View Full Version : Plan for my first mead, is this correct?

11-05-2006, 06:15 PM

I am going to make my own mead, but I don't know if I understand everything. Could someone correct my mistakes(I guess there will be a couple of)? Thanks in advance!

Well, I have bought a fermentation-bottle of 10 litres with an airlock. Also, I have bought some yeast for mead, and di-ammoniumphosphate('gistvoedingszout' in Dutch, and with a raw translation in English: yeastfeedingsalt, but I don't know the exact translation). For good honey, I am going to search for a local bee-keeper.

For making 10 litres of mead, I will warm up water, and do 2.5 kilo honey in that, with a total mass of 10 litres. The water will be some 80 degrees Celsius for some 5 minutes, and add some strong thea. Than I will let cool it for a couple of hours. When it is cooled down, I will add the yeast and 'yeastfeedingsalt' and place it in a clean room for the first, open fermentation. After a day or to, I will siphon the yeasting honey without any foam(?) in the fermentation-bottle with an airlock.
Then, after a couple of weeks, when there is yeast at the bottom of the bottle, I will siphon it in another bottle without the yeast. That will I do a couple of times before the mead is clean and there is no fermentation anymore.

I am not sure for a couple of things, like:
There should be a change that the yeast could make some 'foam', I read that I must ferment it first in an open barrel or something like it, because otherwise, the foam will go through the airlock into the chamber, or I must make less mead because there must be enough room in the bottle for that foam.
Is this a right way of brewing, or is it bull-shit?

I will be very pleased if someone gives any tips.

Greetings from Pantalaimon from The Netherlands(Holland)

11-05-2006, 06:39 PM
Hi Pantalaimon!

Welcome to the forums!!
I think "gistvoedingszout" is usually called yeast nutrient in English.
Where in Holland are you located? What kind of honey are you looking for?
What kind of yeast did you get?
With 2.5 kilos of honey in 10 litres you will probably end up with a dry mead with about 10% ABV. Is that what you're looking for?
It's not absolutely necessary to pasteurize you're must. You can also do things without heating.
The amount of foam depends a lot on the kind of yeast you're using.

11-05-2006, 06:44 PM
ok. here are a few terms to make describing mead and mead making easier.
when you mix the honey with the water and whatever other ingredients you are going to use it is called "must".

when you put the yeast into the must its called "pitching" the yeast.

after you pitch the yeast its called mead.

the reason you would leave it opened for the first few days is becasue at first the yeast cells are multiplying and they need oxygen to do that. the only problem is that if you leave it completely open you risk getting airborn wild yeast or bacteria or who knows what else into your mead. if you want to leave it open its good to put a sanitized cloth over the top of the opening with a rubber band, or like most people around here (i think so anyways) put a lid/stopper and an airlock on it right away and just make sure to mix it up real well a few times a day for the first few days to get oxygen into it that way.

it your worried about the foam there is a lazy way to deal with it (my personal choice) and there is a pretty effective way of dealing with it.
1. just let it go into teh airlock, just make sure you clean teh airlock.
2. istead of an airlock at first, put a tube into the opening where the airlock would go and put the other end of the tube into a small pan/dish/cup of some sort filled with sanitizer solution. make sure the tip of the tube stays submerged in the solution, that way no air from outside goes into the tube, but the foam can get out.

after the fermentation has slowed down quiet a bit and you see stuff on the bottom its about time to siphon it into another bottle. when you siphon you should leave behind the stuff on the bottom. the act of siphoning it into another bottle is called "racking" it. the stuff on teh bottom has a name im sure, but i cant remember it, most people refer to it as "sediment". when your making beer its called "trub" so some people call it that too.

after that teh frequencies of racking are up to you.

ok, all that being said. there isnt really a set in stone way to do all of this. thats kind of the point, doing it the way that makes it fun for you to do. as long as you sanitize everything really well the rest of the whole process can be changed and altered to your liking. there are many different ways to do everything. there are alot of very experienced people here on this website that have tried almost every way to do everything. they are all very helpful and they will all tell you the way that they think is best, and usually they are right. but its still up to you.

ok last thing, search for the recipe "Joe's Ancient Orange". thats an awesome recipe to start with. it comes with very detailed directions, and its almost impossible to mess up.

11-05-2006, 06:49 PM
the stuff on teh bottom has a name im sure


11-05-2006, 07:08 PM
ah, thank you very much for your replies and explanations!

@ucflumberjack: It makes a lot more things clearer to me! I was especially not sure about that first, open fermentation.

I live in Houten, that is a big town near Utrecht, and unfortunately there is not much farmerland anymore, so I think there is not much honey to choose of. I have found this website( http://www.hetkorfje.nl/?Prijslijst_Honingproducten ) but I don't know if it's expensive for I don't know the usual price of honey. I have tasted some mead from heathen honey(see http://www.mythstone.com/?p=MTI=&t=NQ==), and that tasted very good! But I don't know if it's easy to make mead from that honey.
It is right that I would like to make dry mead. The yeast I have is from BrauMeister, for mead. Enough for 50 litres.

11-05-2006, 07:17 PM

I live like 20 km east of Utrecht...
In Rhenen (http://www.dewerkbij.nl) there's a beekeeper who sells lots of different kinds of honey at very reasonable prices, especially if you buy in bulk (15 kg buckets). Heather honey is really nice, but also quite expensive...

11-06-2006, 02:17 AM
ive never tried heather honey as its very hard to come by in teh U.S. but ive seen many people inquiring about how to get it becasue they think its amazing and want it for mead... maybe your lucky and you can get it cheaper...

wow... lees.... right. :-[