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sstargaze3
09-24-2004, 08:49 PM
I tasted my first mead about 5 months ago, and I was told it was homemade. I'd heard of it before I've been to tons of ren faires in the past couple years. Sooo, in past few weeks I've been finding as many websites as possible and and taking tons of notes and writing down what to buy when I get to the brew shop. I have all that down but what is a good easy Mead to start with other than plain mead? I was thinking a Strawberry Melomel. What say you?

dogglebe
09-25-2004, 05:13 AM
I reccommend to everyone who wants to make mead to brew some beer first. Both require the same level of sanitation, which is extremely important. Without it, you're doomed....doomed I say!

Brewing beer (an ale) takes only a few weeks. You'll know then if your sanitation practices are good enough then. With mead, you won't know for several months.

In regards to a strawberry mead, there's absolutely no reason not start out with one. My first mead was spiced with cinnamon, clove and ginger. It's all up to you.


Phil

Jmattioli
09-25-2004, 08:28 AM
I tasted my first mead about 5 months ago, and I was told it was homemade. I'd heard of it before I've been to tons of ren faires in the past couple years. Sooo, in past few weeks I've been finding as many websites as possible and and taking tons of notes and writing down what to buy when I get to the brew shop. I have all that down but what is a good easy Mead to start with other than plain mead? I was thinking a Strawberry Melomel. What say you?
Welcome sstargaze3. The Strawberry Melomel sounds great. As Phil said, it is good advice to get the basics down first by something less complicated though it need not be beer. Never-the-less, it is your call.
Here is a Strawberry recipe posted on this site:
http://www.gotmead.com/mead-recipes/recipe23.shtml
There is another one here:
http://www.gotmead.com/mead-recipes/bees-lees-ii-3.shtml#strawberry1

Some easy quick meads ready to drink I like and have been really good in a short time are here:
http://gotmead.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Recipes;action=display;num=109338422 3
http://gotmead.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Recipes;action=display;num=109339652 7
http://gotmead.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Recipes;action=display;num=109339392 2

There are a number of suggestions at this link:
http://gotmead.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Recipes;action=display;num=109339768 2

Welcome again and best of luck with your first mead, whatever you chose. Hope we all here can be of assistance to answer any of your questions.
Regards
Joe

ScottS
09-27-2004, 07:02 AM
Welcome! A couple comments:

Mead is easier than beer. Much easier, in my opinion. I started with mead and didn't have any problems.

I've found that it is difficult to get strawberry flavor to come through in mead. Check out Jmattoli's recipes, but be warned. You might be better off starting with something like a show mead or perhaps some other fruit.

Jmattioli
09-27-2004, 11:53 AM
Stargaze,
Strawberry is a delicate flavor in mead as Scott pointed out but if you use enough it can be delightful. I have tried one that was fantastic. Check out the amount used here.

http://www.gotmead.com/mead-recipes/recipe23.shtml

You can always add a bit more ripe frozen strawberries than the recipe calls for to get more flavor. Who knows, yours may be a real award winner.
Joe

Leah
09-27-2004, 02:29 PM
What does the recipe mean by "put strawberries in mesh bag over fermenter"? I can't just put the fruit in? What is a good fruit other than apples or blueberries to use? I was also thinking about a cherry pineapple.

Jmattioli
09-27-2004, 05:17 PM
What does the recipe mean by "put strawberries in mesh bag over fermenter"? I can't just put the fruit in? What is a good fruit other than apples or blueberries to use? I was also thinking about a cherry pineapple.
Instead of putting the berries directly into must a mesh bag is used and then tied and put in must. It makes a lot less of a mess later when you have to remove them. Especially when seeds are involved. Acts kind of like a tea bag. Yes you could just put the fruit in but you would understand the benefits of th mesh bag later. Other fruits could be peaches, plums, oranges, bananas, grapes, cherries, pineapples, watermelon, blackberries, grapefruits, lemons and a host of others I will leave to your imagination.
Joe

Suzy_Q_Brewmistres
09-27-2004, 05:33 PM
I work at a Fruit Concentrate Juice plant..... I have access to concentrated Fruit juices and fruit puree concentrates... the juice conc. is clear and the puree conc. is not. Do you think I'd be able to use some of this to make a nice mead?
And at what stage would I add it.... before yeast? ... after yeast during furmentation? ... or after fermentation is done and the mead is ageing? How much would I use?
The only thing I've seen that is similar to what I'm thinking is the Welches grape recipe. OH.... could the Fruit Conc. be in replacement of the grape?
So many questions.... sorry.
:-* Suzy Q, Brewmistress

Jmattioli
09-27-2004, 06:44 PM
I work at a Fruit Concentrate Juice plant..... I have access to concentrated Fruit juices and fruit puree concentrates... the juice conc. is clear and the puree conc. is not. Do you think I'd be able to use some of this to make a nice mead?
Yes

And at what stage would I add it.... before yeast? ... after yeast during furmentation? ... or after fermentation is done and the mead is ageing?
You can add it before or wait til your first racking as it slows down. Not after it is done as it won't ferment

How much would I use?
each fruit is a bit different as some have stronger flavors than others. Get Ken Schramms book which has a chart that will be useful to you concerning fruit quantity in mead. A general starting point could be the equivalent of 32-64 oz of juice per gallon depending on how strong the flavor is.


The only thing I've seen that is similar to what I'm thinking is the Welches grape recipe. OH.... could the Fruit Conc. be in replacement of the grape?
Yes, just adjust amount the concenstate would be equivalent to.

So many questions.... sorry.
:-* Suzy Q, Brewmistress
Yes, but so much time--- So keep them coming
Check out Ken's Book on this page:
http://www.gotmead.com/
It is a valuable resource, no meadmaker should be without. It will answer 90% of your questions.
Joe

ThistyViking
09-28-2004, 02:49 PM
Read My Sticky message your first recipe if you haven't already. I recomend that as a fairly bullet proof first recipe.

Well if you check the stickies here, you know i recomend cyser. It will finish to a drinkable stage in a month to 6 weeks (though it will get better with age). Others have followed my directions for thier first mead with really good results. Personally i was always stealing ladels of mine all through the fermentation on the first batch... i never thought it was undrinkable. but then again i have a sweet tooth and the must was mighty darn tasty to me.

As for strawberry, i've heard several bemoan thier early attempts at it... and i haven't made one with only strawberries yet.

JamesP
09-28-2004, 04:22 PM
For strawberry, make sure there are no soft/rotten bits. It will add that aroma/flavour to the whole batch.

I like sticky lemon (approx. one lemon per gallon, some recipies use lemongrass). It doesn't complement many foods, but is good as a palate cleanser, and is great chilled as a refresher on a hot day.

Suzy_Q_Brewmistres
09-28-2004, 06:24 PM
I have Ken's book.... picked it up when I first picked up my supplies...(carboy, airlocks, etc...). So I'm reading every once in awhile in between reading the articles on "Mead made easy" & "Mead made difficult" & other internet articles and talking to youse guys... ;) whome I call my Mead Guru's.
So... it takes awhile for some of it to sink in... but a little more each time I read something does get through and I understand a bit more. I'll check into the fruit juice recipes & articles and see what I can do.
Thanks boys.... ;)

:-* Suzy Q, Brewmistress

Suzy_Q_Brewmistres
09-29-2004, 07:27 PM
Took Ken's book to work with me last night... (graveyard) ...found the pages on Concentrates. Good reading... also thumbed through other sections of interests. I've not read it cover to cover yet... I'm picking parts that interest me at the most at this time.
Ken suggests making a large (3-5 gallon) basic mead (show mead) and then after fermentation.. split it up into 1 gallon batches and add the concentrates a bit at a time to taste.
Now I can put to good use the Fruit Concentrates I have in my freezer that I've been saving for some reason. Must have been fate that I came upon this interest... or that I saved so much concentrate. (We clean out our freezers at work every once in awhile and get rid of samples of product that we no longer have in inventory... so we get samples)

Thanks Joe for reminding me of the book.

:-* Suzy Q, Brewmistress

Jmattioli
09-29-2004, 08:51 PM
Yes, adding the the concenstrate to a show mead after it is finished as Ken mentioned creates a flavored mead, not a traditional melomel. He calls it naked meadmaking on page 113. Some of the guys here also use a concentrated apple juice after their cyser is done to bring out more of the apple flavor but that is not the same as he suggested. He is creating a strictly flavored mead rather than a traditional melomel with added flavoring. If no fruit or juice is fermented, it is just flavoring and though it still fits in his definition on page 19 of a melomel, I would take issue and instead call it a flavored mead since the fruit is not even partially fermented. But that is just my opinion.
Joe

ThistyViking
10-09-2004, 01:19 AM
I only use AJC and honey mix to sweeten my cysers when i have fermented to too low a gravity and lost delicate apple taste.

This is analagous to the use of a sweet reserve in winemaking. where they are allowd you add up to 10% volume the juice they started from to retain charachter.

I agree that making a "show mead" then flavoing is different. Fermentation changes more things than only sugar -> alchohol.

That being said. if the results are enjoyable... I don't discourage them. I have some "Cherry Charisma" from Early Estates Meadery. 70% mead 30% cherry Wine. Will post here after i try it. The bottle was given to me last January... I know he had it for at least several months before that. The color is wonderful and only 9% ABV so i should be trying it soon i guess.