View Full Version : What do I have?

john G
03-12-2007, 11:53 PM
Have always been fascinated with the history of Mead and last fall at the Fair Grounds visited the Honey Shed, browsed and PU a few Mead recipes. This Xmas my girls gave me a wine kit and I have not slowed down since including one gal jug of Mead.
Tonight I bottled a Honey, Apple Juice and Blueberry Receipe.

But guess What? I have never ever tasted a Mead before and did not have a clue as to what to expect.

Was this Mead going to be a Wine or a beer or a fruit drink?

What I tasted was a very dry, light body, strong hint of sweetness and Achl. It also had a long after taste and I was unable to indentify any of the ingrediants.
It seemed to be similar to a inexpensive White Zin, with high alch and the body of Old Milwakuee Light (which in my earlier days----need I say).

All of the ingrediants where assembled by boiling, simmering, and Starz Hops, with Champagne yeast added after cooling. Receipe called for bottling after one month,
SG started at 1.070 and ended at 1.000. Fermentation started immediatley and ended week 3 although week 4 with my bifocals detected some slight fermentation. Waited till week 5 then bottled.
The Mead never cleared although lees dropped out. And by "clearing" never achieved that clarity as can be achieved with Wine.

Will this Mead get better with ageing? Is the taste as I have tried to described reasonable? Should I be concerned with continuing fermentation?
What does the lack of clearing mean?

Or is this all Normal?

03-13-2007, 12:31 AM
You have "Frankenstein's Monster Braggot"

By boiling you likely set the pectins in the fruit, so the chances are it will never really clear on its own.
By adding hops you made it a braggot, although one flavored with apple & blueberry.
Boiling your must (must = honey/water mixture, with or without fruit) is almost never advised, and isn't needed.
Aging will help the mead greatly, usually 6 months is a minimum for semi-sweet to sweet meads, longer for Dry Meads

How did you bottle? Corked wine bottles, capped beer bottles, other?


03-13-2007, 01:17 AM
I thought the necessary ingredient (besides honey) in a braggot was malt(ed grains), not hops.

It certainly does sound like an interesting mixture. I've heard some unpleasant reactions between berries and hops (a friend described the taste as glue), so sounds like you avoided that. :)

The thinness is probably just because of the low starting sugar content and therefore the low finishing gravity. Adding more sugar up front will boost the body, especially if it leaves residual sugar behind. I wouldn't worry about much more fermentation since your FG was 1.000 (there's not much room to go lower than that).

Storing the mead in a cold place (like the frige) for a few weeks or months might help precipitate the haze and let it drop to the bottom. Just be sure not to pour the last bit of the bottle out so you leave it behind. Even if it is clear, I like to let my beers, ciders, meads sit in the cold for a few weeks minimum. It always seems to help the flavor, clarity, and carbonation (if it's got bubbles).

Check out the no-age pyment and ancient orange mead recipes. They'll help tide you over in the mead department while you've got something bigger and better a'brewing.

03-13-2007, 01:51 AM
I thought the necessary ingredient (besides honey) in a braggot was malt(ed grains), not hops.

From what I recall, Historically Braggots were brewed with just honey & hops, later the definition was expanded to include honey and malt - with or without hops. I think they are still considered Braggots when brewed with just honey and hops though. Wikipedia seems to agree, for what it's worth, but we could both be wrong.
That being said, I think malt/grain is included in the BJCP ingredients guideline on Braggots for those entering competitions, maybe Oskaar can weigh in on this one.


john G
03-13-2007, 10:53 AM
Wow...My first Mead and I produced a "Frankenstein's Monster Braggot".

Now that has to go on the label.

I am having fun with this new hobby.

Thank you for your response and in answer to a Q, I used corked bottles.
Also the receipe called for an ounce of Hops but I reduced to 1/5 oz. possibly reducing the reaction.

Akueck,Definitly will do this again, will try the receipes you recommended.