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Worker Bee
Registered Member
Sep 16, 2016
Northwestern Pennsylvania
Thought maybe this would be a useful story for someone, so here goes... I've been a homebrewer forever, and 5 or 6 years ago I decided to try making mead and cyser. I was semi-active in these forums for a time.

It was interesting, and the stuff tasted OK, but ultimately I liked my beer better -- the mead and cyser were just too hot for my taste, so I haven't made any more since 2016. But I made a decent amount of it back in the day, so I've been tasting a few bottles every once in a while ever since then.

Inspiration for this post comes after drinking a bottle of traditional mead that I made in 2016; 14% ABV. It was hot even after a year, in 2017, but it has mellowed over time. Tonight's bottle was just absolutely freakin' fantastic. I can't describe how much of a difference 4 years made, although those of you who have been doing this for a long time will surely understand.

This mead was about as basic as it gets -- tap water, honey from Walmart, yeast energizer and nutrient added at two crucial times (nutrient once visible fermentation had just started, and energizer when it was going full-blast); fermentation temperature in the mid-60's. One batch used K1V-1116 and the other used 71B-1122, rehydrated before pitching as per the instructions on the packages. I racked each batch once, after the initial blast of fermentation calmed down, then I let them sit for a couple of weeks before bottling, till the mead was clear and S.G. was just below 1.000.

So just for the record -- you can make really excellent mead with very simple ingredients, if you're willing to let it age. I'm going to make more this month because I've only got 10 or 12 bottles of 2016 mead left, and I realize now that the mead I make this year won't really be ready to drink until the next presidential election rolls around.

And a question, just for fun... if you could recommend one single improvement to my technique or ingredients, to speed up the aging process, what would it be? (I should mention that as a homebrewer, I'm probably more careful about sanitation than an average wine- or mead-maker, so I think I've got that part covered.)