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How do you get started making mead?

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mannye

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Oct 10, 2012
4,143
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Miami Beach, FL
Hmmm Well I've been known to dip into the jug early myself. Still never had a problem getting the fruit out.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g
 

EbonHawk

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 24, 2014
491
0
0
Dothan, AL, USA
Speaking of links that don't work, the Newbee's Guide link in the first post doesn't work for me either. Using Chrome. It just goes to a short page with 2 paragraphs about honey and beekeeping, and that's it, nothing else.
 

jdranchman

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Oct 20, 2014
98
0
0
Centennial, CO
My wife started bee keeping. All seemed OK until I realized, what are we going to do with 10 to 50 gallons of honey per year. Off to sample at Redstone and Rocky Mountain Meadery and then nibble, set, hooked...
 

Wingnut

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 29, 2012
80
0
0
Snohomish, WA The Evergreen State
I had to go back and ask how I started down this road. And it was a trip started by my wife.
Now she has not been real thrilled with the results (especially since I blasted a batch all over the dining room ceiling!) but knows I'll get there.
SHE was in the local brew store buying EZ Cap bottles for her homemade Irish Creme, and saw Ken Schramm's book. She likes mead and thought I might be able to make her some.
Soooo I got the book for Christmas and I jumped in with both feet (with her pushing). Darn if it wasn't a deep pool.
Good thing she is patient and forgiving....
 

newtexian

NewBee
Registered Member
I've been brewing my own beer for almost 5 years now, and haven't gotten into Mead Making, as of yet. I've got a gallon of South Texas Amish honey waiting to go into my first batch. I'm a huge fan of visiting forums as a way of learning, and I'm looking forward to learning from all of y'all here.
 

mannye

Administrator
Administrator
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Oct 10, 2012
4,143
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Miami Beach, FL
I've been brewing my own beer for almost 5 years now, and haven't gotten into Mead Making, as of yet. I've got a gallon of South Texas Amish honey waiting to go into my first batch. I'm a huge fan of visiting forums as a way of learning, and I'm looking forward to learning from all of y'all here.
Imagine if you didn't have to boil anything to make beer. That's mead. I suggest you start making a JAOM. It's super easy and will teach you the most important thing you need to develop with mead. Patience.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.
 

lum2778

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 21, 2020
2
0
0
New Jersey
Question

Hey everyone. I am VERY new to mead making. My first batch has been going for almost 2 weeks now. I have already "messed up" a couple times. I know it's not an exact science. I do have a question though. I know exposure to oxygen is generally not a good thing once fermentation has been going on, but how are you supposed to see the mead without opening the lid, when your primary fermenter is a bucket? This very well may have been answered on another thread, but I'm having some issues with using the forum. Also, pardon my lack of avatar...for some reason I can't put one up.
 

EricHartman

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
281
4
0
Indiana
Hey lum, welcome to the forum. Oxygen is actually helpful during the first half of the primary fermentation. The yeast utilize oxygen to make sterols for the cell membrane. It's recommended to bubble pure oxygen into the must every 12 hours for the first 3 days off primary fermentation.

Where oxygen is problematic is during the secondary. The must is no longer releasing carbon dioxide to protect itself and will be ageing in the carboy for 6 months or more. Here is my link blast that contains links to tons of trusted, good information that will help you along your journey:

The GotMead Modern Mead Making Podcast series on the procedure of making mead right:
9-5-17 Ryan Carlson - Modern Mead Making - Yeast in Mead: 9-5-17-ryan-carlson-modern-mead-making-yeast
9-12-17 Ryan Carlson - Modern Meadmaking - Making Happy Yeast: 9-12-17-ryan-carlson-making-modern-mead-yeast-keep-happy
9-19-17 Making Modern Mead - SNA, Racking, Stabilizing and Aging: 9-19-17-ryan-making-modern-mead-snas-racking-stabilizing-aging
9-26-17 Making Modern Mead - Sulfites and Sorbates: 9-26-17-ryan-tom-repas-moder-mead-making-sulfiting-sorbating
11-14-17 Ryan Carlson - Modern Mead Making - fine tuning mead: 11-14-17-ryan-carlson-science-fine-tuning-mead/


The only significant, procedural question, you be left with by the end: How exactly do I cold crash?
Either Vicky or AJ on the podcast 9/25/18 define it as: Cold crash - place your mead (still in primary but gravity no longer changing thus no longer fermenting) in a fridge around 4C for 1+ weeks (generally 1-2 weeks). Helps with flocculation - or clearing the mead by getting yeasts/proteins to stick together.

*some dated information in those podcasts is the concept of degassing. They advise degassing on a schedule (2-3 times daily). Now generally accepted that degassing is only needed to avoid mead eruptions when adding nutrient additions rather than helping the yeasts avoid a toxic environment. Generally it is not done on a schedule but just prior to nutrient additions.

That's probably 10-12h of podcast. Quite a bit of it is banter/filler... but there is gold in there, even in the banter. I've listened to each of them at least twice; taking detailed notes!

The modern mead making series continues from there and they dive into specific meads like pyments, cysers, Sessions, Braggots

The primary - the period when the yeast are fermenting the honey
9-25-18 Ryan Carlson - Pairing Yeast to Meads: 9-25-18-ryan-carlson-pairing-yeast-to-meads
10-2-18 Ryan Carlson – Pairing Yeasts to Meads – Part 2:10-2-18-ryan-carlson-pairing-yeasts-to-meads-part-2

The secondary - the period when the mead has been racked off of the "gross lees" (sediment from primary) and the mead flavor is adjusted/augmented
6-5-18 Ryan’s Rants – Balancing Your Mead Podcast on factors that balance a meads flavor
Forum post on adjusting acids: Squatchy on acid adjustment/additions for balance
Forum post on tea/spice in the secondary: https://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/33178-Teas-and-spices-in-secondary

Oaking
8-29-17 Ryan Carlson - Oaking Your Mead: 8-29-17-ryan-carlson-oaking-mead
that oaking podcast is well supported by this supplement: https://morewinemaking.com/web_files/intranet.morebeer.com/files/oakinfopaper09.pdf
Loveofrose detailed oaking experiment: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/27970-The-Barrel-Mimic-Experiment


Extra goodies I've found helpful:
A very help glossary: https://morewinemaking.com/articles/wine_terminology - fermenters talk weird sometimes!

https://morewinemaking.com/articles/SO2_management additional information on how to sulfite stabilize your mead

https://www.bjcp.org/mead/Mead_Study.pdf - basically a book on this stuff. Some seems out of date but you'll be able to spot it after understanding the podcasts. very helpful section on "balance" & mead faults.

YouTube video on Spirit indication test for determining the final ABV when additional sugars/liquids have been added or the original SG is unknown

TOSNA - Tailored Organic Staggered Nitrogen Additions calculator honey is nitrogen poor so mead needs nitrogen additions to support the yeast

https://morewinemaking.com/articles/Fining_finished_white_wine Information on agents used to help clear your mead. The BJCP "book" has information on this as well.

https://morewinemaking.com/articles/wine_bench_trials - how to perform a bench trial
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
365
3
18
Pretoria, South Africa
I've found that most of the "flashy" info out there, in other words, people promising you you can make "knock-your-socks-off Viking mead in 2 weeks in your home" aren't wrong, but the info is crap. Most of these flashy sources still stick to outdated and outright wrong methods. Things like insisting you have to degas the mead two to three times a day. Firmly believing that 10 raisins floating around in your 5 gallon batch of mead mead will give the yeast the nutrients it needs. That you can stick your mead in the fridge to "kill the yeast and stop the fermentation". All that's wrong.

Following the stuff Eric posted above will lead you down the right path. It's a narrow path, yes, but once you get the basics right, your meads will turn into enjoyable drinks in a few weeks, instead of several years (if at all).
 
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African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members