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Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Meads > First two batches of mead started

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Old 07-18-2016, 06:45 AM   #1
Spikedlemon
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One 3 gal batch:
4kg Honey (whatever style was on the shelf)
1-1/3 cup raisins
2 oranges
1tsp tannin
EC1118 (w/ nutrients & energiser)

One 4L batch: (http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/f...ead-making.htm)
1kg Honey (same as above)
1 orange
1 handful raisins
Bread yeast
... fermenting in the 4L water jug with balloon for an airlock.

Both fermenting well on day 1.

 
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:55 AM   #2
Spikedlemon
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This is my first time making mead. It was quite an eye opener that most mead recipes are designed for 14-18% ABV while most mead that I've had in the past is closer to 5-8% ABV. I had thought mead was closer to beer than wine.

The small batch I thought would be just for fun. I'd set it and forget it for two months before I pull it out to taste. I figure if it turns out decent that I could use it to convince others, who wouldn't normally consider making their own, to make a batch and join some fun.
Also: it'd be a cheap way to make quite a few batches and experiment on flavor/adders.
I'm doing no measurement of SG or otherwise. Just letting it go.

The larger batch is really just an extension of the first but making it a little bit cleaner with a better yeast. OG: 1.120 so I figure I'll be around the 16% mark when done.

 
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:33 AM   #3
Spikedlemon
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After watching it for the past few days: I'm finally down to 1.010 on the EC1118 batch so I racked to secondary.

I was quite a bit shy of the 3gal mark (which was odd considering that I used the same bucket line for the 3gal batch of lemon wine) and I suspect that my next racking will be into two 1gal bottles rather than leaving it in the 3gal carboy.

Smells pretty alcoholic at this point but, munching on the raisins after racking, something certainly tastes good.

 
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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I have only made a few batches of mead, but will give you my thoughts on it.
Not sure where you are finding 14 - 18% in most recipes. Most I have found are anywhere from 11 - 15%. With that said, I think you will find it more drinkable in the 11 - 14%, similar to fruit wines.
Look at using D47 or 71B with your mead recipes. They retain more of the flavors than EC-1118.

Curious to see your thoughts on the stormthecastle recipe. I liked the website and information but didn't care for the end product of his straight mead. I made the sweet version and it ended up funky. May have been something I did as it was early on in my winemaking venture.

Another one to look at is JAOM. It is somewhat similar to your first recipe but also has some spices in it. Everything is done in a 1 gal. carboy. No primary, then secondary.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:47 AM   #5
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My wife got into making meads a few years ago...it is interesting how many "camps" there are; some think it's not mead unless it's as alcoholic as possible and you should NEVER filter a mead (I've noticed they are usually the renaissance fair crowd). Then there are the "meads should be closer to beer" crowd (who are usually brewers), and the wine makers make them more like wine. I love the diversity with the mead makers.

What I've noticed over the few years we've had mead in the house: they definitely improve with age more so than wines (ours didn't really get good until year 2 or 3), and my favorites are melomels with just a bit of fruit to give it some "zing" (show mead is good but is a little robust in flavor for my taste). Have fun with it!
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
Spikedlemon
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The meads that are closer to beer are what really piqued my interest.

But back to my meads (and also for my own mental note to leave them alone):
The 4L batch is nearly clear and still in 'primary' with all the fruit. I intend to rack it in the next week or two, let it sit for a day or two (for any disturbed sediment to settle), and then bottle it.
The 3gal batch is happily sitting in secondary. I'll leave it there for another week or so before I'll check SG and rack it into, what I suspect will be, two 1gal jugs (plus leftovers) to age & clear before bottling.

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Old 08-25-2016, 06:16 PM   #7
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I started making wine, then rather quickly have abandoned all for mead.

Our first batch of mead...ugh...I hated it, though Manthing LOVED it and is still hoarding a couple of bottles.

I tried again, this time paying special attention to my brewing temperatures and doing staggered nutrient additions. I have loved every batch I've made since then.
Seriously. And if you taste one you don't care for, put it away for awhile. In 6 months it will taste completely different.
If you can afford it, start a 5 gallon batch of straight mead and shoot for about 12% ABV. Let it finish out completely dry. Once you have it cleared and bottled you can use it to top off all the other batches you make.

eta: I just noticed under my profile picture it says I joined 09/2013. WOW! It's already been 3 years since I started this hobby! I just counted, I've got 124 bottles in my wine rack right now, seven 1 gallon batches in secondary, one 6 gallon batch, one 5 gallon batch, and six 3 gallon batches, all in secondary.
I don't even know how many batches I've made total so far. And don't get me started on how many bottles have been shared, drank, and bartered for other stuff (including 7 chickens and a lime tree! And my personal favorite, 50 lbs of fresh caught tuna....all for a few bottles of wine)

In other words, welcome to your new addiction.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikedlemon View Post
I intend to rack it in the next week or two, let it sit for a day or two (for any disturbed sediment to settle), and then bottle it.
What are you going to be bottling it in? Are you just in a hurry to get it into bottles? I've been much, much happier with stuff I left in bulk for at least 6 months (with the exception of DB, since I use a clearing agent and degass the crap out of it)
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericurl View Post
If you can afford it, start a 5 gallon batch of straight mead and shoot for about 12% ABV. Let it finish out completely dry. Once you have it cleared and bottled you can use it to top off all the other batches you make.
Now that just makes sense. My latest batch I had just enough honey to make 5 gallons that finished out at a whisker under 12% dry. I was going to back sweeten it, but now I think I'll keep a half gallon or so dry for just such purposes.

 
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hinermad View Post
Now that just makes sense. My latest batch I had just enough honey to make 5 gallons that finished out at a whisker under 12% dry. I was going to back sweeten it, but now I think I'll keep a half gallon or so dry for just such purposes.
Great plan. If you have 5 gallons, I would submit that you set aside 2 gallons and that will give you 15 bottles to drink and age, and 10 bottles to use for topping off.
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