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Hi, Anybody out there make Mead?

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MarsD

MarsD
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My name is Mars and I am living in North Carolina. I started making wine over 20 years ago, however I have not made any in quite a while. Now I find myself with two bee hives and 6 or 7 gallons of excess honey. I made 10 gallons of mead last year which I am ready to bottle now. Before now I have had no experience with tasting, drinking or making mead.

Anybody out there with any tips? I would like to make a mead that is dry if that is possible, and would be willing to use additives to make it more vinifera-like. (I used some acid blend in the present batch to give it a little bite).

Having no access to fresh grapes I have made wine in the past from Damson Plums and other fruit.
 

weltercat

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I have made a couple batches of Mead this year. I started them back in July of this year. I added two pounds of wild huckleberries to both batches for a little color.

I really screwed up the first batch when I sulfited and sorbated it too early as well as back sweetening it with a bottle of huckleberry juice. It is just too sweet and the alcohol content is around 15%. So I am using it to top off other batches of stuff.

The other batch is turning out quite good and is much dryer and I suspect in another 6 months or so it will be very good.

You mentioned that you like it dry so I would recommend using Red Star Premier Cuvée or Champagne Yeast. I used Red Star Côte de Blancs on my second batch and it dryed out but left a little sweetness even though the SG is .99.
 

RLWinemaker

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I have made lots of mead and have three recipes on my web site, plus a meddyglyn recipe. My favorite mead is light in color and body, and very dry. The recipe for 1 gallon is as follows:

2.2 lbs. wildflower honey
1/4 tsp. tannins
1/2 tsp. acid blend
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
wine yeast (recommending red star Pasteur champagne)
I boil my honey in water rather than using campden tablets to kill off the wild yeasts, it also avoids a fine sediment that often forms on the bottom of bottles.

Best of luck, I'm envious that you have your own hives!
 

UglyBhamGuy

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i recently put together a 5 gallon batch of traditional mead (my first) and will be watching this thread closely.

LOL
Wish i could be more help.
 

mmadmikes1

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RL boils his honey, I do not. There is absolutely no reason in the world to treat honey with campden. There are no living wild yeasts in honey. Honey can be hard to ferment so keep good temp, and acid blend is needed because honey, in is natural state has to high of a PH. The reason I do not boil the honey, but I do heat it to 130 for 20 minute, is because the flavor is affected by boiling. Heating the honey breaks down the proteins and floats any wax in the honey. I scim it off and put it in Pillsbury pop in fresh I start in oven at same time I am making mead. PLease note. I am not saying RL is wrong, the local Meadery here also boils the honey to break it down to simple sugars. I am just letting you know we all do things a little different and you can experiment to find what works for you. I make Dry mead and high alcohol is normal.Age is a meads friend.Lots of age.
I cant make to much or I will get fat :)
 

Wade E

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I also make a lot of mead and have a 6 gallon bucket full of Orange Blossom honey in my basement as we speak. I took best mead in my state comp last year with a Raspberry Melomel (Fruit Mead) Ive also made a few others like Blueberry Melomel, Cyser which is a Apple Mead and a Dandelion Mead along with Plain Meads. I like mine sweetened back just a touch with the same honey.
 

mmadmikes1

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I have decided that Raspberry mead is the best of all combinations and all the people up here on the mountain agree. Great Job Wade. I have 45 pounds of raspberries in freezer and 2 gallons of honey, want to guess what my next batch will be
 

Flem

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I have made lots of mead and have three recipes on my web site, plus a meddyglyn recipe. My favorite mead is light in color and body, and very dry. The recipe for 1 gallon is as follows:

2.2 lbs. wildflower honey
1/4 tsp. tannins
1/2 tsp. acid blend
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
wine yeast (recommending red star Pasteur champagne)
I boil my honey in water rather than using campden tablets to kill off the wild yeasts, it also avoids a fine sediment that often forms on the bottom of bottles.

Best of luck, I'm envious that you have your own hives!
I don't know if you noticed, but you are replying to a post of 11-25-2007. Just an FYI. :?:?
 

UglyBhamGuy

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So... i probably shouldn't watch it THAT close, is that what you're saying? :)
 

RLWinemaker

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RL boils his honey, I do not. There is absolutely no reason in the world to treat honey with campden. There are no living wild yeasts in honey.
Try:

Snowdon, JA and Cliver, CO. "Microorganisms in Honey". International Journal of Food Microbiology. 1996 Aug;31(1-3):1-26.

When we dilute honey for mead, we reduce the osmolarity of the fluid as well as the local concentration of any bactericidal chemicals naturally occurring in the honey. If you're getting processed, filtered honey from the supermarket, this is less of a concern; if you're using raw local honey pasteurization (145-170 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes) or use of campden tablets makes perfect sense. Dormant bacterial endospores (not dead) can very easily germinate in diluted honey.

Know your product, better safe than sorry, and a little microbiology doesn't hurt!
 

mmadmikes1

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Bactria yes, yeast no. Alcohol will kill the Bactria, campden will not at the levels you are adding it. Out of over 30 batches not one has gone bad. You are not consuming raw diluterd hony. You are fermenting it. But go ahead and do as you please, but my experience tells me I am correct. Boil away and all the extra chemicals you want. But it is not the only way to do it
 

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