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View Full Version : A very informative site



Twelve
06-28-2012, 11:35 PM
This site is mostly about wines, particularly wines made from fruits other than grapes but a lot of the same things mead makers have to consider are covered here in depth.
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp

PitBull
06-29-2012, 11:32 AM
At first glance this really looks like a great site. I'm going to have to spend some time there. Lots of recipes. I'm sure most of them can be adapted to use honey in place of the sugar.

Much Thanks!

Chevette Girl
06-29-2012, 11:59 AM
Yep, when I can't find info on using a specific fruit either here or in my books, that's the next place I check to get an idea on how much to use, how to prepare it, whether it needs tannin or pectinase and how acidic it's likely to be. I first found out about it on the first wine forum I joined (now defunct) that eventually led me here... I remember this one member there, all he would ever do to answer someone's question is parrot things word for word from Jack Keller's site as if it were the Gospel, but in CAPS LOCK, as if caps lock made it all better somehow because he had to retype it (back then, automatic case converters in word processors weren't as common) :)

You just have to keep in mind that there are some modifications specific to meads...

Pound for pound, you need a little more honey than the recommended amount of sugar (because of honey's water content), but knowing that you're usually aiming for a speficic gravity in the neighbourhood of 1.100 (+/- .020) for most fruit wines can help you dial it in exactly if you're not happy with approximates.

You also may want to decrease the amount of fruit a little bit if you want the honey to show, but there really aren't rules for that, it comes down to your specific ingredients and your own personal taste.

Acid additions may be necessary for fruit wines to make the must mimic a grape juice must as closely as possible (because that's what most of the wine research has been based on), but honey has its own acid so you shouldn't need to add more at the beginning for melomels, and doing so may even cause pH problems.

Honey does not need to be boiled or pasteurized, in fact it's commonly held that this drives off some of the more delicate flavours and odours, so if you're really concerned about anything that might be in it, just follow Jack Keller's recommendation to hit it with a campden tablet 24 hours before pitching (12 hours before pectinase).

And I don't recall whether he advises energizers as well as nutrients or just nutrients, and definitely no staggered nutrient schedule like the current trend among the folks here.