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Brew day is here, and you should now have the ingredients ready to go, the yeast prepared, the nutrients measured, the equipment laid out, and a glass of Mead at hand.  You are now ready to brew your Mead.

The first thing to do is to make sure the area you will be in and the equipment you will be using are ready for use.  This means cleaning and sanitizing as much as possible to avoid infections.  Chapter 12 runs through the methods to follow to achieve this.

Then, it is time to start to prepare your Must.  There are three methods used to mix everything together: Boil, No Boil, and Pasteurize.  No single method is “correct”, so read Chapter 13 to gain an insight into the pros and cons of each before deciding on which method you will use.

Keeping records

This is a very important part of the brewing process as it can not only help you reproduce a good Mead, but it can identify what might have gone wrong if a batch turns out bad.  Keep very good notes describing exactly how everything was done, and continue adding to the notes as the Mead matures, right up to the point where it is ready to drink.  The notes should include the recipe, the process used, any observations (such as the time it took to start fermenting, or how long fermentation took to completion), how the Mead looks and smells, any problems encountered, and how it tasted after aging.  Appendix 8 provides a sample Mead recipe and notes showing the sort of things that should be included.

The GotMead format for recipes is as follows:

Recipe Name

Brew Date – xx/xx/xx
Batch Size – x gal.
Honey Varietal – xxxxxx
S.G. goal – 1.xxx
%ABV goal – xx%

Ingredients:
xx Lbs. Honey
xx gal. Liquid  (water/apple cider etc.)
xx Lbs. Other ingredients
xx oz. DAP/Energizer
xx oz. Yeast
etc.

Process:
Prep method (including times, amounts, temperatures, acid level, processes and observations)

Continued notes and comments (additions, aerations, rackings etc.) up to bottling and tasting notes.

Using a standard brewlog will help tremendously with keeping things organized.  A very useful one was created by Wrathwilde and is available for download as a PDF here.

 

INTRODUCTIONCHAPTER 1: WHAT IS MEAD?
CHAPTER 2: HONEYCHAPTER 3: ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
CHAPTER 4: EQUIPMENTCHAPTER 5: TERMINOLOGY AND CALCULATIONS
CHAPTER 6: THE BASIC RECIPECHAPTER 7: PLANNING
CHAPTER 8: RECIPE CALCULATIONSCHAPTER 9: YEAST
CHAPTER 10: NUTRIENTS CHAPTER 11: MEAD DAY
CHAPTER 12: SANITATIONCHAPTER 13: PREPARATION AND MIXING
CHAPTER 14: INTO THE FERMENTERCHAPTER 15: AERATION, FERMENTATION AND RACKING
CHAPTER 16: SIPHONINGCHAPTER 17: AGING AND OAK
CHAPTER 18: BOTTLINGCHAPTER 19: TROUBLESHOOTING AND COMMON QUESTIONS
CHAPTER 20: WHAT NEXT?APPENDIX 1: HONEY VARIETALS
APPENDIX 2: TYPES OF MEADAPPENDIX 3: ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT
APPENDIX 4: PLASTICSAPPENDIX 5: INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE MEAD CALCULATOR
APPENDIX 6: ABV/BRIX/S.G. CHARTSAPPENDIX 7: CONVERSION TABLES
APPENDIX 8: SAMPLE RECIPEAPPENDIX 9: HOW TO READ A HYDROMETER

 

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