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Thread: New to Mead

  1. Default New to Mead

    Hello the house! I just signed up here today....been reading a lot!

    My first attempt at mead is currently brewing. I started the batch on 2/11/2005. The recipe is from a copyrighted college text so I don't know if I have the right to post the recipe here. It is a plain mead made using a 2-liter cola bottle as the primary fermenter. There's no airlock, no testing except that it is drinkable at the end of the month long period.

    Per the text: I washed everything with soap and water before beginning. I rinsed well. I brewed my tea (STRONG) and cooled the cup in ice water bath, measured out the RealLemon lemon juice (I didn't have a med. size lemon handy), measured out my honey and mixing water (directions were by volume). Using a tsp of the honey water, I started (bread yeast-it's all I had at the time.) It took off like gangbusters! So, I got everything mixed and poured into the bottle and topped off (about 2" from top) with water. The entire mix was slightly cool to the touch. I shook the bejeezers out of that bottle, burped out the old air, drew in fresh, then repeated the process. Within six hours I had to start burping that container. After three days, it started smelling of alcohol. After 9 days, it just smelled like honey.

    Well, I went ahead and did a rack to a secondary fermenter yesterday (day 9)(another 2-liter bottle cuz it's all I've got for now.) I did decant about an ounce into a glass during the transfer (practicing the water in tube siphon method which worked beautifully) and it tasted like nothing I've ever tasted before. The tingle from the carbonation, a slightly tart taste from the lemon juice I used (or the tea I'm not sure which) and of course the delicious flavor of the honey (don't know how to describe it yet) and above all, the warm flush in stomach and on tongue, leads me to believe that I succeeded in making my first ever....ahem.....mead! I was most surprised that I didn't taste a 'bread yeast' flavor.

    I added an additional ounce of honey (it was the crystalized remains from the first measure) using about an ounce of hot water to thin it. It's still popping along at 1 bubble every 2 seconds (I broke down and made my own bubbler/airlock/sanitizer with air tubing [from a pet store] through the bottle cap and have it immersed in 1/2 diluted everclear.) Since I have no gear to measure, when will I know that fermentation is done and that it's not just trapped CO2 being released? I will be getting a couple 750ml wine bottles soon to make sure I have what I need to bottle and store the mead.....where can I get fresh corks? or can I reuse the ones that held the previous contents of the bottles?

    Yes, I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I honestly didn't expect much and when I had my SO try it, he deemed it...ah....very drinkable.
    As he has imbibed around the world, it was a passing grade for me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    The OC

    Default Re: New to Mead

    Welcome to the forum Remclave.

    You'll notice I moved your post from The Hive to Mead Newbees as The Hive is more for off the mead topic/anything goes kind of area. Kind of like a virtual pub to yap about whatever you want. I read your post and figured it would be more appropriate to this section of the forum. I hope that's OK with you.


    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  3. Default Re: New to Mead

    From me too...welcome to the forum!

    As for knowing when the fermentation is complete it is hard to tell without knowing the exact recipe. I am unlearned in the tolerances of bread yeast but I would think their alcohol tolerance would be on the lower end...somewhere between 4-8%.

    Unless someone comes up with a better solution I would wait until you see no more bubbles, then wait 1 more week. Not fool proof, but a fairly good gage.

    There is also no harm in a little fermenting happening in the secondary either. If you rack it and it starts fermenting again (quite likely actually) then let it go and rack it again after you think it has completed the second time.

    Remember, this is (for most) a hobby. The really cool think about this hobby is it can be exact or as fluid as you like. There are a million ways to do it and none of them are wrong.

    Have fun with it.

  4. Default Re: New to Mead

    :blush: sorry for posting in the wrong forum. Thank you for moving it to the correct one.

    Thank you for the welcome. It's still amazing that it is working! I plan on getting a proper setup VERY SOON! I want to taste the difference.

    The local brewmaster gave me a taste of his Tupelo mead. Wow! That is what i want to strive for. Again, I'm at a loss to describe its' properties but this untrained palate (sp?) liked this a LOT!

    I look forward to learning and enjoying!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Default Re: New to Mead


    While some may really choke at the idea of using bread yeast, it can actually produce a very drinkable mead.

    If you look around the forum, you'll find Joe's Ancient Orange and Spice recipe that uses Fleishman's bread yeast.

    My first batch of that was so successful that I had to keep one bottle hidden so that I'll know how it ages in a year.

    I currently have two more batches of the same going. My first batch ran to almost 12% ABV. It may well have gone beyond that, but I cheated a bit and stopped it with sulphite and sorbate.

    Again welcome, but beware - you'll soon find yourself needing to make MUCH larger batches than a 2L bottle will hold!

    David Baldwin
    Michigan Meadery LLC

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