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How do you get started making mead?

cajunrph

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
May 22, 2021
9
5
3
Lake Jackson, Texas
A long ago homebrewer here. Last batch was somewhere in the late 2000's. 2008 or 09. I've gravated away from beer over the years to wine and hard liquor. I have some brews every now and then. I stumble upon the CS mead folks on YouTube a week or so ago. It became a rabbit hole of renewed interest in homemade alcohol. It seems so much less involved than beer. I was intrigued with the small batches. I've acquired seven 1 gallon glass jugs and a 3 gallon fermonster. I was going to try a BOMM but the homebrew store was out of 1388. I reluctantly purchased the white lab version (570?) as well as d47 and some Red Star the homebrew shop recommended. And a White Lab yeast for mead. For the honey I picked up some raw Texas wildflower honey from the local grocery store. My intention are to start one with Fleischmann's and see how it goes. I did pick up all the required nutrients for the BOMM method. I even scored a free box of 12 grower bottles while at the homebrew shop. Someone dropped them off that day because they were moving. In a wooden box too. I found some orange blossom honey online as there's no local source and I've yet to cultivate any relationship with the local honey bee keepers. I'll likely stick to 1 gallon batches till I find a winner. Then I'll knock out a 5 gallon batch. Maybe by then I'll make it into the garage attic to get the bigger brewing equipment. I'm not sure how this store bought honey will turn out. I'll find out soon.
 
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edaskew

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 19, 2018
333
40
28
North Carolina and Mississippi
If you really get into it, you will find it’s more time consuming than beer, especially extract beer. It’s better than beer, and your friends and family will be more interested in it, since they will mostly unsure of what it is. Lots of fun, but can be lots of work and lots of money.
 

cajunrph

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
May 22, 2021
9
5
3
Lake Jackson, Texas
If you really get into it, you will find it’s more time consuming than beer, especially extract beer. It’s better than beer, and your friends and family will be more interested in it, since they will mostly unsure of what it is. Lots of fun, but can be lots of work and lots of money.
I did three separate 1 gallon batches last night in about three hours. I would have never tackled a brew so late in the day. My last brewing was all grain brewing. Lack of the need to boil saves a bunch of time. Now the infusion with fruits and whatnot will be new. The time saved from not boiling will make up for the friut additions.

Brewing seemed to always be a race against the clock once the boil was stopped. Cooling down the wert quick enough to avoid contamination and to a low enough tempature that you don't kill the yeast, all the while maintaining some sense of sanitation wasn't easy, especially since I was brewing outside. I didn't buy all the gadgets out there for brewing. I usually built my own. So I didn't have the brew systems out there that more or less automated the brewing process. With Mead you don't need all that special equipment.

Mead might be more involved in the recipe department and fruit additions, but the actual process, to me at least, seems to be easier and less hectic.
 

cajunrph

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
May 22, 2021
9
5
3
Lake Jackson, Texas
Great adult hobby as mead making generally thrives on neglect!
Exactly, the longer you leave beer the worse it gets. Just the opposite for Mead. I have an authentic JAOM going, bread yeast, balloon airlock, and original water bottle going. Along with a D47 JAOM and a BOMM with Abbaye Belgium Ale Yeast going. Might whip up a few more batches. All got the initial DAP and FermK feeding. The D47 and BOMM will get the BOMM feeding protocol.
 

edaskew

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 19, 2018
333
40
28
North Carolina and Mississippi
I did three separate 1 gallon batches last night in about three hours. I would have never tackled a brew so late in the day. My last brewing was all grain brewing. Lack of the need to boil saves a bunch of time. Now the infusion with fruits and whatnot will be new. The time saved from not boiling will make up for the friut additions.

Brewing seemed to always be a race against the clock once the boil was stopped. Cooling down the wert quick enough to avoid contamination and to a low enough tempature that you don't kill the yeast, all the while maintaining some sense of sanitation wasn't easy, especially since I was brewing outside. I didn't buy all the gadgets out there for brewing. I usually built my own. So I didn't have the brew systems out there that more or less automated the brewing process. With Mead you don't need all that special equipment.

Mead might be more involved in the recipe department and fruit additions, but the actual process, to me at least, seems to be easier and less hectic.
Of course you’re nowhere near done with those meads, in fact you’re just getting started. Beer fermentation doesn’t last long and not much needs to be done with the wort once you’ve pitched yeast, except to oxygenate, rack to the finishing vessel, and keg or bottle. There are a lot more steps and interventions needed to make a really good mead.
 

cajunrph

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
May 22, 2021
9
5
3
Lake Jackson, Texas
Of course you’re nowhere near done with those meads, in fact you’re just getting started. Beer fermentation doesn’t last long and not much needs to be done with the wort once you’ve pitched yeast, except to oxygenate, rack to the finishing vessel, and keg or bottle. There are a lot more steps and interventions needed to make a really good mead.
Yes, more work to do. I'll tend to the yeast with a hybrid Bomm feeding schedule. Degas for a few days then sit back and wait for it to finish. It is still easier than brewing beer over all. Compared to an all grain brew this is a walk in the park. I'm already hyped for sanitizing with my brewing background. Using friut and secondary fermentation additions will certainly be more involved. Step feeding honey to get the right sweetness also more work. Tea additions and other sources for tannins and mouth feel will be an additional learning curve. For a high OG all grain brew you need your equipment and techniques dialed in. With Mead you just add more honey. Granted learning the ropes when it comes to using fruit or other additions will take some time to master. The overall process will be less work. And I won't be tempted to build a keezer either.
 
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aitor03

NewBee
Registered Member
May 13, 2021
4
7
3
Phokaia
Yes, more work to do. I'll tend to the yeast with a hybrid Bomm feeding schedule. Degas for a few days then sit back and wait for it to finish. It is still easier than brewing beer over all. Compared to an all grain brew this is a walk in the park. I'm already hyped for sanitizing with my brewing background. Using friut and secondary fermentation additions will certainly be more involved. Step feeding honey to get the right sweetness also more work. Tea additions and other sources for tannins and mouth feel will be an additional learning curve. For a high OG all grain brew you need your equipment and techniques dialed in. With Mead you just add more honey. Granted learning the ropes when it comes to using fruit or other additions will take some time to master. The overall process will be less work. And I won't be tempted to build a keezer either.

I think the main difference between making mead and brewing beer is that you only get the results after several months with your mead (then of course, this waiting period is for newbees, not for the experienced noses). But after you bottle your beer, you get preliminary results in about 3-5 days about carbonization, mouth feel, body, bitterness and aroma depending on the amount of hops you use etc. and decide to rack them longer or drink them right away fresh. And then in about a month you can begin experimenting with a new batch or go with the same recipe. But for the mead... you'll just have only a "slight idea" about how will it be after several months. It's a long term hobby.
 
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cajunrph

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
May 22, 2021
9
5
3
Lake Jackson, Texas
I think the main difference between making mead and brewing beer is that you only get the results after several months with your mead (then of course, this waiting period is for newbees, not for the experienced noses). But after you bottle your beer, you get preliminary results in about 3-5 days about carbonization, mouth feel, body, bitterness and aroma depending on the amount of hops you use etc. and decide to rack them longer or drink them right away fresh. And then in about a month you can begin experimenting with a new batch or go with the same recipe. But for the mead... you'll just have only a "slight idea" about how will it be after several months. It's a long term hobby.
Correct. The long wait is what put me off from making mead and wine. I was impatient in my younger days. But with the advent of BOMM I can get something decent in a month or so. Still not as quick as beer but close enough. Once I get the pipeline full of mead it won't be an issue. Beer is much faster to enjoy from brew day. But beer dosen't age as well either.
 

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