View Full Version : My first Brews

10-10-2012, 05:04 PM
First off this is an excellent resource for being able to read and obtain information about making mead. I was lead here just through a random google search I have a very old mead recipe extremely simple that I was given I made it once and it was ok. I was sick over the weekend and ran across the recipe and thought you know I liked it the first time how about lets do more. So here I am.

Really quick notes about me if there is a level under novice I am it. If there is a level under that I just barely graduated from it. I am a tech guy. If its PC related or electronic I can probably fix it, make it, break it. Married 15 years 4 great kids and a house. This will be drink made for me and my wife, gifts, special occasions ect. That being said my wife mentioned if we could make a few bucks off it whats the harm lol.

So onto what I am looking to do. As a note I have read several threads and gone through the newbie guide. I did not absorb everything but if I miss step at any point feel free to call me on it.

I want to do two types the first a Sparkling if you will Melomel Fruit Sweet this is what I am looking at ingredient wise.

Target ABV 11%
Orange Blossom honey is what I plan on using.
Wyeast 3184 it only eats up to 11% from the list I saw which should result in a sweet mead (I think if I understand that)
Fruit I want to use is Raspberry and Oranges

I will be honest I haven't thought about amounts yet I am thinking 5 Gallons and plan on using Beer Bottles since i have read wine bottles are not the best choice for carbonated drinks. I know its an important thing to decide but I just not sure how much I want 1 Gallon is safe so if I do contaminate it or something happens that causes it to go south there is not a huge loss out of pocket. Then I think if I love it and do decide to make another batch the time to wait is a big downside. So like I said I am undecided if you can't tell I apologize.

The next I want to make is a Sack Mead

Target ABV 16%
Danster Nottingham yeast
Buckwheat Honey

Again like the previous I am looking for a sweet mead but with this one I want a bigger kick as more than likely this will be the drink the guys have on poker night ect...ok Xbox night but poker night sounded better.

With both I am looking at going with a dry yeast since I read that liquid as a lot more yeast and since I am looking to make the mead sweet I do not want all my sugar to be eaten and I want some to be left. So that's why I was planning on using the dry yeast. Less of them to consume my sugar.

Nothing is bought yet I am just putting together what I want out of my first brews the flavors and taste and what I listed here is pretty much a reflection of that.

The thing I am really not getting is carbonation. I understand I will add sugar to the bottle during the bottling process and let it sit longer to create the neccassary carbonation but what I am rusty on is how long? My wife enjoys sparkling beverages very much I am looking for a carbonation level up there with sparkling cider. Is this even doable with mead? Ok so I hit you all with a lot for a newbie I will leave it here and work with the responses you give me. Thank you all in advance for your help and time.

10-10-2012, 05:57 PM
If you are going to carbonate with added sugar you need to start with a dry mead. If the yeast has pooped out, it won't ferment the extra sugar, and if it hasn't fully stopped yet, by adding extra sugar you could create bottle bombs. The best way to make a sweet sparkling mead is to force carbonate it, like beer, in a keg.

I would leave a longer post, but I'm running late as it is for trivia... :)

Chevette Girl
10-11-2012, 11:03 PM
Welcome to the habit-- I mean, hobby! ;D

To elaborate on what Skunkboy said, you'll see very quickly that yeast produces gas when it does its thing, and to carbonate you want to capture a carefully measured amount of gas into specially designed bottles (good call on the beer bottles, you should never make sparkling mead in a plain old wine bottle) or else you risk exploding bottles. The best way to do this is to ferment a mead right out of sugar but still within the yeast's tolerance, then let it clear and age a bit, and then you mix a measured amount of honey or sugar so that the remaining yeast will only produce enough CO2 to make your mead fizzy, but not enough to cause bottles to explode. Check out the glossary and the forum search tool for more information.

Oh, and if you're in the US or Canada, you can't make money off selling mead or wine. Not legally, anyway, unless you fill out all the paperwork and jump through all the hoops to have a winery or meadery, and the wonderful people who own and run this forum will not want you talking about anything illegal on this forum in any manner other than theoretical, we don't want to cause them any legal problems.

10-22-2012, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the heads up I was not aware of that.

I should be ready to go here very soon. Just need to read up more on carbonation. Thank you all so much for the information.