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TheGreenOne

The Mead Thread

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Right now I'm in the process of researching. I've found several good sources and am absorbing a lot of information. I realize the best way to learn is the hands on approach but I want to get a good idea as to what I'm doing in hopes that my first batch just may not be sinkable.

 

The only problem with getting a lot of information however is that a lot of it is contradictory. In the end I'm wiser but find myself just as confused and uncertain as I was in the beginning. For example I see a couple people have described the Montrachet yeast as giving a "waxy" characteristic to Mead. Others have praised the EC-1118 as being ideal for a dry yeast with a high alcohol % and didn't mention any of the drawbacks you mentioned.

 

I think good old trial and error is always the only way to really learn in the end.

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I was told my four year old Tart Cherry Mead got a 46 in the local club mead comp this month. I'm glad I have near 5 gallons of it. Now to bottle it before I drink it all.

 

12 oz, Bombers or Nibs?

 

Maybe a mix.

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I have never tasted Mead and the more you all keep talking about it, the more I think I am missing out on something.

 

Is it still sweet?

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Well I'm going for a drier mead that isn't honey heavy, and I have the patience to wait out the aging process, so that's all fine with me. I'll make sure not to over-do the honey but I would like to bump the % up so I'll utilize that trick.

 

If you don't mind me giving advice, perhaps you should consider pitching twice. Once to get the bulk of the sugar out of the fermenter, and then again to mop up the residuals.

 

Perhaps a small growler of slightly diluted mead 'starter', and oxgenate the hell out of the starter.

 

Works well with high gravity beer. And it opens the window up for more yeast strains that may not have the oomph to finish a fermentation from an original pitch. I know of a few meadmakers who do this.

 

That sounds like a nice melomel, Le Gimp. I make a very nice Montmorency Liqueur that goes great with Gin. Love those tart cherries!

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Yes, I used two quarts of Brownwood Acres Montmorency syrup in it after secondary.

 

It tasted like cough syrup for a first year after adding it.

 

 

I've used the concentrate in a pLambic that did very well also.

 

I find that incremental feeding of Yeast nutreants will really help a high gravity beer or mead attenuate well.

 

Both the Tart Cherry mead (melomel) and my ABC (Apple Butter Cyser) have used a gallon of Sourwood Honey in a 5.5 gallon batch (OG 1.165 and 1.174) and they ended up near 1.020 FG in both cases.

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Is it still sweet?

It depends. Like wine, it can be very sweet, very dry or anyplace in between. It can be still or

effervescent as any sparkling wine.

 

Most commercial meads fall into the sweet/still category.

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I have never tasted Mead and the more you all keep talking about it, the more I think I am missing out on something.

 

Is it still sweet?

 

 

Mead can be still or carbonated, sweet or dry, straight honey (Traditional Mead), With fruit (Melomel), Spice (Metheglin), or a combination. It can be low alcohol, medium or high alcohol.

 

The BJCP had a nice definition here:

 

BJCP Definitons

 

Scroll down to the mead section.

 

I espouse to the "Dump and Stir" methodology of mead making. I don't heat any ingredients.

 

PM me with your email address and I'll send you a document a friend made on making mead.

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Well, I am not sure that I am ready to start making my own, so I don't know if I need any documents. :)

 

I don't

Well

What the

Damn it.

 

O.K. Does an old fart like me need to get started brewing his own beer? No. I can buy beer.

 

Wait! I'm on a diet. I don't need beer.

 

I'm so confused.

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/pat

s'ok!

(doitdoitdoitdoitdoit)

You'll dig it, I promise--very,very rewarding.

 

Though not near the Gimp's prowess/magical-ness, I ,too, am of the dump/stir variety.

Recipes/heating can wait! Experimentate!

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But I am afraid that I will get into something like this and it will be ANOTHER hugely expensive hobby like absinthe and I will have give up my Hot Rod Lincoln. I refuse to drive a Pinto.

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It isn't hugely expensive, it's affordable and rewarding. It's good for dieting because you get to set for weeks/months and just look at it. That's just something I read of course.

 

 

What's wrong with a Pinto? :twitchsmile:

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Well I'm going for a drier mead that isn't honey heavy, and I have the patience to wait out the aging process, so that's all fine with me. I'll make sure not to over-do the honey but I would like to bump the % up so I'll utilize that trick.

 

If you don't mind me giving advice,

 

On the contrary, I welcome all advice with open arms, especially from people with a working knowledge of the subject matter such as yourself. This noob needs as much advice as he can get and this thread has been a learning experience for me.

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Mead is the easiest-to-make alcoholic beverage on the planet. And it is relatively inexpensive.

 

Honey has gone up a good bit lately, but it still is reasonable.

 

You can make a mead as sweet or dry as you wish by selecting the yeast you use along with the expected alcoholic strength. You can always use Sorbate to arrest the yeast, but I prefer just to keep adding honey till the little buggers poop out.

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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!

 

 

That's why we use kegs now days.

 

Don't want to bottle, ever. No problem.

 

Then again, that is probably why my meads are still in kegs and carboys.

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Honey has gone up a good bit lately, but it still is reasonable.

 

 

I don't really have to worry about that. ;)

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Mead is the easiest-to-make alcoholic beverage on the planet. And it is relatively inexpensive.

Add: Damn tasty, too.

 

 

That's why we use kegs now days.

Don't want to bottle, ever. No problem.

And a friend was begging me to make ale again, only tonight. I haven't had really good homebrew in so long!

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Well, this is interesting. I've been making a batch of coloring herb metheglyn, and the wine's been taking its sweet time in clearing. It stopped bubbling about a month ago, but the yeast has been hanging out in suspension. Yesterday I added a second dose of the coloring herb tea that I use--basically mead steeped with hyssop and lemon-balm--and today the mead is almost completely clear. I think the coloring herbs also act as a fining agent. Which is kind of cool, if you ask me.

 

Edit: I didn't post that just to brag. If anyone has an idea why that works, let me know.

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So I always thought that Mead was a beer-like beverage? Is that the case? Or it it more like wine? I'm trying to figure out if I should buy some or not, however, I love beer and dislike wine so if it's alot like wine I may very well not like it.

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It's closer to wine than beer but it's really not either one. If you don't like wine, look for a traditional "still" mead, made with only honey, yeast and water. :cheers:

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Yep. That looks like a still mead. Honey sweetness is its only real flavor. Those that love it can argue about the flavor of clover honey vs. orange blossom honey vs alfalfa honey, etc... The flavor becomes much more subtle. I can't take the sweetness for too long but good still mead is a thing of beauty and patience. We have some real pros that pass through here from time to time that make me look like a real n00b (Greywolf and Gertz). Martin Lake makes some great mead swill, too. I've been making mead for about 15 years or so but you wouldn't care for mine, I think. I specialize in pyments and cysers--fruit juice based-- that are much more like wine.

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My favorite mead is like a melding of a really good lambic beer and sparkling wine (read champagne if you will). I absolutely love it. It is an oft requested item in this neck of the woods.

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It's closer to wine than beer but it's really not either one.

 

I've always considered it a little closer to beer, since both are brewed.

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The color of the honey can be an indicator of the flavor. I've had very light honey that was almost like simple syrup, and dark honey that had was very smoky and had an almost molasses-like-flavor that came from...some local kind of tree. The season the honey was made and when it was harvested will vary too. I've watched our bees take in pure white pollen for a few weeks and dark yellow a few weeks later. Most wildflower honey is presumably a good mix. I have no idea how an extremely dark honey-based mead would compare to a very light honey-based mead. Sounds like we need to do some experimentin' though.

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