View Full Version : Quick Grape Mead (drinkable in 5 weeks)

12-11-2003, 03:22 AM
:)Just finished bottling my first Grape Mead (Melomel) or Pyment whatever one wishes to call it and it was started on November 4th and is simply wonderful to drink already. It was ready in 5 weeks! Thought I would share my recipe with you as it is the youngest best tasting, quick mead I have had thus far. Too bad I only made 1 gallon experimenting.
2 lbs Clover honey
1 oz buckwheat honey
1/8t Pectin Enzymes (I used but on second thought I probably didn't need since Welch's is already clear)
64-oz Welch's Grape Juice with Vitamin C added- Make sure it has no preservatives in ingredients other than Vitamin C added (Absorbic Acid)
Balance water if you need it to make 1 gallon after adding honey mixed in water (don't use too much water in honey mix or you'll end up with more than you bargained for.
Lalvin EC-1118

It will ferment super fast to dry (about 13% alcohol) because of type of yeast and all the nutrients and natural sugars in Welch's grape juice.It should be to SG =1.000 or less in 14- 21 days max. Rack to clean carboy over mixture of 6 oz honey, 6 oz Welch's grape juice,
1/2t of Sorbate and 1/2 crushed campden tablet . It will stabilize and clear fast. Let it clear and set for another 2 weeks and it will be ready to bottle and drink. It will be medium sweet but smooth and drinkable right away. If you want it semi sweet use 4-oz honey instead of 6-oz /
gal. The only reason I used the Campden (Sulphite) is because my understanding is that using both Potassium Sorbate and Sulphite together will definitely inhibit renewed fermentation and it did for me. I went with the sweeter version to please my wife and can't wait till she gets home to try it. I got 4 regular bottles and one small bottle and drank the rest. I don't usually like sweet wine but this was the fastest best so far. I'm told that most melomels don't require a lot of aging to be good and if this gets any better
with age, I'll probably never buy store bought wine again. Color is deep red, has nice legs on sides of glass after swirling, good nose and great balanced taste) Just don't tell everybody you used Welch's. I won't. Because the juice is clear to start, clearing is naturally fast, fast, fast. :o
Enjoy cause I am.
Regards Joe ;D

03-07-2004, 05:03 PM
Sounds interesting Joe. This grape thing has been knawing at me over the weekend. I too, am looking for something that is pleasing to the wife. Yep, and as with yours, my wife prefers sweet. And most of the time, I do as well.

I'll be looking for the no additive Welch's.

Do you think the Sorbate and Campden tablets are neccessary, or did they just speed things up for you?

03-08-2004, 01:08 AM
I think I just discovered my new batch that I will make. I have a question though, the little 1gallon jugs, what size stopper do they take?

03-08-2004, 01:11 AM
The glass 1 gal. jugs I got from the supply house take a #6 plug.

03-09-2004, 01:10 AM
Alright thank you!

03-09-2004, 01:16 AM
Samuri, keep us posted on your quest. I'm quite interested in this project.

03-09-2004, 04:48 AM
I'll try. I'm not sure as to when I can do it, I need to order a stopper and a 2nd airlock plus yeast. Anyone know where to get small ammounts of buckweat honey?

03-09-2004, 04:13 PM
If you have a Kroger near you, they carry 12 oz jars of it.

03-09-2004, 04:39 PM
None, guess I could order it by the pound from online. Wait would a health store possibly have buckweat?

Ok found a lb of it at the beefolks, but while looking through their selection (bit expensive for me) I saw Eucalyptus - Sharp, minty taste. Sounds like it would be a pretty good spiced mead perhaps.

03-09-2004, 09:43 PM
KROGER has Buckwheat honey, I have posted details on other messages.


Has 5 Pound Buckwheat Honey Delivered to your Door for less than $22 east of the mississippi. $2 more out west. IIUC

This compares to 6 pounds from bee folks at $25 + $9.85 shipping (for TN)

03-10-2004, 01:28 AM
Great find viking glad I have all of you holding my hand into this adventure.

03-10-2004, 10:24 PM
Well All,
My wife didn't like it after all, but everyone else who tried it loved it. She just doesn't like anything that taste like wine. It has a great concord taste from the final sweetening by using the 4 or 6 oz of juice and honey to sweeten it. Yes the sorbate and campden is necessary if you don't want it to take off again as the EC-1118 yeast has a very high alcohol tolerance and you would ruin the taste and cause a longer ageing time if you use more honey or don't stabilize it at a lower alcohol content. :D

03-15-2004, 01:35 AM
Ok before I start this batch. I have a large bucket, think its 7gallon primary and I'm a bit iffy of using a gallon jug as a primary with blow off. Should I use the bucket with all of its void space or just use the jug as primary and rack to another jug afterwards?

03-15-2004, 06:03 PM
Samurai, I don't think I would be lucky enough to pull-it-off in a 1 gallon jug as a primary. With my luck I'll have a foamy mess, or, at least, a gummed-up rag. ( I tie a rag on top of my primary) I started a batch of Concord Mead, Pyment, Saturday. A 3 gal batch in a 5 gal carboy, primary. Next morn, it has a 3-4 inch head of foam.

03-15-2004, 07:59 PM
This is suppose to be a quick and easy mead folks. No need for a big primary.It is so quick you can use the jug as a primary and secondary. Fermentation will be done in 3 weeks with EC-1118. The one gallon jug with EC-1118 and 3 inches of headspace will be fine. Mine did not run over and fermented at 68 degrees. No nutrients are necessary and you will make up the balance when you rack by stabilizing and racking over honey and more juice. Keep this one simple. This is one to drink right away. No need to rack a bunch of times. The welch's is clear already and it probably doesn't even need pectin enzyme as I found out in my second batch. If you use more than 2 lbs of honey it may take longer to age. No need to try and break alcohol records on this easy one.
Good Luck, Joe

03-15-2004, 08:02 PM
Use an airlock instead of a rag on the jug. This one is simple. Forget the primary / secondary senario. The proof is in the pudding. Joe

03-15-2004, 08:12 PM
Jmatt, while we have you on the line, give us your thoughts on Welch's white grape and the procedure you would likely take, in the event you would take this trail, someday.

03-16-2004, 02:05 AM
Alrighty I'm just scarred to wake up with my floor inundated by delicious foam.....hold that thought. Swimming in foamy goodness sounds like a hell of an idea.

03-16-2004, 02:41 AM
Use the bucket anyway IMO, when you lose the Kraussen, put in the jug. That way I end with a gallon batch.

It's not like racking is hard to do.

03-21-2004, 04:09 AM
i have done a primary in a 1 gallon jug plenty of times, you may have to change your airlock a couple of times in the first week or 2 but i haven't had much problems though. i buy my honey 24lbs at a time and it comes in a 2 gallon bucket which i have converted into a small fermenter for those small batches. i know you can buy these buckets from walter t kelly bee company. i think they are very cheap

03-21-2004, 07:21 PM
White Grape would follow the same procedure and recipe. As for the foaming question ??? , If you use the EXACT RECIPE and yeast and leave 3-4 inches of headspace to start, it WILL NOT foam over. You can add grape juice after a week if you want to top it up a bit but this recipe was not meant to be complicated or to mess with. So what if it doesn't make exactly one gallon. It was made to clear and drink right away while you wait on your longer term meads. Drink up and be happy :)

03-21-2004, 08:09 PM
If all you claim is true about this recipe, then it will easily make a three-five gallon batch. (one gallon batches aren't big enough to hold me very long) Even if made as a one gallon batch, a single racking is easy. 4 inches of headspace in a one gallon jug is a sizeable proportion.

I don't know where this obsession with a no rack recipe comes from. If this is in truth a big deal then I recomend you get a VVessel system. this allows the lees to be pulled off the bottom without racking. I think the price is a bit expensive, but I like the concept.


Personally I find racking to be easily accomplished. As for this 3/4 gallon recipe, that is only like 1 beer bottle a night for 8 days. Invite a couple of friends over... forget it :-)

03-22-2004, 12:17 AM
Well, my dear Mead Comrades, I have to agree with the Vike on batch sizing. 1 gallon sizes just irritate me. Don't get me wrong, I do have 3 different recipes, at present, in 1 gallon size, but I will not do this often. As the Vike points out, should a friend drop by and he sees the jug, too bad, cause there ain't gonna be none left when he walks out the door. I have a hard time keeping the 3 gallon size around for any respectable period of time. It would be nice to try some of my mead aged. I may have to start buying 10 gallon carboys.

But, aside from this, I sure appreciate the posting of the recipe. It was an inspiration for me. I have a 3 gallon batch of Concord pyment, into its 2nd week of fermentation and am gearing up for White grape, if I can find "no-additive" juice.

ThirstyViking got me interested in his cyser, while back. Well, my first batch of it has all but quit fermenting and is clear. Took a taste yesterday. I almost cried. Its one of those itsy-bitsy 1 gallon batches. Boohoo, only a gallon! Now, let's see. Where did I see those 10 gallon carboys at a good price.......................

03-22-2004, 01:43 AM
ThirstyViking got me interested in his cyser, while back. Well, my first batch of it has all but quit fermenting and is clear. Took a taste yesterday. I almost cried. Its one of those itsy-bitsy 1 gallon batches. Boohoo, only a gallon! Now, let's see. Where did I see those 10 gallon carboys at a good price.......................

Welcome to the brotherhood of the quick and easy cyser. Always glad to lead a "convert" to the light. 8)

03-22-2004, 09:42 PM
Yes siree, I see a large batch in the near future. I'm sort-a waiting to get a few of these 1 galloners out of the way. I have 2 gallons of Basic Mead, 2 gallons of something I'm not making public, and the 1 gallon of Cyser, in 1 gallon jugs. In my opinion, 1 gallon jugs are used for bottling. ;D By the way, they take a #14 tapered cork. ;D I figure, about the end of next week, two large batches will be cooking off. At least one will be Cyser.

03-26-2004, 12:40 AM
I was wondering if Buckwheat honey is essential or if I could substitute it with an ounce of an unknown brand in my cabinet. Its very dark honey, teetering on blackish color.

I used some of it to top off my 1st batch and I still have half a jar left for use.

03-28-2004, 09:49 PM
Substitute honey is perfectly okay. Just don't use more than reccommended if you want a faster ready to drink mead.

03-29-2004, 12:22 AM
I haven't had opprotunity to verify it yet, but I understand the Welch's White Grape frozen concentrate is additive free. :-*

03-29-2004, 04:46 PM
They have 64oz Welch's white grapejuice at Sams Club and Publix.

Just started it today. With this batch I won't lose the the numbers this time, I have it sticked to the lid. 1.100 was what I got.

03-30-2004, 09:46 PM
I did a little shopping yesterday. At least at our local stores, the Welch's White Grape Concentrate has sulfites added. I didn't look at the other brands while there, but did a little research this morning. It seems "Old Ochard" has juice concentrate, with no additives, at all. Maybe someone here has had experience with their juices and can convey their thoughts, here, for us.


If I'm not mistaken, I saw the "Old Orchard" brand in the grocer.