely love an orange blossom mead. One of the best I ever had was bottled just before completion, and it ended up sparkling (lightly). You could smell the orange from your glass as the bubbles popped, it was great.

You should have good luck with the rasberries, although they'll reduce the sweetness a litlle. Gonna be great.

As for nutrients.... not so important for a sweet finish, but critical if you want to fully ferment and end up drier. There's just not enough in the honey to ferment out a strong and dry mead.
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:55 am

Thanks bilgriss, I'm definitely looking further down this rabbit hole and it loos to be a bit pricey too but I don't mind spending for quality.

I can't say I have a particular taste for mead and I've had it at the Ren fest and it was pretty good, I think with some research I can and will make a fine mead.
I want a traditional mead, I like the thought of orange blossom! that just sounds absolutely delicious :thumbup:

Man my wife already thinks my hobbies are too expensive and as long as I don't go and blow my wad on a bunch of stuff she'll be ok.

A bit at the time will go along way... Maybe 3 gal instead of 6 gallons!?!?!!!
Or even 1 gallon batches
Or 2
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Re: Mead

Postby bilgriss » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:11 pm

The latest Brew Your Own magazine has a recipe for Orange Blossom mead including directions for nutrient additions, claiming to ferment out completely in "a couple of weeks".
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:08 pm

I'll need to find that magazine then, things didn't work out this week for me to start another ferment but next week is looking good.
Maybe I can bring the ingredients with me on the road and start it Sunday in Charlottesville, that way I can keep up with it for that first week for the nutes and degassing.
I have the child seat in the back and could strap it in for safe keepings and on the way to work it degases itself. lol
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:46 am

still bubbling away at 5-6 seconds apart now at 2 weeks and smells amazing!
I need a sample to check gravity and see where I stand, I plan on racking in 2 weeks from today and strain the fruit possibly with the white felt method as it traps alot of sediment.

I've done ALOT or reading on the meads I'd like to try and man its going to cost some serious money in my new found hobby.
There's lots of honey to choose from with different flavors.
The one that stands out above most I've read is the orange blossom, thanks bilgriss for the suggestion as it seems to be very popular with the mead crowd, at 7$ lb isn't too awfully bad.
The honey at the brew shop is 150 for a gallon... yeah right! I've found 5 gallon pail of orange blossom for 140 plus 60 for Shipping so I thought maybe get 3 pails, the shipping is the same so what the hell.
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Re: Mead

Postby chickenfeed » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:46 pm

How much water are you using per pound of honey
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Re: Mead

Postby Shine0n » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:25 pm

Sorry the later response, I used 3 lbs honey per gallon of water and also 3 lbs raspberries, she's still bubbling away and I'm about to rack for the first time next Saturday.

The airlock smells wonderful and I hope this turns out as good as it smells.

I'm about to start another mead with orange blossom honey with some nutes and keep it a dry mead, I'll also go 3lbs per gal.
I want to use a yeast that imparts fruity esters to go with this one, more than likely I'll do another 5 gal batch as I see it being worth it in the long run as much as I like to sample things. lol

look on got mead Web site and you'll see lots of answers, there are lots of sites about mead and I think it's worth the investment as long as you don't cut too many corners.

There are dozens of recipes to learn on and perfect techniques and that's when the fun starts and you experiment to find your own.

Just start simple and work your way up like I'm doing, if it doesn't turn out that great you can always run it in the still :thumbup:
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Re: Mead

Postby bilgriss » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:21 am

It's gonna be good.
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Re: Mead

Postby kiwi Bruce » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:31 am

Just a quick word on this...get it off the lees often...it's more susceptible to autolyse than even wine is...and you can't hide the taste in a dry mead.
The best part of drinking mead is...after two mugs full, you'll feel like a viking...after four you'll be a viking...after that, no worries...you'll just pass out.

P.S. ShineOn...if you make a trip back to MD and your close to the Lancaster county border of PA, or you can order it on line, there is a bulk honey suppler in Lancaster called Dutch Gold...a five Gal bucket (60lb) of regular is $91.00...$1.51 lb....https://www.dutchgoldhoney.com/
I'll just sit quietly in the corner over here, with a tall glass of something special.
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