View Full Version : Got 5 gallons of Meadowfoam......So which Mead style to try?

Storm Shadow
05-24-2006, 08:15 PM
Hey everyone,

As you may have guessed I'm new here. Been brewing beer for a while and I thought I might try making some Mead. I have a full 5 gallon pale of Meadowfoam Honey I just got from my bee-keeping friend. Its the best honey I have ever tasted and he says its his absolute favorite. Its very light with floral and vanilla aromas to it. It tastes incredible.

So I was thinking I would make a 5 gallon batch with some (12, 15, 20 lbs?) of this Meadowfoam. And I want to only use Honey and Yeast. I want the honey to speak for itself with nothing else to cover it up. Would a Traditional Dry Mead be the best for bringing out the flavors and aromas?

From reading what people say about Mead I gather that a Dry Mead that has been aged for a long time is kind of the ultimate in a Honey only mead. Any merit to this?

For 5 gallons, how much honey makes a mead Dry, Semi-Dry, Semi-Sweet or Sweet?

I appreciate any help on this. Thanks!

~Storm Shadow

05-24-2006, 09:50 PM
I prefer sweet meads myself... and it seems whenever I give my friends a choice of sweet or dry they'll choose sweet. Just the bias I've run across so far. YMMV.


05-25-2006, 12:49 AM
I'll trade my Meadowfoam mead recipe for the phone number or email addy of the guy with the honey. I've been looking for more of that for years!

Vicky - finally getting to go to bed

05-25-2006, 01:45 AM
Storm Shadow,

First off, welcome to the Forums!

It's purely a matter of taste as to what style (sweet, semi-sweet, or dry) is best. I'm a semi-sweet sort of guy, mostly because an unbalanced sweet mead tends to be cloying, and an unbalanced -- or young -- dry one tends to have odd or overpowering flavors dominating. And achieving balance can be difficult for even experienced mazers. Semi-sweet works best for me for these reasons, and because it suits my palate.

For an early effort, a dry monofloral is a mighty challenge, in my opinion. Extra doses of patience in the aging end of things will be required, for one thing; and a stable, quality environment during that time is important too. I'm not saying don't do it, but with a high quality honey of limited production quantities (bloom time is short for meadowfoam, I believe, and the nectar flow is small), you'll feel extra regret over poor choices or mistakes.

Now, that being said, it's actually kind of hard to ruin a batch of mead, provided that basic sanitation techniques are followed. If you're looking for a dry mead, I'd go with 12 pounds of honey, and Lalvin's K1V-1116, which should put you at 11-12% alcohol -- much more than this, and a dry mead will demand extended aging in order to settle down and expressively display the honey characteristics again: by and large -- and there are exceptions -- a dry recipe will start off with some stronger honey scents that fade as the sugars are consumed, but which return somewhat -- and somewhat changed -- during the aging process. And this process is longer than for meads with residual sugars (again, though, there are lots of exceptions).

When you put together a final recipe, please post about it, and keep us abreast of your progress.

Again, welcome!