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View Full Version : What is your favorite mead to make and what makes it your favorite?



Oskaar
05-17-2007, 06:28 PM
So what is your favorite mead to make and why? What makes it your favorite and what do you do when you make it?

Also, who else besides me plays music for their mead while it is fermenting and aging....and what do you Disc Jockey for your little yeasties while they're chowing down??

Cheers,

Oskaar

Kwatt
05-17-2007, 07:11 PM
As I have only made two meads successfully. Well, one for sure and one I am waiting for it to age. I will have to say JAO is my favorite. When the Cyser is ready in another year or two I may change my mind. But, JAO will most likely be on hand for a long,long,long,long,long time. It is simple to make, ingredients are readily available, and it tastes good ;D.

I have a notebook with several recipes I intend to try. For now though I will be making JAO's.

Hey JoeM Thanks :icon_salut:


Kwatt

wayneb
05-17-2007, 07:33 PM
My all time favorite is a variation on a recipe that I first concocted over 25 years ago, for a "Christmas Spice" metheglyn. Off-dry (FG around 1.008 to 1.010), fermented out of simple clover honey using -- and I know this flies in the face of modern meadmaker lore (i.e. post-1980 when I first developed the recipe), ever since someone started badmouthing the "phenolic" character of it -- Red Star Montrachet yeast :toothy10: -- with a little fresh squeezed Valencia OJ and the zest of some Valencia orange added in primary, spiced up with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice, along with some "Morning Thunder" (thanks to Celestial Seasonings) tea for tannin structure thrown in to the secondary, bulk aged for at least 90 days after clearing, bottle aged for at least 1 year after bottling. I still like doing this one because despite all the other things I've tried, this is what most of my friends regard as "Wayne's Mead" and they like it! Simple as that.... (BTW, exact amount of each ingredient still proprietary.) ;D

Oh, and no music anywhere near the meadroom at this time -- but that's because I haven't gotten around to getting any in there yet; we just moved up here less than a year ago.

storm1969
05-18-2007, 12:31 PM
My favorites to make, and to drink are straight meads. I think they are the most challenge, and they tend to just absolutely taste the best. And maybe they are the most challenge because I have been making fruit wines for so long that adding them to mead is not a big deal.

Do I play music for them? No, Sometimes the stereo upstairs is loud enough for them to hear...

akueck
05-19-2007, 01:52 AM
I seem to have the best luck with fruit; so far my favorite has been cyser. Apple juice means no worries about caps and it comes out tasting great. This fall I'll have to make some with farmer's market unpasteurized juice. Love that stuff!

My mead gets no music, but I do visit it several times a day during primary and more often than would be generally considered sane otherwise. I like to watch the airlock bubble; it's very comforting for some strange reason. The next batch will get a hefty dose of Mingus while I mix it up though (just rediscovered the CD at the bottom of the pile).

beeboy
05-21-2007, 10:28 PM
Been really enjoying a vanilla/lemon melomel and have my second 5 gallon batch aging in the closet. I've just started using beans instead of vanilla extract and am impressed with the difference. The mead has a sweet/tart flavor that isn't real overpowering and a nice light yellow color to it. The real kick is that I'm brewing it with honey out of my hives and lemons picked off of a tree in the backyard. Free ingredients are the best. Haven't tried playing music for the yeasties yet, wonder what they would like, classical, blues or rock ??? Would guess it depends on the mead, a hot pepper and garlic mead would need some serious rock music while a straight mead would demand classical.

The Honey Farmer
05-22-2007, 12:35 PM
My favorite to date is a Pumpkin & Spice mead that I made last November.

I like it because it doesn't taste like pumpkin pie. I don't like pumpkin pie. Then why did I make a pumpkin mead? Because I had the Pumkins! It didn't turn out anything like I expected. It's smooth, complex and lightly oaked. BTW the yeast was D254.

I don't play music for my meads but I do sweet talk them. :-*

Dennis

Oskaar
05-22-2007, 01:07 PM
Well, strangely enough traditionals are not my favorite mead to make!!

I hear you gasp! ...Yes it's true. Traditionals are very time intensive for me so I think I will say that my favorite mead to make is my SouthWestern Cherry Cyser (Patrons can go to the recipe section of the GotMead Patrons section to see the recipe and methodology for making the recipe) It's lots of fun to make because we usually have several people over for a "spillage" party while we're brewing.

The mead is very quick to ferment 14 days at the outside, and it is clear and very drinkable in six weeks. Of course it just gets better and better with age, and it's aged on the gross lees. The batch I have going currently is now 9 months on the gross lees and everyone who's tasted it thinks it's the best ever. I of course must concur! LOL

I play music for my mead during fermentation and aging. Generally for fermentation I like Rossini because it's hyper cartoon music and if it's good enough for Bugs (Bunny that is) it's good enough for my bugs (yeasties!) Once fermentation has died down I go with Haydn, LudwigVan and Prokofiev. I also talk to my mead when it's fermenting and aging!

I'll sit in the middle of all of the carboys and open the door late at night with the music playing softly, set up a chair outside and let the starlight shine down on the MeadWorx while I enjoy a cigar. Basically I commune with my meads!

Cheers,

Oskaar

wayneb
05-22-2007, 01:34 PM
Well, strangely enough traditionals are not my favorite mead to make!!



Not at all surprising. More care, more time, and often less satisfying flavor than a well done mel or meth. Honey is a wonderful source of nuances, overtones, and essences -- but often they take years of aging to manifest themselves in the finished mead. That's why I have several things going in parallel now that my fermentation room is up and running again, and only one of those is a traditional. Yes, of course another thing currently in work is my Christmas Spice, which will be available to a select few discriminating tasters (and maybe some judges, if I think it's ready by then) come the next IMF!

David Baldwin
05-22-2007, 02:05 PM
Well, so far my favorite mead to make has been my oaked spiced orange - but maybe that's just because so many people have liked it and asked for more.

I never really thought about it, but yes, I do like to listen to some music when I'm working with the mead. I like something Celtic when getting it all first put together for primary fermentation. Good bagpipe music always stirs the blood while I'm working. Racking and testing seem to be a more reflective mood setter, so it's often something soft like gregorian chant or Enya. For some reason I love to bottle to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

David

Angus
05-23-2007, 07:58 AM
I am still far too young a Mazer to have a favorite. Perhaps in 3 or 4 years I will have one that I particularly love to make, but for now, any Mead I make is is fun.

As for music, I still return to Jethro Tull during any brew session. In particular, 'Heavy Horses' and 'Songs from the Wood'. They just seem so right when coupled with making something so old and natural.

Angus

wayneb
05-23-2007, 01:05 PM
As for music, I still return to Jethro Tull during any brew session. In particular, 'Heavy Horses' and 'Songs from the Wood'. They just seem so right when coupled with making something so old and natural.



Aye! Well chosen!! You just got me to dig down through a dusty stack of CDs that hasn't been disturbed for nearly a year, to pull out my "SFTW" copy. Satisfying, in a primally nostalgic way!

BTW - If you value this incarnation of Tull, you might also want to give Steeleye Span a try some day, if you haven't already. The "Parcel of Rogues" and "Below the Salt" albums are my personal favorites.

Oskaar
05-24-2007, 03:51 AM
Well, strangely enough traditionals are not my favorite mead to make!!



Not at all surprising. More care, more time, and often less satisfying flavor than a well done mel or meth. Honey is a wonderful source of nuances, overtones, and essences -- but often they take years of aging to manifest themselves in the finished mead. That's why I have several things going in parallel now that my fermentation room is up and running again, and only one of those is a traditional. Yes, of course another thing currently in work is my Christmas Spice, which will be available to a select few discriminating tasters (and maybe some judges, if I think it's ready by then) come the next IMF!


I should qualify what I said actually. My favorite meads to drink and enjoy are traditionals. I say they're not my favorite to make because when I make my traditionals I'm RABID about my recipe, technique, aging, oaking, etc. so it's more like a very regimented process of production rather than a looser process of making a melomel, meth, etc. It's more exacting in my opinion to make a great traditional so I tend to be very focused on the process and end product I'm shooting for.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Wolfie
05-24-2007, 10:54 PM
After an episode of mythbusters whree they showed that positive feed back has a little effect on plants I do talk to and play music for my meads, particularly if they're a little sluggish or reaching the end of their fermentation. Along the same lines, I heard somewhere that plants like classical. I usually just leave the radio tuned to the classical station when I leave in the morning.

I would have to say that Orange Blossom traditional would have to be my fav. It is the only one I've re-made and always has impressive results in the honey alone.

Though close second is the tart cherry mel I made from the tree in my parents yard, that one took off like no other has, it's just fun to watch it go!