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View Full Version : First Mead recipe critique please :D



Emiroo
04-10-2007, 01:36 PM
I am a beer brewer just getting into meads. From reading the posts on ya'lls wonderful forum, here is the recipe and procedure I would like try for my first 1 gallon batch- any suggestions before make this would be greatly appreciated:

3 lbs mesquite honey
.5 gallons 100% black currant juice, unfiltered, pasturized
1/8 tsp yeast nutrient
5g cotes de blanc

Which should yield OG=1.127, FG=1.030 (yeast has an alcohol tolerance of ~13%)

(everything will of course be thoroughly sanitized, using iodophor)
1) Heat just enough to dissolve honey into enough water to make 1/2 gallon
2) Add .25 gallons black currant juice
3) Pitch rehydrated yeast + yeast nutrient, shake vigorously
4) After airlock bubbling slows below 1 beat/2 minutes, rack to secondary and fill with additional .25 gallons black currant juice
5) Allow to condition in secondary 1 month
6) bottle in 12 oz beer bottles

I would like this to finish semi-dry and sparkling. Since it still has additional sugars left at the alcohol limit for the yeast, I wasn't going to add priming sugar. Any advice on racking additional times, changes in conditioning time, etc would be greatly appreciated. From my experience making beer, not having to boil the must makes me a little nervous- but hey, I wanted to try something different. If this seems like a mistake for my first mead, let me know.

Thank you all in advance for any assistance! It is appreciated!

WRATHWILDE
04-11-2007, 12:42 AM
Welcome to the forums!!
Were you going to add a higher alcohol tolerant yeast to continue fermentation in the bottle to create a sparkling mead? Just because there are still available sugars doesn't mean it will continue to ferment. A better bet would be to ferment it to dry with a higher alcohol yeast and add priming sugar to bottle, I would suggest lalvin 71B yeast, as a better compliment to your recipe, instead of cotes de blanc.
I'd also shoot for a starting gravity of 1.096, if you're going to use priming sugar, so that you don't overshoot the yeasts alcohol tolerance before you prime and bottle.

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

lostnbronx
04-11-2007, 01:26 PM
Emiroo,

This is a nice recipe, that I think will result in a tasty mead. Wrath makes some very good points, though: predicting the final fermentation/carbonation of this melomel in the bottle, using this method, will be difficult. As he stated, there's no guarantee where it will stop, and it's possible that you will have a non-sparkling mead here. What's worse, it's also possible it will continue fermenting beyond your expectations, resulting in bottle bombs. The uncertainty and imprecision here could, potentially, spell trouble.

I, too, think that fermenting to dryness and then priming with a known, predictable amount of sugar (corn sugar, honey, whatever) will yield you better results.

Please post this up in the Brewlog section once you get it going, as it sounds quite nice!

-David

Emiroo
04-11-2007, 04:39 PM
Thank you both for replying and great point about the potential for bottle rockets! I certainly don't want to be scrubbing mead off the ceiling or walls, not to mention the broken glass and heartbreak.

I just ordered the lalvin 71B and will shoot for a lower OG. The mesquite came in a 3 lb bottle, so I'll just have to be a little less lazy and pay attention to how much I am adding.

I have noticed with beer that the sugar used for priming also changes the taste of the end product, with matching malt being my personal preference. I imagine it is the same way with mead. Would it lead to the best flavor profile to use some of the leftover honey as the priming agent? or perhaps juice?

I am planning to start this on the 17th after reading one of the threads about the effects of the moon phase on yeast activity. This forum has such great, diverse information!

I'll post this on the brewlog once it is going- and thanks again for the mead saving suggestions ;)

youngmeadman
04-12-2007, 12:55 AM
I'm farelly new to brewing, so do not take my advice as a *have to do* fact, but i have noticed, that with some of my batches, the sediment fell in large quantities more then once, and i racked 3 times or so before bottling. I am not sure if this is normal or unusual but i have read more then one recipe that calls for racking only once. For my dangerous cyser, i racked it at it's time and suddently about 2 inches of sediment fell. This may have been due to my yeast(or perhaps racking to early, but it is now nice and clear) but what i'm trying to say is rack when it looks like it should be racked, and if need be more then once. If someone with experience sees something wrong or agrees or can otherwise add knowledge to the above statements it would be appreciated, it was something i have noticed in a couple of my batches already and thought i should share it with you . If it was not needed or in otherwise pointless, please disrecard this entire post. ;D


thats my 2 cents worth and maybe a little more....

YoungMeadman

ucflumberjack
04-12-2007, 01:35 AM
i have had similar results with my cranberry mead and both of my cysers. pretty cloudy and then al lfo the sudden they drop crystal clear in a matter of what seems like a few days or less. ive not had the same results with the others though. but im not much more experienced than youngmeadman.

Emiroo
04-12-2007, 12:38 PM
Thank you both for the heads up on potentially needing to rack an additional time- always helps keep me from worrying I've done something wrong if I hear others experience!

Is the additional racking typical of melomels in particular? Did you boil the must when it needed additional racking?

WRATHWILDE
04-12-2007, 02:15 PM
Heads up...
Never ever, under any circumstances, heat or boil a melomel. The heat will set the pectins and you will have a hazy mead that will never clear. Also heating drives off flavors and aromas, from both honey and fruit, best to stay away from recipes that call for heating the must.

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

youngmeadman
04-12-2007, 05:47 PM
I only heat my must, enough to dissolve the honey, then it is added to the carboy and filled with cold water (or juice, depending on the recipe)