Mead - the homebrew thread

Discussion in 'Brewing & Beer Knowledge' started by quirkzoo, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    Any homebrewers on this board also make mead? Love to hear your thoughts, successes, failures, experiments, etc...

    I got most of my basic info off of Homebrew talk's stickies, but I find the signal to noise ratio over there to be terrible.

    I have made one batch of mead, dry mead, 12.5, 1 gallon of wildflower, 1 gallon of clover. Pretty happy with it overall. I aged half of the clover mead on cranberries and it turned out very good. I attempted to age half of the wildflower on "spices" (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, star anise) and came out way too heavy on the palate numbing spices. If I want to try a spiced mead in the future I think I will try using the tincture method instead.

    I just picked up a small jar of honey at the local farmer's market (wildflower/alfalfa blend) and it has an amazingly rich flavor, definitely want to make some mead with it, thinking semi-sweet, straight mead. For anyone that has made a straight mead, do you add any tannins? I have heard a little bit of black tea goes a long way.
     
  2. domtronzero

    domtronzero

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    92040
    I've made a dozen-or-so batches of mead. I currently have 6 gallons of cyser in a fermenter ready to add 10 pounds of raspberries to. I am going to freeze-distill half of it (my first attempt at ice-mead).

    I will occasionally brew an IPA or a hoppy pale ale or a stout, but since I brew so infrequently these days I tend to brew things that take several months or more to finish. Mostly meads and sours these days.

    I've never added tannins but I do like to add some white-wine (or hard cider) soaked oak cubes (medium toast French oak) to the fermenters and let it sit. They tend to add a bit of tannic dryness to the finished product and a little bit of complexity from the oak.
     
  3. sliverx

    sliverx

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY via Flerda State
    quirkzoo Wanna borrow my compleate mead makers book?

    Edit: I still owe Frank some of my meads. Lazy "trader" I am.
     
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  4. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    domtronzero thanks for the response. I believe the oak cubes will add tannins so I might go that route with this next batch.

    sliverx that would be awesome, I really enjoy reading good books on homebrew, perhaps we can setup a swap, I will message you.
     
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  5. nedvalton

    nedvalton

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    I have done 15 or so batches of mead ranging from dry tupelo, triple berry (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry), vanilla bean with wild flower honey, blueberry honey, galberry honey, .....
    I have never added tannin as I follow the keep it simple method. Water, nutrients, energizer, yeast, honey (no boil), camden
    Its served me well took first in dry category of domras cup with the tupelo
     
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  6. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    MD
  7. vonnegut21

    vonnegut21

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Up On Cripple Creek
    Anyone have a favorite online mead-making resource they'd recommend?
     
  8. rcubed

    rcubed

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Listen to the podcasts that Moonlight's Michael Fairbrother has done with Beer Smith and The Brewing Network. Lots a tips on mead making.
     
  9. blatantdream

    blatantdream

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    I make mini batches of mead. I kind of Frankenstein the recipes from different ones I find online. It's more manageable to go for 1 gallon batches for me since you can experiment more and when you don't have much room. It takes a lot longer to brew mead so I can get a few started at the same time as well. I normally use an unfiltered wildflower honey from Florida, 48oz for a one gallon batch. I've never tried adding spices but have done melomels. My blueberry mead was quite a hit and only took 3 months to make.

    What kind of yeast is everyone using? I tend to use the LALVIN 71B-1122 “NARBONNE” which works well but I would like to try something different.
     
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  10. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    SW Suburban Chicago
    Excited to see this. Reading up and hoping to make my first mead soon.
     
  11. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Location:
    Windsor, CA
    My first mead was bottled last week. A one gallon batch of the foolproof Joe's Ancient Orange Mead recipe. It tasted really good on bottling day. Now it will sit in bottles until Feb. I'll post the recipe if anybody is interested.
     
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  12. TomTwanks

    TomTwanks

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Very new in the mead making game but it has been very gratifying so far. Plan on making a sweet spiced cyser (Apple pie clone) and a coffee/toasted coconut/macadamia nut mead when I come back from vacation.
    Now if anyone of you assholes wanna send me 30-40# of honey as "extras" in a trade, let's work something out :rolleyes:
     
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  13. TomTwanks

    TomTwanks

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    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Gotmead.com is awesome. I also use homebrewtalk for research/brain storming
     
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  14. vonnegut21

    vonnegut21

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Up On Cripple Creek
    Got drunk on mead last night and ordered a 1 gallon mead kit from Austin Homebrew along with Schramm's book. Guess I will be making mead sooner rather than later.
     
  15. ExPimp

    ExPimp

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Location:
    On tha corna
    I've been doing some reading after experiencing my first mind blowing mead a few weeks ago, and I really want to give it a shot... I will be following this thread now as well.
     
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  16. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    I am always available to critique your experiments. I have no shame in begging. Just sayin'.
     
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  17. vonnegut21

    vonnegut21

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Up On Cripple Creek
    Thinking of doing my first batch this weekend. From what I've read, people seem split between the boil/heat to at least 180F crowd and the don't bother crowd (Michael Fairbrother says nothing above 80F is necessary). What have you all had the best results with as far as temperature?
     
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  18. bum732

    bum732

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    MA
    The only reason people heat honey is so it leaves the container easily. There is absolutely no reason to cook/boil honey for anti-microbial purposes. All it does is drive away those delicate aromatics present. There is a reason that 100 yr old honey exists and is still edible.
     
  19. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    Agree with bum732, if everything else is clean no need to heat the honey warmer than it takes to get it out of the container.
     
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  20. sliverx

    sliverx

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY via Flerda State
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