PDA

View Full Version : New to Mead Making...and Legally Drinking.



Ulberg
02-03-2012, 06:53 AM
I have been interesting in doing my own brewing for quite some time now and figured I'd start with the best, a good Norse mead to match my immense interest in my Norwegian heritage. I read a lot of fantasy books, so mead is referenced a lot. I had some questions about the taste and texture of the beverage. I'm only 21, however, I've spoiled myself with decent to fine beers and skipped the "Pabst Blue Ribbon or whatever else I can get my hands on" stage.

First, having never tried a Mead as I can't find anywhere around here that sells it, is it a thicker beverage with a distinct honey taste, or does it matter more on how you brew it?

Also, how does this 5 gallon recipe look for a traditional Norse mead? I plan to begin the whole process after pay day mext Tuesday. If it looks good, I may start out with 10 gallons, as I would like to have a lot to drink to hold me over until a next batch. Especially since I plan to wait 8 to 10 months for it to sit before drinking.

Between 12 and 15lbs honey
5 gallons purified spring water
3 tsp yeast
1 tsp malic/citric acid blend
5-7 ounce ginger root
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg
crushed fruit
1 tsp irish moss (to clarify mead)
1/2 tsp clear gelatin (to clarify mead)
1 spotted newts tail
1 packet ale yeast

Then about 1lb honey per 5 gallons disolved into water and added before bottling for carbonation.

Full process found here: http://www.blue-n-gold.com/halfdan/meadrecp.htm

Again, completely new to this and I have yet to try a mead as theres virtually no where around here to buy it.

Cheers (rip the recipe apart and put it in its place if need be, if I can perfect the process, I want it to be worth the wait :) )

fatbloke
02-03-2012, 07:52 AM
Welcome to gotmead.

As a start, you can't really go far wrong, if you read the Newbee guide (linked in yellow box left). Plus JAO is a good starter recipe, with basic method and easily obtained ingredients.

You may have to search for authentic Scandinavian or specifically Norwegian recipes though. The recipe you quoted reads like it was written by a beer maker, who doesn't really follow modern technique. So its up to you how you want to make yours really. Just as long as you appreciate that one of the best lessons is patience.

Penguinetti
02-03-2012, 09:00 AM
Hey, welcome to GotMead!

I'm also new to making mead, but one thing I was told and read from different threads and forums, Irish Moss isn't really necessary when making mead. I guess that's more for beer making (correct me if I'm wrong, guys).

Like fatbloke said, definitely check out the newbee guide on the left, and even look through the recipes. Basically, explore this site and its forums; there is a plethora of good knowledge here.

And happy mead-ing! (mazing?)

triarchy
02-03-2012, 09:49 AM
Welcome Ulberg. Its hard to say what your expectations of mead are, but mine were quite a bit off. If you are thinking of a sweet, heavy beer like drink, then you may be surprised. I think you will liken it to wine. You can craft it to be sweet or dry, heavy or lighter. It all depends on the amount and type of honey and the type of yeast and technique.

So to start, ask yourself if you want sweet or dry. Depending on which Ale yeast you use, you can then figure out how much honey you need to add to get you there. The higher the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, the more honey you will need to add for it to finish sweet. The exception to that is a process called backsweetening, which you can search and read quite a bit on.

For your recipe, I would drop the Irish Moss, gelatin, and acid blend. Id also suggest not boiling the honey/water, just mixing it well at room temp. Do as Fatbloke suggested and read the Newbee Guide. After the mead is complete and aged, you can decide if it needs fining or acid additions.

Id increase the rosemary and use fresh if you can. Start with 3-4 six inch sprigs and either make a tea or just add them to the must. If you add it to the must, remove it after a week or two. You can always add some more later if the flavor is too light.

What kind of fruit did you plan to use and how much of it? A general rule of thumb would be 3 lbs of fruit per gallon to let the fruit flavor come thru, but that depends a bit on the fruit type.

Now, the Newts Tail. To me, a newt is a type of amphibian, like a salamander. Im thinking that cant be what you mean. If it is, you may very well be The Man! when it comes to creative ingredients. I wouldnt want to drink any animal parts in my mead, but that is just me. Can you shed some light on this ingredient?

Chevette Girl
02-03-2012, 12:51 PM
+1 on everything Triarchy said, except maybe a striped newt's tail, not a spotted one? ;D (hope you included that just to see if we were paying attention). I love the idea of rosemary, although if you want cinnamon and/or nutmeg, I'd suggest a cinnamon stick or two (or more, 1 stick per gallon isn't overwhelming) and using whole nutmeg (half a nutmeg to a gallon seems to give flavour without being overwhelming), crushed into small pieces, rather than ground.

+1 on starting a JAO as well, it's a relatively quick way to figure out whether you like sweet or dry meads, since it's generally drinkable in 2 months (also keeps you with something to drink so you can keep out of the stuff that's supposed to be aging). I've been making wines and meads for some years now and only recently discovered that my parents hate all my sweet stuff and I don't much care for the dry stuff, so figuring out your tastes can also be important.

I don't see a location on your profile, if we knew where you were maybe someone on here will have some suggestions to where you could find some mead.

Braxton
02-03-2012, 01:00 PM
I don't think they had much ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon up in Scandinavia in ancient times. I suppose it depends on how traditional you want to get. But something like juniper berries or mugwort might be a bit closer to what was on hand.

tweak'e
02-03-2012, 11:37 PM
I

Also, how does this 5 gallon recipe look for a traditional Norse mead?

Between 12 and 15lbs honey
5 gallons purified spring water
3 tsp yeast
1 tsp malic/citric acid blend
5-7 ounce ginger root
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg
crushed fruit
1 tsp irish moss (to clarify mead)
1/2 tsp clear gelatin (to clarify mead)
1 spotted newts tail
1 packet ale yeast


wheres the nutrition for the yeast?

mmclean
02-04-2012, 07:52 AM
wheres the nutrition for the yeast?

Well, I think 1 spotted newts tail should just about do it.

JLindsey
02-04-2012, 12:21 PM
My only suggestion, beyond the excellent advice already given, would be to start simple. Ditch the Ale yeast until you know what you want in mead. They are two different creatures.
Also, ginger is a very assertive ingredient. It can overpower your more delicate spices, fruit, and honey. Not that it makes for a bad mead if it does. Personally, I love it in both dry and sweet meads. But experiment with it in small batches to find your balance.

Welcome, and Cheers!, there's no turning back!

Penguinetti
02-05-2012, 06:42 PM
...except maybe a striped newt's tail, not a spotted one? ;D (hope you included that just to see if we were paying attention...

... I love the idea of rosemary...

I looked up the link; it's actually in the recipe. I'm ultra-curious now.

Also, +1 on the rosemary. That sounds kinda really good.

Guinlilly
02-05-2012, 07:20 PM
I looked up the link; it's actually in the recipe. I'm ultra-curious now.

Also, +1 on the rosemary. That sounds kinda really good.

I've made a Tangerine Rosemary mead...it's pretty spectacular.

Dan McFeeley
02-06-2012, 06:20 PM
Hello and welcome!

Not sure if this can be called an authentic Viking recipe, although there is much in the records on mead drinking, hardly anything at all on how it was made. There's been some good critique so far, go ahead and give it a try if you like (good luck on the spotted newt tail ;D ).

You might enjoy browsing through this link:

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/drink.shtml

--

Penguinetti
02-07-2012, 08:38 AM
I've made a Tangerine Rosemary mead...it's pretty spectacular.

Would love it if you made a meadlog (unless you already did in the patron section).

Sorry for temporarily threadjacking...



I am, however, curious as to how you plan on getting the spotted newt tail... do you have many of those running around your house/yard?