January 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm #254175SonyaMember
we keep bees and have plenty of honey… so we’re thinking mead – anyone here an expert and willing to offer some advice?
SonyaJanuary 18, 2011 at 12:55 am #487249MileyMoonMember
I made mead last year and we had to go away for a week before it was bottled and put in the fridge.
It was simply honey and water and allowed to brew or ferment for a few days. Any way the result was a beautiful honey vinegar!
Didn’t really know you could make honey vinegar, but it is really beautiful, and wonderful in salad dressings. I do keep it in the fridge but I have a few litres of it 🙂 which is actually a good thing but it was was a wonderful accident!
But I would really love to have a go at making Mead again 🙂January 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm #487250Michael1973Member
I made mead once with all the proper gear and tasted it shortly after bottling and i thought it was awful. I stored it away in the bottom of the cupboard and forgot about it. I found it a year and a half later and tried it again and it was magic.
Must get round to finding that recipe and having another go.January 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm #487251
My husband made mead a few months ago. I can get the recipe he used for you if you’d like, I think it used honey, water, oranges and raisins. Michael is right; straight away I thought we’d made some sort of prison moonshine, but it does get better and better as it ages 🙂January 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm #487252
when you say its tasted awful….what did it taste like?
I made some, it tasted like acetone and I ditched it after a couple more months of hoping….was that wrong?January 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm #487253Michael1973Member
It tasted like rocket fuel, very nasty and sourish. After 12 months it was incredibly smooth.January 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm #487254
*sob*January 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm #487255
think I just learned my lesson…always keep crap grog!
but yay, I have a cherry melomel going!!January 19, 2011 at 10:14 am #487256SonyaMember
I would love that recipe – with the oranges and raisins and any tips you can recommend – it sounds like the recipe we are going to try off the internet.
sonyaJanuary 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm #487257
Yep, nailpolish remover or paint stripper. It was bloody awful. 5 months on and its strong, but drinkable if you like that sort of thing. I’d say its the equivalent of drinking vodka straight. It will mellow out as it ages.
Recipe is here, click hereFebruary 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm #487258AirgeadMember
I’m new here but I have been making mead for over 10 years now.
If anyone wants any advice, just ask.
BTW – for those that have acetone/solvent tasting mead, that’s a sign that the yeast is producing higher, fusel alcohols. Usually its because the fermentation has run at too high a temperature for that yeast. It will age out but not much. It can also be caused by stressing the yeast by trying to make a mead that is too strong.
DaveFebruary 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm #487259
Thanks for the offer Dave. I’d love to know your most successful recipe and method for making mead 🙂February 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm #487260AirgeadMember
xgeckox post=304821 wrote: Thanks for the offer Dave. I’d love to know your most successful recipe and method for making mead 🙂
That’s a hard one… I have lots of really nice recipes.
One I do quite a bit is a basic dry fruit melomel.
This makes around 4l –
[li]Take about 1kg honey (depends on the strength of the honey)[/li]
[li]dissolve in 1l of hot water to help it mix.[/li]
[li]Add to a well sanitised 5l fermenter and top up to 4l with cold water[/li]
[li]Check your gravity with a hydrometer – you are aiming for around 9% potential alcohol. Adjust your honey till you get that.[/li]
[li]Re-hydrate your yeast according to the directions for your strain. For this one I use a winemaking strain called 71B which is fantastic for fruit wines. I have plenty so if anyone wants any…[/li]
[li]Add the correct amount of yeast nutrient. Honey is very low in nutrients so it needs additions or else the fermentation is likely to be slow and incomplete. You can ger nutrients from any brew shop[/li]
[li]While the yeast is hydrating shake the heck out of the fermenter (with a bung in it) to oxygenate the must.[/li]
[li]Pitch the yeast[/li]
[li]Let primary fermentation complete. It should take around 2-3 weeks. When all fermentation activity has stopped and it may even be starting to clear (if you check with a hydrometer the gravity will be around 1.000), add 500g of mixed berries pulped in a blender to maximise juice extraction. . I usually use a mix of blackberry, raspberry and dark sour cherries. You add the fruit after the main fermentation as the vigorous fermentation will strip out a lot of the delicate fruit character. Adding it to a secondary fermentation helps preserve that.[/li]
[li]It will start to ferment again. Let it go for 7 days then rack (siphon) the mead off the pulp. Any longer and I find the fruit starts to rot and give nasty oxidised flavours)[/li]
[li]Let fermentation finish completely. The mead will start to drop clear. This usually takes another 1-4 weeks.[/li]
[li]At this point, taste and adjust the acid if necessary. Normally the fruit adds enough to give the wine balance but sometimes it needs a little more. Use a mix or tartaric and citric and add in very small amounts until it is right.[/li]
[li]Rack the mead to another fermenter to help it clear fully[/li]
[li]Once fully clear you can either bulk age in the fermenter as long as there isn’t too much head space at the top – oxygen is your enemy now and the more head space the more oxygen contact and the more chance of oxidising the wine.[/li]
[li]Once the mead has aged for 3-6 months (or if you have too much head space) bottle and cork. It will need another 3 months aging in the bottle at least (mead is a game that needs patience) or 6-9 months if you didn’t bulk age.[/li]
Serve lightly chilled.
That’s the one I would do most often. I’m doing a similar one now but rather than using the berries I am using 500g of pulped peaches and nectarines. Have to see how that works out.
DaveFebruary 17, 2011 at 1:06 am #487261zippyMember
Why am I not suprised to see you here Dave?:P Yay! Another ALS-er local to me 🙂
Dave’s also a killer artisan bread maker. (I’ll have to scan the whole book before I return it – love it!)February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm #487262Pink AngelMember
Dave, I have to ask a question about the yeast.
Do you recommend one in particular, especially since the temperature has to be right?
Any tips on how to handle the yeast?
Thanking you in advance :cheer:
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