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The Mead Thread


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#1 TheGreenOne

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 11:11 AM

This thread is intended avoid causing meadless trouble.

By favorite semi-local source for mead, cyser and braggot is the Smokehouse winery in Sperryville, VA. It's the only meadery I know of with a dulcimer museum.

#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 02:29 PM

I've tried a few meads with beer yeast but generally, found them less than satisfactory. Once the alcohol level reaches a certain point, the yeast stops doing it's thing. Wine yeast is willing to continue thriving much longer than beer yeast, making for a much drier mead with a much higher alcohol content.

I know there are specific mead yeasts, too. My understanding is that they are particularly good for "still" meads, the more traditional variety. I haven't tried them mainly because the sparkling meads are so darn popular.

Aging is a lovely thing for mead when I remember to put some back. Usually, I think about saving a few bottles of a particularly good batch the day after the last bottle disappears. Figures.

#3 brakkmale

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 02:57 PM

I've tried a few meads with beer yeast but generally, found them less than satisfactory.  Once the alcohol level reaches a certain point, the yeast stops doing it's thing.  Wine yeast is willing to continue thriving much longer than beer yeast, making for a much drier mead with a much higher alcohol content.

I know there are specific mead yeasts, too.  My understanding is that they are particularly good for "still" meads, the more traditional variety.  I haven't tried them mainly because the sparkling meads are so darn popular.

Aging is a lovely thing for mead when I remember to put some back.  Usually, I think about saving a few bottles of a particularly good batch the day after the last bottle disappears.  Figures.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Back in my brewing days, I had a lot of friends using 1056. Better than most other ale yeasts out there. I knew people that got up to 20% using it. With repitching I have heard of it going upto 24-25%.

I was strictly an ale brewer. I used it for everthing but my stronger English and Scottish ales. It never produced the right levels of esters for them.
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#4 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 03:09 PM

Just a point of protocol, Brak, there's no need to quote the post immediately above yours. Thanks, ;)

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#5 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 03:19 PM

As I had mentioned in a different thread, I never developed the patience to be very good at ales. Strictly hit-and-miss. Mead is a forgiving process: Don't want to bottle this week? No problem!

#6 brakkmale

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

Thank you Hiram. :wacko:
Not even the last mistake I will make tonight.
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#7 Absomphe

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 04:07 PM

This thread is intended avoid causing meadless trouble.

By favorite semi-local source for mead, cyser and braggot is the Smokehouse winery in Sperryville, VA.  It's the only meadery I know of with a dulcimer museum.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You were soused when you typed that, weren't you? :P

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#8 Grey Boy

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 05:34 PM

I've used the 1056 too for high gravity beers,
works nicely for barleywines and dopplebocks.
My only complaint is that it's too neutral,
it doesn't add much of it's own character to a beer.
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#9 Stroller

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:28 PM

Mead is one thing I have never tried. What would you recommend?

#10 Grey Boy

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:34 PM

I've never liked nor tried making mead,
so I would recommend you avoid.
That's just my opinion.

High gravity beers, well that's different...
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#11 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 08:02 PM

I would not recommend trying any commercial mead. I've never had a commercial mead that wasn't swill. I have had many meads made by a variety of craftsmen (and women) that were lovely. Mead can be as light as the lightest white wine or as bold as a Zin. Simple or complex. Sweet as an ice wine or dry as a brut.

I've yet to find a good commercial mead.

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#12 GrayWolf

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:51 AM

Best mead ever will remain Olmo mead. A double sweet mead that is VERY nice

Olmo Mead link

If anyone is interested in trying one, just email them in english. It's not a second language over here for nothing ;)

Everything in 'Ukko's Workshop' is divine by my tastes.

Mead&More has got two great mead's on offer, the young one and the 'old' mead which is aged in oak wood barrel and has a very 'smokey' sharp taste. Again, if interested in a bottle just give them a email in english.

Mead and More order page
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#13 Le Gimp

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 05:59 AM

The best mead ever is ABC (Apple Butter Ciser, which yea is not technically a mead any more than a melomel is).

The recipe is from a friend is Spain.

ABC

I also like 71B for meads. It leaves a nice soft finish and will give you a nice 16-18% by just rehydrating and dumping it in the wash. No incremental feeding or anything.

I have a Black Currant mead and a sour cherry mead fermenting. I also have two more gallons of honey I need to start on. I'll probably do another ABC with one.

#14 Absomphe

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 08:21 AM

Kupriowski Royal Maed from Poland is quite nice.

It's aged five years and there is an addition of black currant juice, and some spice, so it's more of a melomel. It makes a lovely dessert mead.

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#15 Gertz

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 04:19 AM

To take this to its proper thread:

Don't know anybody who has made good mead or beer for that matter using baking yeast. It just isn't the same animal. Some yeasts can make large amounts of esters, fusil alcohols, and other nasty tasting stuff. Baking yeast is specifically chosen to make less alcohol and more CO2. If there is a homebrew or wine making store around get yeast from them. A small investment that makes a dramatically better product. You can get the proper yeasts for $2-$10 depending on the strain and how it is prepared.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


When I've used baking yeast for my first attempts at mead brewing, it's actually because I've seen it recommended by several experienced brewers, some claiming that they notice no difference whatsoever, when they've tried using something else. I must say that the results so far have been excellent. Blows away anything commercially available around here (hm, this sounds like something I've heard before somewhere). But I will of course try different sorts of yeast at some point; there is a well-stocked homebrew store here in town (they even sell Gert Strand essences ...). Many seem to recommend a yeast traditionally used for port, and I've even read something somewhere about champagne yeast.
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#16 sandpedlar

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 08:07 AM

I have yet to find a commercial mead or cyser that is anywhere near as good as my own. Please understand that I am such the rudimentary brewer, so I am not bragging, I just haven't tried any out there that were worth even the trip to the store, much less the cash spent.
By the by, I use champagne yeast.
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#17 myktejae

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 11:38 AM

I have just added my first attempt at mead to my primary. I am using a recipe that calls for chokecherry and clover honey. Red Star champagne yeast is being used and will ferment at right around 62*F. Waiting makes me CRAZY but so be it :wacko: . Quick question, are wine/beer recipes like food recipes in that they can be scaled down with simple division? Or are they more like jam/jelly where each recipe and ingredients are "tailored" to the recipe?
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#18 Martin Lake

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 12:34 PM

My experience with champagne yeast is that if you feed it incrementally, you get better results than if you feed it all at once. With an incremental feeding, I've noticed the mead clears more readily and doesn't have the sort of yeasty funk that I've noticed when fermenting all of the sugar at once. Admittedly, I'm not nearly as accomplished with this as many of you (I just got into mead making in the past couple of months), but that's what I've noticed.
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#19 Le Gimp

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 12:57 PM

I think part of the reason for the difference is the amount of heat generated by the yeast if you feed it all at once, along with the additional stress form the high osmotic pressure resulting in more fusels.

Mead recipes should scale pretty well, except possibly for some spices.

Lalvin 71B-1122 is a really nice yeast for mead.

I have a good paper on meads written by a friend if anyone is interested. I don't know if I can attach to PMs so it probably would have to be sent via email.

#20 Le Gimp

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 01:08 PM

To take this to its proper thread:

Don't know anybody who has made good mead or beer for that matter using baking yeast. It just isn't the same animal. Some yeasts can make large amounts of esters, fusil alcohols, and other nasty tasting stuff. Baking yeast is specifically chosen to make less alcohol and more CO2. If there is a homebrew or wine making store around get yeast from them. A small investment that makes a dramatically better product. You can get the proper yeasts for $2-$10 depending on the strain and how it is prepared.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


When I've used baking yeast for my first attempts at mead brewing, it's actually because I've seen it recommended by several experienced brewers, some claiming that they notice no difference whatsoever, when they've tried using something else. I must say that the results so far have been excellent. Blows away anything commercially available around here (hm, this sounds like something I've heard before somewhere). But I will of course try different sorts of yeast at some point; there is a well-stocked homebrew store here in town (they even sell Gert Strand essences ...). Many seem to recommend a yeast traditionally used for port, and I've even read something somewhere about champagne yeast.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Actually, it produces alcohol and co2 in the same proportion as other Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.

I've made beer with a couple of brands and had it well accepted at a local home brewers club by BJCP certified judges. It does throw high levels of esters and other compounds and is suitable for belgian style beer if the temperature is held to around 66-72F.

I don't recomend it since there are much better yeasts available with regards to ester prodcuction, alcohol tolerance, etc.

#21 Martin Lake

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:08 AM

Got a batch of a chocolate metheglyn going at the moment, one gallon of which is sitting on toasted oats to give it a kind of stouty flavor. Since stout doesn't taste very good flat, I thought I might bottle this batch early and turn it into kind of a proto-beer. Any thoughts on this idea are welcome. I particularly welcome advice on when I should bottle this so as to avoid exploding bottles.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#22 Le Gimp

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:37 AM

Let it ferment out all the way, then add priming sugar when you bottle. It is the only sure way to avoid bottle bombs.

Well, maybe there is an other option of CP (Counter Pressure) bottling, but I duobt you have the hardware to do that (CO2 tank, regulator, SS keg, etc).

#23 Martin Lake

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:41 AM

Yeah, I definitely don't have the hardware for counter pressure bottling. Actually, it's good news that I can let it ferment out. I wanted to age this for a while and didn't know how well a bulk age would go over with a carbonated mead.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#24 Joe Legate

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 09:18 AM

Let it ferment out all the way, then add priming sugar when you bottle. It is the only sure way to avoid bottle bombs.


And even then, the rare explosion can wake you from your dreams.

#25 Martin Lake

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 09:22 AM

Just so long as it doesn't explode in my hands. I had an accident to that affect when I was a kid that's left me a bit gun shy about pressurizing glass bottles. While I'm not wild about cleaning glass and mead off the ground, it's preferable to cleaning it out of myself.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#26 Joe Legate

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 09:31 AM

That sounds like a bad story. I've had a couple go off in the house, fortunately with no one around. The mess was awful but the glass traveled far enough to scare the wits out of the whole family.

#27 Martin Lake

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 10:19 AM

It's mostly the story of how I had more curiosity than common sense when I was a kid. I came out of it relatively unscathed, though, so I was lucky.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.

#28 myktejae

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 10:40 AM

When I was but a wee lad (12 or 13) my buddy had a beer bottle blow on him, if I remember correctly it was a "Lone Star". He was not so lucky however, he lost his right eye in the accident. And this was a factory bottle. As rare as it is, it does happen.
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#29 Pan Buh

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 11:55 AM

Got a batch of a chocolate metheglyn going at the moment, one gallon of which is sitting on toasted oats to give it a kind of stouty flavor.  Since stout doesn't taste very good flat, I thought I might bottle this batch early and turn it into kind of a proto-beer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Is there a precedent for chocolate metheglyn? I'm intrigued to think what this might taste like, and more than a little skeptical that it would be good. But then the addition of toasted oats brings me back around. Please keep us posted, I'm very curious to know how this turns out.

#30 Martin Lake

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:17 PM

I found the recipe off of the this thread on the Got Mead forum and made a couple of adjustments to the type and quantity of honey to make it a little drier than their recipe and to enrich the flavor. I'm a little skeptical about it, too, since a lot of the folks over there seem to favor a sweeter mead and I tend to like my wines on the dry side (the commercial meads I've had tend to be sweet, too, which I've always found cloying). Anyway, we'll see how this one turns out. I divided the original five-gallon batch into five one-gallon secondary fermentors to experiment with flavors. The oat mead was one of those. I like where it's going so far.
Ah, la petite mort; such beautiful suicide.


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