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Thread: Newbie here!

  1. #1

    Default Newbie here!

    Greeting fellow Meaders! My name is Eric and I have recently joined the world of mead making. I currently have 4 1gallon containers with a variety of different meads. The first is just a basic must; the second is called Gobsmack'd which is similar to the Ancient orange recipe by a famous meader. I added a few embellishments to make it my own, thus the name. By research and amounts of sugars and seasonings added, I imagine it will finish a bit sweet and p'raps a bit tart. Time will tell! The third batch is called Apple-jack the Ripper and blends apples, cinnamon and brown sugar with the honey. The fourth batch is called Dad Plum Crazy, and has, as you would expect, plums. The first two fermented quickly, then tapered off after 4 days, now just a couple bubbles a minute. The other two are still bubbling vigorously.

    Looking forward to learning all there is to know about mead! Downside? I can't drink any for months!

    New2mead

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK - South Coast.
    Posts
    3,467

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    Welcome to the forums Eric.

    Sounds like you're off the mark already. Excellent.

    If you haven't already, I urge you to read the NewBee guide (linked in yellow box on top left) as its got a wealth of good info, tips and other guidance.

    Oh, and don't forget, the only dumb question is the one you forget to ask. People are pretty helpful hereabouts. Maybe worth including a vague location for your public profile, as its likely that you may find local info useful as well......
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    7,800

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    Yep, we don't bite (not hard anyway)... and we do generally answer the same questions from newbies over and over without too much bitching, but do please check out the search function...

    Biggest hint I'll give to a new meadmaker after "read the Newbee guide" is get a hydrometer, you'll need one if you want to do more than guess about the state of your fermentations.

    Welcome aboard!
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  4. #4

    Default

    Hey Eric, I'm new to the forums here myself and new to mead making. Spending tons of time myself here digging through the resources figuring out stuff like SNA, crunching on some of the different recipes while waiting for a 5 gallon bucket of orange blossom honey to get here, and generally trying to figure out how to poke into the conversations here and find my feet. Lots of good folks here, so hope you're enjoying what you find so far. Good luck on those batches!

    -Matt-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    135

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    Welcome to you both. I learned more on this site in 2 months than I did fumbling around on my own for over a year!

    Eric, there's some quick recipes on the site so you have something to drink while you're waiting (JAO, 4 week quick cyser and a quick grape, can't remember the exact name of that one).

    Deacon, You're down the road from me about 3 hours. It is nice to have general idea where people live

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    7,800

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadie Lady View Post
    Welcome to you both. I learned more on this site in 2 months than I did fumbling around on my own for over a year!
    I second that, I learned more here in the first year than I did in 5 years on my own with a couple of reference books and a now defunct homebrewing forum where I originally got the JAO recipe from years before I found this place...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon Aegis View Post
    Hey Eric, I'm new to the forums here myself and new to mead making. Spending tons of time myself here digging through the resources figuring out stuff like SNA, crunching on some of the different recipes while waiting for a 5 gallon bucket of orange blossom honey to get here, and generally trying to figure out how to poke into the conversations here and find my feet. Lots of good folks here, so hope you're enjoying what you find so far. Good luck on those batches!

    -Matt-
    It's almost overwhelming the amount of information! But that's part of the fun! I am going to make a pineapple kiwi mead (i aptly named Don Ho's Ukelele) next, then the JAO. You can't call yourself a mead maker if you haven't made it. I've been using store bought honey, but will eventually switch to the good stuff.

    Thanks and happy meading!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sadie Lady View Post
    Welcome to you both. I learned more on this site in 2 months than I did fumbling around on my own for over a year!

    Eric, there's some quick recipes on the site so you have something to drink while you're waiting (JAO, 4 week quick cyser and a quick grape, can't remember the exact name of that one).

    Deacon, You're down the road from me about 3 hours. It is nice to have general idea where people live
    I have the recipes for both and look forward to making some JAO and the grape mead! Thanks for the info!

  9. #9

    Default

    Welcome New2mead.

    I started out much the same way you have, learning a ton on here, and from the newbee guide, asking lots of questions that these guys probably get sick of answering multiple times but they are all super nice and seem to enjoy giving us newbees help and guidance. I too also used store bought honey for my first few batches but have since graduated to good, raw, unprocessed honey that I plan to use exclusively from now on. It really does make sense to use the best honey you can find because of all of the $$, time and labor you put into this fun hobby, and because it's pretty much the main ingredient, you want to end up with the best possible outcome imho.

    I've started ten gallons to date and it may not be the best mead in the world but I have accomplished a few things:
    -I have acquired and now have all of the equipment I need(but there is always something else I'd like to have, yes, I'm a gadget freak, lol).
    -I've learned so much with these first 10 gallons and have a good understanding now of the process and this will hopefully result in really good quality meads going forward.

    So good luck to you and cheers!

  10. #10

    Default Thanks hepcat!

    So what kind of mead do you have? I currently have 5 1 gallon batches of the following:

    Gobsmack'd - an orange and vanilla mead
    Apple Jack the Ripper - Apples and cinnamon melomel
    Basic must
    Dad plum crazy: a plum melomel
    Don Ho's Ukelele - pineapple and kiwi melomel

    Also have 5 gals Slop Bucket Espresso stout in primary fermenter.

    Thanks!

  11. #11

    Default

    All of my meads have been pretty much orange spice melomels except for one attempt at a two gallon traditional which I'm still bulk aging so don't know yet how good (or not) that's going to be. And I used a not very high quality store bought honey in it. I've experimented by using four different kinds of yeast in four of the five orange spice melomels I've made so far. And I used a high quality, unprocessed orange blossom honey in two of those batches (one of those was a four gallon batch so I have used high quality, unprocessed orange blossom honey in 5 of the ten gallons I've made so far).They are all, so far, drinkable and I just have to wait and see if they get any better with age. I'm planning to save at least a couple of bottles of each batch I've made so far and see how they are once they're about a year old. The reason I've made so much orange spice is that I have arguably, access to some of the best oranges in the world where I live (Indian River Citrus) and we had a crop of really nice, super sweet seedless navels this season.

    And I like the variety of the batches you're doing, I def want to try some other flavors, different fruits and spices like you have, going forward.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat View Post
    All of my meads have been pretty much orange spice melomels...
    What have your favorite orange and spice combinations been?

    I have the start of an orange mead brewing now and am thinking about adding some vanilla beans to it in the secondary. I keep having thoughts of spices as well, but I'm not sure if I'm completely sold on that aspect yet. (But I'm keeping my options -- and mind -- open.)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    135

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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat View Post
    The reason I've made so much orange spice is that I have arguably, access to some of the best oranges in the world where I live (Indian River Citrus) and we had a crop of really nice, super sweet seedless navels this season.
    My mom was visiting relatives in Titusville and brought me some Indian River navel oranges. They were great! I started a modified JAO with them last week. Voided the warranty for sure, increased the Orange and raisins and decreased the honey, but kept the OG approximately the same as JAO. Also increased the spices over the amount I used in my first batch. Anxious to compare the two at some point.

  14. #14
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    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat View Post
    ...there is always something else I'd like to have, yes, I'm a gadget freak, lol).
    Me too, hubby calls me "the little gadget queen". If I get a new one, supposed to get rid of an old gadget. Like that's going to happen I just remind him of all the gadgets he has for restoring his Chevelle.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Ottawa, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadie Lady View Post
    I just remind him of all the gadgets he has for restoring his Chevelle.
    <drool> Chevelle...

    Yeah, I've got the worst of both collections, all the car tools AND all the winemaking and kitchen equipment, and the sewing... my hubby does everything in the kitchen with a knife and a healthy dose of "brute stupid" (his words) and doesn't touch the car unless I need to borrow some "stupid" (he's almost exactly twice my mass, strong like tractor).

    I have at least learned that for things like corkscrews and garlic mashers not to cheap out at the dollar store, or someone's application of stupid will break it...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    <drool> Chevelle...

    Yeah, I've got the worst of both collections, all the car tools AND all the winemaking and kitchen equipment, and the sewing... my hubby does everything in the kitchen with a knife and a healthy dose of "brute stupid" (his words) and doesn't touch the car unless I need to borrow some "stupid" (he's almost exactly twice my mass, strong like tractor).

    I have at least learned that for things like corkscrews and garlic mashers not to cheap out at the dollar store, or someone's application of stupid will break it...
    ROFL... Your hubby sounds pretty cool. I hate cheap tools, whether they're for the kitchen, my work (leather crafter), or my woodworking shop. Cheap tends to get a healthy application of stupid whenever I can get away with it. (Wife won't let me apply some stupid to my very old laptop, but I'm near done with the thing...)

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    my hubby does everything in the kitchen with a knife and a healthy dose of "brute stupid" (his words) and doesn't touch the car unless I need to borrow some "stupid" (he's almost exactly twice my mass, strong like tractor).

    I have at least learned that for things like corkscrews and garlic mashers not to cheap out at the dollar store, or someone's application of stupid will break it...
    I spent close to 9 hours yesterday, most of them under the house, practicing my I-Am-Not-A-Plumber skills. I'm sensing a kinship here with "application of stupid."

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Location
    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivecats View Post
    I spent close to 9 hours yesterday, most of them under the house, practicing my I-Am-Not-A-Plumber skills. I'm sensing a kinship here with "application of stupid."
    Been there, did that, two weeks ago. Woke up to "no water" cause it was all going under the house in the crawl space. Husband, also not a plumber but used the brute stupid to apply to plumbing, broke several things multiple times with multiple trips to Lowes (and accidentally locking the dog in the crawl space). Had to take a time out to find The Sadie Lady. Finally got water back late in the evening, but he got it fixed.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadie Lady View Post
    Been there, did that, two weeks ago. Woke up to "no water" cause it was all going under the house in the crawl space. Husband, also not a plumber but used the brute stupid to apply to plumbing, broke several things multiple times with multiple trips to Lowes (and accidentally locking the dog in the crawl space). Had to take a time out to find The Sadie Lady. Finally got water back late in the evening, but he got it fixed.
    I finally cut away the offending pipe work, removed the sillcock and capped the pipe leading away from the main water supply under the house. Now, a day later, I'm thinking I could actually make this work with some proper measurements and a few extra parts. However, I'm not about to do that for a while. (I'm too danged sore today to consider doing it until May.)

    My wife and I spent an eventful day trying to get one of our cats out from the crawlspace. He'd escaped out of the fenced-in back yard (we have a cat fence that makes us look like a kitty POW enclosure) and out front. As we were trying to get him to come back inside, he decided to sneak into a gap where the heater has pulled away from the house. He happily eluded us in the ductwork for hours.

    Our cat wasn't traumatized at all. I hope the Sadie Lady came through her ordeal with the same grace.

    (Oh, and sorry for the hijack New2Mead! Welcome aboard!)

    (I don't think you're a real member of GotMead? until you've had at least one thread hijacked.)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivecats View Post
    Our cat wasn't traumatized at all. I hope the Sadie Lady came through her ordeal with the same grace.
    Yes she did, she knew where she was even though we didn't.
    And New2Mead welcome to Gotmead!

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