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Anyone else making mead?


#1

I’m making mead in a few weeks once I get a hold of another 5 gallon carboy. Anyone else?

The irony this year is I’ll be using a gallon of honey I bought from the same guy who sold me my fantastic nucs. No honey for me this year so I’m still making mead using his honey!

This will be the third year using his honey and the mead turns out great.


#2

Not making mead but plan to if I get surplus surplus.
Could you point me in the right direction for mead information?
Thanks.


#3

I have a batch on at the moment, been going for a few months already hopefully will be done for new years, have found that the longer fermentation time makes tastier mead. I am using honey from the bloke I got my nuc from for this batch but hopefully using home honey in the next batch


#6

Thanks for posting, this is very close to the recipe I use. I am not much of a beer drinker but have enjoyed cider for many years and its difficult to get a good cider in Australia as they lack the complexity of wine, so you can imagine my surprise when I first tasted a sweet Mead… absolute bliss and with a strong honey you get that complexity, if you put bubbles into the mix you get a mead champagne. I found the trickiest part was to get the sweetness just right. Too dry and yuk! Too sweet and it becomes sickly. By putting citrus peels into the fermenting Mead it gives it acidity that my palate craves in a brew. Attaching a well known simple Mead recipe that has been around since the dawn of time. Personally, I leave out the spices cause I prefer the honey flavours to shine through.

http://www.goferment.com/blogs/recipes/91223107-joes-ancient-orange-mead

For a step by step simple Mead you cannot go past Jerry Dunbar.


#7

I make mead and that is why I got my Flow - just about to bottle up

another batch


#8

I am lucky enough to be able to attest to the delicious subtlety of Cowgirl’s mead :tropical_drink::ok_hand:

Thanks for all this info everyone - maybe I’ll give mead-making a try. My son is huge into all things medieval & might lend a hand.


#9

Awesome, thanks everyone for the links and ideas.
Thing is, I’ve not tried mead, what does it taste like? No point making it, waiting 6 months and then not liking it!. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

Varies a lot. It isn’t usually fizzy like beer or cider. I would say it is a bit like wine, but more complex and floral. Some mead is sweet and some is dry. I prefer it on the dry side, but I prefer wine that way too. I bet you could buy some from a local farmers market or honey show, or even better, make a small batch yourself, then you would know! If you didn’t like it, you can always give it away. :blush:


#11

I tried someone’s home brew a few years ago for the first time & was disappointed because it tasted so medicinal. Made the wrong assumption that “mead tastes like medicine”…finally, earlier this month I had my first taste of real mead made by a real craftswoman - none other than our own Cowgirl! - who knows what the hell she’s doing.

@Cowgirl’s mead is like an excellent sherry or maybe a bit like port. It’s subtle, complex, with a lightly floral/honey bouquet and a richness without being syrupy. There’s a nice tangy citrus note too. That I recall. After a tiny reminder sip :kissing_cat:


#12

I make mine to be like a liqueur as I like it on the sweeter side but if you stuff it up or don’t like it you can add some herbs and use it for cooking


#13

Hey do you have any recipes or ways you use mead in cooking? I imagine you could make a very nice reduction with a little cream or butter swirled in to serve over fruit & sponge cake…


#14

I often use a little sweet wine or Marsala wine even in savory sauces. Of course the classic would be with sautéed mushrooms and onions, poured over chicken breasts. I even use a cup of two of sweet wine in home made chicken stock. The sweetness changes to a kind of richness that makes it taste like you cooked it all day with a master chef. It doesn’t taste overwhelmingly sweet.

The other meat that a sweet wine sauce works well with is pork. Just soak some dried fruits (raisins, cherries, plums all work well) in a generous amount of sweet wine for several hours. Then add to a pork stew, or dice the soaked fruits and reduce the wine they soaked in by about half. Season with salt and pepper and add a little cornstarch to thicken if needed. Pour over roasted or pan-fried pork, or even pork chops - totally yummy and a variation on Elizabethan pork from the UK, which was probably served with mead anyway! :smile:


#15

I didn’t even think of how similar mead is to Marsala - worlds of possibilities!


#16

I’m about to collect my first batch of honey soon, so if I have surplus, I plan to make a 1 gallon (5 litre) batch of mead.

If anyone hasn’t tried mead and live in Australia, try this Daringa Mead which I found at Dan Murphy’s which I really liked:
https://www.danmurphys.com.au/product/DM_904770/daringa-mead


#17

G[quote=“MrBear, post:16, topic:8682”]
I plan to make a 1 gallon (5 litre) batch of mead
[/quote]

Gallon @MrBear ? Really?
At least you didn’t say liter…

:rage:


#18

This is a popular beginners mead recipe from the Aussie home brewer web site (blokes who are seriously into home brewing) that has many positive reviews. I have copied it as written.

This recipe is designed for beginners. Everyone else with an opinion can just buggar off!

For a 5 litre demijohn

1.6kg honey (never boiled or lose the taste and aromas) (if I meant 1.5kg I would have written it)
1 large orange (at most cut into eight pieces – rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins (25 if you can count)
1 stick of cinnamon (its brown, its wood, its good)
1 whole clove (or 2 if you like high potency)
optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small mind you )
1 tsp of bread yeast (now don’t get holy on me about bread yeast – after all this recipe is DESIGNED for it)
Balance water to bring batch out to 3.8 litres (did you know, there are 3.785411 litres per US gallon)

Process:

Use a clean 5 litre demijohn.

Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in demijohn

Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice into eights (may wish to zest slightly, just shove em through the demijohn’s hole)

Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill demijohn with water to about 3.8 litres with cold water (need some room for some foam – you can top off with more water after the first few days foaming frenzy). (You did remember to pour in a measured 3.8 litres and mark off the level on the outside of the glass demijohn before hand right?)

Shake the hell out of the demijohn with the top on or bung in (of course). This is your sophisticated oxygenation process.

When liquid is at room temperature, put in 1 tsp of bread yeast (no you don’t have to rehydrate it first – the ancients did not even have that word in their vocabulary – just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)(The yeast can fight for their own territory)

Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Don’t use grandma’s bread yeast she bought years before she passed away in the 90’s – use the fresh stuff) (Wait 3 hours before you panic or call me) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don’t shake it! Don’t mess with them yeastees! Leave them alone except its okay to open your cabinet to inhale deeply the smell every once in a while.)

Racking – Don’t you dare!
Additional feeding – No! NO!
More stirring or shaking – You are not listening, do not touch!

After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that) (You are not so important after all) Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don’t need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (20C-25C). If it didn’t work out… you screwed up and didn’t read my instructions (or used grandma’s bread yeast she bought years before she passed away) . If it didn’t work out then take up another hobby. Mead is not for you. It is too complicated.

If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make different types of mead you will probably have to unlearn some of these practices I have taught you, but hey – This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don’t knock it. It was your first mead. It was my tenth. Sometimes, even the experts can forget all they know and make good ancient mead.

This mead should finish quite sweet, if it finished dry, most likely your bread yeast has higher alcohol tolerance than Fleishmann’s Bread Yeast (original recipe USA brand of dry yeast – 12% alc tol. and high flocculation). In Australia for the past few years all the dry yeast sold is imported from China. So add more honey in the next batch and so on until it finishes sweet instead of dry or switch brands (but then again all the Australian brands today are probably from the same barrel of imported China dry yeast). Don’t like it sweet? Add less honey next time.

Keep in mind, that will completely void the “warranty” of Ancient Orange recipe if you randomly use a different yeast. Different yeasts have different alcohol tolerance, and it just so happens that the Fleishman’s active dry bread yeast is perfect for this recipe in regards to alcohol tolerance. Using another yeast would probably give better results IF the honey was re-balanced to suit the yeast. Again, this recipe is all about BALANCE. The bitterness from the orange and the sweetness of the honey balance perfectly with the alcohol level. I don’t know if I just don’t have a well enough educated palate or what, but I can’t discern any yeast flavour in my Ancient Orange. It is young even by this recipe’s standard; the batch cleared at about 4 weeks and is currently in bottles. Even at such an extremely young age, it turned out incredibly smooth with a wonderful flavour of the varietal honey that I used. The spices are “just right” and everything comes together perfectly. If it is not clear, just wait longer as one day it will magically turn from cloudy to clear and the fruit will drop meaning its time to bottle. Like any mead if you leave this one to age (although only need 6 months) then it just keeps tasting better. Foaming and clearing times are dependent upon yeast and temperature conditions.


#19

My favourite recipe is
18lbs honey
4gal water
About 30 sultanas (make sure you give them a good wash)
5g champagne yeast

Warm the honey in its container in your sink (makes it dissolve easier)
Pour half your water into the fermenter then all the honey
Mix until dissolved
Add the rest of the water and sultanas
Mix for 5 mins
Add yeast
Seal the fermenter and add airlock
Leave it till it stops fermenting , time depends on ambient temperature usually a few months though
Rack it then rack every two months until no longer cloudy.


#20

Wait what? Albany must be behind the rest of the world… Oh except North America. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Allow me to translate.
8.2 kg honey
15 litres water…
:wink:
Thanks for the recipes everyone keep 'me coming.
:+1:


#21

Sorry skeg I got it like that from an American brewing book and my scales are fancy enough to convert for me.


#22

Hey what’s with the digs about our silly arbitrary system of measurement - and where are my fellow 'Mericans to back it up with me?? At least we drive on the right (correct) side of the road :metal::smiling_imp:

But back to mead -
Hey gang Cowgirl is competing this weekend but sees all the great mead emails. She will post when she gets home. The recipes look great and she will share hers Monday! She asked me to post this for her!