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antonichen
04-26-2014, 01:20 AM
Two days shy of exactly two months, I decided to proceed and rack my three one-gallon batches of JAOM (I'm going out of town and wanted to get it going beforehand). I have been posting on another member's page (xanderphillips) about his first meads, but I thought that it might help others in the future if I made my own thread about JAOM.

Looking back, one of the biggest things I would advise to the new brewer: DRY YOUR STOPPERS! My very first brew, I didn't know that my rubber stopper needed to be dry, so when I muscled it down into my carboy (it wouldn't stay in place), it sloshed right through into my brew! After lots of work, transfer, and contamination worries, I was able to fetch out the stopper. Simply dry the sides of your stoppers and your carboys and this shouldn't be a problem. If you are worried about contamination, dry them off with a sanitized paper towel (I have read).

Also, I duct-taped my stoppers down in place, due to the pressure of early fermentation. This worked well, I don't think it's a necessity, but it did make me feel better about leaving the brews unattended. On my current brew, I have used the metal wiring which holds down the corks on Chimay bottles. I took this metal wire and tried to tighten down the stoppers around the lip of the carboy.

I used Star San and PBW for cleaning. I was relieved today to find that after initially racking my three meads out of their primaries, the PBW and some gentle scrubbing with a brush cleaned up the carboys relatively easy. After rinsing and allowing to drain, I soaked them each in Star San for about ten minutes and drained. They looked brand new.

Go easy on the spices! I proceeded with GROUND clove (even after Joe instructs NOT to deviate from his recipe -- I chose the wrong cloves on accident) and on my first batch, put an entire teaspoon in the brew. This is a lot of clove for such a small batch. On my most recent, I used 1/16 of a teaspoon on spices, and I didn't even use clove.

First batch: OG: 1.141 FG: 1.040ish
Second: OG: 1.138 FG: 1.030ish
Third: OG: 1.141 FG: 1.030ish

These three batches were made with local wildflower honey.

I have sampled and racked all three. While the first is relatively hot and spicy("clovey!"), it's still pretty darn good. I can't stop drinking it, even while it's crude and on the lees! I'm a pretty big beer drinker and alcohol consumer in general, so I'm not very hard to satisfy. Most may find these brews unpleasant, but the joy of making it myself along with the reflection of enjoying a good drink has really made the process a blast.

Since I've dabbled into the first batch so much, and because I tried to drown it with clove, I'll probably drink it up. The last two, I'll rack once more, and then I'll bottle and stow them away. I fully intend to put these drinks aside, forget about them, and come back years later to taste. I have even told my wife that if I die, she has to drink them or give them to my neighbors hah. ;D

I must give credit to Skyrim, as I bought this game to get me through a military deployment recently. Turned out that I couldn't play it at my location downrange, so when I returned home I hit it heavy and became indoctrinated with "mead". I'm not the first heh, go read about mead and Skyrim. I'm glad that I took the fall, because it's been not only a blast, but a learning experience and the drink isn't bad! And still these are the introductory brews of course.

If anyone feels compelled to ask any questions, please post up. I will try to answer but I'm still a novice myself. Lots of the vets browse these threads as well though so rest assure the right person is here to help you out.


PS-- I have a FOURTH brew currently under way. I decided to all out abandon the orange and go straight for strawberry, and I've been reading about all of the horror-story-explosions haha. True to form, my gallon is already blowing off the charts, once the air lock has blown off, and I've been cleaning up the foam for about half an hour. I drained a bit of must, stowed the stopper with the Chimay wiring and left the brew in a sink, so we'll see what it looks like in the morning. I made some other very big, gambling deviations and I'll follow up when I have more to say!

In my astronomy forum, the posters say "Clear Skies" as a farewell. I guess I'll leave you with "Bottoms Up!".

mannye
05-03-2014, 11:01 PM
Nice to see you're quickly becoming addicted to mead. Same thing happened to me. Can you tell me why you are finding it necessary to tie down your stoppers? It shouldn't be that way. The pressure escapes from the airlock.... you ARE using an airlock, right?

http://www.noblehound.com/resources/03_18_2007_airlock_mlf.jpg

antonichen
05-05-2014, 07:57 PM
Yeah haha, well, the first batches I just used duct tape because I had it lying around (put it around the airlocks). And really, that's just because I put the stoppers on when they were wet. I didn't know at the time that I was having a hard time because they were wet.

This recent batch, with strawberries, good god, the thing exploded all the way to the ceiling. That's why I used wiring to hold it down. Of course, the airlock completely filled with the brew and I had to remove it and clean it several times.

antonichen
05-05-2014, 08:03 PM
Oh and mannye, on a different note, I'm currently up in Michigan and I have access to several store-bought meads. Do you know of any in particular that would be a nice gift to take home? I can give you brands and types in the next few days. I know I read that some of them are are brewed from honey and grapes, while others are cysers and things like that, and there are a few that are straight honey,water, and yeast. I know there were some from the B.Nektar Meadery, and there were a few other breweries.I was delighted because I have only seen one bottle of mead for sell in my local area back at home, and it was the Zombie Killer from B. Nektar.

mannye
05-05-2014, 08:17 PM
Actually Zombie Killer is a tasty mead (technically a melomel) and it packs a punch. So far, B Nektar for me have been the nicest I've tried although sometimes I find they have a little artificial taste about them. Of course that's my take. I am in no way saying that they use anything artificial. B Nektar of all the commercial brands in my opinion has some of the best product and distribution. However, most of them are carbonated and most of them have some kind of fruit flavoring. It is actually a good thing because someone tasting mead for the first time will probably really like it a lot. If you get those bottles really cold it's very easy to down two of them and get yourself nice and drunk! Also not a bad thing.

I have not yet tried a commercial traditional mead I can say I really like. Especially not a still one. Redstone Meadery has a nice lightly carbonated mead that I like.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

GntlKnigt1
05-06-2014, 11:04 AM
Antonichen could get some of Ken Schramms mead! Cool!

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

antonichen
05-06-2014, 08:08 PM
Aight I went through waaay too much hassle to make this picture work so please take the time to look at it!

http://s906.photobucket.com/user/antonton/media/IMG_20140502_163144713.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

It's a pretty big pic so if you can't read the labels, save it and I think you'll be able to increase the size.

I've had the Zombie Killer mead, that's the only commercially available mead that I've drunk.

mannye
05-06-2014, 08:35 PM
My those prices are high! The only one besides the Redstone I've liked is the Zombie Killer...I haven't tried any of those other B Nek meads... I will warn you OFF of one however, and that's the "Dunratty MEADE" It's not real. It's white wine with honey flavoring.

antonichen
05-06-2014, 08:36 PM
I have never seen a better beer selection in a store than here. I literally almost cried when I walked in.

antonichen
05-06-2014, 08:39 PM
Which one of the Redstones did you like Mannye? I noticed there's a few on the top shelf.

mannye
05-06-2014, 10:37 PM
Which one of the Redstones did you like Mannye? I noticed there's a few on the top shelf. I forget the name, but it's just mead. I think it's the one all the way to the right that seems to say "Traditional" on it. I remember a carbonic bite right at the start that annoyed me, but don't let that put you off. All my friends say I'm like a psycho and imagining things when I say that. I had the same reaction to Monk's Mead and Monteluce Mead in Georgia. However, once I got past the carbonation "issue" (which again, is most likely my onw probalem, not Redstone's) Redstone's Mead was nice to drink.

joemirando
05-06-2014, 11:07 PM
A friend just came back (well, 2 weeks ago) from Denver or Bolder or wherever Redstone is located. He tried a couple of theirs. One with hops (he's a beer brewer), which he found 'interesting', and one that he described as "just too sweet". Whichever it was, he said it was what they use in their "meadmosa".

I guess if I'd been a better friend, he might have brought a bottle back for me. ;) Although at the prices I see listed on their sight, even I don't think I'm that good a friend. :0

Joe

mannye
05-06-2014, 11:14 PM
Yeah I'm not a fan of mead with hops just yet. I tried the Viking Blod (hops and hibiscus) and aside from having the greatest bottle of all time, I wasn't liking what was in it. Commercial meads all tend to be a little hard on the pocketbook. I guess because it's still a very small industry and costs are very high compared to a winery making thousands of gallons. I still try to at least get a few bottles to try whenever I get the chance. Heck, I even got some Chaucer's once. ONCE.

joemirando
05-06-2014, 11:26 PM
Agreed on mead pricing. For most of them (Redstone's), I don't think they're outrageous, just higher than a cheap guy like me would be comfortable paying. The prices aren't in the stratosphere, and I haven't had the opportunity to try the meads myself. For all I know they're outstanding and well worth the price.

On the down-side, if they ARE that good, it'll sour me on MINE! <lol>

Joe

antonichen
05-07-2014, 09:13 AM
Thanks for all of the input. Yes the traditional mead from Redstone is what I first picked up. I noticed the kill the golfers b nektar bottle as well. I'll probably visit the store one more time for a recon and then tell u guys which are my finalist. Then we can vote on a winner!

Thanks again for the comments!

antonichen
05-07-2014, 09:14 AM
Thanks for all of the input. Yes the traditional mead from Redstone is what I first picked up. I noticed the kill the golfers b nektar bottle as well. I'll probably visit the store one more time for a recon and then tell u guys which are my finalist. Then we can vote on a winner!

Thanks again for the comments!

antonichen
05-07-2014, 02:39 PM
I apologize for double post. My phone lied to me.

mannye
05-07-2014, 04:10 PM
I apologize for double post. My phone lied to me.

My phone lies to me all the time, but usually there's a Nigerian guy on the other end telling me I just won the lottery. (yes...resurrected that old chestnut)

antonichen
05-07-2014, 04:37 PM
Hahaha, yeah. A guy I was with this trip is originally from Puerto Rico, and he received a call this weekend that his son had wrecked his car into someone's down there and they demanded $1,000. Of course, my buddy doesn't have any kids and lives in DC haha.

Okay so I bought two meads! The first: Redstone with Juniper Berries, and the second, the "Kill All the Golfers" from b.Nektar. The latter has tea and lemon juice as additional ingredients. I want to find some recipes for brewing my own that include tea, so I thought it would be a nice reference. Plus, we did enjoy the Zombie Killer.

I had some great belgian tripels up here too. To name a few and others, I had Westmalle's Tripel, Rochefort 10, Chimay 2012 Grand Reserve (which was over-pressurized and exploded upon opening, which resulted in it tasting flat), Kasteel Tripel, Ovila Abbey Dubbel (California), the Ommegang Three Philosophers (which I had before), English Hobgoblin (which I thought was terrible), König Ludwig Weissbier Hell, and probably one or two that I'm forgetting. Haha, yeah I did a good bit of drinking here, but this is kind of a vacation/work away from the fam. Plus, my beer selection at home is much smaller than here.

mannye
05-07-2014, 05:47 PM
Haha. Kill all the golfers. I'm sitting in my golf clubhouse now! I have to get some of that to give these guys to drink.

Please post your impressions once you try them.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

GntlKnigt1
05-08-2014, 01:14 AM
I had some great belgian tripels up here too. To name a few and others, I had Westmalle's Tripel, Rochefort 10, Chimay 2012 Grand Reserve (which was over-pressurized and exploded upon opening, which resulted in it tasting flat), Kasteel Tripel, Ovila Abbey Dubbel (California), the Ommegang Three Philosophers (which I had before), English Hobgoblin (which I thought was terrible), König Ludwig Weissbier Hell, and probably one or two that I'm forgetting. Haha, yeah I did a good bit of drinking here, but this is kind of a vacation/work away from the fam. Plus, my beer selection at home is much smaller than here.

You're mentioning some of my face there, esp the Kasteel Tripel! A bit pricey at about 1.56 euro each but when I found it once in Chicago, it was like $7 .....

antonichen
05-08-2014, 08:51 AM
I actually had the b nektar Black Fang on TAP last night and it was pretty darn tasty. Twas a bit too carbonated for me though. I think I'm beginning to establish that I enjoy mead flat. Makes it different than the beers I normally consume and I like that.

antonichen
05-08-2014, 08:58 AM
Yeah it was tasty! I was reading the reviews about it and many people liked it because it is a unique tripel. I think I liked the rochefort 10 the best, of course it's most expensive. This dark horse brewery up here had a Belgian abbey that was tasty too, lots of yeast in the bottle. I really enjoyed it.
After getting involved in dubbels and tripels, I don't think there's any going back to imp stouts heh.
I really liked the westmalle triple too, bought it twice! These are all 750ml lol, except for the rochefort and a select other few.

mannye
05-08-2014, 12:13 PM
I've always wondered about that yeast on the bottom of some commercial beer. I would cringe when a bartender would swirl the yeast into the beer before pouring. As a homebrewer, I knew that my yeast was to be fastidiously avoided as the only function it served was to bottle condition the beer. So I would pour carefully. I'm pretty sure 90% of all homebrewers behave the same way. Why then do some folks think that expensive Belgians and others that also bottle condition aren't the same? I have never researched the subject, but I always request (if I order one in a bar) for the bottle to be poured carefully to avoid the yeast cake going in my glass.

I'm often met with "But it's supposed to be poured with the beer" to which I reply, "According to who? You?" I've never seen pouring instructions on a label or been corrected by someone who can reference the information. I'm not squeamish about yeast in my beer, but I don't think most bottle conditioned beer is made with the intent of the yeast being consumed.

MourneMead
05-08-2014, 01:42 PM
One of my favorite wheat beers is Franziskaner weissbier - with yeast still in the bottle. It's been a long while since I've had it, but I vaguely remember "swirling" instructions on the label - to make sure the yeast is not left behind. I might be wrong on this but that's my fuzzy recollection.


EDIT - Ah-ha

http://www.germanbeerguide.co.uk/hefeweiz.html

GntlKnigt1
05-08-2014, 02:09 PM
Wheat beer isn't my thing,....I like my Belgian hopping

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

mannye
05-08-2014, 04:46 PM
Well finally. However! That's that one. I can't assume that every bottle conditioned beer wants the lees or trub to get in the glass. GK no like wheat beer? I like them because they are often fruity and dry.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

antonioh
05-09-2014, 04:29 AM
"swirling" instructions on the label

Yes , as in Hoegaarden. They have two , the "Grand Cru" and "Bičre Blanche", the second is made with spices, with 4% alcohol and a sediment. They recomend pour most of the bottle and then swirl before poring the rest. I like that beer very much but I confess that the swirling , well...

bernardsmith
05-09-2014, 12:02 PM
One of the benefits of bottle conditioned beers is that it is possible to harvest the yeast and wash it and then reuse it to clone your own batch. I wonder if the barman's tendency to swirl the yeast and so pour it is because the brewery has asked that the yeast not be left with the customer...
...the "cost" of drinking that yeast is that it can play havoc with a tender digestive system..

GntlKnigt1
05-09-2014, 12:43 PM
Manny likes fruit in the beer? What happened to the Man Law? No fruit in the beer! I like stouts, lagers, porters, ales, tripels, dubbels and quadrupels, lambics and IPAs, but no fruit in the beer! Man Law.....

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

mannye
05-09-2014, 12:50 PM
http://www.dkngstudios.com/images/mangria_big.jpg

THERE YOU GO. LOL

GntlKnigt1
05-09-2014, 01:16 PM
You trying to corrupt my developing european taste buds ? I mean...the guy was drunk when he created it! I am (almost) never drunk when I make mead....:)

http://www.esquire.com/_mobile/blogs/food-for-men/should-i-be-drinking-this-adam-carolla-mangria-14849659

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

antonichen
05-09-2014, 06:23 PM
I bought two more Rochefort 10s, one to drink and one to take home. I also bought another local tripel to take home. With all of this yeast talk, I took particular interest in the sediment of the Rochefort 10 and the local Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale. Lots of yeast left over in the Dark Horse, and definitely noticeable in the 10. I had one of the workers in the beer store confirm that the Rochefort 10 was one of his favorite top 3s in the store, and hey, there were a LOT of beers in there. He had some double IPA and another that he didn't even know the style on the list. I'm sick of IPAs, I think here in the states the IPAs have gotten out of control. I like hops but come on, some of them are straight ridiculous.

mannye
05-10-2014, 12:34 PM
Yeah I know what you mean. I think the same thing is happening with hops (particularly bittering) that happened with hot sauce about 10 or so years ago. Remember when Ll of a sudden three was an explosion of hot sauce and each one tried to be hotter than the next?

Same thing with beer. They are trying to out-do each other by adding more and more hops to the point that I find some of them downright undrinkable.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

antonichen
05-11-2014, 03:11 PM
Yes exactly. There are so many hot sauces that I'm reluctant to buy any. I just stick with my trusty Tabasco, which I used to dislike, now it's a staple for me.
Back to mead, I bottled 15 12-ounce bottles just now. I'm sticking them in a dark corner and forgetting about them. I'm straining the last bits through some coffee filters and bottling those as well. The red hand bottler from morebeer.com worked superbly. Every cap looks nice and straight and as far as I can tell, no leaks. The clovey mead I'm going to drink up. I think I may have exposed it to too much O2 when I left, because half of my carboy was empty. Fermentation seems to have completely stopped on all brews. Now I only have my gallon of strawberry brew which exploded everywhere. Haha, I'm afraid to add more water to it. Two weeks in and it's still bubbling well, nothing like initially however.

mannye
05-11-2014, 04:36 PM
Adding water lowers the ABV and makes the yeast wake up and keep eating! That will dry it out but sometimes that's exactly what is wanted!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

antonichen
05-12-2014, 05:46 PM
Yeah, I definitely think I enjoy the mead on the dryer side instead of the sweet. My wife and I tried the B. Nektar Kill All the Golfers Mead and you can very much taste the lemon. Very lemon-like! I am drinking my local tripel that I bought up there too and I could immediately taste both the lemon and the tea. Not bad though, although I probably wouldn't buy it again. My wife much preferred the Zombie Killer, as it was a bit sweeter and tasted like cherries.

I'm going to sample my icky leftover lees-mead in a bit. I stuck it in the fridge and it's been cold crashing. Yeast fell out of it quickly so I'll probably try it soon. If I can't read through it yet though, I'm not going to drink it. When I racked my other two large carboys, I could read through them easily.

Get_Wiggly
05-12-2014, 09:22 PM
People who like hops are liars.

antonichen
05-13-2014, 10:33 AM
I like them every once in a while, but I definitely can't make a habit out of drinking them. I was out bar-hopping in Chicago 2 weekends ago, and I was sticking primarily to Stella Artois on tap because they are pretty simple and that's what makes them drinkable to me. One of the guys I was with, he knows that I'm a drink connoisseur and while I was across the bar he ordered a round and got me like the craziest specialty draft they had, which was like a double IPA. It was hard to drink haha, but I finished it of course. :0

GntlKnigt1
05-13-2014, 04:50 PM
Alas....I miss Chicago....

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

antonichen
05-13-2014, 07:51 PM
Yeah it's a fun place! Expensive though.