View Full Version : Newbee Cherry Vanilla Mead

09-05-2005, 04:23 PM
*waves frantically* Hi, everyone! I hope that some of you can give a hand with a recipe (ish). I am a total newbee (love the spelling!) with my total mead making experience being the batch of Joe's Ancient Orange that I started yesterday at my mom's house. I have read a lot of the information available on GotMead, though not ALL because I only found this site last week or so, and while I read fast, I'm not quite that fast. :) So here is the recipe that I came up with to use up some frozen cherries I have. I am trying for an all natural mead - just honey, yeast and water until I siphon it over the cherries. Here's what I came up with, questions will follow:

for 1 gallon
3lbs honey
water to one gallon
wine yeast
1.25lbs dark sweet cherries
2 oz. vanilla extract

Flash pasteurize honey, put in primary with water to get volume to one gallon (or a little more). When must cools down, pitch yeast. After ? ? ? ? time, siphon into secondary over thawed crushed cherries and add vanilla. Place airlock on secondary. Rack after ? ? ? ? time. ? ? ? ? Bottle.

Okay, question time:
1. Can someone help fill in the blanks?
2. Do the proportions sound right? I would like this to finish sweet.
3. I am currently in the process of packing up my house and moving across town in the next couple of weeks. Will the mead stand up to being jostled as it is moved? This is the reason I started the Ancient Orange at my mom's - no touchy, no shaky! :)
4. Will this be bottleable and drinkable by Christmas? I am planning on starting this weekend after a trip to the homebrew shop.
5. Any suggestions on yeast? And is there a good "all-purpose" yeast for both wine and meadmaking? Or will using the wrong type ofyeast totally destroy the flavor of the drink?

Any help or comment is appreciated greatly. Thanks - Scout

09-05-2005, 05:56 PM
Hey Scout,

You really don't need to pasteurize the honey as it will kill off the enzymes and protiens along with the delicate floral and varietal characters and aromas. This plays through in your mead as well.

Your proportions sound fine and will be a good match with 71B-1122 or D-47, they should both leave a bit of residual sweetness, although the D-47 will end up drier the and 71B.

If you use 71B your mead will be a bit more ready than the D-47.

If you want to help it along a bit try adding 1/2 teaspoon of tannin up when you are making the must. During the first three to four days, your batch will benefit from a little jostling around to help aerate it and keep the yeasts happy. Also you should consider giving your must some nutrients like Fermaid-K because both the recommended yeasts above can produce off flavors if they do not have adequate nitrogen in the must.

You may also consider starting with Joe's Ancient Orange which should be ready by Christmas. Look under recipies and in the brewlog for addition information on it.

Hope that helps,


09-05-2005, 05:58 PM
Additional to the excellent recomendations made by Osakaar. Rather than adding vanilla in liquid form try aging it with a cracked vanilla bean in the final carboy - you can always add liquid vanilla after. An aquaintance makes port and ages it with a vanilla bean and its to die for.

09-05-2005, 06:09 PM
Great point about the Vanilla bean Andrew. There is a link somewhere on the board to a guy with an eBay store that sells Vanilla beans. Everyone who as purchased them from this dude has been very happy with the product.

Hope that helps,


09-05-2005, 08:00 PM
Thanks Oskaar and Andrew! I just checked and my brew shop carries both yeasts you recommended, Oskaar, but I will go ahead and try the 71B. It sounds like more of what I want. I will also try using a vanila bean instead of extract. I'm thinking I will also pick up a reference book or two on Saturday. I'll let you guys know how it goes. :)

09-05-2005, 09:37 PM
Welcome aboard! I recommend you increase the honey to about 3.5 lbs or it might finish a bit on the dry side with 71B (at least this has been my experience with 71B when aerating and adding nutrients like Fermaid K). Good luck! Be sure to post in the Brewlog and the fine folks here will be happy to help along the way should you have anymore questions.


09-07-2005, 10:37 PM
I'm thinking I will also pick up a reference book or two on Saturday.

If I'm not too late, if you pick up any book it should be Ken Schramm's Compleat Meadmaker. It is the new bible of our little cult and it will be come your new friend. I sleep with mine. I am a looser.

09-08-2005, 08:51 AM
nope definitely not too late. It's already on my shopping list for this weekend. After reading everything you guys have said about the book and about Ken Schramm himself, I figured it was a must. Tried to get a copy yesterday at Barnes and Noble (have the little discount card thingy) but they didn't carry it.

Now as for whether I will be sleeping with my copy . . . I do tend to fall alseep while reading - does that count?? *big grins*

09-08-2005, 11:44 AM
The book is in my room and I usually reread a random chapter every few nights. Worth every penny.

09-26-2005, 10:54 PM
The book is in my room and I usually reread a random chapter every few nights. Worth every penny.

And whatever you do, don't loan it to a friend!
The first time, I didn't get it back for 3 months.
The second time ... well, it's been a year so far.