Honey mead

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by dralarms, Mar 16, 2019.

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  1. Mar 16, 2019 #1

    dralarms

    dralarms

    dralarms

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    40EAB35F-4247-416F-A012-FC538D950444.jpeg
    made a batch of honey mead.

    13 lb 10 oz honey

    3 tsp fermax

    Water to 5 gallons

    Ec-1118 yeast

    Here’s the finished product still in carboy.
     
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  2. Mar 17, 2019 #2

    BeeMad

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    I'm a newbie at wine/mead making, but am thoroughly enjoying the process! That looks like a delicious traditional you have there. So far I've made two different ones from honey out of my own hives--one a light and sweet and the other a dark and dry (but with great mouthfeel!).
     
  3. Mar 17, 2019 #3

    dralarms

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    This is from store bought honey, plus an old bottle I’ve had for years that why it has that beautiful amber color. Slightly sweet, but not too sweet. Not bad for my first try.
     
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  4. Mar 17, 2019 #4

    robert81650

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    Looks good to me, I've been told that it must age for 1 to 3 years for it to be at it's best. Good at one year, better in 2 years, and excellent at 3 years. I have several batches going, some with
    fruit in them, and some plain.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2019 #5

    dralarms

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    My neighbor brought me a bottle that was bottled in 1989. It was ok but was not stored correctly and had oxidized.
     
  6. Mar 17, 2019 #6

    BeeMad

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    I'm a member of the Gotmead group and one of the popular meads there is the BOMM, or Bray's One Month Mead. From pitch to mazer, it only takes a month to make. No aging required. I haven't tried one yet, but members rave about it.
     
  7. Mar 17, 2019 #7

    dralarms

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    Is that a Facebook group?
     
  8. Mar 17, 2019 #8

    BeeMad

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    There is one now, but I started out on the original online forum and only recently got added to the FB group.
     
  9. Mar 18, 2019 #9

    tradowsk

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    Was talking to the meadmaker at my local meadery yesterday about how long he ages mead. Except for special or experimental batches, he rarely ages more than 3 months in bulk and 3 months in the bottle before it goes on the shelf for sale. So I don't think you need to wait years to enjoy this.

    Maybe squirrel away 5 or 6 bottles to save for a while, but assuming it was made in a balanced way, you shouldn't have to wait years to taste the fruits of your labor.
     
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  10. Mar 18, 2019 #10

    Stew Anderson

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    I have made a number of mead variations. They have been "consumable" in ~3 months.

    The basic formula for a 1 gallon carboy is as follows:
    *1730 g Salimo wildflower honey
    *125 g brown sugar or maple syrup
    *Strained juice of 4 limes/lemons/oranges
    *1 whole orange peel from juiced orange
    *6 g coriander seeds
    *Water to make 1 gallon. Boil then added the juice, peel and coriander then cool to 40C. Add the honey and brown sugar; stir to dissolve.)
    *Filter through a fine mesh filter and decant into a 1 gallon sanitized carboy. Check SG and pH.

    *5 g packet of Primiere Rouge yeast
    *10 g Fermax nutrient. (Note: added 10 g each day for 3 days during the primary)
    *Dissolve the above in some of the must and add the the original carboy. Then slowly add the filtered must back into the original carboy. Shake vigorously. and insert the air lock.
    *When the primary is complete,~ 1 week, let stand another week then siphon into a 1gallon sanitized carboy. Be careful not to disturb the sediment
    *Let stand another week, add calcium bentonite to clarify. Put in the refrigerator during the clarifying process. (Note: for 1 gallon, vigorously-disperse 4.6 g Ca+2 Bentonite in 64 ml of 60C water.Let stand for 1-2 hours until adequately hydrated)
    *Let stand for 2 months at +5C.
    *Move carboy to at room temp environment. Syphon into a sanitized 1 gallon carboy. Do not disturb the sediment.
    *Let stand a RT until any gassing has subsided. Check SG and pH.
    *Decant into clear 375 ml bottles, label and refrigerate.
    Note: I took several bottles and fortified one with rum and one with brandy. The starting ABV was 14.4% and targeted 18% using the Pearson Square calculation. Also back-sweetened with 5% honey and added 2 twists of lemon and orange peel.
     
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  11. Mar 18, 2019 #11

    BernardSmith

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    The idea that mead needs to age to be drinkable is a myth that has arisen because of poor wine making protocol. Sure you can age a good mead to make it incredible, but a badly made mead that is aged is unlikely to even marginally improve. Honey has none of the nutrients that yeast need and so to make a mead without adding nutrients results in stressed yeast. Stressed yeast don't make wonderful alcohol. To make a high ABV mead requires a large colony of viable yeast and so those attempting to make a large volume (relatively speaking) with a large amount of honey with a single packet of wine yeast create stressed yeast.. Like wines from fruit mead is all about balance and high ABV meads are more likely to be out of balance - so again, aging for a few months does not remove faults. Fermenting at higher temperatures results in fusel alcohols rather than ethanol and again, such meads cannot be enjoyed a few months after they are made.. and all of these faults fed into the mythos that a mead needs years of aging before it can be enjoyed. IMO, a session mead can be enjoyed after the same amount of aging a good IPA or stout needs, and a higher ABV mead (12%) can be enjoyed after the same amount of aging you might provide a country (fruit or berry) wine. I routinely make t'ej (an indigenous Ethiopian mead) and t'ej is made to be drunk perhaps 8 weeks after pitching the yeast.
     
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  12. Mar 18, 2019 #12

    dralarms

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    Got to agree, mine is now under cork and is very good now. I suspect that in 6 to 8 months it’s going to be fantastic.
     
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  13. Mar 18, 2019 #13

    BeeMad

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  14. May 24, 2019 #14

    dralarms

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    5AC355B2-B0A9-4F38-A67E-6AC20DA59E6F.jpeg Opened my honey mead tonight and man it sure is tasty.
     
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  15. May 24, 2019 #15

    BeeMad

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    I started my first two traditionals back in December, each made from a different honey, one a light-colored, sweet honey I harvested from one of my hives and the other a dark, very flavorful honey I extracted from a colony I cut out of my neighbor's ceiling. I was really hopeful about the dark mead, but by March, it was a disappointment, flabby and boring, while the light mead was delicious. And then the magic happened sometime this month, and now the dark mead has this wonderful, almost sweet beer-like flavor while the other is more like sweet wine. The differences are so striking I would never have guessed they would turn out like that.
     
  16. May 24, 2019 #16

    dralarms

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    Mine was made with store bought honey. The 3 lb 10 oz was older honey and it was dark and had to actually heat it to get it out of the bottle. I’ll be making this again.
     
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  17. May 24, 2019 #17

    skyfire322

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    It's only 7:30 AM and I already want some! I'm really thinking about trying my hand at mead while my wine is bulk aging. Is there any major difference between the two?
     
  18. May 24, 2019 #18

    tradowsk

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    Only major difference is that you need to add nutrients (FermaidO is my choice) to mead since honey doesn't have enough to support healthy yeast. Check out TOSNA2 for how much and when to add. Otherwise, mead and wine are virtually the same.
     
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  19. May 24, 2019 #19

    BeeMad

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    Check my earlier post with the link to Meadmakr's batchbuilder. It uses TOSNA.
     
  20. May 24, 2019 #20

    dralarms

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    Thank you, I disagree with part of his calculations but everybody does it differently in this hobby.
     

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