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SanDimas1988
09-28-2013, 07:23 PM
I've made one batch of mead before, it turned out ok so I'd like to make a treat for Christmas. My question is, do I have enough time to make one and have it mature a bit in an oak cask before Christmas? If I were to brew it on Monday, September 30th, how long would I leave it in my carboy before transferring to an oak cask? Will I have sufficient time to make an ok mead?

I hope I followed all the forum rules with this post, I was just reading a guide elsewhere on the site with all sorts of information about the actual processes and recipes, I was just wondering if I can make something that will be good in the time allotted. In either case, thanks for the help.

fatbloke
09-29-2013, 03:46 AM
You best option for something drinkable would be the JAO recipe in chapter 6 of the NewBee guide.

It's usually about the 3 months mark but could likely be hurried a little (a week or two possibly).

Equally it would be best to stay as closely to the recipe and method as you can. If you read some of the JAO mega thread (likely the longest here) you should get some idea of the possible issues. Plus it needs minimal equipment and easily obtained ingredients......

Shelley
09-29-2013, 08:24 AM
I've made one batch of mead before, it turned out ok so I'd like to make a treat for Christmas. My question is, do I have enough time to make one and have it mature a bit in an oak cask before Christmas? If I were to brew it on Monday, September 30th, how long would I leave it in my carboy before transferring to an oak cask? Will I have sufficient time to make an ok mead?

I hope I followed all the forum rules with this post, I was just reading a guide elsewhere on the site with all sorts of information about the actual processes and recipes, I was just wondering if I can make something that will be good in the time allotted. In either case, thanks for the help.

Oak chips can work, too. I've got an oaked mead aging, which I made with 1/4c of chips in 1 gallon for 2 months. The initial taste test was very satisfying -- the oak was a bit on the strong side -- but it looks like gold.

ScotRob
09-29-2013, 12:08 PM
I would agree- JAO is your best bet here...if you started on Sept 30th you could realistically be expect to have it clearing by mid-November, giving a month for maturation (although much depends on how fast the fermentation proceeds). You could also try "tranchage" to speed up maturation (it is not something I have ever done with wine or mead but it works for liqueurs and is basically the process used to mature Madeira wine too)...basically, you take the finished mead/wine/liqueur and expose to alternations of warm and cool conditions for a period of time. One way, which works with fruit liqueurs, is to heat the liqueur to around 158 F/70C for about 30 mins then cool and refridgerate for at least 12 hours. This process is then repeated at least once more.

I should state that I have not tried this with mead, and if you do so you are entering the realms of experimental mead-making....but Madeira wine was always traditionally matured by being placed into wooden casks and used as ballast on ships for a couple of years, thus exposing it to great variations in heat and cold and also to a LOT of agitiation...and the result has always been delicious.

fatbloke
09-29-2013, 01:28 PM
for speeding it up a touch, I was just thinking of cold crashing and hitting it with finings, in the first or second week of December, then bottling.......

rather than any possible "fancy" technique.....

Chevette Girl
09-29-2013, 03:36 PM
I second the JAO suggestion, get it started now... should be clear and drinkable by December!