View Full Version : Recipe Help anyone?

04-13-2008, 09:57 PM
Okies, here goes.....I have plans to brew up 3 gallons of mead with the following ingredients.

6 lbs. Clover Honey
2 Sticks Cinnamon
2 Cloves
2 Gallons Spring Water
1/2 tsp. of Fermax Nutrients (I am going off of 1 tsp. = 4 grams.)
Lalvlin EC-1118 (5 g.)

What I am looking for is a simple recipe similar to JAO, only using different yeast and have a higher volume. I think I will just make a tea using the cinnamon/cloves and then heat up some water to dilute the honey and Nutrients. Rehydrate the yeast as per instructions and then blend all the ingredients together to make one happy family in a 3 gallon glass carboy.
Questions I have are as follows -
1) Can I use "certified" organic orange juice and if so how much per gallon?
2) Is 1/2 tsp. of the yeast nutrient enough? (I did a lot of reading on the subject and found that 1 g. per gallon was plenty?)
Any help would be great! I have done two nice JAO's now and just want to step into a world of freedom and options for brewing mead, yet, keep it simple as well...... :cheers:

04-13-2008, 10:43 PM
I assume you want a dry mead? With that volume of honey and that yeast, that is what you'll probably end up with. I personally would toss the cinnamon and clove into the primary, or you'll probably not taste much of them when it finishes.

04-14-2008, 01:43 AM
If you want it dry you could go up to around 10# honey, if you want it sweet you should go to at least 12-12.5#. That will have a high starting gravity (1.145-1.15) so you will have to use go-ferm and fermaid-k to make sure it gets off to a good start and can finish all the way through. DOnt forget to aearte vigorously for the first few days also.

You should always do that, but especially when you have a high starting greavity. Read this page"http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp" to see what you should do to rehydrate your yeast. Ive not quiet nailed down how much DAP and Fermaid-k to use so ill let someone else add that part. Stay away from fermax and use fermaid-k and DAP. Fermaid-k is made by the same people that make the yeast you plan on using so they are matched up as close as they can be.

You dont have to make a tea of the spices if you dont want to, just crush them up a bit and toss them in and keep tasting it until it tastes a little stronger than you like. It will back down to where you like it with some aging.

Orange juice can be problematic becaust its relatively acidic. Unless you want another orange flavored mead you should stay away from it. If you do then at least toss in some orange zest with the juice.

04-14-2008, 11:09 AM
Ok, thanks for the advice. Now, if I started with around the 10# honey mark, then, could I just backsweeten when it is done fermenting. Oh and, Why not Fermax?

04-14-2008, 12:09 PM
Hi NewBeeOne,

Based on the amounts given in your post, 6 lbs of honey diluted with 2 gallons of water will give you a S.G. of 1.088 (potential ABV of 11.78). EC-1118 will ferment this bone dry. Using Orange Juice instead of water raises you potential ABV to 15.8%, which EC-1118 will probably eat through happily to dry as well.

If you are looking to get a total volume of 2 gallons, then the calculations change a little. Using water, you will have a potential ABV of 14.8% (still bone dry using that yeast). For OJ, it will be 18.63%, just above the limit of the yeast and therefore some residual sweetness.

To figure the amounts of honey and juice/water to hit the specific gravity you are looking for, use the calculator (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=745&Itemid=16) and play around with the figures to see what you get, then compare it to the Yeast Chart (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=625&Itemid=42) to see which one hits your desired ABV.. Remember, when figuring total volume, you have to take into consideration the contribution of the honey (12lbs = 1 gallon).


04-14-2008, 01:14 PM
Thanks. I have been reading a whole lot in the forums using the search and such and have seen referencese to this mystical "calculator" and have not seen it.....which makes me question my last 3 hours of "research" since there it is right before me! :BangHead: I will mess around with that and see exactly how much to use and how to get there! Thanks again... :cheers:

04-19-2008, 03:02 PM
WOOHOOO! I like that calculator.....

Here goes. (again)

10.25 lbs. Honey
2 sticks of cinnamon (broken up)
2 Cloves (whole)
2 Gallons of Spring Water
1/4 tsp. Fermax
Lalvlin EC-118 (5 g)
Total Volume - 2.75 gallons
SG - 1.133
Est. ABV 18.07%

I only heated one gallon of water and all the honey (125 F) to be able to mix well all the ingredients. Allowed it to cool and then added the must to a 3 gallon glass carboy. I then added the other gallon of cold water and mixed for about 2-4 minutes for aeration. I then pitched the rehydrated yeast (as per the instructions) and gave it another good mixing for 2 minutes or so. Fermentation seems to have taken off very nicely with airlock activity being at or around 12 bpm. I aerated again about 12 hours after pitching and then again this morning. So far so good! Just reading up now on the skills of backsweetening to do just one bottle that way and see how it goes. Thanks to all for the advice and the help! :cheers:

Brad Dahlhofer
04-20-2008, 10:28 AM
Be careful with those cloves. They can very easily overpower a mead and make for a VERY long aging to mellow. 2 whole cloves in 3 gallons sounds like too much to me. I would personally taste it every couple days and rack off the cloves when it begins to get too strong. Some of it will mellow out over time.

My 2 cents


04-20-2008, 02:35 PM
Ok, I think I will take that into consideration when I aerate this evening and take note of the smells and taste. The only smell right now that I notice is a VERY strong honey smell and then one that has me going...hmmm.....it is bounceing back and forth with the honey smell and an almost chlorine or chemical like odor. Has me a bit concerned, but, fermentation is going good still and no strange things growing within the carboy, so, perhaps I shall wait and see how it goes and keep an eye on it and try to find out what would cause that strange odor.....Yeast and Fermax maybe? :cheers:

04-30-2008, 11:20 PM
Well, the fermentation has slowed a lot and the temps are sitting on or around 68 F. I have been keeping a nose and eye on the carboy for the last few days and have noticed that the strange smell I intitially smelled has not come back at all. Strange.... Still, seems that everything is going well so far and the bpm are sitting on or around 10 and there is still a lot of activity coming from within the must itself in the form of tiny, tiny bubbles. I shall take another dosage of patience until this long, slow fermentation has run the course! :cheers:

*Oh yeah almost forgot...removed one of those cloves during areation.....