Mead!

Anyone ever brew mead? I bought all the stuff I need to brew it and I'm going to start tomorrow using this recipe: http://www.moremead.com/mead_logs/Ancient_OCC.html (minus the cloves).
Anyone have any tips?
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I'm just going to use the plastic water container because I'm too cheap to buy a carboy. Maybe if this turns out good, I'll get a more professional setup.

Comments

  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    Good luck to ya bro. I've always wanted to try mead...
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    I love mead, there's a distillery/winery around my parts (Owl creek or something like that) That have a fantastic blueberry mead.... Gets ya good and drunk
  • kingjk729kingjk729 Posts: 2,580 ✭✭✭
    I have some hard cider brewin right now ..... and now i feel i've been inspired to whip up a batch of mead now ......
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    kingjk729:
    I have some hard cider brewin right now ..... and now i feel i've been inspired to whip up a batch of mead now ......
    Alright. I'm teachin the fellas how to make sushi. You guys need to teach how to make hard cider and mead! I love both of those.
  • Well I pitched in the yeast about 10 minutes ago, and I don't see much activity yet. And my god, this was a messy ordeal! My kitchen counter is sticky as hell right now =/
  • Wow, I left for school around 11:30 and when I got back at 3, A LOT happened. There is a lot more foam now and the balloon is inflating! Pictures of its progress will come tonight.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    I have a batch of raspberry mead that was started in January and is about to be bottled. I have another 15 pounds of honey waiting to start the next batch. I've never used that "ancient" recipe but sorta cringe at the thought of using bread yeast for it. I also have two 5 gallon kegs of my hard cider on hand.
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    I've gotta try this. It would be so awesome to show up to a party with 5 gallons of homemade rasberry mead!
  • zoom6zoom:
    I have a batch of raspberry mead that was started in January and is about to be bottled. I have another 15 pounds of honey waiting to start the next batch.


    How long should I wait until I bottle it? After I bottle it, do I still have to let it age? I was told to wait about 6 months before I drink it.

    Thanks!
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    a lot of questions are answered by "it depends". Honey takes a long time to fully ferment because of the high sugar content. I use 15 pounds of honey for a five gallon batch. My current batch was in the first carboy for about two months, then racked to a secondary where it's been since. Best to use a hygrometer to tell when fermentation is complete.

    Mead can definitely benefit from some age. Then there's also the decision as to carbonate it or leave it still.

    Rather than go into depth here, I'll point you to the pretty decent mead sub-forum on Northern Brewer: http://forum.northernbrewer.com/
  • Well I found the recipe I was using on the forum, and I should wait a mere 2 months before bottling it. Thats much more convenient than 6.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    Congratulations! I love brewing and have made many batches of beer, wine and mead. If you are wondering when to bottle it you should keep a couple of things in mind:

    When the entire batch is together in the same vessel it will continue to age and change flavor as a whole.

    When the batch is seperated into bottles it will continue to age and change flavor individually.

    You should really get a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity (only about $10-$20) because this will tell you how far along the fermentation road the brew is. If you want a flat (non-carbonated) mead than you should let the batch ferment fully before bottling. If you want a bubbly mead than you should bottle it just before it's done which lets it ferment a little bit in the bottle so it self-carbonates.

    You can't really just go on a calendar time-line because so many different things have such a huge influence on the rate of fermentation, like how much honey did you use, what yeast did you use and what's its tolerance to alcohol content, what temp. is it at, etc. etc. So really the only good way to know that it's done to your liking (dry/sweet, flat/bubbly) is with a hydrometer.

    I think you are going to be psyched with your homemade brew! I have some mead that is many years old and it continues to change slightly over time. Good luck.
  • I'm definitely going to buy a hydrometer if this batch turns out good. I'm not even 100% sure that I'll like mead.

    Since I had extra ingredients, I decided to make a second gallon. You also mentioned that with a hydrometer, I could make fizzy mead. I like carbonated drinks, so what if I used the carbonation tablets that come with beer kits? Here is a link: http://www.homebrewers.com/product/1987/Coopers_Carbonation_Drops.html
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    Those carbonated tablets are usually either sugar or light malt in tablet form to give beer a little extra sugar to ferment inside the bottle after the fermentation is just about done. This probably won't really taste good in mead so I'd just bottle it before the batch is completely done and let it carbonate itself on the honey sugar. It will be a little bit of a gamble until you get the hydrometer how much fermentation is left, you might want to put it into thick glass belgian style beer bottles just in case they carbonate a lot they won't break on you.
  • Eh, I really don't want to risk it, so I'll hold off on carbonation this batch. Thanks for the info!
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    You can have it both ways. Just add a tablespoon of honey to each bottle you want to carbonate (champagne type bottles).
  • So I took a wiff of my mead through the balloon-airlock thing I got going on and I'm amazed: IT SMELLS JUST LIKE BEER! Will the mead taste anything like beer, or is this just part of the fermentation?

    zoom6zoom:
    You can have it both ways. Just add a tablespoon of honey to each bottle you want to carbonate (champagne type bottles).


    I'll definitely try that on a few bottles. Thanks for the tip!
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    IT SMELLS SO DELICIOUS! I'm dying to try it.
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    Looking at that setup I would suspect that if you pull away from this scene you'd see Boss Hog and Daisy Duke in the background
  • Lasabar:
    Looking at that setup I would suspect that if you pull away from this scene you'd see Boss Hog and Daisy Duke in the background

    Yeah, it isn't the most professional setup. ^_^
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