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webmaster
03-04-2006, 03:06 AM
First thing you should do is go to the Newbee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=35&Itemid=54)
and read. It does a step-by-step walk through of everything you need to know to make mead. Say 'Thank you, Angus'.

Then, try Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=118&Itemid=6), it's nearly foolproof! Say 'Thank you, Joe'.


Make a gallon, see if you like it. Mead is pretty simple, and don't let the fact that we cover every subject under the sun here scare you.

Just jump in, join the rest of us crazy people, and have fun. And as Charlie Papazian says, 'Relax, sit back, and have a homebrew!'

Vicky Rowe - Your Friendly Neighborhood Meadwench

WRATHWILDE
06-03-2006, 06:27 PM
Advice for Newbees
There are a lot of variables in making mead... but there is one thing every new brewer needs - A hydrometer!!! They are relatively cheap, usually under $10. A Hydrometer will save you, and us, a lot of headaches and guess work about the state of your mead. One with a gravity reading of 1.16 to .99 is sufficient. The next most important item is a good high temp thermometer, one that goes to 220 (f) is sufficient. This will help make sure you are rehydrating your yeast at the correct temperature, and not killing/shocking them by pitching them in must that is too hot or too cold.
Keep a detailed log of every aspect of your batch. If you are unsure of just exactly what you should be keeping track of - download my custom brewlog (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/wrathwilde/media/Brewlogsetcopy.jpg.html) (you must be a Registered Member).
The best way for us to help you with your batch is for you to document your recipe and procedures by starting your own 'new topic' in the Brewlog section of the forum. When you have questions about your batch just add them as new posts to your brewlog thread. This serves you... as well as us! You'll have a complete history of your batch, tips and advice from us, and we will know at a glance the areas that might be causing your troubles.

To Answer Your specific batch related Questions we need the following...

What was the Original Recipe?
What type of yeast did you use?
On what Date did you pitch the yeast?
How did you rehydrate the yeast?
What was the Temperature of the must when you pitched the yeast?
Exactly what steps did you take while making the batch?
Did you aerate/oxygenate the must during the first 3 days?
Did you use any nutrients?
What was your airlock activity like?
What is the temperature of the room you ferment in?
Did you sanitize ALL of your equipment just before making the batch?

What do you need to get started?

There are many Winemaking Kits out there, here is an example of some good beginner kits. I'd personally suggest the Brewing Intermediate Kit with Glass Carboys. (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdBySubCat.aspx?SubCat=11166&fd=1)

Some other Items that will make your brewing easier...

A lees stirrer (http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19688) - this attaches to your hand drill to aid in stirring/aerating your batch
A High Temperature Thermometer (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=5009)
A Carboy Drainer (http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=15773) - makes drying carboys painless.
A Fermtech WineThief (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=4356) - for monitoring progress with your hydrometer

Wrathwilde's Quick and Easy Mead Brewing Tips

How to figure out how much honey you need.
For a 5 gallon batch one pound of honey equates to approximately 1% of alcohol potential. So know your yeasts potential. If your yeast can go to 16% then for a dry mead anything under 16 pounds of honey should take you to dry. Note that the less honey you use the thinner (less full bodied) your mead will be.
If you want a mead that is just a little off dry then 16 to 17 pounds of Honey should do. If your looking for your mead to finish semisweet then 17 to 18 pounds of honey will be required. If you want a sweet or dessert style mead then 18 to 20 pounds of Honey will be required. Basically what it comes down to is your yeast’s alcohol tolerance = the number of pounds of honey you should use to end up with a dry mead. Plus 1 pound for off dry, 2 pounds for semisweet, 3 to 4 pounds for sweet or dessert style meads. Remember these are ball park figures, always check against your hydrometer for actual alcohol potential.

Sanitize everything that will come in contact with your Mead just before starting your brew session. I use 1 cup of bleach and fill my plastic primary with water, I let all my smaller equipment soak for about 15 minutes then I triple rinse them and set them aside in a clean drying rack.

To rehydrate my Yeast
I use 1/4 tsp of Goferm added to 75 ml of 110 (f) bottled spring water and stir well. When the temperature drops to 104 (f) I add the yeast and stir well. I then let the yeast hydrate for the recommended 15 minutes. I use a Pyrex measuring cup that has been sanitized & triple rinsed to rehydrate my yeast in.

First Steps in the Plastic Primary

Mixing the Honey
There are no compelling reasons to boil your must when using honey from commercial sources... unless you are following a period recipe for an SCA brew competition.

Using Nutrients
DAP and Fermaid K are additional nutrient sources that I highly recommend you use. They will benefit your yeasts greatly and help protect against stuck fermentations. I recommend 1/4 tsp of each for every gallon of must. To keep things simple... add 1/4 tsp of each when initially mixing your batch and a 1/4 tsp of each (until you reach a total of 1 1/4 tsp each) each time you stir/aerate your batch during the first three days. For those of you who are more advanced, additions are best made at the tail end of the yeast lag phase, the 1/3rd sugar break and 2/3 sugar break.

Aerating / Oxygenating your must
Your yeast need plenty of Oxygen to reproduce... but only during the first three days. This can be accomplished by stirring the heck out of your must twice a day. This is where a Lees stirrer comes in very handy, a good 5 minute high speed stir using a power drill, forward & reverse directions, should be sufficient.

Keep your plastic primary covered and airlocked the first three days, open it only to stir/aerate.

At the end of three days transfer your must to a 6 gallon Glass Primary.

Using a freshly sanitized and rinsed funnel and Carboy, pour your must from your Plastic Primary to your 6 gallon glass primary. Place a drilled stopper and airlock on the carboy and let ferment. You will notice that your airlock activity will be going like gangbusters for several days (as long as your room temperature is in the 65 to 75 (f) range. You will also notice a layer of sediment (lees) form on the bottom of your carboy, this is basically yeast that has fallen from suspension and nothing to be concerned about. When you rack the mead to your 5 gallon Carboy you want to try and leave as much of the sediment/lees behind as possible. When your airlock activity drops to 1 blip every 15 seconds then it is time to rack to a 5 gallon glass carboy. Remember when you syphon/rack you want to minimize exposure to air so always fill from the bottom with your transfer line submerged.
After Transferring to your 5 gallon Glass Carboy
Your airlock activity will slow considerably for a couple of days after you rack, don't worry... it's perfectly normal. When your airlock activity seems to have stopped completely take a hydrometer reading, take another the following week. If there has been no change your fermentation phase should be done. I recommend keeping your airlock on for an extra month and then replacing it with a solid stopper. With your fermentation complete now comes the hard part... waiting for your mead to bulk age. I recommend a minimum of 6 months before bottling, drinking.
References you might find helpful...

Angus has done a terrific job compiling brewing information for the NewBee, see his contributions here. (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=53)

Lalvin (Lallemand) yeasts are very popular with the GotMead crowd two good sources of information on their yeast strains can be found here...

Good descriptions of Lalvin yeast strains here. (http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_strains.php)
Cross reference chart of Lalvin Yeast Strains here. (http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php)
The best place to find Lalvin Yeast is morebeer.com (http://morewinemaking.com/browse.html?category_id=1314&keyword=&x=1&y=1&PHPSESSID=7c7eaf792e2eb7e65ae61bbfdfd8ffc2)
For a compilation of Oskaar's Mead Advice see my Oskaar in a Nutshell (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=1655.0) thread.

How to read the gravity scale on your hydrometer...
A lot of hydrometer scales show the reading in thousands but most written brewer notations are decimalized, they are equivalent.
990 = (.990)
1,000 = (1.000) (distilled water @ 60 (f) (also
10 = (1.010)
20 = (1.020)
30 = (1.030)
40 = (1.040)
50 = (1.050)
60 = (1.060)
70 = (1.070)
80 = (1.080)
90 = (1.090)
1,100 = (1.100)
10 = (1.110)
20 = (1.120)
30 = (1.130)
40 = (1.140)
50 = (1.150)
60 = (1.160)
70 = (1.170)

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

If you have further questions email me - wrathwilde@gotmead.com
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webmaster
06-03-2006, 06:56 PM
Thanks Wrath, this is good info.

NewBees, one more thing. If you look up ^, you'll see an item on the forum menu called 'SEARCH'. Use it. You'll likely find that the question you're asking has already been answered. It will also lead you to myriad yummy stuff on how to make mead, what types of mead to make, and all sorts of gory details on the making, drinking, aging, storing and showing of mead.

Use the Search. Both here, and on the top menu (all the way up the page, on the right) for the site. You'll be glad you did.

Vicky Rowe - site owner and friendly neighborhood Meadwench

The Honey Farmer
06-05-2006, 01:43 PM
I started making mead because people would rather drink honey than eat it. ;D Who woulda thunk it ???
Dennis

sandman
02-06-2007, 01:45 AM
I hear differing opinions regarding pail vs glass carbouys a lot. I've also heard that using bottled spring water is a good thing vs standard old tap water. These all make sense to me. I've been talking to a few people (beer brewers) lately who say that you can use the 5-gallon plastic jugs the water comes in for the fermentation process.

Has anyone used these type of bottles for mead brewing and if so, how did it work out for you?

Admittedly, I'm so new my ears are still green, but I would think you could just pour out the water you're heating for the must then pour it back into the main jug once it's prepared and ready to go.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to brew my first batch won't be until I get home from the Middle East this spring, but I'm anticipating a very rewarding new hobby once I get there. For now, it's been a blast just researching and planning.

Thanks to everyone on this site for providing me with so much information to read up on.

kace069
02-06-2007, 03:08 AM
I'm sure that there will be a few detrators to this statement, but I would say absolutley do not use a 5 gallon plastic water carboy as a fermenter. I have 3 and all of them are formed, for a lack of a better description. This creates plenty of places for organic material to get caught up and become very difficult to clean out. Then you can start growing a nice bacteria colony in it. Another reason is, for a finished mead this would be in my opinion a poor place to store mead long term, to permeable to O2. And 3rd, all of mine have giant openings on them and I would probably have to search high and low for a bung.

I like to primary in a plastic bucket, becasue of the ease of mixing up my must, after primary it goes into a glass carboy. I have no experience with the better bottles on the market now. Until I have a horiffic carboy accident I am staying with glass, and that would still depend on how horrific the carboy accident is. If I only bleed enough for a 2 or 3 day stint in the hospital, I am staying with glass. 4 days I will consider a change. ;D

ucflumberjack
02-06-2007, 07:10 AM
i worked with a guy who had mentioned that he had made his own mead one time a few years ago and that him and a friend had found a bottle that had been stashed in a shed a few days before. they drank it and said it was excellent. he gave me the website and now here i am.

JephSullivan
02-06-2007, 09:19 AM
Unfortunately, I won't be able to brew my first batch won't be until I get home from the Middle East this spring, but I'm anticipating a very rewarding new hobby once I get there.


A cousin of mine was stationed in Iraq last year. He is an avid homebrewer, doing mostly all grain beer batches, but when he was in Iraq where no alcohol is available, he had to improvise. He got honey and raspberry jam from the mess hall, and made mead. According to his account, the wild Messopotamian yeasts fermented the must pretty aggressively.

Long story short: you don't have to wait until you get back to make some mead. ;)

ps I'm trying to get in touch with him so I can share his recipe and techniques with you all.

sandman
02-10-2007, 05:36 AM
That's what I love to get.. a simple answer to a simple question. Thanks very much for the input. It makes a lot of sense now that I think about it a bit more. I'll definitely be using glass for the fermentation process. I did like the idea about using a bucket for the mixing and prep part of it though.

I know I could go ahead and start a batch while I'm here, but I'm getting short these days and it'll be better to just wait until I get home so I can do it right. :cheers:

sandman
02-14-2007, 01:03 AM
OK, I couldn't do it. I just COULDN'T wait until I got home to start brewing. I scrounged up a glass bottle (3 liter, not 3.75 which would be a gallon) and I'm trying to brew me a batch of JAO. I dropped the amounts by approximately the right amounts and now all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best. 8)

Changing measurements may throw me out of the succsss range on this mead, but at least I'm doing something. I'm sure under the circumstances that Joe will forgive. Besides, it's bubbling and foaming like nobody's business already. The airlock was obviously a problem since I'm in a dry country so I had to umm... improvise a bit. You don't want to know what I used as an airlock for this thing. LOL :cheers:

David Baldwin
02-14-2007, 02:20 PM
Rob43,

Absolutely we DO want to know what you used! Inquiring Mazers want to know!!!

Field expedient fermentation! Sounds like a new field manual in progress!

Keep your head down and come back safe.

David
3rd ACR - Desert Storm.

sandman
02-15-2007, 05:36 AM
New user name but it's still me. I think this one fits me better considering my current circumstances. Thanks Vicky!! :wave:

A new FM (Fermenting Manual?) in the making.. LOL

OK, It's not as field expedient as some of the things I learned during that little jaunt back in '91. I was at sea during the storm on an Aircraft Carrier. Sailors will ferment anything they can get their hands on if they have a place to hide it.

When I was up north in '03/'04 with the National Guard we used to ferment fruit into a decent (enough for us at least) jungle juice just by using those big water bottles and mashed fruit from the chowhall. Hide it on top of the tent or shelter and over time it'll ferment up nicely. Ok, so none of us went blind drinking it. LOL

This time around since I'm a civilian (and not getting shot at when leaving the base), I snagged a local bread yeast and am using that. Of course you can't exactly go into a store in a muslim (spelled D-R-Y) country and ask for an air lock. I didn't feel like trying to get one mailed to me (I'm too short at this point) so I improvised by hitting the PX for a box of condoms. Non-lubed and turned inside out (in case of powders) it fits nicely over the bottle opening. I had to use a rubber band to secure it in place so it won't pop off as it inflates and it looks a bit obscene at times, but it's working so I'm not complaining.

The bottle is only 3 liters and I wasted some vinegar to get it, but with minor adjustments to the total ingredients, I think I may get something interesting in the end. I just hope it doesn't come out too pithy. I used the whole orange and had to cut it into about 10-12 pieces to fit through the bottle opening. If it does, I suppose I can always back-sweeten it a bit to mask that part. As long as it's not rotten it'll get drank so I doubt it'll end up as a total reject in any case. Besides, it let me get started brewing a mead which I've been itching to do since I found this site. If this works out I'll be thrilled, if not, it still helped pass the time so I won't be disillusioned in the slightest (though I will be a smidge disappointed). I'll start a new batch when I get home this summer anyway. IOW, I'll "ruck up" and move on.

"Forgive me Joe, but I had to do it."

Better a brave attempt than sitting on the sidelines doing nothing. :icon_salut:

Of course I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out. :cheers:

Fwee
02-15-2007, 03:26 PM
:laughing4:

I can just imagine what that
(carboy/"airlock" set-up)
must look like. :laughing7:

:notworthy:

sandman
02-15-2007, 11:51 PM
Ooooh, I'm sure you can imagine what it looks like if you try real "hard". >:D

Burping it every once in a while actually leaves me feeling a little dirty for some reason.

Well, I'm off to Thailand tomorrow. Two weeks of router training coming right up. I'm going to see if I can find any unique honey sources while I'm there too of course. ;) Their wine industry is just starting to get recognition on a large export scale so I'm putting feelers out for any potential mead brewing efforts in the area as well.
:cheers:

Texas Drawl
10-01-2007, 01:02 AM
Thank you, Angus... And thank you, Joe... And thank you, Vickie (for running the website)... and thanks to all others who have contributed to the site. As a one-batch newbee, gratitude far outstrips knowledge, and I think that's as it should be.

Tex

wildaho
10-01-2007, 03:43 AM
And welcome to you Texas, I think you'll find that we are a friendly bunch here... As soon as you taste you're first batch, the more you are going to appreciate your next batch! Especially after you've learned what the gurus here have to teach.

butterlily5
01-27-2008, 02:18 AM
Hey, Sandman

What ever became of this first Desert batch? I couldn't track it down....

Teufelhund
01-27-2008, 01:23 PM
:icon_salut:

Here's a recipe for prison hooch. No, never been there except as an MP, But I did hear about this:

1 # 10 can pineapple
2 doughnuts
2 C sugar
Cover and hide from the CO's for 3-4 weeks. Enjoy. :laughing7:

:cheers:

DD

Darter
09-05-2009, 10:55 AM
I like your brewlog and want to download it, but I don't know how.. duh... heheh. :confused:

PamW
02-28-2010, 09:57 PM
First thing you should do is go to the Newbee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=35&Itemid=54)
and read. It does a step-by-step walk through of everything you need to know to make mead. Say 'Thank you, Angus'.

Then, try Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_pccookbook&page=viewrecipe&cat_id=3&recipe_id=118), it's nearly foolproof! Say 'Thank you, Joe'

Thank you Angus! Thank you Joe! Thank you Vicky!

Got my hubby and brother homebrew starter kits this last Christmas. Listening to them go on and on about what they were doing got me curious. I have more patience than they do and like sweeter stuff than they do, so i thought i'd give mead a try. My hubby stumbled on this site in his meanderings on the internet, so i've been poking around reading everything and figuring stuff out. Saw Joe's recipe and because i didn't want to compete (okay compete more) for kitchen space with my hubby's brewing stuff i figured i'd give it a try. I used a Cara Cara pink orange but forgot to get raisins :mad: so that's the only thing i "changed" in the recipe. I started it on 2/26/10 and peek under the towel i have over the box that the one gallon jar is in once daily to make sure that its still bubbling away nicely. Looking forward to drinking it!

Thanks again!

Pam W

EnchantedAlana
01-20-2011, 12:38 AM
Like so many others, I've found you during a search for mead recipes; and PHEW, am I ever glad I've found you guys!!
I've been making my own wines for 3 years or so, and figured, 'hey, if I can make wine from kits, then what else can I make it out of?!'. Two 13L batches of wine later, and here I am! I made them identical, except for the yeast (we've moved since, and my notes are missing...) anyway, I recall batch #1 tasted like apples and flowers, and #2 was pineapple-y and flowers. The recipe, as I recall it, was the rinds and juice from 2&1/2 lemons, 2T black tea, brewed, & 3kg of honey. I winded up with (almost) grenades!!
So, this time, when I make my 23L batch of mead, I'll be stopping the fermentation with something.... Again, I'm here to learn, and it's certainly been an interesting ready.
Thanks for keeping this site interesting, and up and running!

nicker00
12-03-2011, 11:53 AM
Hiya,
Just finished making my first batch of mead...yup used the foolproof method ..yet somehow it is not working. I added the yeast and nothing. Checked the yeast and it is alive...any suggestions? Used the ancient orange recipe...could it be too cold?? No bubbles happening at all
Thanks.

Chevette Girl
12-03-2011, 12:34 PM
What temperature is it at? Did you change anything in the recipe? How long has it been? How did you check the yeast?

Sprigg
02-07-2012, 06:34 PM
I too have a question about my JAO. It's been in there for a month, and is starting to taste quite good (had my first taste today!)... now, will I need to stop the fermentation at some point? Or will the yeast eventually run out of oxygen/food and simply stop? Or is it as simple as filtering the yeast out by running it through a coffee filter or something at bottling?

mmclean
02-07-2012, 07:41 PM
No, the bread yeast will not continue to ferment, due to the alcohol level.

You can stabilize before bottling or just rack and let it bulk age for a while. I think I bottled mine at 9 months.

wiltshiremead
08-03-2012, 03:09 PM
Hiya,
Just finished making my first batch of mead...yup used the foolproof method ..yet somehow it is not working. I added the yeast and nothing. Checked the yeast and it is alive...any suggestions? Used the ancient orange recipe...could it be too cold?? No bubbles happening at all
Thanks.
You know, after I mix my flour, salt, water and bread yeast, I let the bread dough sits in the fridge overnight and even at that temperature the dough would still rise by the morning as opposed to 1-2 hours in room temperature so I don't think it will never be too cold unless it is outdoor in minus condition. It just means that the yeast might work a bit slower than at the optimal temperature of 18c-20c etc.

wiltshiremead
08-03-2012, 03:15 PM
:icon_salut:

Here's a recipe for prison hooch. No, never been there except as an MP, But I did hear about this:

1 # 10 can pineapple
2 doughnuts
2 C sugar
Cover and hide from the CO's for 3-4 weeks. Enjoy. :laughing7:

:cheers:

DD
ah this might work though I don't have to try it as I have access to a selection of premium yeasts ;D

There is a similar recipe called Kvas from Russia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kvass). Though it's a low alcoholic drink, they are fermented.

mediaguru
08-09-2012, 01:12 AM
I would consider using the big plastic water carboys for beer (which isn't going to sit in it very long), but not for mead which you may need to bulk age for several months or a year.

When I bought my wine kit recently, I did opt for a better bottle instead of glass carboy, mostly because it was going to be a 6 gallon one and the thought of moving around and handling a 6 gallon glass carboy is frightening... but also because I happened to find a 2 glass carboys (one 5 gallon, and one 3 gallon -- made in Mexico) sitting in the little wine cave that came with the house I just bought. So I figured, I might as well have a variety depending what I want to do.

For now, I'm not using the better bottle yet, and instead will be doing one 3 gallon (glass carboy) and two 1 gallon (glass jugs) for secondary. But I'm sure I will end up attempting a bulk age in the better bottle at some point... supposedly they are not gas permeable and do not allow oxidation to happen. Only one way to find out...

joemirando
09-19-2012, 12:47 PM
Another new mead maker here.

I have two 1-gallon batches in the works now (orange/spice and lemon/tea) in gallon jugs with balloons as makeshift airlocks. They seem to be fermenting nicely as of now, the seventh day.

Last night it struck me that I don't have a 'baseline' for what 'plain' mead tastes like. So I whipped up a 3 liter batch with the following:

3 lbs store brand honey
25 raisins, each cut in half
1 packet grocery store variety yeast
aprox 2.25 liters bottled spring water

I added everything 'cold'. No boiling or heating.
I am using a balloon with a pinhole as a makeshift airlock.

After 15 hours, there had been no activity, so I ground the contents of one teabag and added it to the must.

I really hated to do this, since I want a 'plain' mead, but I didn't know what else to do.

Within half an hour, the balloon began to inflate, so I am guessing that its finally begun to ferment.

My question is this: How much tea leaf should I add to a 3 liter batch of must? How much CAN I add without imparting a 'tea' taste to the final product?

I considered adding orange or lemon peel instead, but again, I don't want to flavor the batch, and I don't have any oranges or lemons at the moment.

I'm sure that some in the forum will want to tell me that I should have a proper airlock, a carboy, a baume' gauge, hydrometer and/or a method of testing pH, but I need to do this on the cheap.

Does anyone have experience/anecdotes/opinions on how much tea to add?

Also, would there be any value to brewing the tea first, chopping the used leaves, and adding those to the must, instead of unbrewed tea?


Thanks for any/all help,

Joe

wayneb
09-19-2012, 08:58 PM
Hi, Joe! Welcome to "Gotmead?"!!

Rather than answering your questions in detail here, let me suggest first that you drill down to the very first post in this thread - which is a set of guidelines for new meadmakers written by one of our "veteran" meadmakers, Wrath. After you read that post then head on over to the "NewBee Guide" to meadmaking. You'll find a link to that document over on the left side of this page. You'll find a wealth of info on meadmaking in both places that should answer most of the questions you have now, and if there are any other things you'd like clarification on, then post them in a new thread within this section. We'll be happy to help.

I find it interesting that your meads started fermenting coincident with a tea addition, since in general terms tea doesn't provide much in the way of nutrients or other things that stimulate fermentation. If I had to guess, I'd say that it is more likely that your yeast just started up slowly. 3 lbs of honey in only 2-1/4 liters of water is a pretty high concentration of honey, and at that specific gravity, a store-bought bread yeast might have a little trouble getting started, especially if you hadn't rehydrated it first.

In any case, I'm glad to hear that things are going well for you now, and good luck with the continued fermentation.

joemirando
09-19-2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks Wayne.

Don't know if it'll mean anything to you, but Alliance College Alum here.

The total mix was 3 liters. i extrapolated the proportions. The 'average' I've seen for the amount of honey for a gallon of mead is 3 lbs. Since a gallon is 3.75 liters, I figured it wouldn't make a huge difference. Of course, I've never done this before, so I'm probably wrong.

I've been going nuts trying to do this on the cheap, and I'll be darned if I'm going to go out and buy glass jugs. The empty 3liter jugs from Lambrusco will have to do for now.

I appreciate the pointer to the bottom of the thread. I had looked around and not seen anyone giving quantities for things like tea leaves, so I figured I'd ask.

I was interested in the activity that showed itself right after I added the tea leaf, and I added two and two. It may well be that the yeast just got off to a really slow start, but tea is magical stuff, so who knows? :)


Thanks again,

Joe


Hi, Joe! Welcome to "Gotmead?"!!




Rather than answering your questions in detail here, let me suggest first that you drill down to the very first post in this thread - which is a set of guidelines for new meadmakers written by one of our "veteran" meadmakers, Wrath. After you read that post then head on over to the "NewBee Guide" to meadmaking. You'll find a link to that document over on the left side of this page. You'll find a wealth of info on meadmaking in both places that should answer most of the questions you have now, and if there are any other things you'd like clarification on, then post them in a new thread within this section. We'll be happy to help.

I find it interesting that your meads started fermenting coincident with a tea addition, since in general terms tea doesn't provide much in the way of nutrients or other things that stimulate fermentation. If I had to guess, I'd say that it is more likely that your yeast just started up slowly. 3 lbs of honey in only 2-1/4 liters of water is a pretty high concentration of honey, and at that specific gravity, a store-bought bread yeast might have a little trouble getting started, especially if you hadn't rehydrated it first.

In any case, I'm glad to hear that things are going well for you now, and good luck with the continued fermentation.

wayneb
09-23-2012, 12:59 AM
Alliance College? Yeah, it does ring a bell! Dzień dobry, pan!

Nothing wrong with keeping your costs as low as possible... I have lots of "home made" or "acquired" equipment and I still re-use bottles to save a few bucks here and there.

Chevette Girl
09-30-2012, 05:13 PM
My suspicion if it started bubbling immediately after you added the tea is that it was starting already, it just hadn't reached that critical point of production where it needs to release it, and adding ground tea leaves gave it nucleation points to release CO2... it likely would have started bubbling within a couple of hours anyway even if you hadn't added the tea leaves.

I use tea for tannins in my own meads and wines, and I haven't done all that much experimenting with greater amounts but I usually use one double-cup tea bag per gallon, steeped until cold, and I can detect the taste before fermentation, but never after.

moyer442
02-08-2013, 07:38 PM
so i'm looking to make a batch of mead soon and i'm going to use the "ancient recipe" i was wondering if that could be modified with a different yeast to raise the alcohol content, or if i should just keep it as is? also when i really get into it i was wondering if aging in wooden barrels is an option, as i assume that's the way it would have been back in the day.

Marshmallow Blue
02-08-2013, 08:36 PM
so i'm looking to make a batch of mead soon and i'm going to use the "ancient recipe" i was wondering if that could be modified with a different yeast to raise the alcohol content, or if i should just keep it as is? also when i really get into it i was wondering if aging in wooden barrels is an option, as i assume that's the way it would have been back in the day.

Hello and welcome to the hobby! I would go with the recipe as is. It's very forgiving where other things might go wrong when stray far off the beaten path. You'll get a pretty tasty mead from JOAM .

It is possible to age in Wooden barrels, however most of us use oak chips or cubes as it is much less expensive than owning a barrel, and maintaining a barrel can be tricky. But yes oak can add an entire new level to certain recipes.

Using the JOAM recipe to start off is also good, so you can get a hang of what your doing without risking more expensive honeys and ingredients. No need to paint the Sistine chapel on your first try. What you can do is try out different fruits like raspberries, grapes or anything else really.

Good luck and happy meading.

Chevette Girl
02-09-2013, 01:43 AM
Hello and welcome to the hobby! I would go with the recipe as is. It's very forgiving where other things might go wrong when stray far off the beaten path. You'll get a pretty tasty mead from JOAM .

It is possible to age in Wooden barrels, however most of us use oak chips or cubes as it is much less expensive than owning a barrel, and maintaining a barrel can be tricky. But yes oak can add an entire new level to certain recipes.

Using the JOAM recipe to start off is also good, so you can get a hang of what your doing without risking more expensive honeys and ingredients. No need to paint the Sistine chapel on your first try. What you can do is try out different fruits like raspberries, grapes or anything else really.



I've done a lot of experimenting with the JAO recipe and what I find is the two things that make it what it is, is the amount of honey (3.5 lb per gallon) and the bread yeast (gets going fast, doesn't eat ALL the sugars, and when it quits, it's really done) Otherwise the mead (especially a more potent one or a really dry one) will need aging for six months to a year to be drinkable, where the ancient meads are good to drink in 2 months.

WanderingRemnant
03-08-2013, 03:50 AM
Greetings,

I have made a post here and have been reading a few things. Figured I would introduce myself and my first mead experience.

I am a Flying Crew Chief in the military (glorified aircraft mechanic that gets to wear a flight suit). Essentially I only have one responsibility and that it to make sure the airplane is ready to fly and fix it if it isn't. Only difference between me and a regular mechanic is I go with the plane where ever it may go. Oh and if its ready to go and I have the time I "party like a rock star". Disclaimer: That statement is totally location dependent.

I enjoy traveling the world (approx 220+ days a year) and imbibing the local micro brews and spirits.

I was always aware of mead and its romantic portrayals in middle age and fantasy literature.

On one such trip I happened to pass through Ireland about 2 years ago and was able to get my hands on some "Irish Mead" from Bunratty Castle (When I go to Ireland for vacation I will add Bunratty somewhere into the tours of Guinness and Whiskey distillery tours). An added bonus: it came in a very cool clay glassware vassal. (My "souvenirs" from around the world tend to be alcohol related...alcohol is found in literally every part of history I have ever seen and I think it is something that in moderation (tolerances vary) brings a common ground for all peoples))

Any how, when I finally got home and tried the gloriously delicious nectar of life....I was hooked!!

Within a month I had scoured every edge of the internet I could and within a fortnight I had my very first JAOM fermenting.

It was a success and I am currently on my 3rd batch (a JAOM modification) and working some minor issues with my 2nd batch (an attempt at sack strength that I was not quite ready for).

I enjoy reading all of the posts and hopefully getting to know some of you. Thanks for reading and looking forward to learning, sharing and collaborating with all of you.

On a side note: If I were to use this knowledge for evil, it would be to make a very large batch and have it ready in time for the local Renaissance Fair and become a god. Or demi-god. Aspect? ...Ok I will settle for Hero status.:p

Calehedron
06-01-2013, 11:25 PM
Greetings to all at GotMead from the dry desert Southwest.

I decided to give mead a shot after my wife received a gallon of raw honey from someone on the reservation she was working a temp accounting job. We had no idea what to do with a gallon of honey. I think we have a 12oz bear of some brand in the pantry that's been there for years.

A suggestion from a friend that brews beer (something else I may try) and a google search later and here I am. I am definitely a DIY guy. My other big hobby is casting my own lead bullets and shot to reload my own ammo for target shooting.

I currently have a 6 gal carboy with a 5ish gal batch of Joe's Ancient Orange going eight days in. I added another 6lbs of raw desert blossom honey to the gallon for a total of 18lbs. Its bubbling away in the back bedroom closet, 75-77F with the fan off and vents closed.

I also started a single gallon batch of local apricots and ginger melomel. Using 3lb of desert blossom honey, 1.5lbs of apricots, 2oz of thin sliced ginger simmered in honey/water w/ irish moss and nutes/energizer, and Red Star champagne yeast. Its three days in and smelling good.

Schnepf Farms is drawing down its Peach Festival next week and I plan on grabbing 15-20lbs Thursday morning for a big batch of Medium Dry Peach Mead. Bought a gallon of local Orange Blossom honey for it. Apple, melon, and berry seasons are coming! I am addicted to the process already.

dkunzman
09-05-2013, 01:43 PM
So I don't know if I am posting this right, but here it goes.(newbee to the forums)
I am starting to make bigger batches of mead(15-22 gallon batches). How do I figure out how much yeast to use for these batches? I appreciate any help and/or advice

joemirando
09-05-2013, 03:59 PM
So I don't know if I am posting this right, but here it goes.(newbee to the forums)
I am starting to make bigger batches of mead(15-22 gallon batches). How do I figure out how much yeast to use for these batches? I appreciate any help and/or advice

Since most wine yeast packets say 1 packet to 5 gallons, I would figure it that way. You can get away with less... say, 1 packet to 6 gallons... and nurse it, or you can use a little more and get them beasties working quickly.

I have been making mostly 1 gallon batches lately, and I've been using a full packet for each, which is 5x what they consider a minimum. I COULD divvy the yeast up, but that'd be a nightmare.

Personally, for a 15 gallon batch, I think I'd stick with three packets. For 22 gallons, I'd probably use 5.

You could grow the yeast in a separate vessel for a day or two, feeding it to get it to multiply and build up a bigger colony too. I've never done this and don't know what pitfalls you might encounter with it.

I'm sure that someone more experienced than myself will be able to give you more info.


Joe

dkunzman
09-06-2013, 09:44 AM
Thanks for your help Joe!

saeed2
10-29-2013, 11:00 PM
Thanks ....

Safa
03-13-2014, 04:21 PM
Anyone else unable to access the NewBee guide? I just get redirected to the forum home page.

GntlKnigt1
03-13-2014, 04:30 PM
Alas....main page is still down. Am not sure is anyone has the newbee guide...may have to wait till it is back up in a few weeks

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

Jas53
03-17-2014, 09:48 PM
Attached is a compiled copy of the Newbee guide - hopefully it compiled from multiple files into one correctly.1299

mannye
03-17-2014, 11:30 PM
I got started making mead when I found THIS looney bin.

moridin
03-30-2014, 11:33 PM
I got started mainly out of intrigue and the wonder of this mystical beverage. Really took a hold of me when I started watching history channel's Viking program.
Now that I've made mead and tried various commercial meads, I can say that it is truly magical.


Sent from The Age of Legends, trapped inside a Stasis Box

fcastle1
04-01-2014, 06:30 PM
Attached is a compiled copy of the Newbee guide - hopefully it compiled from multiple files into one correctly.1299

Thanks Jas53! I was missing that good reference guide.

gw72487
06-16-2014, 03:37 PM
Is this link still working for everyone else? I have had some issues accessing the newbee guide.


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Esys
06-16-2014, 06:21 PM
As silly as it sounds, when playing Skyrim, mead was always referenced. I had to ask myself, "What exactly is this?" So.. I looked it up, and thought to myself, "Well, this doesn't sound so hard.."

And so my obsession began...

GntlKnigt1
06-17-2014, 07:53 AM
Is this link still working for everyone else? I have had some issues accessing the newbee guide.


Works for me on Win 7, 64 bit laptop using IE. Perhaps it is your iPhone that is the prob.

Aragorn
06-17-2014, 08:07 AM
I can not access it on my iPhone. It works fine on my computer with chrome


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gw72487
06-17-2014, 04:57 PM
Yup i will try to access it on another comp. thanks!


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Jmondro
10-28-2014, 04:33 PM
While visiting my daughter this summer in Boulder, as a change of pace to visiting all the breweries we took a tour of Redstone Meadery and was impressed. Upon returning home to Michigan visited Schramm's and B Nectar in Ferndale and was hooked.

Joe

Dragonheart
12-20-2014, 10:10 AM
Hey all, I am new here and have been reading and lurking for a little bit now. I havent actually started to make any mead yet. Ive been thinking about it for about a year now and reading up on it. My question though is, I want to use glass carboy jugs, but how difficult is it to put other indigents into them? They have such a narrow opening it seems like it would be a pain to put any sort of fruit or anything else into them and get them out. I seen some people say use a plastic carboy for fermentation then switch it over to the glass and others say not to. Just looking for some suggests. I want to start out with the Joe's Ancient orange in a 1 gallon glass jug which I can get around here for about 4 bucks, but getting the orange into and out, seems like it would be a pain.

Also if this has been answered elsewhere, sorry. Tried to do a search with "Glass vs plastic" and came up with like 10 pages of results including anything with those words. Thanks

GntlKnigt1
12-20-2014, 11:09 AM
JAOM is a great way to get syatyrd with a low investment of both time and money. A glass carboy would work okay for that, but i would suggest you also get a hydrometer. For future batches, i suggest pails and then racking to glass carboys for clarifying and aging, but thats future batches. Start slow, and add equipment as you become more experienced.

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

Dragonheart
12-20-2014, 04:49 PM
Oh yeah im for sure getting a hydrometer. Most of the glass carboys ive seen, I look at and just think "how am I going to get the oranges out after?"

kudapucat
12-20-2014, 05:19 PM
Crochet hook
Repurposed coat hanger.
I like to shake it upside down, one will fall into the neck, extract with a piece of cutlery. Rinse and repeat.

Jim H
12-20-2014, 05:29 PM
Oh yeah im for sure getting a hydrometer. Most of the glass carboys ive seen, I look at and just think "how am I going to get the oranges out after?"

Cut 'em up, put them in a blender. Yes, there's pulp, but they come out of the carboy with a rinse... and there's lots of surface for the yeast to feed on.

mannye
12-20-2014, 08:57 PM
Hey all, I am new here and have been reading and lurking for a little bit now. I havent actually started to make any mead yet. Ive been thinking about it for about a year now and reading up on it. My question though is, I want to use glass carboy jugs, but how difficult is it to put other indigents into them? They have such a narrow opening it seems like it would be a pain to put any sort of fruit or anything else into them and get them out. I seen some people say use a plastic carboy for fermentation then switch it over to the glass and others say not to. Just looking for some suggests. I want to start out with the Joe's Ancient orange in a 1 gallon glass jug which I can get around here for about 4 bucks, but getting the orange into and out, seems like it would be a pain.

Also if this has been answered elsewhere, sorry. Tried to do a search with "Glass vs plastic" and came up with like 10 pages of results including anything with those words. Thanks

Welcome Dragonheart!

Dude. What are you waiting for? Read the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead and get cracking! You would have had an aged JAOM by now! No hydrometer needed.

Honey, cinnamon, one clove, a few raisins, an orange, water and Fleishmans yeast. Get a gallon of Gallo Sangria or Yago or whatever, drink it with your friends and wake up to a bubbling brew!

After the 90 to 100 days it takes to drop, the fruit in the jug is so soft and saturated it pops out no problem.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

GntlKnigt1
12-21-2014, 10:55 AM
Well, if you read Joes original recipe, he sometimes didn't wait for fruit to drop

mannye
12-21-2014, 12:37 PM
Hmmm Well I've been known to dip into the jug early myself. Still never had a problem getting the fruit out.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

JDWebb
12-30-2014, 05:17 PM
The link to Joe's Ancient Orange Mead is dead, here is the URL http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_pccookbook&page=viewrecipe&cat_id=3&recipe_id=118
This doesn't help us newbies much.
Thanks.

EbonHawk
01-19-2015, 02:04 PM
Speaking of links that don't work, the Newbee's Guide link (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=35&Itemid=54) in the first post doesn't work for me either. Using Chrome. It just goes to a short page with 2 paragraphs about honey and beekeeping, and that's it, nothing else.

JDWebb
01-22-2015, 06:47 PM
My adolescent JAOM at 3 weeks yesterday. I hope this is what it is supposed to look like. Probably more like early adult. I don't know, is there a category between the two?
http://www.meadhousebrewery.com/image/JAOM1.jpg

EJM3
01-23-2015, 01:25 AM
OK

NewBee Guide (Newbie, noobie , noob, newb, etc) = NEWBEE GUIDE
(http://www.gotmead.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1300&d=1395107426)
JAOM = Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/6885-Joe-Mattioli-s-Foolproof-Ancient-Orange-Clove-and-Cinnamon-Mead)

03down
02-05-2015, 02:31 PM
hello, I was looking for a link I saw to a mead & brewlog. cheers

03down
02-05-2015, 07:44 PM
Ok, I found it. I shoulda looked harder.

jdranchman
03-11-2015, 06:13 PM
My wife started bee keeping. All seemed OK until I realized, what are we going to do with 10 to 50 gallons of honey per year. Off to sample at Redstone and Rocky Mountain Meadery and then nibble, set, hooked...

GntlKnigt1
03-12-2015, 12:11 PM
WIFE is a beek? Awesome!

kudapucat
03-15-2015, 04:39 PM
WIFE is a beek? Awesome!

Yes. This would be marital bliss.

Wingnut
03-16-2015, 12:34 AM
I had to go back and ask how I started down this road. And it was a trip started by my wife.
Now she has not been real thrilled with the results (especially since I blasted a batch all over the dining room ceiling!) but knows I'll get there.
SHE was in the local brew store buying EZ Cap bottles for her homemade Irish Creme, and saw Ken Schramm's book. She likes mead and thought I might be able to make her some.
Soooo I got the book for Christmas and I jumped in with both feet (with her pushing). Darn if it wasn't a deep pool.
Good thing she is patient and forgiving....

newtexian
06-04-2015, 02:11 PM
I've been brewing my own beer for almost 5 years now, and haven't gotten into Mead Making, as of yet. I've got a gallon of South Texas Amish honey waiting to go into my first batch. I'm a huge fan of visiting forums as a way of learning, and I'm looking forward to learning from all of y'all here.

mannye
06-07-2015, 09:07 PM
I've been brewing my own beer for almost 5 years now, and haven't gotten into Mead Making, as of yet. I've got a gallon of South Texas Amish honey waiting to go into my first batch. I'm a huge fan of visiting forums as a way of learning, and I'm looking forward to learning from all of y'all here.

Imagine if you didn't have to boil anything to make beer. That's mead. I suggest you start making a JAOM. It's super easy and will teach you the most important thing you need to develop with mead. Patience.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.