View Full Version : New to this board...rate my recipe

07-01-2009, 09:52 PM
Hey all, My name is Tim and this is my first post on this forum. I used to brew during the 90's but it has been 10 yrs since i have done a batch. Yesterday i broke down and decided to start a new batch. I did this from memory, then after starting it, i discovered this site. I figured i would post my recipe and see what you all think of how it should turn out.
Simple Mead:
15lbs Natural Suebee Clover Honey
1 granny smith apple, chopped
4 sticks of cinnimon
4 cloves of clove
1 teaspoon of ginger, powdered/ground
these ingrediants were heated to a boil, then removed from heat and steeped for 30 minutes, then the solids were filtered out and the must was poured into the 5 gal. carboy. I allowed 24 hours to cool down.
Lavlin EC-1118 yeast, prepared following directions on packet (15 minutes in 104 degree water, then stirred and added to must.
This recipe usually takes 6+ weeks to ferment(i forget, i could be wrong here) after which i usually kill the yeast and drink it green, although i am not sure if that is my plan this time. I may leave the yeast alive and go for a sparkling version this time. I suspect this should be strong and sweet. SO i would love to hear advice or opinions on this. Thanks for reading.

Medsen Fey
07-01-2009, 10:13 PM
Hello Tim, welcome to GotMead? forums!!!

Although you have experience with meads, it might still be a good idea to take a look at the NewBee guide (http://http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14). It has some information that you might find useful.

I won't try to rate your recipe; ultimately your taste buds will be the judge. However, I will offer a few thoughts.

Most folks around here don't boil their honey must. I don't even heat it. In boiling you may loose some aromatic elements that might make the mead better. This is not to say that a mead that has been boiled can't be good (some honeys might even be improved, the jury is still out), but personally I like to keep all the aromatic intensity possible.

If you are looking for a sweet result, your approach probably needs to be modified. With 3 pounds per gallon of honey, EC-1118 should take it bone dry. You are probably going to want to stabilize and backsweeten if you want it sweeter (you can search those terms for more details).

You recipe does not include any nutrients other than the apple (and the little bit in the honey). That may give you a long slow fermentation. While some might argue long slow fermentations are good, most folks here like to have a smooth healthy fermentation and with proper management these usually last only 2-3 weeks.

Having boiled the apple, you'll have set the pectins and may wind up with a hazy mead if you don't use any pectic enzymes to remove it.

Aging a mead for 1+ years will make a huge difference in the quality, especially with the spices. They improve dramatically if allowed to mature. If you decide to start drinking it young, try to put at least a couple of bottles away in a dark quite place. Come back to them in a year or two and see if that doesn't make you a believer.

I hope it turns out great!


07-13-2009, 07:11 PM
Throwing out an update....
Ferment is coming along nicely. Everything looks, smells, and tastes like it is on track. So could someone explain pectin enzymes to me? I have always used bentonite to clarify my meads in the past, but i have never had fruits in the mead before this one either.

07-13-2009, 11:33 PM

Pectin is a compound found in pretty much all fruit, in fact probably all fruit. Some fruits have a lot of pectin (cranberries are a good example), other fruits have less. When heated, the pectins will "set"; this is how you make fruit jelly. It is a good bet that any fruit you use besides fresh has been heated at some point, meaning you could get a haze in the mead from pectin. Even without heating, the pectins can be kind of gooey. The pectic enzyme (aka pectinase) breaks down the pectins so they will not gel--no gel, no haze, no goo. The breakdown products will mostly settle out, though some of the pectins will probably be converted to fermentable sugars. Pectinases are sometimes used to increase the "yield" of fruit, helping them release more sugars.

Pectinase works best in water vs. alcohol, so adding it right away will give you the fastest results. It will still work in finished mead, just slower.

07-15-2009, 06:40 PM

Pectinase works best in water vs. alcohol, so adding it right away will give you the fastest results. It will still work in finished mead, just slower.

Ok, so add some pectinase. Thanks.

08-15-2009, 01:18 AM
So i have an event to go to in 10 days, and this mead isn't done yet. i want to take some with me anyways. What should i do? i was thinking syphon off 1 gallon into a milk jug and toss it into the fridge, then rack it(the gallon) the day i leave. Should i get anything to kill the yeast or to make it settle? Sodium metabisulfate, bentonite?

08-15-2009, 01:41 AM
I would just leave it alone. Patience is key when making mead. You will most likely be disappointed if you taste it so soon. But give it a year to mature and you will be blown away. There will always be more events.

08-15-2009, 07:10 PM
Well, as it turns out, i was wrong, it is done. I took a taste today, definatly ready. Going to rack it off the yeast, and add something to help it clear quickly. Looks like i should be able to bring some to the event. Plan to bottle and age the rest after i return from the event(if its cleared). I did a long slow ferment (6 weeks, no nutrients), and it has had a steady even ferment all the way through. I may be stopping it before its totally done, but i don't want it to get any drier. Right now its dry with just hints of sweetness. Don't have a hydrometer so i can't say what sg it is. should i kill it?, or racking and fining gonna be enough?

08-15-2009, 11:31 PM
If you plan on bottling it and keeping the bottles around for more than a week or so, you should stabilize it somehow in case there is sugar left. If you plan to bottle some and immediately serve, you should be ok. Heck, you could even not bottle it at all and siphon/thief glasses directly out of the fermenter. ;D