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View Full Version : Hello! Want to try my hand at mead making!



Yusuka
07-16-2009, 11:03 PM
I have been considering making mead, and think I am ready to give it a try. I have found one I want to try, but want to ask some questions before I get started.

This is the recipe: http://www.moonsorrow.com/moonsorrowcom/krigsmjod.html

You need:
5 cans (450g/can,”Countryside Honey” is very good label) of regular honey.
4 bags (500g/bag) of brown sugar. (=”Fariinisokeri” in Finnish.)
30g of yeast
5 big lemons
27 litres of water
1 litre of cranberry/lingonberry/blackcurrant juice.
a big bucket (for 30 litres) with a fermenting-lock.
An alcohol-meter

I noticed a lot of the other recipes on here don't have the brown sugar, what difference does that do to the taste and process of making mead?

The steps are posted on the site if he does anything weird.

2. I have some questions about racking. Is it necessary, and if it is how and when should I do it. Some people were saying they use a bigger container and then transfer it into a smaller one? Why do they do this, and what effect does racking having on the mead?

3. Any other tips for a newbee that has never brewed anything before?

Thanks in advance!

Yo momma
07-17-2009, 06:26 AM
[quote] I noticed a lot of the other recipes on here don't have the brown sugar, what difference does that do to the taste and process of making mead [quote]

IMO.... Sugar tends to add a hot feel to it when the ferment is done. Using it to backsweeten is easier and has less effect on the final outcome. There are some recipes that call for brown sugar, just not alot..

[quote] 2. I have some questions about racking. Is it necessary, and if it is how and when should I do it. Some people were saying they use a bigger container and then transfer it into a smaller one? Why do they do this, and what effect does racking having on the mead? [quote]

I generally rack when the primary ferment is done. Try to ge tall the fermentation done before ,because; when you rack you usually get a kick up of fermentation when you rack.

Primarying in a bigger vessel allows your yeast to eat and blend together in a more even state. One batch with a OG of 1.130 and the second the same with a temp diffference of one degree will chang ethe outcome dramatically. Try to keep it all the same.

wildoates
07-17-2009, 08:03 AM
Interesting set of flavors he's got going there--honey, brown sugar, lingonberry, lemons?

And a bit more than 2kg of honey in 27 liters water doesn't seem like much to me either--with the 2kg of brown sugar it's just as much a brown sugar wine than honey wine.

Basically, it really helped me to read the newbee guide (in the left sidebar) over and over again 'til I got it in my head: don't need to boil. ferment in a bucket. how much honey to use. get and use a hydrometer. Once you do that you can begin to read recipes with an eye to improvement--I'm guessing that this recipe has been made as written many times and it works, but some of the mentors on this site might be able to help you improve it a bit. And there are lots of recipes here too, just search on ingredients and see what comes up.

And although I feel that it's a bit like the newly hired help daring to speak for the master, I bid you welcome to Gotmead. There is much here to learn, so dig in and enjoy!

wayneb
07-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Hi, Yusuka! Welcome to the "Gotmead" community!! We are glad that you found us, and we are also glad to help with your questions. As one of the other replies already notes, you should read the "Newbee Guide" to meadmaking as that will provide you with much background information that you will find very useful during your first recipe formulation and fermentation. The others have also already provided you with advice related to the use of brown sugar, so let me focus on the fruit and the juice a bit. With that much highly acidic fruit juice in your must, the pH of the must will be very low (lower pH means more acid). Consequently it will ferment slowly and the fermentation may stall before it is completely done. Maybe that is why the author suggests a three week primary fermentation for a recipe that could easily be done with fermentation in less than a week! :rolleyes:

From the proportions of fermentable ingredients in this recipe, I would say that you would be lucky to achieve 8% Alcohol by Volume. The proportions suggest something more like 6 to 7%. Nevertheless, this appears to be trying to achieve a light, carbonated mead (something that would be called a sparkling hydromel here in the US) - one for drinking like beer rather than sipping like wine. If that is the effect you are after, this should work. But I would advise conducting your fermentation based on the instructions in the Newbee Guide, using none of the lemons in primary fermentation - keep them for an addition in secondary. I would suggest a full primary fermentation to dryness (no residual sugars remaining), then some time in a secondary carboy for aging with the lemons (to get their flavor - no more than a week should be necessary for this). Then bottle as he suggests with a charge of sugar to allow carbonation in the bottle to occur. That should give you more consistent and quicker results than his original, and the flavor profile should be similar.

Medsen Fey
07-17-2009, 03:14 PM
Welcome to Gotmead? Yusuka!!!

Has anyone mentioned that you should take a look at the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14)?

For myself, I don't like to add a lot of brown sugar (or any sugar) to my meads. I prefer to stick to honey. To get some of that "brown sugar flavor" I'll sometimes use some buckwheat, or dark wildflower honey.

Wayneb has given you several good suggestions. I might add that if you dissolve the sugar in a bit of water before adding it to the bottle for priming, you'll get less foaming. The foaming, by the way, is not because the yeast are fermenting the sugar you are adding, it is caused by release of CO2 that is still dissolved in the mead from fermentation. When adding dry particulate matter (such as sugar crystals) it provides a nucleus for the gas bubble to form and have sudden release. Letting the mead age and clear in a secondary fermenter can eliminate this issue.

I hope you get a great batch.

Medsen