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Author Topic: Mead making  (Read 4434 times)
buzzbee
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« on: November 27, 2007, 05:52:16 PM »

Hey Guys,
I am getting a wine making kit. Has any one here made mead before?
 How about a recipe for a five or six gallon batch?
 Thanks in advance,I'll be keeping my eyes open. Smiley Smiley
Whats the best yeast for dessert type wines?

Finsky, any experience on wine making? Any tips?
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Gail Di Matteo
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 05:56:55 PM »


A good site:

www.gotmead.com
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 09:44:41 PM »

Hey Buzzbee!
 In my opinion, making mead is pretty easy and really doesnt take that long compared to wine, gin, and cider.
 Ive made 10 gallons of mead since I started doing bees(this last spring) and was successful both times. I made 2 five gallon carboys.
 I have a bottle of mead I got from England from 1975 and its still ok to drink. Last time I drank it was when I was comparing it to the outcome of what I had brewed.
 What I did was look up "Making mead" on the net. There were tons of recipes so I kind of compared them all and ended up sort of combining a couple of recipes to make my concoction.(I picked the recipes by how many ingredients and looked for fewer steps) Also, theres a homebrew place close to my house that gave me the right yeasts and acids and yeast food.On my second batch of mead I didnt use the acid mix as my first batch was kind of tart. My first batch was pretty simple...in a nutshell,....16 lbs of honey, 5 gallons of water, and a little pack of champagne yeast. In my second batch i used the same amounts of honey, water and yeast but included raisins, blackberries, cinnamon and ginger and cloves.
 Mead does get better with age but doesnt seem to change much after 4 to 6 months. You also need to rack it a few times before bottling. (Thats when you siphon it from the one carboy and into another leaving about a half to one inch of silt in the first carboy....dump that out and clean the bottle for the next racking....And dont forget to taste it when racking, thats FUN!!)   I Suppose you could get a lousy, stinky batch for some reason but I
havent had that happen yet.
 People have put recipes on the net that sometimes make you think you need to be a scientist to make mead. What I do know is that mead was made along time ago without all kinds of stuff they say you need now to make good mead.
 As far as being sanitary and sterile...I do wash my hands before I start mixing stuff..I clean my stuff with bleach.Thats all.
 When the stuff(must) (juice) is setting to age I cover it with a shirt or towel to keep it dark.
 When I cook the mead, spices, and water I TRY not to let it boil. But I've found that if it doesnt boil some the foam wont rise up.(You're supposed to skim the foam to get rid of proteins. I dont know why you need to do this but most all the recipes say to get the foam out. The foam tastes good too).
 You'll need to get an airlock(I call it a percolator) and a hose for siphoning. A homebrew place will have these. Get 2 carboys too. These are the most expensive part. A 5 gal. carboy will cost between 15 and 20 $ last I looked.
 I had a small winemaking kit when I was a kid. the stuff tasted like prestone until it was about 25 years old...I guess it got better as my dad was drinking it till it was gone!....Making mead is a whole lot easier and faster than making this wine.
  Oh, yeh,....Mead will really SEND you! I never measured my alcohol content but my sister says it burns her throat!!LOL!!..Shes not the seasoned veteran drinker as I am(or was) but you know how it is...if its grown by you, caught by you or made by you, its ALWAYS better!


I'm sorry I didnt go exactly in the order of how I did things but I guess that how my mind works..Kinda like starting a magazine from the back to the front. It still works.
Holler at me if you need any more info. Oh yeh, I can tell you how to make it bubbly if you want.

Sooo,..Just get your honey and do it, its real cool!
your friend,
john
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 02:56:12 AM »



Finsky, any experience on wine making? Any tips?


Yes much. My goal in making was to get cheap  drunk. cool

I made home wine 10 years but then I got food allergy from that, and  I stopped. I have distilled votka too, That is most awfull hangover what I hev met. I stopped it very soon.

There are high level books allready 20 years ago in english language and in books they made almost from everything wine, mead what ever. They are worh reading. Wine is easy to do, but alltogether, spoiled batch take too much time however.

Basics:Sterilizing juice, good yeast and killing yeast at right time is the basic

If you do not kill the yeast, yeast start to eate dead cells. Then you get a "forest bug aroma" into wine. It means that proteins of yeast generates higher alcohol = fusel oil

* Basic juice must bee good tasting.
* Juices own yeast must be killed with sulfuring potassium metabisulfite or heating the juice.But if it have taken from uncappiung honey, melted wax give somet aroma in product.
* Then you have selected yeast which have waked up. You make a pure culture
* keep sugar content under 10%
* rfom one kilo you get 1/2 kilo alcohol in theroy, buit in practice about 0,4 kg
* when container has fermented enough to about 12% alcohol, yeast must be killes with sulfuring

I have not made mead from honey but you get the rest from internet or you buy some book. I recommend book from Amazon.com

http://www.winemakermag.com/feature/21.html

Potassium metabisulfite can be used to sanitize winemaking equipment and also as a preservative in musts and wines.

 Sodium metabisulfite should be used strictly for sanitizing equipment and should never be added to wine.


.

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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 03:36:50 AM »

.
I listened from radio talking from Garlic Festifals.  A reporter asked what is a good receipt for garlic.

The answer was: Take 20 garlic gloves, crush them and put into vodka bottle. Let it stay half a year.

- And what is good in that?
- You get an aroma and feeling of old drunk  from very start of festifal. cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 07:45:47 AM »

My experience in brewing is with beer.
I love IPA's.

In brewing beer, you remove the proteins with islinglass, seaweed.
It causes the proteins to group together so they can more easily be filtered out.
Proteins will make beer cloudy and I assume it is the same with mead, but I haven't seen any recipes calling for islington, so you have to skim.
If you fail to do this when you brew beer, you get what is called a protein break and it can look pretty nasty.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 11:38:51 PM by taipantoo » Logged
Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 09:17:19 AM »

.

http://www.meadfest.com/
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 09:37:25 AM »

I'm only a few batches in, but it is fun!!

Yup, check out www.gotmead.com for recipes.  I'm an experimenter, and am not usually too confident of them to recommend them.  There are lots there, and lots of variations with spices and fruits.

There is so much to it.... a desert mead usually is high alcohol, very sweet.  They will typically take more time to age.  The higher alcohol gives it a "hot" flavor that takes time to mellow out.

Lalvin D-47 is recommended as a good yeast for mead.

The basic mead (and my best so far) is just honey, water, some nutrients and the yeast d-47.  Simple as 14 lbs of honey(will give you 14% alcohol, fairly high), nutrients, yeast, water to 5 gallons.  When it is done fermenting, add Potassium metabisulfate and potassium sorbate, and then you can sweeten to taste.  http://www.gotmead.com/content/view/745/16/

Depending on what you put in, you don't have to worry so much about protein.  Some people boil the honey and that seperates a lot of the protein out, but unless you have a lot of pollen in the honey that isn't a problem, and a lot of people don't pasteurize their honey, I don't, since honey is mostly anti-biotic, and the cultured yeast can quickly overcome the wild yeast.

You don't need to add sulfites to your must (pre-fermented wine mix), usually only with fruit.

There is a lot of good information out there, and a lot of good books (I haven't read any, however, just gotmead.com).

Your best freind is time.  Time can make an undrinkable mess into a wonderful nectar (not always!).

Rick

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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2007, 09:57:42 AM »

Yes much. My goal in making was to get cheap  drunk. cool
I made home wine 10 years but then I got food allergy from that, and  I stopped. I have distilled votka too, That is most awfull hangover what I hev met. I stopped it very soon.

Ha, ha, Finsky, now that made me laugh, a hoot and a hollar,  grin grin grin  have a wonderful day, great life. Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2007, 10:08:48 AM »

as soon as you get the mead made, you should refine it, run it through one of these and "hold on to them horses Cheesy " .


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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2007, 10:10:01 AM »

Ted, you must be some serious spirit maker, hee, hee, have a wonderful and greatest of days.  Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2007, 11:00:42 AM »

My first batch of mead ever is in the primary fermenter right now. Day 5!. Cant wait to rackit into the carboy. I did two gallons, just in case its crap. You boil the honey water to kill wild yeast, then put in GOOD yeast. I use champagne yeast for a drier taste hopefully. I also added some yeastenergizer and yeast nutrient. Seems that honey makes too much alcohol and it kills the yeast at a certain point. Thses additives help balance the ferm,entation process. I am also start making wines next month.

TWT- I gotta meet ya'. The heck w/ honey trading, lets party w/ some homemade brews , wines and distilattes! Finsky you're invited too!
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2007, 01:16:01 PM »

With champagne yeast, you don't even need a still!  Some of that stuff will go up to 40-50 proof (25% alcohol) all by itself if it has enough honey!!

The different yeasties have different alcohol tolerances, its usually listed on the package. Lalvin  D-47 is around 14% alcohol, Lalvin kv1118(?) will go up to 18% and is often used for champagne, and there are others that are higher and inbetween.  So if you want a dry 10% alcohol mead, you can use the d-47, give it enough honey to get to 10%, and it will stop when it runs out of carbohydrates (dry).

I'm a semi-sweet guy myself.

If you want to refine it, you have to keep it behind the barn and shoot anybody who goes back there.  That can get uncomfortable at times.... rolleyes
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2007, 02:09:13 PM »

as soon as you get the mead made, you should refine it, run it through one of these and "hold on to them horses Cheesy " .





PS Protein comes from dead yeast
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2007, 10:11:49 PM »

Ok you guys, all this mead making and mead refining has made me adventurous in telling a story about something I made(brewed) about 4 or five years ago.
 I dont know what got into me, but it did...For some crazy reason I decided to make ABSINTHE!!
 I had to make it as it seems to be only available in Spain and Chechoslovakia. ( Google "The Green Fairy" and that will tell you why.
 I cant remember how I did it. I do remember going into an old "Head Shop" which just happened to have a bag of wormwood left(From the 70's I presumed since it was tan colored, from fading in the light instead of being green) The guy wanted 25$ for it. I told him 10$. I told him I saw that same bag in the seventies...He took ten$ finally.
 Ok,...now its been made.....now I have to drink it...You dont just drink it like tequila or something, you kind of do a ritualistic form of drinking it..."The Green Fairy" again.
 Now, As my friend would say"Its better'n a sharp stick in the eye!"!
 I'd take a sharp stick anyday!!...Oh my gosh!!!! Its TERRIBLE!!!..Gaahhhhggg!!!
 I didnt see visions or trip or anything , but I did see things as if I was looking thru yellow sun glasses!
 After about 4 drinks of this stuff( and probably gallons of beer which was usual) I was done!..The fun was over!!...After asking my wife to keep an eye on me, and after deciding the rim of the toilet was a nice place to rest my face and head......This GREEN FAIRY was shooting out of my mouth and into the bowl at an alarming rate!!!....Oh, MAN!!
 By the time the tears cleared and I could sort of focus, I was looking down into a world of GREEN!!!...My nose was about 1 inch from the toilet water, thats why everything was green!!...I went to bed....
 At any rate, the next day I felt TERRIBLE!!! Never before have I had a hang-over of this magnitude!!..NEVER!!!..I even told my wife not to answer the phone as my dad always comes over on Saturday mornings for coffee..back then he used to call first as he understood about the life of newlyweds. My best friend was in town from Houston and he was supposed to be coming over too! I just couldnt face the real world yet after the absinthe adventure.
 Since then, I decided that making absinthe wasnt for me...I found a place in Chechoslovakia(Martin Sebor) which I could buy it from!...And I DID!!65$ a pint in american dollars! And this stuff Tasted just as terrible as what I had made!!...I still have some of that too...Sitting right next to my bottle of mead from England.
 One thing about absinthe thats undeniable..Its the most beautiful green drink I have ever seen!..Also, dont confuse whats at the liquor store known as ABSINTE...it not the real thing..The special ingredient has been omitted from the recipe...notice the difference in the spelling.
 Well, anyways, thats all I got on that subject..Meads alot safer..and easier...and tastier. Its user friendly and I think it only makes some dopy friends of mine sick.
 You know what?? I just turned 50...Ya 'spose I'll ever grow out of doing silly stuff??...Ok. I gotta go. My wife and dogs just came in from her portrait studio...And I gotta do some research on Salvia....Divinorum!!!...Yayyy!!.As I ROFL hysterically!!
 Yalls friend,
John
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2007, 10:54:06 PM »

Absinthe!  Awh the memories.  I had my first taste of that stuff back in the 60's while stationed in Turkey on behest of Uncle Sam.  They call it Milk Wine.  Add an ice cube and it turns the color of milk.  It does leave a bad hangover.  2 shots is the max before getting sick.

Back in the late 50's my brother & I and a few friends decided to make applejack.  We made the applecider on a press at one friends house and used the vinegar jugs from another firends restuarant (his parent's owned it) and my brother and I supplied the cork and the raisins (raisins work as a yeast substitute).  We corked the jugs and hid them behind the 100 lb sacks of spuds the restuarant used for making French Fries.  All went well for 2 days and then in the midst of lunch hour a large boom, boom, was heard in the backroom of the eatery.  The owner's wife, who was cooking, went to investigate.  She found pieces of spuds all over the storeroom, 2 holes in the ceiling (from the corks) and partially fermented apple cider all over everything. 

If we had just used a balloon with a pin prick in the end for a valve everything would have been hunky dorey. 

It took the 5 of us 2 days to clean up the mess and we were all on KP duty for the next week. 
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 08:20:32 AM »

Ah yes...the fun of bottle bombs....just like any bomb but with a longer fuse.

I haven't actually exploded any, but some champagne that I was trying to make popped the bottom out and got mead all over my shelves(wrong bottles!).  That room smelled like a wino for a while.
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2007, 08:24:18 AM »

I have ABSINTHE recipe but haven't made any yet, the real thing is still illegal here in the states, they are working on that though.....
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2007, 08:28:02 AM »

Quote
PS Protein comes from dead yeast

Yeah, but this protein is still connected to the yeast and will settle to the bottom.  A simple mead will generally clear well without any intervention.  Sometimes it takes a while.

With wine and fruit I think the biggest factor causing cloudiness is actually pectin, and pectic enzyme will help eliminate some of this, as will not cooking the fruit which sets up the pectin.

I have used Sparkolloid to clear a couple of fruit meads, I not sure that I will in the future...it does complicate things and I can do without most of the time.

Rick
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2007, 09:33:58 AM »

John and Brian, your stories were a hoot and a hollar, kept me laughin' good and hard for a few minutes, yea!!!  What a great way to start the day.

The stories that are told about people making their own spirits is really something else.  I love that experimentation side of the human soul.  I am a plain and simple person.

I have a nephew that loves to dabble in making stuff.  I have tried some of his stuff and man his stuff is stuff.  Some good, some really horrible and nasty tasting, but I love when he brings over his stuff for me to try, awesome.

I like to make wine, that is my baleywick, I will certainly make some mead next year, when I have extra honey.  This year I have to be stingy with it.  My girlfriend gave me some of her mead that she had made for her wedding that they had at our place (that was a wedding of all weddings, she is paegan, she is wicken, say no more).  She had made gallons for this wedding celebration and there was lots left over.  Now I would imagine mead will live on til the end of time itself, and probably only gets better with age, so yea!!!! Have a wonderful and beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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