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so what do I need to make a simple mead?
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    I've been bringing home 55gal drums from work for rain barrels, a smoker, a red neck brewery ext. Anyway often I tell the person not to clean them out. So I end up with a qt or two of honey or syrup.
    So what is a good ratio of honey to water for a mead.
    Also what other things do i need? Yeast and yeast nutrients are necessary, can I just boil some old yeast cake from a beer and use that and nutrients?
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,269 Accepted Answer
    @frydogbrews this one is all you man.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    I didn't mean to accept that answer, but yeah, close enough. With that at sign I know I'll now get the answer I need.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670 Accepted Answer
    I like 3.5 pounds of honey per gallon of added water.... but there is a very wide range that can be used.....

    Jerry
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Subscribed. I'm really wanting to make a mead and specifically to age for 8 to 10 years or longer. I want to have one for when my kids graduate high school.

    C_BJerry
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    I have a file with nutrients, I'll post in the morning
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Found it....

    Mead Nutrient Additions:

    Re-hydrate dry yeast with 1.25oz of Go-Ferm per 1oz of yeast. (re-hydrate Go-Ferm first, then add yeast) or add re-hydrated Go-Ferm to starter just before pitching, if using liquid yeast.
    At pitching add:
    1tsp DAP
    3/4tsp Fermaid K
    Agitate vigorously in 6-hours, and again at 12-hours.
    Every 12-hours for the first day, and every 24-hours for next 3 days add:
    1/4tsp DAP
    1/8tsp Fermaid K

    Notes:
    Re-hydrate nutrients in a small amount of water prior to adding to must.
    Amounts shown are for a 5-gallon batch, OK for 4 gallons.

    Jerry
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    I like 2-packs of champagne yeast and a half pack of T-57.. for a 5-gal batch

    Jerry
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Don't heat the honey

    Jerry
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Primary 3 months rack to secondary for another 3... age for as long as you can stand

    Jerry
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    Maybe @Frydogbrews can comment, but his wife was telling me about a mead their friend made that was excellent originally, but later went bad. Not sure how that happens, or how you keep that from happening. I was thinking the same thing as @jlw. I don't drink much wine, but like the idea of making it from honey, keeping for a long time, etc. I did not add sulfites which was a mistake I guess, if you are going to keep it for more than a year or two. Any comments on long-term aging?

    Jerry
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    Don't know how it coud ever go bad..... I would guess light may be an issue.... keep it in the dark... also, if they put in wine bottles and corked... oxidation might be the culprit.... wax the corks. I never add sulphites... but I do add some tannins... I add a gallon or two of "oak tea" made from dry oak leaves of the red oak in my backyard.
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679 Accepted Answer
    im on vacation, and just now saw this.
    sulfite your mead if you want to keep it for more than a two years. oxidation will still happen in the bottle, just very very slowly. my buddies mead is now 8 years old and has "turned". at 7 years, it was an erection in a bottle (in a good way?)

    i have gotten away from champagne yeast for meads, it just gives it a flat character, i really like d-47 lalvin yeast, as well as 71-b and k1v.

    use nutrients, just follow instructions for regular nutrients, but the easy way is 5 tsp nutrient and 2.5tsp energizer added when you pitch your yeast.

    use 10-15 lbs of honey per 5 gallons of water.

    there is much more i could say and get into specifics, but you said simple mead, and this is the simple way.

    oh, and i sulfite, just crush up 2-4 campden tabs (50 ppm) PER GALLON at bottling time. dont' drink for a few months after sulfiting.

    tikijj
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    Thanks fry. I think I may do a small batch with the free honey I likely have in the drum in my driveway. Don't think I'll have enough for more than a gal or two, but that's good because it won't get in the way of beer brewing.
    Have you ever used dead yeast rather than nutrients? (I'm out and would rather not buy anything... well I guess I should get some yeast, all I have is an old pack of ec-1118)

    I do like my sulfides (antioxidants make you live longer), I've never messed with the tabs, I just go for the K-meta.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    never used dead yeast because i have big bags of go-ferm and fermaid O.
    i wouldn't suggest ec1118 though, although it is the easiest yeast to use and it may need to be used if one of the other yeasts get stuck (which happens fairly frequently.)
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,872
    Fry, What yeast did you use for the sweeter more grapey mead that you sent to me?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    K1V lalvin
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I haven't tried my mead lately, but my folks said it was very carbonated, sort of sparkling wineish. Comments?
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Benvarine said:

    I haven't tried my mead lately, but my folks said it was very carbonated, sort of sparkling wineish. Comments?



    the bottle we got from you wasn't carbed at all. it was delicious though.
    are you talking about a different batch? i've had one that was a "surprise....bubbles!" batch. those are always kind of fun. also, very delicious
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    Yea, same batch. I'll have to open one myself and see.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    So do you boil the water first? And if so with or without honey? Do you sulfide it before pitching?
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    no
    without
    and no need to sulfite until bottling, and even then its just personal prefernece
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    if you are crazy about infections you could boil the water first, but nobody really does that.

    and never boil honey, ever
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    cool, that's simple enough.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 75,834
    About how long should I keep it in primary? I ended up using d-47 and boiled yeast rather than any nutrients. Fermentation looks slow, but it is doing something. I didn't take a SG reading at the start, but used about 8.5lb in about a 3.7gal total batch.
    I want to move it to my 3gal carboy (moving it off the yeast) for some per bottle aging (forget about it in my basement for a few months). Should i just wait for it to settle out, then make sure the SG is in a reasonable range?
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,670
    I normally rack at 3 months .... bottle in 3 more ..... or when its clear .....
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.