Beginner Mead Recipe

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mat_ski

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Hello,

I have lots of raw, unpasteurized honey we bought directly from a beekeeper in north woods Wisconsin two years ago. My father in law was actually the person who bought it. He passed away since so I am not certain what type of honey it is. I am going to guess wildflower. It is dark yellow/light orange. It readily crystallized once transferred to jars (purchased in 5 gal bucket). I think I would like to try make mead with it.

Can someone please recommend a good, beginner mead recipe?

Thanks,
Mat
 
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Off the top of my head? Use hot tap water to dilute the honey to a SG of 1.090 to 1.100. Measure your volume -- add 1 tsp acid blend or tartaric acid, and 1/4 tsp grape tannin per gallon of must.

Using the directions on your yeast nutrient, add 3/4 of that amount to the initial must.

Create a starter with 5 or 6 grams of yeast per 5 US gallons of must.

Two days after inoculation, add an additional 1/3 of the amount of initially calculated amount of nutrient. Honey has no yeast nutrient, so I find it best to go a bit higher than normal.

IME, mead ferments slower than other wines. When the SG is below 1.020, give it a final stir, put the lid on the fermenter, and add an airlock.

After 2 weeks, unseal the fermenter and rack the mead. Put into a carboy.

If the mead did not ferment dry, give it time.
 
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My notes on my last mead are here:


Instructions regarding how I create a starter are here:


I used Mangrove Jack’s M05 Mead Yeast last time. If the choices are K1-V1116 and EC-1118, I'd use the K1-V1116. EC-1118 is a power house, but it doesn't bring any character of its own. Kits include EC-1118 as it's as foolproof as a yeast can get.
 

mat_ski

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Ok I started a 1 gal batch using your notes as a blueprint.
However, I decided to experiment a little and make a black tea mead. Instead of water I dissolved my honey in black tea extract.
Between me and my wife we probably drink two gallons of tea with honey and lemon a day, so i thought I’ll give it a try as an alcohol.
It started at 1.094.
I hope tea will work as tannin and lemon lemon as acid.
The yeast starter is looking great too.

Thanks!
 

mat_ski

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Day 3 and it already reached below 1.020. I didn’t need to add more nutrient than the 3/4 of recommended amount.
Very foamy fermentation and upper 70’s F temperature. Got above 80 on day two.
 

Rice_Guy

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Meads are considered deserts when it comes to yeast nutrition. Black tea isn’t a good source for nitrogen (YAN). ,,,, well it would have been nice to add YAN at 1.050, if you have organic nitrogen I would still add some (ex Fermaid O).
 
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Day 3 and it already reached below 1.020. I didn’t need to add more nutrient than the 3/4 of recommended amount.
Very foamy fermentation and upper 70’s F temperature. Got above 80 on day two.
Some yeast strains produce H2S when stressed, such as having insufficient nutrients. Also, the yeast made it this far, but could stall. As @Rice_Guy said, honey lacks nutrients, so adding more avoids potential problems.
 
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