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SandorClegane
11-06-2012, 04:23 PM
So,

I have already made a 5 gallon batch of mead using cranberry honey, Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast, cranberry juice, water, and cranberries. It is very sweet, and very good. Only about 4 months old right now, but already delicious enough that I've drunken about a gallon so far. But now I want to make a more traditional mead, and figured I'd go with a dry mead.

My plan is to make a 5 gallon batch of dry mead using Wyeast Dry Mead 4632 and about 15-16 lbs of Buckwheat honey from the Bee Folks. Water and nutrition, and that's it.

I want it strong, and I don't want it overly sweet, like my other mead. Mostly, I want it tasting traditional, like something I'd imaging Beowulf drinking in the mead hall. But, at the same time, I want it to have somewhat of a honey character. From what I've read on Wyeast's website, their dry mead yeast will not leave any noticeable honey character to the finished product.

So, after stabilizing the mead, would it be acceptable to add more honey, to bring that honey character back into it?

Mikeymu
11-06-2012, 07:30 PM
I think you have the right idea. I'm a novice myself, but made a traditional mead using clover honey. I waited until the fermentation had stopped, then stabilised and once sure I made a honey/water syrup and it was pure guesswork but ended up with a Sg of 1.016 which is medium sweet but the taste - it's as if thar's lots of honey goodness in there!

I got some traditional mead from a localish stately home (Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK) and Fatbloke (I seem to remember) had tested it, finding the SG to be around 1.030. This was a little heavy for my liking. Hope it goes well!

Medsen Fey
11-06-2012, 08:19 PM
My plan is to make a 5 gallon batch of dry mead using Wyeast Dry Mead 4632 and about 15-16 lbs of Buckwheat honey from the Bee Folks. Water and nutrition, and that's it.

Unless you are certain you want a strong buckwheat traditional, you may want to consider another honey. Unless I'm mistaken, Bee Folks have western buckwheat, and while it doesn't have as much "barnyard" character as eastern buckwheat, it may still be too much for a nice dry traditional. I tend to prefer it blended in to add character to other honey, but by itself, it may be too much. If you are relatively new to mead you might be better off choosing a lighter honey- orange blossom, tupelo, blackberry, mesquite among others might work out better.



I want it strong, and I don't want it overly sweet, like my other mead. Mostly, I want it tasting traditional, like something I'd imaging Beowulf drinking in the mead hall. But, at the same time, I want it to have somewhat of a honey character. From what I've read on Wyeast's website, their dry mead yeast will not leave any noticeable honey character to the finished product.
While I'm not a big fan of Wyeast mead strains, most any yeast leaves you with relatively little honey character in a dry traditional. However, if you use a good honey, after 18-24 months of aging the honey character will come back strong with any yeast including the Wyeast.




So, after stabilizing the mead, would it be acceptable to add more honey, to bring that honey character back into it?
It is certainly acceptable to backsweeten and it will boost honey character, but it will mean it won't be dry. Try aging it well and you may find enough honey character that you don't add anything.

Good luck!



Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

SandorClegane
11-07-2012, 12:08 PM
Unless you are certain you want a strong buckwheat traditional, you may want to consider another honey. Unless I'm mistaken, Bee Folks have western buckwheat, and while it doesn't have as much "barnyard" character as eastern buckwheat, it may still be too much for a nice dry traditional. I tend to prefer it blended in to add character to other honey, but by itself, it may be too much. If you are relatively new to mead you might be better off choosing a lighter honey- orange blossom, tupelo, blackberry, mesquite among others might work out better.


While I'm not a big fan of Wyeast mead strains, most any yeast leaves you with relatively little honey character in a dry traditional. However, if you use a good honey, after 18-24 months of aging the honey character will come back strong with any yeast including the Wyeast.



It is certainly acceptable to backsweeten and it will boost honey character, but it will mean it won't be dry. Try aging it well and you may find enough honey character that you don't add anything.

Good luck!



Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Thanks for the tips.

I'm still new to mead making, but I have already completed two 5-gallon batches. One of them I am currently drinking and it's great, if a bit too sweet. The other is aging.

For both of those I used lighter honeys (cranberry honey on one, and cheap wildflower honey on the other). I wanted to go with something darker and stronger, and the Bee Folks recommend this one for traditional mead. In fact, of all their honeys, this is the only one that mentions mead in the description, saying it's "great for mead."

huesmann
11-07-2012, 12:26 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, Bee Folks have western buckwheat, and while it doesn't have as much "barnyard" character as eastern buckwheat, it may still be too much for a nice dry traditional.
FWIW, Bee Folks is based out of Mt. Airy, MD. Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean all their honey comes from the eastern half of the country, but...