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OT - Mead

SnuffinClownSnuffinClown Member
edited June 2012 in The Pub (Off Topic)
My roommate and I just put up three gallons of mead today; and I was wondering if anyone else here dabbles in home brewing and, if so, what did you make and how successful were you at it?

Comments

  • JustinJustin Moderator
    Sounds interesting. Are you using straight honey, or are you mixing with anything else? The various mixes have delightfully esoteric names, like metheglin and pyment...
    "Reality," sa molesworth 2, "is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder."
  • The recipe I'm using calls for three pounds of honey, just under one gallon of water, one orange, and 25 raisins. Since it's my fist time, I'm using a very simple setup and recipe, but depending on how it turns out, I might go more complicated next time.
  • I brew now and again, English ale. Not done mead, although I drink 'Cornish mead' whenever I am in that part of the country.

    What's the method? Sounds like it would distill like rocket fuel if you wanted to go that far.
  • I haven't brewed mead in a few years, though I really should make another batch. I've used two different recipies. One from (I think) the Odinic Rite's Book of Blotar, and one from Ed Finch's Rites of Odin. Not endorsing those books by the way since I have severe issues with numerous things from each, however they both make damn good mead.
  • @Snuffster basically you just heat the water and honey in a pot on the stove until the honey is fully disolved, then you transfer it into a must bucket with the oranges and raisins. Let that mixture sit until the temp drops below 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) then add the yeast and accelerant. Cap it and stick in an airlock and then wait. But yeah, with that high of a sugar content it's bound to develop into something pretty strong...hopefully  
  • @SnuffinClown - sounds good, I may have to try that over the summer. Would the natural yeasts on the fruit get it going without adding yeast? A lot of traditional cider - and various beers - worked on that method. I think it's Kriek where they just leave the windows open all day when they put the wort down.

    A recipe from a Sicilian friend: take a large vegetable marrow and hollow out, using the top as a cap. Fill with brown sugar and leave until that has liquefied, repeat until the inner vessel is full. Result: very strong marrow wine.
  • WhalenWhalen Member
    edited June 2012 PM
    You want to overwhelm any natural yeasts with the attributes of the yeast that you prefer. The selection of yeast is one of the critical nuances of the final product. Then cleanliness is the only other consideration.

    I have been brewing hard Cider, and have made four batches, but the one with a Cezanne yeast has both a lovely fruit ester taste, and more importantly adds both a sense of body and influences mouth feel. This is due to the actions of the yeast, it is the waste product of the yeast that makes any brew what it is. Yeast should be a very critical choice in brewing. One thing i have learned the hard way. Have fun, and make several batches with different yeast, you will be amazed.
  • @snuffster I'm really not sure how well it would go without yeast, I don't think that the recipe I'm using has enough fruit to make that work (I didn't even know it was possible!) Also, I never knew you could make an alcoholic drink from veggies, fascinating.
    @Whalen thanks for the tips, I wasn't aware that the yeast played such an important role in flavoring the brew, I thought it only played in to the alcohol content.
  • @SnuffinClown - Yep, I used to think it made no differance, now I give it a great deal of thought what yeast I use and when. The Belgian beers are all about the unique taste of the yeast used. They tend to produce esters that have an affect on flavor, mouth feel, and the amount of carbonation along with final alcohol content are very much a product of what yeast was used.
  • I've been brewing Mead for 7 years now.  I have a wildflower mead recipe that was created as a Viking restoration recipe. I use methods and ingredient that would have been available during their time. I've been sipping a batch I made in 2009 and has been allowed to age up until this year. I still have a few bottles from my first batch in 2005.

  • Gonna try some mead making this spring with home grown hops. Cascade and German Tetnanger from last year's crop.

    Anybody dabble making mead on the form anymore?
  • AamonAamon Member
    I've never tried making mead though have made grappa, moonshine and an attempt at whisky. I may try my hand with mead this year
  • Mead is life! My personal favorite mead is made by Rabbits Foot meadery. Alcoholic sunshine in a bottle. Skol!
  • PsickoPsicko Member
    Yeah, I've brewed mead before. Mostly made my own beer, but did some mead. I think my first batch was the same one, or similar to the OP's recipe.
    A good one for the first timer is called Joe's ancient orange mead. Hard to miss it up. I'm on my phone or I would post the recipe. Just do a search for Joe's ancient orange mead, the recipe should still pop up.
  • HerneHerne Member
    I have just started lerning and hope to come up with my first batch soon
  • PsickoPsicko Member
    edited May 20 PM
    @Herne give the Joe's ancient orange a try. I haven't heard of someone messing that one up in original form. I have heard of someone messing up when they tried modifying it.
  • I made mead before in some 2 litter bottles with ballons for airlock. Turned out pretty good ( don't really have what to compare it to ).

    Was a bit like dry white wine. I found most of the resources online to be over complicated.

    I just used raw honey, raisins, tea ( for tanic acid ) and regular bread yeast.

    Mixed it up and put a balloon on the top with a small hole in it for an air lock. Once the balloon stopped inflating it was done, I think it was about 2 weeks.


  • nicmizernicmizer Member
    I've made it with gratifying success for years. The key thing is to use nothing that has been pasteurized, only spring water and a trusted source of yeast that can stand up to the quantity of honey your adding.

    My general rule of thumb 1 gallon water to 1 pound honey for a dry depending on yeast =+-8%

    Or go big @ 1 gallon water to 4 pounds honey with champagne yeast for a sweet =+-18%
  • nicmizernicmizer Member
    Bears love honey!!
  • HerneHerne Member

    Thanks Psicko


    Will give it a try

  • PsickoPsicko Member
    If you have a place to buy homebrew stuff at, get a gallon jar, a rubber stopper with a hole and a water lock.
  • I don't think you should over complicate it for your first batch ... Try one of the quick mead recipes and just use 2/3 litter bottles with a balloon, and regular bread yeast.

    If the product is to your liking, then great. If not then you can start making changes and investing in better raw materials. 
  • I would recomend to stay away from regural bakers yeast if possible, because honey (even diluted is quite stressfull enviroment for yeast). I would recomend to use champagne yeast with some nutrients strated on apple juice or something. and of course use cleanest utensils as possible to avoid contamination. Jack
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