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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Recipe for Fastest Aging of Mead

    My husband and I are going to make some mead this weekend for our anniversary. I had some homemade blackberry mead in upstate NY in 2005 and loved it. I have also had commercial mead and hated it.

    The mead making will be a lesson in patience because I hate to wait for things.

    What is a recipe for the fastest mead that still tastes good? Can I get away with aging it only 6 months or 9 months and still have good-tasting mead?

    Or does it have to age at least a year?

    I plan on making a batch every 3 months from here on out.

    Thanks!
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    Well, that depends a lot on your tastes and preferences. As a broad generalization, high-alcohol meads take more time to hit their stride. In my experience, sweet meads (over say 1.012 FG) can take some time too. For a quick-maturing mead I might suggest an 11 to 13% mead, off-dry, without high acids.

    Here's an award-winning perennial favorite of my crew I can break into in six months or so:

    1 gallon (@ 12 lbs) medium to lighter honey
    192 oz Welch's Concord grape juice from concentrate (3 64-oz containers)
    [I also add 1 tsp CaCl and 1/2 tsp MgSO4 for yeast health and to harden the water a tiny bit, but most tap waters would not require or benefit from doing that]
    Lalvin RC212 Bourgovin yeast

    I was recently PMing with someone who was making a very similar recipe. The Welch's Concord juice is actually very good, and has no additives aside from a little vitamin C. The concord has that jam-like sweetness to it for a unique pyment. The ratios of honey to grape can be tinkered with too of course: I measured the gravity of the juice at 1.067 if anyone wants to do GU calculations (described in the stickied Intro to meadmaking thread).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Thanks, Ben!

    I am off to the brew store for yeast and to the local retail beek for a 12 lb case of orange blossom honey today.

    Pomegranate is tempting since they are in season, but I should probably start with something that is less work. The Concord juice sounds yummy.

    Having my first batch ready by May sounds good to me.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Helmetta, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default

    If you're a beer drinker, you could have a batch ready in December...I've made this myself and it works and tastes great!

    Honey Beer

    Ingredients:

    1 lime
    7 lb dark honey
    2.5 oz kent goldings hops
    champagne yeast
    5 gallons water
    5 tsp yeast nutrients
    1/2 cup dextrose (priming sugar)

    Method:

    Slice the lime, removing seeds.

    Boil the water, then and add honey, 2.0 oz hops, lime slices.

    After 45 mins, add the last 0.5 oz hops.

    After 15 more minutes, remove the lime slices, add yeast nutrients.

    Cool wort to 75 degrees.

    Pitch yeast. Top off to 5 gallons.

    Ferment for two weeks, switch to carboy for secondary fermentation for two more weeks (or more, if cloudy).

    Prime with dextrose dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water, bottle.

    Let bottles sit at room temperature until carbonated (2-4 weeks).

    Chill and drink.

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