View Full Version : What's everyone like for abv?

07-31-2014, 12:37 PM
I've been using d47 and 71b almost exclusively and letting the abv cap out to 14-15%. I'm not a wus or anything but man I'm find I a lot of this stuff way too rugged. So I've just started a strawberry mead with 71b but only enough sugars to be around 12-12.5. Was wondering what everyone else liked to drink?

07-31-2014, 02:30 PM
I have some early meads that are high ABV but have found I prefer the 11 to 13% range myself.

07-31-2014, 02:45 PM
I like 12-14 myself. Higher gives that hot booze feeling that needs to age out. (So I'm told) However, the high ABV can sometimes make for nicer flavors when going sweeter. Just my opinion.

07-31-2014, 02:53 PM
I'm thinking it's one of those things we all have to do and see how high abv we can get.

Medsen Fey
07-31-2014, 07:33 PM
While I make some 17+% ABV meads that I really like, my preference tends to be in the 10-12% range. New meadcrafters often make the mistake of thinking higher ABV means more flavor, when actually the reverse tends to be the case.

07-31-2014, 07:49 PM
I tend to like medium-dry/medium sweet meads at around 14-15%.
I don't know why, but I've found that a home made mead at around 14% has more punch initially than a store-bought wine at 14%. It also seems to fade more quickly. I've got a 19-20% sack mead aging now that tastes like crap. Its almost 2 years old. I expect it to take a minimum of another year to start to taste good... if ever. As with everything I've fermented so far, it was an experiment.


07-31-2014, 08:12 PM
I like a nice dry 12-14% mead in the summer time. Especially with hibiscus.

Come freezing temperatures, I'll take a 16+% sack mead every time. Makes you feel warm when it's cold outside. Orange Blossom sack with a bit of bourbon is also really good on a bitter cold night!

Better brewing through science!

Midnight Sun
07-31-2014, 10:12 PM
Like Medsen, I prefer a range of 10%-12%. Much stronger than that and my wife won't drink it. No fun being the only one drinking wine. Sometimes I'll reach for a higher %ABV sweet desert mead or wine, but only after a heavy meal.

07-31-2014, 11:29 PM
...No fun being the only one drinking wine...

Do what I do... put a shaving mirror at the other end of the table. ;)


08-01-2014, 12:32 AM
I'm also in the 10-12% range. I don't like the heat of alcohol in the flavor profile of a melomel, though it can be complimentary in the right setting.

08-01-2014, 10:11 AM
I'll tell you one thing. Only three days with an oak spiral has tamed that hotness already. Can't wait to taste it in a few more days.

08-01-2014, 12:55 PM
I try to get around 12% ABV. If I'm going to back sweeten using part fruit juice and part honey, as in my cysers, I may initially hit 13% but back sweeten it down to 12%. Over thirteen percent increases the possibility of "hot" tasting mead.

Marshmallow Blue
08-01-2014, 02:29 PM
10-13 % but 7% for hydromels.

08-01-2014, 11:11 PM
Most of mine are running 14-15% but I have one that is 17.5% and another at 18.5%.

08-02-2014, 09:34 PM
Either around 6-7%, or 12-16% for me ...

08-02-2014, 10:37 PM
6 or 7? That must make for some beer-like sanitation and post ferment requirements. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

08-02-2014, 11:09 PM
Nice carbonated ginger mead, or raspberry spritzer :)

Chevette Girl
08-05-2014, 12:02 AM
I used to push to 15-16% in my early winemaking days, having been one of those meadcrafters Medsen speaks about... Now I aim for 10-12% except for special occasions (in which case I step-feed till the yeast taps out). Tastes better, cheaper on honey, ferments cleaner and faster, less chance that I get complaints about how strong it tastes, and I really can't handle that much alcohol anymore, drunkness tolerance has exceeded hangover tolerance, I'm now capable of getting hangover symptoms without getting drunk. This getting old crap really sucks.

I've found I'm more likely to want to drink a dry-ish mead or wine if it's under 12% than I am to want to drink a dry-ish mead that's more than that. It'll depend on your taste, the sweetness, and the balance of tannins and acidity.

Oh, and even with just good wine sanitation procedures, I've had some 6-8% brews still be good years and years after bottling.