Mead Making

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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Re: Mead Making

Post by Norwegian » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Mead is good stuff, need to get some going again...

One tip: Mead ages really well. The first mead i tasted was made by my father with home-made honey and sherry yeast and aged a year in an oak cask before bottling in 1989... It now has a beautiful gold color, dry and strong but very nice taste and about 18% alcohol. Some of the best alcohol i have ever tasted! He still has 4-5 bottles, and since I'm the only one in the family that actually likes mead they'll be saved for a special occasion.

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Re: Mead Making

Post by AfleetAlex » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:10 pm

Sorry for the delay. I can buy bottles in bulk for around $10.00
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:45 am

Norwegian wrote:Mead is good stuff, need to get some going again...

One tip: Mead ages really well. The first mead i tasted was made by my father with home-made honey and sherry yeast and aged a year in an oak cask before bottling in 1989... It now has a beautiful gold color, dry and strong but very nice taste and about 18% alcohol. Some of the best alcohol i have ever tasted! He still has 4-5 bottles, and since I'm the only one in the family that actually likes mead they'll be saved for a special occasion.
Yea, I have the materials to make a batch for when my friend's daughter is born. 6 gallons may be a bit much, but should last them until she's out of college :)
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:36 pm

NamelessStain wrote: 4) Dry Pasilla Pepper mead - 1 gallon, can't remember yeast
5) Dry Ancho Pepper mead - 1 gallon, can't remember yeast
I racked these two today and did a ninja on a half shot of each. I actually enjoyed the Ancho mead a hair more than the pasilla. Both have a gentle red hue. 2 weeks I'll bottle them in 375 ml bottles.

BTW, D47 yeast for both.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by Halfapint » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:27 pm

I really ought to start marking which yeast I use.... I actually like champagne yeast in mead and cider I like the dryness of it.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:48 am

NamelessStain wrote:
NamelessStain wrote: 4) Dry Pasilla Pepper mead - 1 gallon, can't remember yeast
5) Dry Ancho Pepper mead - 1 gallon, can't remember yeast
I racked these two today and did a ninja on a half shot of each. I actually enjoyed the Ancho mead a hair more than the pasilla. Both have a gentle red hue. 2 weeks I'll bottle them in 375 ml bottles.

BTW, D47 yeast for both.
I'm amazed how quickly it cleared up once I racked it. 2 days and it is pretty clear. I may even bottle it this weekend.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by HarlequinHal » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:26 am

I just bottled a six gallon batch of mead that I've had bubbling away for the past 12 months or so. Orange blossom honey, acid blend and champagne yeast, came out a bit on the dry side and tasting a bit lemony. I de-gassed the brew and used 750 ml wine bottles, but wish I'd left it sparkling and just put in beer bottles instead. It's drinkable but needs some time to age before it reaches its peak.

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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:18 am

HarlequinHal wrote:I just bottled a six gallon batch of mead that I've had bubbling away for the past 12 months or so. Orange blossom honey, acid blend and champagne yeast, came out a bit on the dry side and tasting a bit lemony. I de-gassed the brew and used 750 ml wine bottles, but wish I'd left it sparkling and just put in beer bottles instead. It's drinkable but needs some time to age before it reaches its peak.
Do you have a link to the recipe? Or could you post it please?
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:23 am

Well I'll be doing a bunch of racking this weekend, here's the batches on the block:
NamelessStain wrote: 1) Orange clove mead (same one as Ana is making) - 3 Gallon, D47 yeast
3) Apple pie cyser - 3 gallon, whatever yeast was on the recipe
6) Basic Sweet Mead - 1 gallon, 1116 yeast - friend came over wanting to see how I was doing it
7) Basic Sweet Mead - 1 gallon, 1116 yeast - friend came over wanting to see how I was doing it
And I'll be bottling these:
NamelessStain wrote: 4) Dry Pasilla Pepper mead - 1 gallon, D47 yeast
5) Dry Ancho Pepper mead - 1 gallon, D47 yeast
Going to be a fun weekend, of course some "sampling" will be required.

I'm going to let this one go til all the fruit settles like the author said can be done.
NamelessStain wrote: 2) Orange clove mead - 3 Gallon, 1116 yeast
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Re: Mead Making

Post by HarlequinHal » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:01 pm

NamelessStain wrote:
HarlequinHal wrote:I just bottled a six gallon batch of mead that I've had bubbling away for the past 12 months or so. Orange blossom honey, acid blend and champagne yeast, came out a bit on the dry side and tasting a bit lemony. I de-gassed the brew and used 750 ml wine bottles, but wish I'd left it sparkling and just put in beer bottles instead. It's drinkable but needs some time to age before it reaches its peak.
Do you have a link to the recipe? Or could you post it please?
I'm afraid it wasn't much of a recipe. I chose one of the simplest listed in the book, "Making Mead", by Bryan Acton and Peter Duncan. I picked the book up a few years ago from an online home brewing supplier (don't recall which one) and is probably still available if you look around.

The recipe as stated (for one gallon):

honey - 1.1 kg
"advanced mead-maker's additives" *
champagne yeast
water

* additives (per gallon):
yeast nutrients (purchased as such from brew shop)
2 g tannic acid
6.5 g tartaric acid
10.5 g malic acid
3.5 g citric acid

If I had it to do over I'd probably use more honey and possibly a different yeast. The champagne yeast makes it too dry so that there's very little honey taste left.

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Re: Mead Making

Post by Halfapint » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:21 pm

HarlequinHal wrote: If I had it to do over I'd probably use more honey and possibly a different yeast. The champagne yeast makes it too dry so that there's very little honey taste left.
I've found the same, I really do enjoy the dryness of the champagne yeast but all be damned if it does't wipe all the flavor out of the stuff.

Off topic: Yesterday I pressed and made 5 gallons of cider.... Lot of work doing it solo. But the cider was DELICIOUS a good sweetness to it, LOTS of flavor. I think I may try to find some apples around the neighborhood and see if I can get them (asking of course). I want to do at least a gallon or two of mead/cider.

On Mead Topic: You've really piqued my interest in flavored mead, I've got about 5 1gallon carboys that I'm thinking are going to become batches of flavored mead. I've only done one flavored it was a cinnamon/vanilla it was........ ok. I used to much cinnamon and it was really over powering.

In fact I think I'm going to make a 1 gallon of vanilla tonight. It will be Half's bifthday booze!
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:25 pm

Halfapint wrote:
HarlequinHal wrote: If I had it to do over I'd probably use more honey and possibly a different yeast. The champagne yeast makes it too dry so that there's very little honey taste left.
I've found the same, I really do enjoy the dryness of the champagne yeast but all be damned if it does't wipe all the flavor out of the stuff.

Off topic: Yesterday I pressed and made 5 gallons of cider.... Lot of work doing it solo. But the cider was DELICIOUS a good sweetness to it, LOTS of flavor. I think I may try to find some apples around the neighborhood and see if I can get them (asking of course). I want to do at least a gallon or two of mead/cider.

On Mead Topic: You've really piqued my interest in flavored mead, I've got about 5 1gallon carboys that I'm thinking are going to become batches of flavored mead. I've only done one flavored it was a cinnamon/vanilla it was........ ok. I used to much cinnamon and it was really over powering.

In fact I think I'm going to make a 1 gallon of vanilla tonight. It will be Half's bifthday booze!
The apple pie cyser from STC (storm the castle) I've made smells good and I'll let you know after the racking.

You say the champagne yeast dries it out too much? Thought about adding some honey back in after racking? Just make sure to kill off the yeast or it will just start fermenting again.

Edit:
adding link: http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-sweet
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:59 am

Lots of racking and bottling this weekend.

Apply pie cyser was pretty good without the additional honey and apple juice concentrate. I'm going to let it go another few weeks to get the sediment out and make sure all fermentation is done.

I made a Raspberry Sweet Mead and a Pumpkin Mead this weekend too. More sample batches to see how they taste.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by SCBrian » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:49 am

NamelessStain wrote:Lots of racking and bottling this weekend.

Apply pie cyser was pretty good without the additional honey and apple juice concentrate. I'm going to let it go another few weeks to get the sediment out and make sure all fermentation is done.

I made a Raspberry Sweet Mead and a Pumpkin Mead this weekend too. More sample batches to see how they taste.
You know, if you need a volunteer to taste... ;)
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:21 am

SCBrian wrote:
NamelessStain wrote:Lots of racking and bottling this weekend.

Apply pie cyser was pretty good without the additional honey and apple juice concentrate. I'm going to let it go another few weeks to get the sediment out and make sure all fermentation is done.

I made a Raspberry Sweet Mead and a Pumpkin Mead this weekend too. More sample batches to see how they taste.
You know, if you need a volunteer to taste... ;)
I'll add you to the list :)
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Re: Mead Making

Post by Halfapint » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:06 pm

If I don't go to Hawaii for my weekend I will probably make a couple batches of mead as well. I'm thinking of doing a hatch chili mead.... Get a little spice to it. Hmmmm..... Or of I go to Hawaii maybe doing a pineapple mead! I'm glad I'm not the only one that's into mead making! Thanks Nameless for the ideas!
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:35 pm

Halfapint wrote:If I don't go to Hawaii for my weekend I will probably make a couple batches of mead as well. I'm thinking of doing a hatch chili mead.... Get a little spice to it. Hmmmm..... Or of I go to Hawaii maybe doing a pineapple mead! I'm glad I'm not the only one that's into mead making! Thanks Nameless for the ideas!
LOL, no problem.

I took a 2 sample bottles (the two peppers) to the place where I've been buying my fermentation equipment. They were highly impressed and it was unanimous that the ancho was better than the pasilla, but it was a different type of better. More well rounded on the taste buds.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:21 am

Well I went to Sam's yesterday and there were fresh raspberries for sale... hmmm... yup, bought some and made 2 1 gallon test batches of the Raspberry Sweet Mead from STC

From STC Website: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/mead-recipes.htm
"Sweet Raspberry Mead (Makes 1 Gallon)

Yeast: EC-1118 (1 packet) (I used 1122)
1 Gallon Spring Water
4.5 pounds wildflower honey
1.5 pounds red raspberries
The juice from 1 lemon
The juice from 1 lime
3 Tablespoons of strong english tea
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Pretty straight forward instructions for this mead. Was the food ingredients before using and crush the raspberries. I froze them for a day before using them so they would break down and release their flavor easier. I thawed them out for the morning, crushed them and added them when I made the mead in the afternoon. Simply add all the ingredients into your mixing carboy then pitch the yeast. Leave extra headroom at the top of the bottle because all the ingredients will cause extra bubbling."


Also saw a pumpkin, so just in time for fall equinox I made a 6 gallon batch of Pumpkin Mead from STC
From STC Website: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/mead-recipes.htm
"Pumpkin Mead

This is a nice seasonal mead with a beautiful orange color and makes 1 gallon.

Yeast: D-47 Lalvin
3 pounds of clover honey
1 gallon of spring water
12 ounces of pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 twist of orange peel which is about 1/5th of the total orange peel

Easy to do: Add all your ingredients, stir vigorously then pitch your yeast and aerate for five minutes."
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Re: Mead Making

Post by Halfapint » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:54 pm

So...... I made 3 gallons of mead this last week. I would have uploaded pictures but my it seems photobucket and my computer no longer like each other.

So as I said in the beekeeping thread when I was separating the wax from the honey in the callings I heated the honey to much and it slightly burnt (actually kinda carmalized). I decided to make some mead out of it to see if the caramalization actually added flavor. It's FAR darker, and far thicker than regular honey.

****

So I made 1 gallon of plain mead with that honey.

1 quart (3lbs) honey
3/4 gallon of distilled water
D-47 yeast

****

Also made 1 gallon of vanilla mead with that honey

1 quart (3lbs) honey
3/4 gallon distilled water
2 large vanilla beans cut length wise and cropped into 3 sections
Yeast (will have to update with the yeast type can't remember odd the top of my head)

****

I then made 1 gallon of Cyser. I did not use any recipe I just wanted to see what it would taste like and adjust it later.

1 quart (3lbs) honey
3/4 gallon apple cider (QFC/Kroger brand from concentrate)
Yeast (same as with vanilla will update when I get home)

****

I'm excited for the cyser, I really want to see how it turns out. I figure a basic recipe replacing the water with cider will give me a true base to build upon. I can tweeking it later with maybe some spices (Apple pie) or use apple cider with Apple concentrate to expand the cider profile of it. I'm not going to let these age in the carboys to much. I'll rack them in a couple weeks or once primary fermentation is done. Then bottle them up and let them sit in the bottles for a month or so and see what people think.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by movingchicane » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:34 pm

I did a raspberry melomel, I haven't tried any yet but today is 1 year from starting it. I'm pretty sure I messed something up as it took 6 months to finish fermenting. The first bottle is getting cracked open tonight (fingers crossed).
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Re: Mead Making

Post by NamelessStain » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:56 pm

movingchicane wrote:I did a raspberry melomel, I haven't tried any yet but today is 1 year from starting it. I'm pretty sure I messed something up as it took 6 months to finish fermenting. The first bottle is getting cracked open tonight (fingers crossed).
I've heard of people going 4+ months on fermentation, I hope yours is perfect :)
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Re: Mead Making

Post by movingchicane » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:08 pm

movingchicane wrote:I did a raspberry melomel, I haven't tried any yet but today is 1 year from starting it. I'm pretty sure I messed something up as it took 6 months to finish fermenting. The first bottle is getting cracked open tonight (fingers crossed).
Well I popped open a bottle, and finished the first glass. First impression is that it is fizzy, this was my first attempt and honestly I don't recall degassing it before bottling (nor is it in my brew notes). It tastes dry at first but then develops into a mild raspberry finish. Alcohol content seems good. Overall I'm happy with it as a first attempt, but I need to share a bottle with my lady friend to get an "expert" opinion.

Questions

Should I be concerned about the excess CO2 in the bottles? I used size 9 corks and non are bulging. The cork I just took out was tight as a son of a gun. I also just did a control test with a winesaver cork and shaking the bottle in the shower, and there was no explosion (should have made a video just in case :) ).

Also what are you guys using for primary fermenters when you're doing 1 gallon batches?

Lastly is anyone using Potassium metabisulfite or anything else to prevent spoiling?
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Re: Mead Making

Post by Halfapint » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:04 pm

movingchicane wrote:
movingchicane wrote:I did a raspberry melomel, I haven't tried any yet but today is 1 year from starting it. I'm pretty sure I messed something up as it took 6 months to finish fermenting. The first bottle is getting cracked open tonight (fingers crossed).
Well I popped open a bottle, and finished the first glass. First impression is that it is fizzy, this was my first attempt and honestly I don't recall degassing it before bottling (nor is it in my brew notes). It tastes dry at first but then develops into a mild raspberry finish. Alcohol content seems good. Overall I'm happy with it as a first attempt, but I need to share a bottle with my lady friend to get an "expert" opinion.

Questions

Should I be concerned about the excess CO2 in the bottles? I used size 9 corks and non are bulging. The cork I just took out was tight as a son of a gun. I also just did a control test with a winesaver cork and shaking the bottle in the shower, and there was no explosion (should have made a video just in case :) ).

Also what are you guys using for primary fermenters when you're doing 1 gallon batches?

Lastly is anyone using Potassium metabisulfite or anything else to prevent spoiling?
First congrats 1 year?!!?! I ain't got time for that! :lol: I am getting all antsy in my pantsie waiting since march for my 5 gallon haha.... The raspberry sounds delightful actually glad it turned out well!

I don't have any issues with carbonation because I use EZ-Lock bottles to bottle mine in. I've got a few dozen of the 1 liter bottles and I actually prefer a light fizz.

For primary fermentation I have been using 3-5gallon carboys, but a friend at work was getting out of homebrewing and I snagged a couple fermentation buckets, I used that for a batch of cider I did a couple weeks ago. Works like a charm, but is WAY louder then the carboys. For the one gallon batches I just use a 1 gallon carboy works well enough.

I personally dont use any sulfites in mine because I store them in cool dark places and it never lasts long enough to turn bad, also most mine are pretty damn alcoholic. I've been climitizing my yeast in most my large batches. When I checked it when I racked it it was 21%, it shouldn't spoil quickly.
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Re: Mead Making

Post by movingchicane » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:06 pm

Thanks for the info Halfapint, I'm going to give your vanilla recipe a shot, and while I'm at it I might as well start up 3 gallons of that pumpkin recipe for next Thanksgiving. I do like the fermentation buckets for ease of cleaning but you are right about the noise. Especially if you're using one of the inverted cup air locks, kind of like a little kid with their first drum set.
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