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ThistyViking
05-22-2004, 04:32 PM
Mead Making is easy and a lot of fun. The hardest part about the process is the waiting.

Over the Weekes to Come, I and a few other people will assemble our best suggestions for new meadmakers and try to post them here in an easily understood and accessible manner.

The Plan is to have several topics at the top of this thread that provide an introduction and address issues that you should be aware of when first starting out. the Sticky posts will be edited in responce to questions when a lack of completeness or clarity is brought to our attention. I've never tried to compile this type of information for refrence before, I ask some patience as I learn the process.

John the ThirstyViking

P.S. I see the Forum is relocating to new software, this may affect us, so I'll try to save the information for reposting.

GntlKnght
05-22-2004, 04:45 PM
I know one thing of the things I really appreciated earlier this year when I started was your simple cyser recipe!!! It never made it to bottles! One wonders if it would have improved with age!!! ::)

toolboxdiver
04-05-2005, 05:29 PM
Thank you all here I have learned alot from you veteran Mead makers, and I have been doing it for about 8 years I have nowhere the vast experience I have encountered here, Thanks

jab
05-07-2005, 07:11 PM
8 years...heh, that's almost as old as this thread! :P So have you managed to save any that long? I have a box that I am determined not to touch that has a bottle of each in it. It's one of those 'catch 22' things. Don't drink it because you want some really aged mead but if you never touch it then you will never know if it's any good.

-Jason

JamesP
05-08-2005, 08:12 PM
I'm keeping some of my first batch for a few years to see how it goes.

Is anyone on the forum disciplined enough to set aside small bottles with the plan to taste a bottle a year (or half-year),

ie for a 5 year storage plan, allocate 5 or 10 bottles out of each batch and label them for tasting on a certain date each year or half-year?

toolboxdiver
05-08-2005, 09:00 PM
8 years...heh, that's almost as old as this thread! :P So have you managed to save any that long? I have a box that I am determined not to touch that has a bottle of each in it. It's one of those 'catch 22' things. Don't drink it because you want some really aged mead but if you never touch it then you will never know if it's any good.

-Jason



I have 1 bottle of Mead 5 years old and 1 bottle of Peach Melomel 4 years old and I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out...lol I took a girl to dinner 2 weeks ago and brought along a bottle of my peach Melomel and she loved it it is fantastic.

JamesP
05-08-2005, 10:19 PM
I thought peach, being a subtle flavour, mightn't have lasted so well.

Good to know it does!

Brewbear
05-20-2005, 06:01 AM
Hi ThirstyViking,
I keep looking for your recepe for Quick and Easy Cyser but I'm unable to find it :-\
Could you please direct my steps? Is it still posted somewhere?
BTW, quite a few of the links were "dead", or I srewed up somewhere.

Health, wealth , and happyness
Ted

Oskaar
05-20-2005, 12:26 PM
Here's a link to the recipes. Thanks to Dan McFeeley for reposting them a while back.

http://www.gotmead.com/smf/index.php/topic,375.msg3540.html#msg3540

Oskaar

Dori
05-24-2005, 09:20 AM
Hello All
Just wanted to say thank you for a great site - I just made my 4th batch (25 liters), and this time I put in fruit - I'm not sure about the english name for it (in hebrew it's called "pitango"). fermentation was stuck for at least 2 days and I was pretty worried; I searched the web for some advice and found it here. I did what it said - sanitized a new vessel, siphoned the must and added a fresh starter. the thing has been bubbling like mad (and I mean MAD - I'm thinking of selling co2 to coca cola...) for 3 days now. you can imagine my relief. to celebrate the rebirth of my melomel I made some sima (some call it simha) which I think would be ready in a week.

whoof, I wrote too much. thanks again for the great database that saved my 25 litres. much appreciated!

Dori Coren

Rehovot, Israel

webmaster
05-24-2005, 10:06 AM
Glad you liked the site, Dori! I've spent the last 8 years putting it together, and will probably spend the next 20 expanding it!

Glad the info here was able to help you save your batch. Check out the rest of the site, I've over 1200 pages of info on every possible approach to mead.

Vicky

lostnbronx
05-24-2005, 12:01 PM
Hey Dori!

Welcome to the group! Sounds like you made a melomel -- what fruit did you use? Care to post the recipe in the Brewlog section, or in Recipes?

-David

Dori
05-24-2005, 12:17 PM
Hello David

I know it's a melomel, I just don't know the name of the fruit in English. still looking for it. maybe I'll take a picture of it and soimeone here would recognize it?
ofcourse I would post the recipe, I'm going to do it now ;)

well, I found it! it's called Eugenia uniflora, it's something tropical.



[attachment deleted by admin]

lostnbronx
05-24-2005, 12:48 PM
Dori,

I've never seen that before, but it looks delicious! What's it taste like?

-David

Dori
05-24-2005, 12:54 PM
David

It tastes tropical, you know, that sweet and sour undefined taste ;)

the ripe fruit are sweeter, the younger ones are more sour. I tried to pick more of the ripe ones to get more sugar. at the moment the must looks like it came from someones stomach, but I hoping it will clear sometime in the near future...

Oskaar
05-24-2005, 01:10 PM
Surinam Cherry?

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/surinam_cherry.htm


Oskaar

Dori
05-24-2005, 03:20 PM
;D

lol oskaar, you must be an expert at finding these thins, eh?

yes, it is this fruit. have you had any experience with the likes? can you give me any tips regarding melomels of this kind?

thanks in advance!

Dori

Oskaar
05-24-2005, 05:08 PM
Hi Dori and welcome to the forum.

Regretably I have no experience with the infamous Surinam Cherry, however as far as fruit in the mead goes I'd say you'll want about 8 pounds or more per five gallon batch to get the character of the fruit in it. Depending on how sweet/tart the fruit is you may need to add more honey or more fruit to the starting recipe in orde to keep it balanced in flavor.

Personally when I add fruit to the primary I go close to double what I would in the secondary because during fermentation the flavor will change as does the flavor of the honey and most other things you ferment. To bring back some more of the original flavor you can add more to the secondary and rack on top of it.

Also, it is a good idea to freeze your fresh fruit, thaw and mash it good before you add it to the primary in order to release the sugars more efficiently. You can put the fruit in a sanitized grain bag, or let it float free.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Igor
06-02-2005, 11:47 PM
Greating all. Myself and my neighbor have made several different meads. Among them a blue berry and a Cinnamon ginger warm ups, which I happen to be comsuming at present, which might explain why I find it hard to type. I have just found your site and am fascinated by it. Then next mead I want to make is a port mead. :D

lostnbronx
06-02-2005, 11:55 PM
Igor,

Welcome to Gotmead! This is a great place to exchange info, and to just hang out. Can you post your recipes for the blueberry and ginger meads in the Recipes section of the Forum? It would be great to learn about them!

-David

Igor
06-03-2005, 09:56 PM
David, the web site were I found both of these and many others is brewery.org/cm3/CatsMeow3.html This site has multiple recipes on everything from mead to ale. Good luck, I just tried to get on but it appears to be down. Rats.

Igor
06-03-2005, 10:13 PM
To all here is the next one in line, I will try tomorrow.

Tropical Ambrosia Melomel:
14.5 lbs honey
4.5 gal spring water
2 pineapples peeled and chunked ( recipes calls for pinapple from maui)
4 mangoes, peeled and chunked
1 tangerine, sliced and seeded
2 cups cranberried, dried
7 oz ginger juice
1 cup strong black tea
2 zest of limes
3 zest of oranges
3.5 tsp yeast hulls
7 yeast energieser tables (b-1 & lactose)
1 qt yeast starter :bread yeast, 3 packets water, boiling, 2.5 pints honey, 1 cup yeast, RS Premier, 2 packets.

Now I have never done this one, but will post what will happen and before will talk with my local brew shop about the things I don't know about. The different yeasts for example, since I am new to this.

Site http://brewery.org/brewery/cm3/recs/10_84.html

wish me luck ;D

lostnbronx
06-03-2005, 10:28 PM
Igor,

Luck!

-David

Meriadoc
07-06-2005, 10:27 PM
Hi, all!

Just found this site a little while back, and have been lurking for a bit.

Figured I might as well jump in and say hello...

My brother's been making wine for a couple of years now; in an effort to get me interested, started talking to me about various fermentables. When he mentioned mead, my ears perked up -- I remember sitting at an outdoor cafe in the main square of Krakow, Poland a few years back. It was a chilly late spring evening, and as I looked over the drink menu, I saw the listing for "Miod", and was intrigued. It was awesome -- heated, sweet, strong -- wow!

So, we went to the beer & wine supply store, and I found Schramm's book there. picked up a copy of the book, 10 pounds of an autumn honey, and ran away home! I made Schramm's basic recipe; pitched it last February, and bottled it in April. By September, it was... well... not impressive. lots of flavor, but kind of medicinal in aftertaste.

Last month, I started a batch of his "mambo in your mouth" melomel. I decided to deviate from the recipe: a week in "primary", followed by a quick racking and a secondary over freshly picked strawberries. (I would've given it more time, but I wanted to catch the tail end of the strawberry season here.) I also found some local red raspberries, and included them.

I plan on picking some blueberries in a week or so, and putting those in. Finally, when blackberries are in, I'll put some of those in, too. I figure I'll pull the fruit out after about 2 weeks with the blackberries -- that'll probably be mid-August.

I'm a little worried about the yeast -- the recipe doesn't specify the amount, and I only used one packet (5 g) of red star champagne yeast. we'll see how it goes (with the thought that, if i don't see some bubbling soon, i'll toss in another packet).

See yall around here...!

Merry

p.s., oh, yeah -- i almost forgot! i opened a bottle of my first batch this week... wow! at room temp, the mead was clear, dry-ish, and the medicinal overtones were gone! definitely drinkable! (Now, if only i had a sample of an experienced mead maker's version of this one, I'd have something to compare with!)

byathread
07-07-2005, 12:17 PM
Welcome Meriadoc!

We're always happy to see the site and the hobby continue to grow. Glad to have you with us. We look forward to hearing about your mead experiments and you came to the right place if you're interested in learning from your fellow meadmakers.

I have the same problem with knowing only a couple of other meadmakers locally, and not having enough meads to try by comparison. But, the important thing is that YOU enjoy your mead. That's what its all about! (Though it is nice to see what to be shooting for. There's nothing better than a well-made, well-aged mead!)

Glad to hear your "autumn" mead is coming along. It will only continue to get better. Feel free to document your Melomel in the Brewlog section so we can all benefit from your experiences.

Cheers!
Kirk

Beowulf59
08-17-2005, 02:11 AM
Greetings to all,

First, I would like to apologize to the other Beowulf(s) out there. I have used the name for many years and it is hard to give up.

Second, I would like to thank all responsible for this site. I have never made Mead, or any other home brew. With this site, I feel I CAN make it happen. Up until now, I have only been a consumer.

Thanks!

Brewbear
08-17-2005, 02:17 AM
Welcome B59,
For your first try, I am sure many will agree, go with Ancient orange. 1 gal, quick and easy, we, the ones who tryed it, love it.

Ted

Beowulf59
08-17-2005, 03:00 AM
Thanks Ted.
I'll be on the Ancient Orange recipe as soon as I get my gear.

I just started my journal as recommended elsewhere on the site so, here we go!

loki610
10-10-2005, 06:05 PM
I've been looking for this Ancient Orange recipe and cant find it anywhere... where is it?

WRATHWILDE
10-10-2005, 06:50 PM
I've been looking for this Ancient Orange recipe and cant find it anywhere... where is it?


Here it is...

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=1219.0

Wrathwilde

jocosa
12-27-2005, 04:39 PM
Greetings all...

I'm new to the board as far as posting, have visited off and on for years. Not new to mead; have been brewing for about 4 years now.

I feel that my mead making is just coming into its own, got several batches of various types behind me and feel that my meads, while good, drinkable and praised by friends - I'm just now becoming satisfied with them!

Bottled a blueberry mel this morning, a blackberry mel a week ago, and mixed up a 5 gallon batch of traditional which will be the base for a scuppernong mel and a ginger meth....

Hope that I can further my mead learnin' here and pass on any bit of learned wisdom that I've gained...

Jocosa

mtnwalker
02-19-2006, 10:26 PM
Hello everyone, I feel like i've just been adopted into a family, so am introducing myself and asking advise.

Heres my situation, just retired, have a large farm for W NC standards, and adjacent to Pisgah Nat. forest. I used to keep 200 hives of bees, which were wiped out in a different locale by an apple orchard spraying without notification overnight. Now I plan to restart, as I just retired. I have fruit trees that are old, but still producing acres of blackberries, and blueberries. Plan to replant fruit trees this spring, and have ordered an apple press which should be delivered this march. I want to make mead, cider, and brandy, and let my son make some wines. I have small batches of honeys I have kept for 35 years as definate individual samples- locust, dandelion, poplar.sourwood, aster, and wildflower mixes. and as my parants had a small citrus grove in central Fl. i carried them down to overwinter, and have palm, palmetto, and the best orange blossom honey I ever tasted. So am desirous to try, and excited. When I say I'm a totally green newbe, I have never even had a sip of mead, and didn't even know it existed until a month ago, except in english lit. like Beowulf, and Tolkien. But I know I will.

I just bought a super quality SS reflux still, that will also act as a pot still for makeing brandies out of any failed meads, wines or ciders.

I have a tiny cabin, at the farm and no basement, so for this new hobby, I need to build the ultimate brewers paradise. Perhaps a heated room for fermantation, a large asceptic room for sterilizing, heating, mixing, washing, and with heaps of storage- chemicals, yeast, tools, etc.- bookshelves and computer desk for when I get in trouble. As a builder and cabinet maker, cost is not so much the issue. Quality, space size and needs are. I would rather over build than just so-so. I plan on doing this as my main retiriment hobby, so again cost is not the issue. Also, I would like to plan to have this as my canning, freezer, and dehydratoer house, as I plan on at least 5 acres of garden to preserve, as well as some essential oil distillations. I plan on a very large covered deck, as have lots of friends that would never make the trip to the farm as it is very remote, unless special treats were in store.

I much appreciate this brand new wbsite for me, and in depth responses. I think i am the newest member, and the newest pain to enter here.

But sure enjoy learning. Thanks, JP or John.

PS meybe should make it big enough to have a bedroom, and I would always be there to check things out, and rent or allow a helper to live in the cabin?
My total regards, Your most total newbe. JP

Brewbear
02-20-2006, 01:46 AM
Welcome to the forums ;D
Maybe you coud offer honey at very reasonable prices to the GM members ;D
There is an overabundence of information here and we are always ready to help.

Cheers,
Brewbear

Miriam
02-20-2006, 10:06 AM
John,

Welcome!

Your plans are fascinating. I should think you would need an assistant, unless you're counting on family to help you harvest and process. My own small business (recently closed) depended on an assistant: I made soap and toiletries and gift baskets. Couldn't have done it by myself, what with the office work, phone calls, and meetings, forget actually dissolving lye and and saponifying oils. Sounds like you're retiring to a full-time job! Good luck, and please start keeping them bees again right away... :D

Have you already distilled essential oils? I'm wondering if you can advise Abejita here on the forum if the thin layer of oil on her must is essential oil of rose (in the "Unusual Ingredients" category).

Miriam

JamesP
02-20-2006, 07:07 PM
Have you already distilled essential oils?


Is the still able to be run under vacuum? I've read that essential oils are less effected when distilled at lower temperatures?

webmaster
02-21-2006, 01:45 AM
Hey Mtnwalker, you know I'm just east of you a few hours in the Piedmont. Perhaps we should arrange to meet sometime? I think it would be fun, and I'm always looking for an excuse to head to the mountains.....


Vicky - squiffed on 10-year old port and getting ready to crash after Craig Ferguson is done.....

Scott Horner
02-21-2006, 10:34 AM
I too want to welcome you to your new obsession. I think you will come to love mead as we all do, there are just so many differant ways to make it. And so many styles to try, heck you have fruit trees too so you will have years of experiments ahead of you. I think you will have a very productive retirement on your hands. Adds NC as a place to stop by for a mead.

On the still front I am sure you intend that to be for distilling water and esential oils ONLY as anything else would be illegal *coughSaveMeABottlecough*. When will our government get its act togather? I mean sheesh people distilling REMOVES the unhealthy things from the product. Ah well that is a rant for another day.

Scott

hiddendragonet
03-01-2006, 05:52 PM
Hey, whaddya know? My folks live near Pisgah/Piedmont as well. They're in Hendersonville.

SteveT
03-01-2006, 09:44 PM
Hey mtnwalker,

Great plans! You are in a beautiful area, my wife and I have made several trips to your region.

Sounds like you have a lot of ideas, and all good. Let us know how we can help!

Steve

SteveT
03-03-2006, 09:10 AM
On the still front I am sure you intend that to be for distilling water and esential oils ONLY as anything else would be illegal *coughSaveMeABottlecough*. When will our government get its act togather? I mean sheesh people distilling REMOVES the unhealthy things from the product. Ah well that is a rant for another day.




It's ALL about lost taxation.

NeadMead
03-04-2006, 04:16 AM
Thanks for the welcome, ThirstyViking. To all who show up here on this forum, if you see that I am on feel free to send me a personal message and check out my profile. I am new here and have not even tried brewing yet. I am curious about it. Please read my topics and offer any suggestions, hints tips, advice or constructive crtiticisms. I would greatly appreciate it. May the gods grant you all good brews. ;D

Cargirl
08-02-2006, 10:34 PM
Hail and well met!

I feel like I'm the newest of the newbees in the mead world. I have been studying mead making for a year and now have ordered a nice 1-gallon starter kit. I've read and read The Compleat Meadmaker. I even had a honey source all lined up last year, but alas! Hurricane Katrina wiped out the hives of my daughter's boyfriend's grandfather's apiary in Mississippi (as well as everything else he owned like his house and car and so on). But, since he decided not to get more bees, I'm going to have to find another source.

I'm ready to learn at the feet of the master meadhers. First thing I've learned is that August is perhaps the worst month to make mead! ::)

Any and all advice welcome.

WRATHWILDE
08-03-2006, 12:42 AM
Welcome to the forum Lady Twyford de Broughton,

You've already have an excellent source to get you on your way... Ken's book, and the Recipe Section. Unless you're willing to run your A/C @ 65 to 75 (f) for a couple of months, or have a basement that keeps cool, 65 to 75 (f) it's probably best to wait until mid september to start your batch. Personally my A/C is set at 70 (f) and has been running 24/7 for several weeks now. Good luck with whatever you start with, any questions just start a batch thread and ask away.

Wrathwilde

Luckily I did my homework and bought the most powerful (and most energy efficient model available) 17,300 @ 11.0 EER, uses std 110 V instead of 220 V and cools all 5 rooms of my Apt. Made by Fedders in case anyone needs to pick up a Kick@$$ A/C. I highly recommend it. ;D ;D ;D

Spacepup
08-03-2006, 12:57 AM
Hi ya Cargirl ;D

Welcome to the forum. I as well am a newbie to this Mead thing. Only been trying to make it for a month now. Got 2 1 gallon batches going and so far its a blast. What do you plan on makeing as your first batch? It was suggested to me that as a first batch to try Joes foolproof Ancient Orange. Recipe to which can be found here.

http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,159/topic,600.0

So far mine has gone great with no hiccups or problems at all very easy to make and let sit and gurgle. As well I have found 2 sections wich have been some of my greatest resources for information one is the Mead newbie guide wich can be found here.

http://www.gotmead.com/content/view/27/53/

and Wraithwildes newbie guide is worth at least one read. It is here.

http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,103/topic,3495.0

Only advice I can give is if you have a question to use the search function, and the search link to use for that is the one just up above the forums. Not the one that is at the top left hand of the page. I've gotten nabbed with that one. Doing a search with the one at the top left hand corner not finding your answer, asking your question stateing that you did do a search only to have them come up with your answer useing the right search link LOL.

Only other advice I can give is have fun with your happy little bubbleing fermenters. :D

Spacepup

Oskaar
08-03-2006, 07:13 AM
Hi there Cargirl!

Welcome to the forums.


I'm ready to learn at the feet of the master meadhers. First thing I've learned is that August is perhaps the worst month to make mead!

Well, I don't know that there are any master meaders here, but there are a lot of folk who make some downright kickass mead. Take some time and check the place out. Experiment with a bunch of different methods, and don't paint yourself into a corner with one technique. If I've learned anything it's that once you marry yourself to a specific technique you really miss out on the incredibly wide spectrum of different meads and styles.

So do some reading try some different techniques and meads. You'll be glad you did. Once you find what you like, then you're going to have a lot of fun refining your technique.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Cargirl
08-03-2006, 07:10 PM
Welcome to the forum Lady Twyford de Broughton...

Thank you for the welcome, m'lord. I am 'lady' only in email address and ancient ancestry, though. :)

Sounds like you've solved the heat problem. This house of mine won't cool below 78o until sometime in November--does that mean I shouldn't brew for three more months?? Oh well! More time to study and ponder, learn and understand.

Cargirl
08-03-2006, 07:21 PM
...have fun with your happy little bubbleing fermenters. :D

Spacepup

You can't imagine how much fun I could have watching yeast ferment. ;D

Cargirl
08-03-2006, 07:31 PM
...Experiment with a bunch of different methods, and don't paint yourself into a corner with one technique. If I've learned anything it's that once you marry yourself to a specific technique you really miss out on the incredibly wide spectrum of different meads and styles...

Cheers,

Oskaar


It is TANTALIZING to ponder the difference in taste and aroma between boiled must and non-boiled must!

Being a honey nut from way, way back, I can picture that there could be as many different meads as there are honeys. Tupelo is my eating honey of choice and it will be an exercise in patience to await my first batch of tupelo mead.

[swoon] Oh me. ;D

Muirghein Tarot
08-03-2006, 07:57 PM
Curiosity prompts this pirate to ask are you a part of Iron Mountain...Vulcan's Forge or one of the other groups here in the barony. :)

and yes it is hot here in Birmingham isn't it.

Tarot.

Cargirl
08-03-2006, 09:50 PM
Curiosity prompts this pirate to ask are you a part of Iron Mountain...Vulcan's Forge or one of the other groups here in the barony. :)

and yes it is hot here in Birmingham isn't it.

Tarot.


Aye matey, when I can make it I play with Iron Mountain. My teenagers have had one thing after another on Tuesday nights for a year, though.

I keep up with the goings-on via the Yahoo bb. Stefan's message about the microwaved water is absolutely correct. I could tell a story about making eggnog in a microwave one time... :(

Muirghein Tarot
08-03-2006, 10:31 PM
My lady wife and I are part of two households, house NOVA out of Baton Rouge and Clan Confused from Tarrant city so when we get together it's more with them than with the barony. Though we both know quite a few people in Iron mountain. For me it's older names in the area that have left the SCA for the most part but my lady knows several still in the area. Her persona is Teren 'the Valkyrie' she was one of the daughter in the house of Carl Von der Morgenstern in the 90s.

Tarot.

most of my stories would involve camp Arnold and bad weather.

Spacepup
08-03-2006, 11:02 PM
...have fun with your happy little bubbleing fermenters. :D

Spacepup

You can't imagine how much fun I could have watching yeast ferment. ;D


Hah I actually do the same as well. My teenage sons at first made such fun of me sitting there watching the blips in the air lock. Now they just walk past me shakeing their heads chuckleing. Ah well so goes the life of a parent ever the mystery of the younger set. ;D

Spacepup

Cargirl
08-03-2006, 11:54 PM
My lady wife and I are part of two households, house NOVA out of Baton Rouge and Clan Confused from Tarrant city...
Tarot


My lord, I've had my blue card for only a tidbit more than a year--I'm relatively new to SCA as well as to mead making!

Muirghein Tarot
08-04-2006, 12:06 AM
I was reading your first post and I saw you said you have ordered a one gallon starter set. I don't know what part of Birmingham your from but there is a homebrew store here in town that carries just about every thing you could need.

I maybe telling you something you know already but it's call 'Alabrew' and it's on highway 11 next to a car wash in Roebuck.

Been in the SCA since 1999 myself and my wife goes back to around 92.
Tarot.

webmaster
08-04-2006, 08:38 AM
Welcome to my funhouse, CarGirl! Like Oskaar says, cruise around here, and check out the techniques and recipes. You'll find an incredible diversity in mead-making techniques and styles, and mead makers from 1-batch newbies to folks who've been brewing meads for 30+ years.

Keep an eye on the recipe database (http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_rapidrecipe/Itemid,161/), we've already got over 200 recipes in there, and I've got about another 100 to add, including a *lot* of prize-winning recipes.

And while the forums here are amazingly informative, don't forget to surf the site at large and see all the great articles we have.

Oh, and drop a line into your Kingdom board, we've SCA forum boards here....

Vicky
knowne in the SCA as Maryam al-Zahra, living in Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia and member of Shadow Legion, associate member of Wulfgaard

Cargirl
08-04-2006, 04:01 PM
...there is a homebrew store here in town that carries just about every thing you could need....it's call 'Alabrew' and it's on highway 11 next to a car wash in Roebuck....
Tarot.


Thanks so much for the directions! I saw Alabrew but didn't know where it was located.

This kit I ordered was on sale, reduced by approximately the amount of shipping. It doesn't have everything I believe I should have, so I'm going to make a trip to Alabrew. I saw on their website that they have 1 1/2 gal primary fermenters and drilled lids. This kit comes with a 1 gallon glass carboy only.

Did I read correctly that we here in the great state of Alabama are allowed 5 gallons of homebrew at any given point in time? No sense in brewing 5 gallon batches, then, the way I see it.

And are we meadmakers bound by the 6% alcohol law that binds beer brewers? There is a poster here on this board that I recognize from a weather bb that I frequent who told us once about Free the Hops and the campaign to have the Alabama beer alcohol law changed. Is mead considered a wine or a beer in Alabama??

Cargirl
08-04-2006, 04:16 PM
Welcome to my funhouse, CarGirl!...
Keep an eye on the recipe database (http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_rapidrecipe/Itemid,161/), we've already got over 200 recipes in there, and I've got about another 100 to add, including a *lot* of prize-winning recipes.
...
Oh, and drop a line into your Kingdom board, we've SCA forum boards here....

Vicky
knowne in the SCA as Maryam al-Zahra, living in Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia and member of Shadow Legion, associate member of Wulfgaard


Thanks for the welcome! You do have a fantastic place here! :D

I've already seen that recipe for small mead that calls for vodka to stop fermentation rather than Campden tablets. One of the reasons I wanted to learn about brewing was so that I could make my own and avoid as many chemicals as possible. Chemicals are the bane of my existence.

There is so much information here that I could read for a year and still find new things.

Muirghein Tarot
08-04-2006, 07:20 PM
Did I read correctly that we here in the great state of Alabama are allowed 5 gallons of homebrew at any given point in time?

Yep you read it right but to quote Mal from Serenity "I aim to misbehave"

To be charged I would think you would have to be the subject of a police search warrant. I have looked up the law trying to find the penalties for the crime, I think it is a fine equal to the tax you would pay for the alcohol plus court cost.

Several people I have talked with have mentioned making up to 100 gallons here in Alabama so I won't be the first or the last to bend this law. Just because we are in a group that deals with anachronisms doesn't mean we should have to put up with a law that is one.

Look up the laws to start a winery here in Alabama it's good for a laugh.
As far as I know Mead is not even considered since they don't seem to know about it. I believe it's considered a wine.
And I don't think we are bound by the 6% laws since we are not selling what we make and I think that law applied to sales.

Happy meading
Tarot.

Cargirl
08-04-2006, 08:49 PM
...
Happy meading
Tarot.


heeheehee! ;D

RTIRDNAVY
02-20-2007, 05:03 PM
Hello to one and all!
I will say I am new to brewing in general. I made a few batches of beer about 7 or 8 years ago. But none since. I just retired from the Navy and since I won't be moving as much and not having to leave as much, now is the time for me to begin brewing mead. I must admit I have never had any. But I know I will like it as I am one of the few weirdos I know who could drink honey straight out of the jar!! When I made the beer, the most fun was making it. Not that I didn't enjoy drinking it!! For now I will read and search for information and just keep reading then when I am ready, I will jump in feet first!!

wolf_tracker
02-20-2007, 06:20 PM
:wave:

Welcome to got mead

Make sure you check out the new bee guide to mead making
under making mead ...

and read read read

Feel free to ask questions when ready.

:cheers:

Wolf

Oskaar
02-21-2007, 12:32 PM
Welcome Aboard and Welcome to the GotMead.com Forums!!

atuinsails
06-11-2007, 11:39 AM
Hello all,

I wasn't sure where we were supposed to introduce ourselves. Uhm, I'm Atuin, and I just put together a gallon batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. It's kind of improvised, but we are far from the nearest brewshop out here. Hopefully the next batch will be more scientific :D.

Anyway, thanks for a great site. Most of the improvisations I actually found buried on the boards, so I'm hoping for a good batch.

mofiki
07-05-2007, 04:24 PM
hi there name's jeff
i actually have no idea what i was looking up, but after reading up on brewing my own mead i will be trying my hand at it. i am about to come home from a deployment and they told me that i should find somthing to do with my self, so here I am.
i can already see the large wealth of information contained on the website and forums. so let the brewing begin in about 23 days

beaglady
08-21-2007, 07:55 PM
Hi All,

Another new meadmaker here. I'm a hobby beekeeper with 8 hives, and plenty of inspiration to ferment my honey crop. So far, I've got 2 small batches started, a sour cherry melomel, divided in 1/2, using 2 different yeasts, and a peach melomel. The recipes were from the book Wild Wines and Meads.

About 10 years ago, I made fruit wines for several years (extremely low tech) so this isn't entirely new, but I'm interested in experimenting more with different yeasts, added tannin, measuring specific gravity & the like than I did before.

sandman
08-21-2007, 08:25 PM
The very first topic in the Brewlog is a yeast experiment Oskaar has been keeping us posted on. If you're looking to experiment with different yeasts, I'd recommend reading that one first before starting. Lots of info and it might even save you some time in the long run.

As far as advice goes, read everything you can here and on the main site. Aside of that, pick up a copy of "The Compleat Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm and browse that if you haven't already. LOADS of good info there for an aspiring mead maker. ;)
:cheers:

Slavens
12-22-2007, 03:28 AM
Hi all,

I'm Les and I brewed my first batch on March 31st this year. I've been researching mead making (on the Internet) off and on for a few years and I have to say I'm incredibly relieved to have found this web site.

You seem to be a pretty open bunch ready to share what you know, and I appreciate that. Especially when so many of the mead sites go on and on about how their method is best without ever truly saying why or telling you what you really need to know.

My wife and I first fell in love with mead when my "little" brother brought a bottle each of Chaucers and Ambrosia by Kristy to our wedding in '00. We had a hard time finding mead in northern Idaho, but we could get it on occasion. Then when we moved to Boise, we couldn't find it at all. So after a few "dammit, I really want some mead" episodes, I decided to brew my own and started buying the honey. We're usually pretty broke, so it took a while to stockpile thirteen pounds of honey. Then for fathers day, my stepdaughter bought me a 5 gallon stainless stockpot and I received a 5 gallon carboy (with gear) from my wife - talk about happy!

Anyway, I'm headed over to check out the recipes. I have 3 pounds of raw blackberry honey that's just crying to be made into a braggot or something.

Oskaar
12-22-2007, 04:11 AM
I'd recommend that you use that blackberry honey in a blackberry melomel rather than a braggot.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Slavens
12-22-2007, 09:06 PM
I'd recommend that you use that blackberry honey in a blackberry melomel rather than a braggot.

Cheers,

Oskaar

That sounds like an *excellent* idea. The local store still has the blackberry honey for sale, as well as an orange blossom (both at about ~$3.00 per pound, and raw to boot). Is there a way I can determine how much I'd need to pitch a 5 gallon batch, and do you have a recipe you'd recommend?

Thanks,
Les

teljkon
12-23-2007, 01:15 AM
not a bad price do they have a online store?? good luck on your new batch
:happy10:

Slavens
12-27-2007, 03:29 AM
not a bad price do they have a online store?? good luck on your new batch
:happy10:


They might have a website, but I'm pretty sure they don't do online sales, though.

butterlily5
01-24-2008, 12:54 AM
Hey, all!
Don't know how many of you reside on the "left coast", but I'm new, too. It's funny, my husband was the one who wanted to make the mead, since he had had some at the Rennaisance Faires he used to go to. He even had 2 gallons of honey from a friend of ours (at the time) who's father-in-law was a beekeeper. When we finally rolled around to the Folsom Brewmeister to look into what it would take to do it, I was immediately hooked. :D He was just looking around, not intending to do anything yet, but I got so excited about it, he stepped back with a smile and "let me at it!" He loves me!
I'd gotten 2 batches started before I had even tasted a drop of mead. Our BevMo only carries 1 real mead, and 1 mead-flavored white wine, So we bought the Chaucers. I like it best at room temp.
I've been all over Ken's book, but I gotta know: How long, after first racking, should I expect to see activity in my carboy? I suspect I have a stalled or stuck fermentation. I first pitched them in the middle of November, about a week apart, and racked them about 3 weeks or so later; I pulled a sample from each about a week ago to test gravity and taste it. Not having gotten a decent gravity reading when I started (newbee mistake, maybe), the reading ended up telling me nothing. Tasting was great, though. Huuby gave me the :icon_thumright: Goin' great! but the alcohol content is low in Batch one, and almost untraceable in Batch two. Do I worry, leave them alone, feed them, what?... :usa2:

wayneb
01-24-2008, 01:16 AM
Hey, butterlily5! Welcome to "Gotmead?"!! Can you tell us more about the recipes for each batch, as in how much honey and how much water per? Also, which yeast strains did you use, and if they were dry, did you rehydrate them before pitching into each batch? Even though you can't yet make any sense out of your current gravity readings, those would help us now. Also, do you have any way of measuring pH? Finally, did you add any yeast nutrients to either batch? If so, do you know what brand you used and how much you added?

All of that info is helpful when we're trying to diagnose a potential problem remotely. Give us any additional info that you can, even if you can't answer all of the above questions. Any additional data will help!

akueck
01-24-2008, 01:40 AM
Hi Butterlily,

I think there are more than a few of us out on the west coast, but I can never remember where everybody is located. I'm in the Bay Area for now, until we realize that we can't afford to live here anymore. :laughing7:

In addition to posting some stats on your batches, you might consider starting a thread in the brewlog section. That way everything about your mead will be all in one place and easier to find later.

Welcome to GotMead and happy fermentations!

butterlily5
01-24-2008, 08:22 PM
Well, here goes. Realize that I was COMPLETELY new to brewing, and with Ken's book and some advice from some of my local brewers club, I gave it a go: Batch 1 started Nov. 14, 2007
I used one gallon of what I call my "Natomas Wildflower" Honey (from the father-in-law-born-and-raised-in-another-country of an ex-coworker); very dark stuff that had been in storage in my garage for probably 3 years, but oh, when I tasted it... :icon_thumleft: 2/3 crystallized..... I used Ken's first, simple recipe (Honey, water, yeast), realized later that I was actually 4 lbs short of my intended amount of honey. I used White Labs sweet mead yeast in the test tube, and mountain spring water from the store (my water smells like chlorine, I fear), but someone mentioned not using the nutrient unless I smelled funny smells.... I cooked it to specs, cooled it to the right temp......72F, I think, brought it to 5 gal, pitched my yeast, shoved the stopper way to far down into my carboy, heehee :-[ (That was a fun one trying to get out), shoved it in the closet, and watched it daily. It got going rather well, the first few days, I guess: around a bubble every couple seconds and foam invading my stopper and spilling out (messy), but nothing at all like the stout I just finished. After a few days, it settled down to about a bubble every 5-6 seconds.after 3 weeks or so of stressing, I finally decided to rack it out. At this time, I figured it'd be ok to add the rest of the honey I had realized was missing originally, so I would siphon some of my fermentation into a blender with part of the honey (I did this twice) and added that to the second carboy, shoving it back into the closet. The house is a consistent 70 deg, and the temp strip says about 68. I only smelled a faint funny one day, but not since. Jan 13, I pulled a sample, (SG 1.033, acid level is 6) and the taste test of the resident expert says "Oooh, it's really good!" :D But I still worry.......

butterlily5
01-24-2008, 09:19 PM
Just to let you know, I did start a brewlog thread at your suggestion..... The Lily-girl's Learning Curve. I talk about both batches. Thanks!

Earendil
06-01-2008, 12:39 AM
Hi!

I'm new to GotMead and very glad to find you. I've been making meads for about 2 years, now, and in that time, I've met a total of two fellow meadmakers, so I'm very glad to find others that I can compare notes and share information, chat and generally hobnob with.

About two years ago, I was re-reading Lord of the Rings and was intrigued by his description of 'miruvor', a mead made by the elves. He described it as "a clear drink, pale golden in colour: it had the scent of a honey made of many flowers, and was wonderfully refreshing. Very soon they were laughing, and snapping their fingers at rain, and at Black Riders. The last few miles, they felt, would soon be behind them."

One thought led to another and within a week or so I had picked up Ken Schramm's "The Compleat Meadmaker" and was off and running (well, off, anyhow). In the time since then I've made 5 batches; two metheglins, two melomels and a mead with nothing other than honey, water, yeast, etc. (Is that what people mean when they refer to 'show mead'?)

I have two batches in primary fermentation, right now, whose destiny has not been determined and I'm getting ready to try my first rhodomel, having perused the postings on this site (thanks Oskaar, for the tip).

In the time since I started on my quest, I've made some miruvor and thanks, in part, to it I, too, have done a lot of laughing and have snapped my fingers at rain (no mean feat, being an Oregonian) and at Black Riders.

I'm a voracious reader and, like my father, I have walked through this world with a book in one hand and a hammer in the other (figuratively speaking, of course), so I 'know' a number of things to be found in books like Schramm's and Papazian's, but there are many things I don't know. I'd like to learn what I can from you all and to the degree that I can help others, I'd be glad to do so.

Best Wishes to All!

wayneb
06-01-2008, 01:12 AM
"Show mead" is honey, water, yeast, and no etc.! ;)

Welcome to "GotMead," BTW!! You will find lots of good company here -- and I've been known to do more than snap my fingers at the rain after a couple of glasses of mead! :drunken_smilie:

mts198
05-04-2009, 03:19 PM
Hey guys I'm pretty impatient and unsure about some points of aging, I don't want to spend 6 months on waiting for a mead that I made wrong.
I wanted to know what the quickest way to make dry mead would be, like could I rack it after a month and add some glycerine to smooth it out?

here's where i'm at so far

5 pounds clove honey
1-2 teaspoons five spice
2 gallons spring water
1 pack red star cuvee
1.5 teaspoons yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon yeast energizer

SG 1.073

Day 3
SG 1.059

At the end I was going to add 1/2tsp gelatin and then some bentonite, once clear I was going to add some 1-2oz glycerine then bottle

wayneb
05-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Meadmaking will teach you patience, my friend! ;)

BTW - Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!

In all seriousness, the amount of time that any particular mead will require to integrate and smooth out will be highly dependent on the recipe (generally lower ABV meads are ready more quickly than higher strength versions), and on how you managed fermentation (higher temperatures usually mean quicker ferments, but also produce more harsh tasting components such as fusels). Additions of things like glycerine will change mouthfeel, perhaps influence the perceived "sweetness" of the result, and the like, but won't do much to change the amount of time required for that particular mead to be really ready to drink. Likewise, you can fine with bentonite, gelatine, or any of a number of other fining agents, but that won't make your mead drinkable any earlier -- it'll just make it clearer.

mts198
05-04-2009, 03:49 PM
Meadmaking will teach you patience, my friend! ;)

BTW - Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!

In all seriousness, the amount of time that any particular mead will require to integrate and smooth out will be highly dependent on the recipe (generally lower ABV meads are ready more quickly than higher strength versions), and on how you managed fermentation (higher temperatures usually mean quicker ferments, but also produce more harsh tasting components such as fusels). Additions of things like glycerine will change mouthfeel, perhaps influence the perceived "sweetness" of the result, and the like, but won't do much to change the amount of time required for that particular mead to be really ready to drink. Likewise, you can fine with bentonite, gelatine, or any of a number of other fining agents, but that won't make your mead drinkable any earlier -- it'll just make it clearer.

Thanks a bunch. That helps me out a lot, straight to the point. I'll have to just be patient then. Maybe i'll start a couple different batches at once that way i'll always have something going.
I'll keep in mind that there is no substitution for aging and test the glycerine out for that "mouthfeel" and "sweetness" result

Thanks agian

magarcia12
08-10-2009, 09:49 PM
Thirsty Viking, I have started my third Melomel mead and my question is related to pH adjustment. My initial pH is 4.12, I have read that this should not exceed 3.8.
Local supply house suggested adding "Acid blend" to lower the pH and subsequently raise the acidity. Thi is a 6 gallon batch and I added six teaspoons to the fermenter prior to pitching the yeast. Someone had told me that a phosporic acid addition would lower the pH and not affect the acidity. Ever heard of this idea. Do you know a measurement per gallon. Would appreciate anyones advise. magarcia12

Medsen Fey
08-10-2009, 10:16 PM
Hello magarcia12,

A question such as yours warrants its own thread so that it gets the attention it deserves. Whenever you have a question that you can't find the answer to using the search tool, if there isn't a recent thread discussing that topic, you should feel free to start a new thread. Also, when posting such a question, if you provide the details of the recipe, folks can give better answers.

With regards to your question, yeast can function in a wide range of pH from about 3.0 to up above 5.0, but they are happiest somewhere around 3.4-3.8. They are however, pretty good at making the must pH suit themselves and you will usually see the pH drop in mead musts once the yeast get started, especially in traditional meads (without fruit).

Sometimes in meads, when acid is added at the beginning, and then the yeast start producing acid, they can drop the pH to a point where they stall the fermentation. This is why we usually recommend adding acid to taste after the fermentation is done.

With melomels such as you are making the buffing capacity of the fruit tends to make the mead less prone to drops in pH and so adding acid usually doesn't present as much problem, but even then, I usually wait unless I see the pH remaining high 24-48 hours into fermentation. If you've already added the acid there is nothing to do but wait and follow the pH as long as it doesn't drop down to 3.0 or below, you'll probably be fine.

As for using the phosphoric acid, I haven't tried it. I reckon the theory is that the phosphate will be taken up into the yeast so titratable acidity would not be increased. I'm not sure if that is really true, but someone will have to do a little research. Of course, in meadmaking we don't worry much about titratable acid because doing the titration testing in meads is inaccurate due to gluconolactone in the honey. We usually just make such additions based on taste, and from my standpoint, I am much more concerned with taste than I am with a number. Of course, amounts needed to achieve taste (or pH) will vary widely based on your ingredients.

Phosphoric acid might be something to consider. That is an interesting idea.

I hope that helps.
Medsen

Buliwyf
03-25-2010, 08:12 AM
I need some advice I want to try a lemon tarragon mead It will be my 1st attempt I have brewed beer a long time ago and have 22 years as a chef and still have no idea as to where to start looking for a light semi sweet recipe and tech support I have all the equipment and access to raw honey just need a basic recipe to brew :) please help

Medsen Fey
03-25-2010, 10:11 AM
Welcome to GotMead Buliwyf!!!

I haven't seen a specific recipe for a lemon tarragon mead, but it sounds interesting. I'd probably approach it by making a traditional mead and then adding lemon juice for acidity, lemon zest for aroma, and tarragon into the secondary. Adding a lot of lemon juice at the beginning of fermentation can cause pH problems, though if added in modest amounts would probably be no issue.

I think I would want a light honey for this, not a dark heavy honey.

For each gallon:

Honey to reach a gravity of 1.120 (about 3.3 pounds)
Water to 1 gallon
Yeast Nutrient (DAP) 2 grams (about 1/2 tsp)
Yeast Energizer (Fermaid K) 4 grams (about 1 tsp)
Lalvin 71B yeast - 5 grams packet rehydrated per instructions

Mix the honey in the water thoroughly, then add the nutrient and pitch the yeast. This will give you a result that should be semi-sweet to sweet with about 14% ABV. That may be a little heavy for what you are aiming for, but it should be good. You can make it with less alcohol, but that will require you to stabilize and sweeten using Potassium Sorbate and Sulfite.

Keep it under airlock and let it finish fermentation. It should end around 1.010. When done, rack it and top it up. I'd let it clear some and rack it again in about 1 month.

Then I'd add the juice of one lemon and taste. If it needs more acidity, I'd keep adding lemon juice a little at a time until it tastes balanced. Then I'd take the zest from half a lemon at toss that in (you can add more later if you think it needs it)

Now the tarragon is something I've not done in a mead, but in reading some old posts in MLD achieves, Chuck Wettergreen recommends 50 grams per gallon. Personally that seems like quite a bit, and I probably wouldn't start with more than 1 oz (28 grams), but I don't mind going slow and adding more over time. You might rinse them with a little sulfite solution before adding them in, but that isn't essential.

In a couple of weeks, (or when the taste is right recognizing that the aroma and flavor of the herb will likely recede some over time) rack it and let it clear. Then bottle. Given all the racking, I'd probably start with at least 1.5 gallons.

That would be one way to do it (there are others).

Medsen

sbdavoli
08-23-2010, 12:10 AM
Great Forum! We are still new at meadmaking because it took us 3 yrs to brew our 1st batch! We just bottled it and have started a new one. We lost the recipe and documentation to the finished batch, but it tastes good.
The new batch has some problems, it is barely fermenting and we pitched the yeast 2 days ago. It looks as if the yeast has decided to sit at the bottom also. The SG may be 1.06 and alcohol 8%, we didn't use Campden.

Recipe: 1 gal. Gibbons Farm Clover Honey
4 Gal. Spring water
1/2 Gal. Spring water
6 tea bags
2 lemons juice
Cheese cloth spice bag-- cinnamon, cloves, orange peel

Boiled 6 tea bags with spice bag in gal spring water, removed spice and tea bags, added 1 gal of honey and juice of 2 lemons, kept temp between 175-180 deg. F. for 10 mins., skimmed foam, (not much) cooled in sink with ice water, at 110 deg. poured through sifter funnel into sanitized 6 gal. carboy containing 1 gal. spring water, poured remaining 3 gals. of spring water through sifter funnel (to oxygenate) into carboy, took gravity and alcohol sample, pitched yeast, put on air-lock with siphon hose connected to gallon bottle for excess fermentation.
Any advice or comments about the yeast would be helpful
Thanks!

Chevette Girl
08-23-2010, 02:49 PM
Welcome aboard!

I'm going to suggest that you aerate your must a few times (sanitize a spoon handle or something long that fits into your carboy and splash the must around till your arms get sore), or pour some of it back and forth to and from the (sanitized!) pot you used to heat it, making sure to let it splash as much as possible without making a huge mess, it'll get the yeast spread through the must and get a little more oxygen for them yeasties to use. Some yeast nutrient or energizer might not be a bad idea either, relatively inexpensive at your local brew supply store.

What kind of yeast did you use? If it was bread yeast, you could always add a little more, if wine yeast, let us know what type, certain types are finicky.

I'd also recommend that you check your gravity again to see if it's moved, you can't always tell from looking at the must whether the fermentation is proceeding. Also, if it's only at 1.060 SG, that's not going to be very strong, will probably ferment completely dry (I don't know your tastes but I prefer my meads on the sweeter side), and it likely won't keep as well as something closer to the 10% ABV range. Of course, if it's really tasty, it'll all get drunk quickly anyways, right? ;D

I wouldn't worry about not using campden in the must, you heat treated your must so there shouldn't be potential spoilage organisms in there as long as all your equipment that touched it afterwards was sanitized. Some folks always campden everything right at the start, some people never do, some people heat-treat, some don't, most of it all works out fine in the end anyways. :)

wayneb
08-23-2010, 03:20 PM
One other multi-part question: What was the temperature of your must when you pitched the yeast, and what was the temperature of the yeast?

Also, WELCOME to "Gotmead!"

thorngrove
04-08-2011, 09:38 AM
Hi all,

I'm super happy to find this forum. :) I've already learned heaps and the instructins/tables are a godsend - thank you!

I have a question re secondary fermentation. I have started a couple of 1 -gallon demi-johns; a mead and a melomel (?), the latter made with a 300gm mixture of blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants & blackcurrants, a tsp of ground long pepper and 1.36 k (3lb) of standard honey. I only just got some pH papers so I've no idea what the acidity was (I just relied on the berries for the acid and half a cup of strong tea for tannin).

I used Ritchies Champagne yeast for both and the primary fermentation took 7 days and seemed to go OK. The mead is doing fine on the secondary.

The melomel prettymuch stopped after I racked it, so the next day (last Sunday) I added a couple of teaspoons of yeast nutrient. It's now bubbling every 6 seconds so I figure it's going OK (the mead is going every 3-3.5 seconds). The question is about how long should the secondary go? I thought it was supposed to take weeks, but it's already at the Gravity I want it.

My aim is for a dry (but not too dry) melomel with strong berry taste and a little peppery kick from the spice. I figured the target SG should be 1.006-1.010? The starting SG was 1.090. When I racked it, the SG was 1.010.

Am I supposed to wait until the fermentation slows, or is it OK to stop the fermentation with Campden tablets now and bottle it? Will it be underdeveloped or something (sorry, have no idea what the correct words are) if the secondary is only a week? Should I just leave it and just accept it's going to be very dry? Advice please? :)

cheers
Tina
:icon_flower:(brewing in Berkshire, UK):icon_flower:

Medsen Fey
04-08-2011, 09:55 AM
Welcome to GotMead Tina!

With a starting gravity of 1.090 a champagne yeast (or virtually any wine yeast) will take it completely dry with a gravity less than 1.000. Attempting to stop a champagne yeast by adding Campden tablets and sorbate will probably fail. Those stabilizing agents work better to keep a fermentation that has stopped from starting up again.

You best bet will be to let it finish fermenting completely and totally (with no more drop in the gravity). At that point, you can rack it off the sediment and treat with a combination of Campden tablets (at least 1.5 per gallon) and potassium sorbate so that they yeast won't ferment more when you add some sweetening. After that, you can sweeten it until it tastes best to you.

thorngrove
04-09-2011, 02:00 PM
Thank you! :) I shall do that.

My mead had 2k (4.4lb) of honey and a starting SG of 1.115, and is now 1.040. I was hoping to go for a sweet with that (maybe finishing SG of 1.020?), but from what you say I should also let it finish, then sweeten it after too?

Is it better to sweeten it with honey or sugar? I'd rather not use sugar in the pure mead.

Also, why does the champagne/wine yeast take it to dry with a SSG of 1.090? Is it too little sugar? Not enough? Something about wine yeast? I bought some Lalvin K1-V1116 for my next attempt. Will that be the same?
Hope all these questions are ok.

cheers
Tina

wayneb
04-09-2011, 03:34 PM
Both of those yeast strains, EC-1118 and K1-V1116, have rather high ethanol tolerances, and so both of those strains can usually easily take a "standard wine strength" must of 1.090 to dryness, unless there are problems with the fermentation. You can generally find the characteristics of different strains of yeast listed on manufacturers' websites. Lallemand have theirs here: http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php

Wine yeasts are generally able to eat all the sugars available in a mead must, since they are 100% fermentable. That is different from beer, where some of the sugars are complex, and many beer strains of yeast leave the complex sugars untouched.

More of this kind of info can be found over in the Newbee Guide; have a look at the link over on the left side of this page if you haven't already done so.

Personally, I always backsweeten a mead with honey rather than sugar. The honey is both more consistent with mead, and it will add some aromatic components that you won't get from sugar. So, IMO, honey is a better alternative - although once you've backsweetened you may have to wait a bit longer for the mead to go clear as residual proteins, etc, from the honey will stay suspended and make your freshly backsweetened mead a little bit hazy.

thorngrove
04-10-2011, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the speedy reply.

Ah, I understand now - it's the point at which the alcohol content kills the yeast. I read the guide (which is fantastic btw), but there was a lot to take on board and that bit didn't sink in. I shall give some of the lower alcohol-tolerant yeasts a whirl next.

Cool! I'll go with honey for backsweetening then. Good to know about the haze, thank you.

cheers
Tina

forester508
04-22-2011, 01:17 PM
Hey everyone, I'm so happy to find a site like gotmead.com. I just wanted some opinions on my first attempt at making mead and maybe some critique on my logic and methods.

Components:
1 gallon carboy
3/4 gallon tap water
3 lbs 100% processed clover honey (nothing special)
1 lemon (for acidity)
1/2 package of Lavlin 71b-1122 wine yeast (hoping for a relatively sweet mead)
1 tsp yeast nutrient

Methods:
yeast starter in 2 cups pre-boiled water with 1 tbsp honey (15 min)
boiled water for 6-7 min
stirred in honey after water cooled for a couple minutes after boiling
stirred in squeezed lemon juice during cool-down
poured cooled (around 75-79 degrees F) water/honey mixture into sterilized carboy
poured in yeast starter (shaken)
poured in yeast nutrient
shook the whole thing really well to mix and to oxygenate.
put in sterilized stopper and airlock
placed carboy on floor in dark closet.

This was all done last night and when I checked on the carboy this morning, it was fermenting fairly nicely with steady tiny bubbles coming up along the sides and some foam at the top. I am a little worried about the temperature since it is constently in the 60's downstairs in our place. However, I have it in an upstairs closet so it probably runs a couple of degrees higher than downstairs. I chose the yeast based on some online examples where they were shooting for a fairly sweet mead (yeast should kick out at a moderate alcohol percentage). I would like it to turn out this way as it is what my wife likes. I wasn't planning on on using the lemon, but the guy at the brew supply store recommended it for some acidity to help the yeast). They only had one choice for the yeast nutrient, so it's pretty standard stuff. I know that this recipe is extremely basic, but everyone has to start somewhere right :)

So any comments on what I did would be great. I wouldn't mind some constructive critisism if something that I did was totally bogus.

Thanks,

Forester

mmclean
04-22-2011, 01:49 PM
First and most important;

Welcome to GOTMEAD?

Next this post could have been better, if started as a new tread in the Brewlog section.

As to your recipe, there is no need to add acid up front. It could cause your yeast to stall before fermentation is complete. You can add at the end of fermentation, if needed for taste.

If you don't have one, buy yourself a hydrometer. Better yet buy two, in case one breaks. You will need one to know when your fermentation is over. Be very afraid of bottling anything with yeast and sugar together.

I highly recommend reading the Newbee Guide, found in the tool bar to your left, before you bottle this up. It is most common to ferment dry, stabilize, then backsweeten to taste.

rico1980
11-16-2011, 01:28 PM
First time mead maker here. Let me first start by saying that I'm currently somewhere that resources are very hard to come by, so I'm doing the best I can with what's available to me. My goal is to produce an acceptable first wine, that won't taste horrible, and perhaps be shared with friends. I came prepared with some quality yeasts and the rest will be a great learning experience...I hope.

This recipe is really just my own custom one at this point. It's a collection of different things that I've seen and heard from various sources and modified to fit my current conditions. "Joe's Ancient Orange and Spice Mead" is probably the closest to my actual recipe, but I'm utterly spiceless where I am. Maybe I'll throw in some hot tamales cinnamon candy for cinnamon flavor later, haha! Please forgive me if my attempt offends any of the more experienced members of this forum.

I'm currently 2 days into a very small batch consisting of:

-28 x 1/2 ounce Kraft brand "pure honey" packets (approx 3/4 pound)
-approx 5 oz./3 oranges worth fresh orange juice (hand squeezed with some pulp)
-1.5 liters bottled/purified water
-2.5g EC-1118 yeast

No boiling was done. The total must is about 1.75 liters. I have 4 other kinds of yeasts and elected to use this one because I read that it is a "Champagne" yeast and would be better for this use. I realize that I added enough yeast for possibly 2.5 gallons worth must. Can anybody tell me what kind of effect this is going to have?

So far the must is bubbling quite nicely. I improvised an airlock out of some medical equipment and so far things seem to be going as advertised. I've been keeping it at an approximate 70 degrees, in the dark, and I've read a few other recipes on various sites and was wondering about any feedback concerning what to expect as far as suggested timeline, alcohol content, how it might taste and any worst case scenarios.

I'd be interested in consumption sooner than later but I do understand that the longer that a mead is left, the better it will be. I guess I'm just so new at this that I'm wondering exactly what is the bad part about early consumption. Is it that it will taste "yeasty"? Is it that it will be cloudy? I'm very interested in crafting an excellent mead someday, but for now I'd like to simply make one that I can enjoy, not too long from now (relatively speaking), that won't make me sick or give me one of the worst hangovers ever.

Well, I'm excited to read what people have to say. Thanks to all and "Wassail!"

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 02:09 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Kraft honey packets? Oh my, you ARE somewhere way out there, aren't you!

First off, over-pitching (using more yeast than is required initially) shouldn't hurt your batch.

That particular yeast is good for a really high alcohol mead, it should be done with this current batch within a week since your must isn't that strong (I estimated it to be around 9%).

If you consume this while it's still cloudy and producing CO2, well, let's just say some people's digestive systems react badly to active yeast, there was one mention of someone having stained his toilet :eek:

If you let it clear and pour off the clear stuff, it should be fine, although the longer you let it age, the better it will taste. Especially early on, you may want to sweeten this up a little before you drink it, but drink it quickly thereafter, as you don't have the chemicals on hand to stabilize it so the yeast don't continue merrily fermenting any additional sugars you give them.

Take a look at the "mead calculator" over there to the left, its help button actually is helpful. You should be able to figure out an approximate alcohol content for your creation, it even lets you mix pounds and litres :D , just change the units field before you enter your value or it might auto-convert it for you.

If you can get your hands on a hydrometer (and some more honey) next time you're back to civilization, it's a much better method for determining your alcohol content.

There are also other possibilities if you've got limited supplies, bottled juices are quite fermentable as long as they don't contain things like potassium sorbate.

And also, don't be afraid to start a new thread of your own on the forum, resurrecting really big old threads isn't always the best way to get answers.

rico1980
11-17-2011, 12:06 AM
Welcome to the forum!

Kraft honey packets? Oh my, you ARE somewhere way out there, aren't you!

First off, over-pitching (using more yeast than is required initially) shouldn't hurt your batch.

That particular yeast is good for a really high alcohol mead, it should be done with this current batch within a week since your must isn't that strong (I estimated it to be around 9%).

If you consume this while it's still cloudy and producing CO2, well, let's just say some people's digestive systems react badly to active yeast, there was one mention of someone having stained his toilet :eek:

If you let it clear and pour off the clear stuff, it should be fine, although the longer you let it age, the better it will taste. Especially early on, you may want to sweeten this up a little before you drink it, but drink it quickly thereafter, as you don't have the chemicals on hand to stabilize it so the yeast don't continue merrily fermenting any additional sugars you give them.

Take a look at the "mead calculator" over there to the left, its help button actually is helpful. You should be able to figure out an approximate alcohol content for your creation, it even lets you mix pounds and litres :D , just change the units field before you enter your value or it might auto-convert it for you.

If you can get your hands on a hydrometer (and some more honey) next time you're back to civilization, it's a much better method for determining your alcohol content.

There are also other possibilities if you've got limited supplies, bottled juices are quite fermentable as long as they don't contain things like potassium sorbate.

And also, don't be afraid to start a new thread of your own on the forum, resurrecting really big old threads isn't always the best way to get answers.


So, to clarify; you're saying that I didn't put in enough honey and it's going to be about 9% alcohol in roughly a week?

Chevette Girl
11-17-2011, 12:44 AM
So, to clarify; you're saying that I didn't put in enough honey and it's going to be about 9% alcohol in roughly a week?

In my typical long and rambling style, yes, that sums it up quite succinctly ;D Check out the mead calculator and you can run the numbers yourself.

Actually, it's not that you didn't use enough honey, there's nothing wrong with having a 9% mead - the advantages are that it's likely to ferment quick and clean, it's likely to be drinkable sooner than a high-alcohol fermentation, and it's likely to clear up pretty quickly. :) It's just that the yeast you chose can handle a lot more.

Big Dawg
04-24-2014, 11:24 AM
Hi,

I'm trying to figure out how to post a message, so I'll give this a try. If you could let me know how I start a new post I'll do it. In the mean time I have a question about my current batch of mead! This is my 3rd batch. This one is raspberry with 20 lb. berries and 20 lbs of clover honey. I've used the usual additives and am also following a suggestion on a similar site where I add about 1/4 Tsp energizer and nutrient each day.

I have the mead in a food grade 7 gallon bucket with a lid that has a hole in it for an air lock. I am not using a lock, but leave the lid loose. I stir the mead at least 6 times a day, when I do it foams up and actually sounds like it's carbonated with the fizzle that comes up!

In my past batches I have had a layer of foam in the morning's that I would remove with a tea strainer. This batch does not have a layer of foam in the morning.

Does this sound normal to you folks?

Thanks for any replys.

Big Dawg

Stasis
04-24-2014, 02:09 PM
WELCOME TO GOTMEAD!
(I've been wanting to do that for some time. Sorry patrons for taking away that pleasure from you :P )

Hi Big Dawg,
So the foam at the top, or krausen, is normal. You do not need to remove the krausen from your fermenting mead. Actually my impression is that this is a bad idea as you will be removing some nutrients and yeasts when skimming that krausen (but I could be mistaken). The only scenario where I can imagine this *might* be a good idea is if you are doing an open bucket fermentation and you are worried it got contaminated from the air. This is why I hear people covering their bucket with a sanitized towel.
the level of foam varies from batch to batch depending on ingredients and rate of fermentation... and probably many more factors. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Even though I always had this foam/krausen I've heard of people who don't get it.
The 1/4 tsp of energizer per day will be repeated for how long? That is called step feeding the nutrients and is usually done for the first couple of days, so careful you do not overdo it. stirring the mead for aeration does not need to be 6 times a day as I heard 3 times is sufficient. However, surely there is no harm in doing this more than 3 times and I have done this as much as 6 times myself on certain batches. Check out aeration up to the 1/3 sugar break from the search tools on these forums. If you have no way of determining your 1/3 sugar break I think (given the lack of info I have of your recipe) that aeration for 3-5 days should be sufficient.
I think you cannot start a new thread just yet.. If I remember well I had a couple of days between registering and having my account initiated to member. But that was some months ago and I wasn't too sure what was happening either.
Don't worry though you seem to be on the right track. You are doing well, I am just ensuring you know how to continue from here on. My only question is whether or not you have a hydrometer. If you don;t have one this will be your best investment ;)
Btw I am only mentioning the specific terms so as to make you familiar with them and help you search the forums yourself. By far the greatest pleasure you will get will be from learning from the vast amounts of info on this site through the search facility (once you get as hooked as we are at least)
Happy brewing :)

Honeyhog
04-24-2014, 08:39 PM
I haven't been mazing long but I've found each ferment is a bit different. It also depends on the honey, fruit and the yeast you use. If it's fizzing, it's working, but hey even if it's not fizzing it could still be working, but slowly. Sounds like everything is fine.

heresolong
04-27-2014, 10:33 PM
I have one magnum bottle of mead that is now almost fifteen years old. I drank the rest about one bottle a year (and it kept getting better each time) but keep postponing this one, thinking, but it should only get better. Now I'm almost afraid to open it but have decided just to wait for a special occasion.

mannye
04-29-2014, 10:45 AM
I have one magnum bottle of mead that is now almost fifteen years old. I drank the rest about one bottle a year (and it kept getting better each time) but keep postponing this one, thinking, but it should only get better. Now I'm almost afraid to open it but have decided just to wait for a special occasion.

I say you make drinking the mead the special occasion. It should be the star of the show!

Make a big dinner of BBQ pork or anything else that will go well with mead, invite a couple of folks that will really appreciate it and pop that sucker open !


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

EbonHawk
04-29-2014, 11:26 AM
I have one magnum bottle of mead that is now almost fifteen years old. I drank the rest about one bottle a year (and it kept getting better each time) but keep postponing this one, thinking, but it should only get better. Now I'm almost afraid to open it but have decided just to wait for a special occasion.
You get my vote for "Most Patient Person on the Planet". I would have drunk that sucker 14.8 years earlier!! :p