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Author Topic: Mead Making  (Read 5126 times)
BMAC
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« on: August 07, 2007, 11:00:50 AM »

I have been making my own Mead/wine and beer for quite sometime now.  I have not noticed any conversing about it on here.  So I was wondering....


Does anyone else on the board make their own stuff?

A batch of my mead from Golden Rod just finished fermenting last night.  Well I think it is done now. 

I also just finished up a batch of Blackberry Melomel.  Yum...
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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2007, 02:09:14 PM »

yeah---i'm trying to make it..sort of. placed it last year at round..october i think, some floral honey. so...after 6 months i closed it, and put some sulphur in, but it didn't stop fermentation so, almost every day i have to replace the cap. don't know why it won't stop fermenting.
i did however try 5 different ways /yeasts and only the natural one stopped fermenting and i used minimum ammount of sulphur to stop the fermentation. other 4 will probably result in vinegar, LOL.

this spring i extracted some sugar/honey from a colony which i can't really remember why i took out those stores, lol. anyway, i mixed that honey with some water and put it in the basement-to feed it this autumn.
well, after a month or so, the bottler really got inflated so i opened them carefully and tasted it. jummy!!!! i'm gonna do it again this autumn, now i'm waiting for hops to grow, so i'll make real honey beer.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 06:25:35 AM »

you guys are making me want to do this. how much honey does it take to make it worthwhile?
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 08:30:22 AM »

Yeah, I've done a few batches. 

It takes roughly a quart of honey to make a gallon, or 15-18 lbs to make a 5 o r6 gallon batch.  It has more to do with starting and ending specific gravity.  Cleanliness is manditory if you don't want vinegar.  The proper tools make it easier...carboys, airlocks, etc.  Sometimes the meads need a long time before they taste good.

I just racked my 1 gal grape mead (pyment) and a gal of dandelion wine, good stuff!.

I have 5 gallons of apple/pear that is slowly clearing after 6 months....I'm a little afraid to try that on...after what it has been through I'm afraid it might attack me  shocked

Rick
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Rick
BMAC
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 10:58:31 AM »

Yep the equipment and sanitation is probably the two most important things to have.

I made a 5 gallon batch of Wildflower Mead from 14lbs of honey.  It finished fermenting just the other day and is around 13% By Volume.  I had to sample a little to check for the fusel alcohols (you know the ones that make you choke and give you a real bad headache and gut ache).  None could be tasted so I think it all went really really well.

Randy.  It is super easy to make.  Mix your honey and your water together.  Add your yeast energizer and yeast nutrient.  I think it is 1/2 tsp per gallon.  Then take a new SS paint mixer and blend it all together until it is foamy white.  After that add your yeast and put the airlock on it.

I always stir it everyday to purge any CO2 built up until primary fermentation is done.

Then you just rack off into clean sanitized carboy or pail and allow the yeast to settle out of the mead.  Bottle/age drink.....
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 11:04:50 AM »

I have every intention of making some mead once the work of the summer has gone by the wayside.  I have read this site from top to bottom and it is very very interesting about making mead.  A very simple drink to brew and I would imagine, very good for you  grin

http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&recipe_id=210&Itemid=6

Check it out when you have some time to do some reading, you'll find it worthwhile.  Have a wonderful day, best life, best health wishes to all.  Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 05:40:18 PM »

Found a website from Quebec. That outfit has the right idea, is an apiarist and also set up a winery and turns all his honey into mead and sells. Quite pricey too. Talk about $$ returns   lol

cheers

peter
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BMAC
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 12:23:51 PM »

That is an interesting idea.  One that I have contemplated.  I would need to look into all the liquor/wine laws first though. 
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Mici
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 12:40:33 PM »

just made /set up my second batch of OL/beer. unfortunatelly hops have not rippen so i used linden flowers and some other herb instead (corda benedicta) to get the bittery taste of the beer. also i made only...around 3 pints. we'll see how it went in about 2 weeks (the hops should grow enough by then also)
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2007, 01:34:42 PM »

There are simpler things to try, but you don't want your first experience to fail and sour you on the idea of investing money to do that.

Really only need honey, water, yeast, a glass jug, and an airlock of some kind (balloon with hole in it).

Mix it togather in the jug, and cover the hole with the ballon with a little hole in it for an airlock.  But that is really basic.  It can and does work, but increases the chances of failure.

On gotmead.com they have some discussion of starting a commercial meadery/winery.  It is pretty expensive, because with the licensing it isn't worth doing it only part way.

I've read quite a bit at gotmead...some of those people are way.... into the mead making thing...

Rick
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Mici
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2007, 02:00:49 PM »

http://www.harvington.org.uk/hic/index.html
simple, jet useful, there's a honeybeer receipe.
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ooptec
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2007, 02:02:26 PM »

Being a home brewer making whine, beer and mead, which incidentally is what got me into bee keeping. Something like 'how much for honey' Huh? 'how much are bee's worth?'.    lol  I cannot emphasize enough, and I think is the reason the most quit or have poor results is.....

sterilize ..... sterilize ..... sterilize ..... sterilize .....

Pretend you are doing an operation, don't lay any sterile implement that comes in contact with the solution down on a non-sterile surface.

For a beginner a 1/4C of laundry bleach in a gal. of water is fine, but later a product like 'Diversol' which is used in food factories and milking operations etc. for cleaning/sanitizing is superior as it also has detergent qualities if left to soak.

The second suggestion is to buy 23L (6 US Gal) GLASS carboys and use for both primary and secondary/tertiary. ferments.

I think there is a primal satisfaction in making your own booze, especially if the raw ingredients like your own honey, hops, berries etc. makes the bulk of the concoction.

cheers

peter
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ooptec
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2007, 02:26:40 PM »

Gee I seem to full of advice today   lol

Here is the recipe posted from above:

Ingredients:

    * 1 lemon
    * 1.5lb dark honey
    * half an ounce of hops
    * 1 teaspoon granulated yeast (a beer one would do - or bread yeast)
    * 1 gallon water

Method:

Peel the lemon rind, avoiding the white pith. Squeeze the juice and strain to remove pips.
So far so good   lol

Dissolve the honey in 2 pints of the water in a bucket.

Put the rest of the water into a large (suitable sized) pan with the hops and lemon rind.
and lemon juice

Bring to the boil and boil gently for 30 minutes.
It takes 60 mins, to totally extract hops. I'd boil the hops in water for 3/4 hr. then add lemonjuice and rind last 15 mins.

Strain the hop water into the honey solution and leave to cool.
If you use leaf hops instead of pellets in makes a very nice filter bed in a regular screen strainer

Discard the hops and lemon rind.

Add the activated yeast and lemon juice into the cooled mixture, cover over and leave for 3-4 days in a warm place to ferment.
If you are going to all this trouble, get a pkg. of whine yeast. Bread yeast makes excellent bread, but poor booze. Also I'd leave it till fermentation quits probably closer to a couple of weeks at room temp.

When fermentation has ceased, siphon into sterilized 1 pint beer bottles, leaving an airspace at the top. Add half a level teaspoon sugar to each bottle. Seal with plastic pop-off caps and leave in a warm room to ferment in the bottles for a few days.
An easier method is dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in a little hot water, then add to mead. Bottle in any plastic bottle and seal. Leave at room temp. till bottles become 'hard'. If using clear bottles like pepsi etc. let stand till solution clears. I found out the hard way after great effort making cider from my apple trees that plastic bottles are the easiest, but you can only store them in there for a couple of short months as the plastic is not an oxygen barrier and it will oxidize and will taste .... not good    lol..

Then store for at least 2 weeks in a cool, dark place before drinking.
I would estimate alcohol content to be around 5%

My advice   lol

cheers

peter
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Mici
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2007, 02:36:06 PM »

good thing you're advising. i thought the 30 minutes with hops is a joke (why so long..if tea is prepared in a few minutes LOL).
but how do they do this in large breweryes? i mean...to boil thousands and thousands of gallons is just...uneconomical.

what do you mean by "plastic not oxygen barrier"? don't bottles close good enough or what?
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ooptec
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2007, 02:49:58 PM »

Believe it or not, they do. And is even more complicated a they use malted barley grain and have to hold it a one temp. near boiling for a period, then increase to next slightly higher temp. for a period then boil as different enzymes that change the barley into fermentable sugars act at different temps. Next is boil followed by a protein break. Making beer is probably the hardest of all the bevvy's to make.... well. Home brewers frequently use malt syrup or dried malt extract  to eliminate the enzyme part but still boil w/ the hops for an hour to extract bitterness, add some more for 15 mins. to impart flavor and lastly add some more last 1-2 mins. for aroma as hops are not very soluable in water.

The bottles seal excellently, even reusing the caps. But the actual plastic bottles allows oxygen in.

B.T.W. - You don't need hops for a mead, but as this is lower alc. it acts as a preservative. You can increase the honey to make more alc. (if this makes 5% then 2X will be 10%....mol) then just bring to boil rind and lemon juice then etc. etc.

cheers

peter
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Mici
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2007, 03:21:15 PM »

/shock\ shocked

plastic allows oxygen in, another /shock\ shocked

i know i don't need hops, but still hops are somewhat what makes beer a beer, Smiley
just waiting that they grow
so far...i boiled some linden flowers and a little lemon peel in 2 pints of water. i dissolved aprox. 300g of honey in another pint and mixed it together (when it cooled) and added some lemon juice. now i have it in my room (for the next 3-4 days)
ummm, ok so obviusly one could replace honey with sugar, now...how big affect would it have on the flavour itself?
i don't mean all the honey just like..30%, you know...to cheat grin
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ooptec
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2007, 03:36:39 PM »

But...but...but     lol

If there is no barley malt you are making mead not beer.

A commercial brewery here sells a honey-lager which is what I am aiming for as soon as fall comes (all too soon hereabouts   lol) and I can keep my shop at a steady 40°F.

If you add dextrose (corn sugar) it will ferment w/o any off flavors. In fact the canned beer kits call for quite a whack of dextrose which to me defeats making true beer as true beer is

malted barley > water > yeast > hops

Too much sugar and you get the wonder bread like commercial product. Which not to pooh-pooh 'cause there are no bad styles of beer.   It's all good ....hic

cheers
p

B.T.W. - I have Carniolan ladies and they sure are nice.



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Mici
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2007, 03:48:56 PM »

what's the name of that movie? Lost in translation or something?
ok so..beer has to be made of malted barley, whilst lager is...anything as long as it has 5-10% alc and bubbles:D.

so i'm making honey lager. why is it called lager? is it because if you drink to much, you get real lag? grin

thanks for all the info, really apreciate it
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ooptec
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2007, 04:33:23 PM »

har-har

Probably.

Lager or lagering is when beer is fermented at around 40°F (4.5°C) to 45°F (7.2°C) with Lager yeast

Ale is when beer is fermented at around 60°F (15.5°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) (or warmer) with Ale yeast

Steam Beer (aka:common beer) is when beer is fermented at around 60°F (15.5°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) with Lager yeast .

The higher the temp. of fermentation the more extra flavors develop which is neither good or bad as you know if you've ever had any run in with Belgian Lambic Beer which I'm sure is one of those 'acquired' tastes   lol. The so called cleanest and crispest tasting beers is lager as nothing but the special low temp. yeast can grow.

More than you ever probably wanted to know    lol

cheers

peter
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BMAC
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2007, 06:20:24 PM »

Mici you can also make a very good tasting beer using wheat as the base malt instead of using barley as the base malt.  Also a gentleman local to our area has commercially produced a beer made exclusively with Sorghum as the base malt.  It is for those that are gluten intolerant that still like to drink a beer.

which brings up my wifes very favorite beer in the entire world as she doesn't care for the bitterness of hops.  I make her a Honey Wheat beer that is very tasty.  It has a nice clean taste with a slight citric finish to the taste buds.  Very crisp, but yet full of flavor.  Certainly not as flavorful as say a nice Lambic.  Actually I believe most Belgians carry much more flavor than other ales.  For good or bad.  Most like to believe it is for the worst.

Ale yeast is a top fermenting yeast which as Peter has pointed out runs 60-80 depending on the strain.

Lager Yeast is bottom fermenting at the much colder temps.  Again this depends on the actual strain.  I am a fan of German Lagers so the last Oktoberfest I made fermented out at 55 degrees. 

The actual term lagering is the actual technique of aging the beer at cold temps.  Typically < 40 F.  For example my Oktoberfest will age (lager) > 3 months prior to drinking.  This aging does not include primary or secondary fermentation.

www.hbd.org is a great resource to be able to understand different beers and the basic concept of making your own beer.
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