Author Topic: Made my first true mead  (Read 12103 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Made my first true mead
« on: April 20, 2015, 06:08:42 PM »
I had 2 hives die out over the winter.  They starved with honey on.  The other day I extracted 4 gallons of honey.  This evening I made my first batch of "true mead."  By true mead, I just mean nothing but honey for the fermentable.  I used 15 pounds of hone to make 5 gallons.  I added 5 tsp. each of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer.  I pitched a starter of 71B-1122 yeast that I made with 1 part honey, 4 parts water and a pinch of nutrient.


In several months, I'll try it for the first time.  That's the reason I went with a 5 gallon batch, I want to try it throughout the aging process.

Wrote it up on the blog if anyone is interested

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 06:16:32 PM »
I forgot to add that I took a hydrometer reading and it came in at 1.100 SG.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 06:29:02 PM »
nice Fritz, I found that straight honey meads can take a while to start fermenting so be patient. And take a much longer time to age/mellow/smooth out.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 07:33:59 PM »
I know it can take time to get started.  But that's one of the reasons I use a starter.  Other reasons is that dry yeast stays viable for years in the fridge.  Also, I've been bit by having "dead" yeast when it came time to pitch the yeast. 

Offline David in MN

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 10:39:37 PM »
I've had mead ferment off and on for up to 2 years. The "Champagne bubble" can go on and on and on... My advice is to pretend it doesn't exist. There is no such thing as overaged mead.

The result will be great and benefits from bottle aging. My meads have begun as swill and wound up delighting wine drinkers after aging. Dry sparkling happens to be the favorite of my family.

Suppose you froze the ferment and skimmed the ice crystals. You could make a mead "jack" and back sweeten it with more honey to make a potent liqueur... Of course doing such a thing is illegal...

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 03:10:52 AM »
There's bubbling in the airlock this morning.  It's very slow bubbling, just a bubble per minute, but it shows me that the ferment has started.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2015, 07:52:11 AM »
There's bubbling in the airlock this morning.  It's very slow bubbling, just a bubble per minute, but it shows me that the ferment has started.


great!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2015, 08:02:34 AM »
There's bubbling in the airlock this morning.  It's very slow bubbling, just a bubble per minute, but it shows me that the ferment has started.

RESIST the temptation to bottle it for a great long while. It can become a bomb in a bottle. They are notorious for restarting themselves long after you think they are done.

Cedar

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2015, 08:53:53 AM »
patience... patience..

Offline prepperpam

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2015, 10:57:51 AM »
I just started my first mead last week too!  15# honey in 5 gal, but I used liquid Mead yeast, and some nutrient and energizer.  Took 2 days to get bubbling, but SG has dropped now from 1.100 to 1.085!  My instructions say to add some more nutrient when SG drops by 1/3 to keep feeding those yeasts. 
I have made wine before, but not Mead.  Pretty excited. Plus I like stirring it daily.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2015, 03:58:24 PM »
Plus I like stirring it daily.
Keep in mind that you don't want to oxidise it.  Once the yeast get it really going, stop stirring.  At least that's what I have seen.

I won't be bottling until I'm sure that it is finished.  I'll also bottle into wine bottles with corks.  While that doesn't completely eliminate the chance of bottle bombs, but in the past when I've bottled wine too soon, the pressure pushed the corks out instead of busting bottles.

This afternoon, there's a half inch layer of foam on it and the air lock is bubbling 3 times every 5 seconds.  So it's fermenting nicely.  I still have it in the stationary tub just in case it decides to really foam up.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2015, 05:49:33 PM »
I racked to secondary tonight.  SG is 1.000, at least as far as I could tell.  There's still a bunch of suspended CO2 and lots of bubbles on top, so it was difficult to get a reading.

I tasted it and it was pretty harsh.  Strong alcohol and a bite to it.  It will need to age once it's bottled.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 06:19:18 PM »
I racked to secondary tonight.  SG is 1.000, at least as far as I could tell.  There's still a bunch of suspended CO2 and lots of bubbles on top, so it was difficult to get a reading.

I tasted it and it was pretty harsh.  Strong alcohol and a bite to it.  It will need to age once it's bottled.

age for a year ;) forget about it, set a calendar reminder for next summer

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 08:00:33 PM »
Yeah, that won't happen.

But that's the reason I made 5 gallons.  I'll have 20+ bottles.  That way I can try them out over time.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 09:39:08 PM »
Yeah, that won't happen.

But that's the reason I made 5 gallons.  I'll have 20+ bottles.  That way I can try them out over time.
5 gallons? yeh, you have enough to test it every few months... if you can hold out that long.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2015, 10:01:07 PM »
Hey man, if you want to barter some coffee for mead, let me know! I would love to get into home brewing but that's another project I do not have time to take on right now.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2015, 12:05:48 PM »
Hey man, if you want to barter some coffee for mead, let me know!
I'd trade a bottle for some coffee.  But can't do that until I bottle and know that it turned out ok. 

Offline mnotlyon

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2015, 10:01:11 AM »
How's the mead coming?
I'm thinking about trying mead next.
I really should get some 1 gallon bottles to play with small batches.


Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2015, 12:36:02 PM »
How's the mead coming?
I'm thinking about trying mead next.
I really should get some 1 gallon bottles to play with small batches.



small batches are good to start with, less honey therefore less $ wasted if it is bad...

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2015, 07:12:11 PM »
It's still clearing in the basement.  I can bottle it any time now.  I just want it as clear as possible.  I made a 5 gallon batch.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2016, 09:59:32 AM »
I just bottled it today.  Almost a year in a carboy.  I took a hydrometer reading and it ended at 0.995.  My calculations put me at just shy of 14%.  I tasted it and that harshness is gone.  It's pretty good and not much of an alcohol bite.  I'm really happy how it turned out.  I ended up bottling into 18 12 oz. beer bottles and 23 16 oz. EA-Cap bottles.  It's pretty clear.  Here's the pics.

Just to document the paperwork.

Getting it off the layer of yeast.

Bottled up.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2016, 01:14:08 PM »
nice job!!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2016, 06:58:10 PM »
Looks awesome. My first ciders didn't taste great but did what they were supposed to. I'm going to look up some recipes and do that next along with a plain mead... not sure if I can wait a year though...

Offline Cedar

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2016, 07:20:56 PM »
+1

Cedar

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2016, 08:06:36 PM »
Looks awesome. My first ciders didn't taste great but did what they were supposed to. I'm going to look up some recipes and do that next along with a plain mead... not sure if I can wait a year though...
I just put it in the basement and "forgot" about it. 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2019, 05:12:35 PM »
Just thought I'd post an update.  This was made April 20, 2015.  Bottled about a year later at about 14%

Had a bottle the other day and it has REALLY mellowed out.  There's not much alcohol burn and the harshness is completely gone.

So 4 years after making it, it's very nice.

Offline Prepper456

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2019, 03:30:08 PM »
Anyone have any good mead recipes to share?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2019, 04:00:12 PM »
yum. looks really lovely, fritz.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2019, 08:39:54 PM »
Anyone have any good mead recipes to share?
This was a true mead.  nothing but honey as the ferment-able sugar.  If you are looking for something simple and fool proof, search for Joe's Ancient Orange Mead.

Offline archer

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Re: Made my first true mead
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2019, 05:10:13 PM »
This was a true mead.  nothing but honey as the ferment-able sugar.  If you are looking for something simple and fool proof, search for Joe's Ancient Orange Mead.
ancient Joe's is a good fool proof mead. i should know, i made it and it turned out good... and i'm a fool.. or so my ex told me often