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Got Mead?

 
                                            
Posts: 59
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Any homebrewers on here, specifically mead makers?  I've gotten rather addicted to making mead and am hoping to find other meadmakers to do some swaps so I can try other recipes, honeys, boil/no-boil attempts and the like.

I've focused on doing no-boil sweet meads and have tried wildflower, clover and currently have an orange blossom fermenting.  I'm able to do trades for some clover sweet mead or the orange blossom sweet mead once it gets bottled (the wildflower one turned out awesome and is all going towards being used at my wedding )

 
                            
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I've never tried brewing Mead before. Last year I made blackberry wine and it turned out okay... it didn't seem very alcoholic? Anyway I'm interested in trying my hand at mead. Any good links or resources out there that you could recommend? Sorry I'm no help with the swap...
 
                                            
Posts: 59
Location: Bellevue, WA
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The best resource I've found is Ken Schramm's Essential Meadmaker book.

other than that, I usually just surf online for mead sites and talk with other meadmakers and bee keepers at farmers markets.
 
                                      
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I have been a mead maker for a number of years now. I will buy honey in bulk - usually 50 pounds for $100-150 and then will put it into my carboys (4 6.5 gallon glass carboys). That much honey will make 20 gallons of mead that has quite a kick. I use standard dried champagne yeast and will add calcium carbonate to keep the pH as close to neutral as possible as this aids the fermentation. Not rocket science.

As I recently moved, I did not have my wort chiller (copper heat exchanger to reduce the temp of a liquid), I did not take the must (honey/water) liquid to a boil. That is my usual SOP. I find that adding things like apple juice will make it tastier, more potent, and ferment more quickly.

Hope this helps.
BBurg
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3351
Location: woodland, washington
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Bert (and others),

heck yeah, I've got mead.  just under twenty gallons of cyser right now, and I'm hoping to bottle a substantial portion of that before I move out of town at the end of this month.

if you want to trade, I'm in Green Lake in Seattle, moving to Woodland north of Vancouver, WA.  looks like you're in Bellevue, so it would be easier to get it before it goes south.

all twenty gallons in four carboys have the same raw ingredients, but in different proportions.  I started with jonagold apple culls that I pressed myself in 2008.  added some crab apples at pressing for body as the dessert apples alone yield a thin cider.  fermented that for a year with wild (maybe feral is more accurate) yeast.  bottled and drank a couple of carboys.  then I started adding honey to the remainder.  it's raw blackberry honey from the Snoqualmie Valley.  just a little bit at a time so fermentation kept humming along without getting out of control.

no hydrometer readings.  no measuring of any kind, really.  no boiling.  no heating, for that matter.  no filtering beyond a coarse filter when the honey was harvested.  nothing added other than honey and apple juice.  my guess is that there's about 20 pounds of honey split between the four carboys, but I couldn't say for sure.  not exactly orthodox methods, but they've worked well for me in the past.

my previous batches of mead started tasting good after about a year of bulk aging and another year in the bottle.  haven't tasted any of this batch yet, but I imagine it will be about the same.  starts out a little hot, but that ages out in the bottle.  been pretty dry previously, which is the style I like, and the apples add some pleasant acidity.  back-sweetening is always an option if it puckers you up more than you like.

I would definitely be up for a trading.  not a lot of spare time at the moment, so you would probably have to come to me.
 
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