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Keeping it simple?

Barncrawler

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 20, 2020
2
0
1
Martinez, CA
Hello mead experts. I am not one. I made wine in2016, wrong grapes, no added anything, came out delicious, so good that I decided to make cider from my apple tree, also stunningly good although over half of the jars exploded.

so now mead. I helped an older client service his hives and came away with 1.5 gallons of raw honey. I’ve looked at recipes with stuff vikings could not possibly have had. My question now regards yeast. My local brewing supply carries “dry mead east” and “sweet meal yeast”. I like my wines sweeter so I’m inclined that way, considering strawberry or blueberry since they’re home in northern climates.
Also, thoughts on water to honey ratio? Most say 4-1 but a mead brewer who exports all over ther world says 2-1.
finally, if added yeast is used, nutrients are recommended to “get the yeast going” anyone have any idea what this is?

hoping for a sweet, carbonated mead.
 

Barncrawler

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 20, 2020
2
0
1
Martinez, CA
Hello mead experts. I am not one. I made wine in2016, wrong grapes, no added anything, came out delicious, so good that I decided to make cider from my apple tree, also stunningly good although over half of the jars exploded.

so now mead. I helped an older client service his hives and came away with 1.5 gallons of raw honey. I’ve looked at recipes with stuff vikings could not possibly have had. My question now regards yeast. My local brewing supply carries “dry mead east” and “sweet meal yeast”. I like my wines sweeter so I’m inclined that way, considering strawberry or blueberry since they’re home in northern climates.
Also, thoughts on water to honey ratio? Most say 4-1 but a mead brewer who exports all over ther world says 2-1.
finally, if added yeast is used, nutrients are recommended to “get the yeast going” anyone have any idea what this is?

hoping for a sweet, carbonated mead.
well ok then, lacking any advice from this group, I’m going forward.
1 gallon, and a bit more late summer dark honey, mostly from fruit trees, apple pear plum , removed from hives 3 weeks ago. Mostly free of honeycombs. I’ll boil spring water mix thoroughly, add red currants, maybe raisins and strawberries, add cool water, yeast,

this’ll go into a 5 gallon glass carboy with an airlock for, what, a month? Then into bottles for another 3weeks of secondary fermentation, then into chiller. 1gallon will go into a charred oak barrel for a year or so.

sound ok?
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
366
55
28
Indiana
hehehe someone has the mead making bug biting at their rear end :)
You have a lot of questions that struggle for answers. I guess it depends on how deep into the hobby you want to dive. There's probably nothing wrong with your plan (though you risk angry yeast, over oaking, and possibly oxidizing if your oak barrel is not full of mead). It may work out, and may need a fair amount of aging depending on how angry your yeast get. There is a fair component of "I hope" in your plan and is definitely a more historical method for making mead. Again nothing wrong with that but it does leave quite a bit to chance.

If you're wanting to start making mead routinely, and in a predictable fashion, then you're going to want to purchase a hydrometer so that you can measure the specific gravity of your mead. In addition go through the modern mead maker podcast series on this website. It has a TON of fantastic answers to all the questions you are asking. Check out the link in my signature below. The series will take you from how to properly rehydrate your yeast, plan on how much honey/water to add, how to feed your yeast nitrogen and oxygen, when to rack into the secondary, how to adjust flavors, rough estimates on timelines, how to prevent your yeast from making more alcohol when you add honey again later to flavor. Its fantastic!
 

KevinMeintsma

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 7, 2020
4
1
1
Minneapolis, MN
well ok then, lacking any advice from this group, I’m going forward.
1 gallon, and a bit more late summer dark honey, mostly from fruit trees, apple pear plum , removed from hives 3 weeks ago. Mostly free of honeycombs. I’ll boil spring water mix thoroughly, add red currants, maybe raisins and strawberries, add cool water, yeast,

this’ll go into a 5 gallon glass carboy with an airlock for, what, a month? Then into bottles for another 3weeks of secondary fermentation, then into chiller. 1gallon will go into a charred oak barrel for a year or so.

sound ok?
So many things here to respond to...

Regarding honey. My suggestion if there is comb in there would be to remove it before starting your fermentation. The easiest way you can do that is to warm it in a double boiler (but not too warm - don't exceed 95F) and strain it through cheese cloth or wedding veil fabric from your local fabric store. When you've completed that, start simple.

1Gallon batch:

2.5# honey
Roughly .8 gallons of water at 75-80F (this should net you about 1Gallon of liquid total).
If you are using the dry mead or sweet mead yeast, I believe these are generally liquids. BOTH will produce a dry mead - the sweet mead yeast is miss-named IMO. OR you can use a dry wine yeast package. 2 Grams of dried yeast will work well if you re-hydrate it properly. For a first time, I would suggest using 71b. It's a workhorse, and pretty forgiving with regard to temperatures.
After rehydrating your yeast, add nutrients. You can use DAP, Fermaid K, Fermaid O, or even beer nutrients if that's all you have available. Add per mfg's directions.
If at all possible, ferment near 65-68F.
When fermentation is complete, stabilize the mead with Potassium Metabisulfite and Potassium Sorbate.
Backsweeten with small amounts of your original honey until it reaches a point that you enjoy.
Share with friends and family.
 

BrewMart

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 23, 2021
5
2
3
Sheffield
hehehe someone has the mead making bug biting at their rear end :)
You have a lot of questions that struggle for answers. I guess it depends on how deep into the hobby you want to dive. There's probably nothing wrong with your plan (though you risk angry yeast, over oaking, and possibly oxidizing if your oak barrel is not full of mead). It may work out, and may need a fair amount of aging depending on how angry your yeast get. There is a fair component of "I hope" in your plan and is definitely a more historical method for making mead. Again nothing wrong with that but it does leave quite a bit to chance.

If you're wanting to start making mead routinely, and in a predictable fashion, then you're going to want to purchase a hydrometer so that you can measure the specific gravity of your mead. In addition go through the modern mead maker podcast series on this website. It has a TON of fantastic answers to all the questions you are asking. Check out the link in my signature below. The series will take you from how to properly rehydrate your yeast, plan on how much honey/water to add, how to feed your yeast nitrogen and oxygen, when to rack into the secondary, how to adjust flavors, rough estimates on timelines, how to prevent your yeast from making more alcohol when you add honey again later to flavor. Its fantastic!
 

BrewMart

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 23, 2021
5
2
3
Sheffield
Hello All, I am looking forward to learning more about mead and trying some of your recipes as it is all new to me. I am more of a wine drinker. I notice that a hydrometer was mentioned earlier in the thread and thought that you might find this article helpful
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
366
55
28
Indiana
Hello All, I am looking forward to learning more about mead and trying some of your recipes as it is all new to me. I am more of a wine drinker. I notice that a hydrometer was mentioned earlier in the thread and thought that you might find this article helpful
that's a keeper! I'll add that to my list of resources. Thanks
 

Dan O

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Oct 12, 2020
54
22
8
New Hampshire, USA
Hello All, I am looking forward to learning more about mead and trying some of your recipes as it is all new to me. I am more of a wine drinker. I notice that a hydrometer was mentioned earlier in the thread and thought that you might find this article helpful
Thank you for the link. Helpful info on there for beginners.
 

BrewMart

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 23, 2021
5
2
3
Sheffield
I am pleased that you are finding it helpful. Hydrometer reading can be rather tricky until you get used to it
 

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