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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Toledo, Washington, USA
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    Cool One bottle of hooch...

    I had some honey that was quite old and needed to be used up somehow. I thought a bottle of mead would be a great way! I have read a couple books articles on wine and beer making and applied what I thought I knew.

    I have a bottle of fermenting mead on my kitchen stove that had stopped bubbling(fermentation release of CO2?) anyway, I decided it was probably because there wasn't anything for the yeast to eat, so I added a good scattering of sugars. The bottle roared with foam and bubbles for about a minute that means the yeasts were hungry.

    What can I use for a clarifier if the mead doesn't get clear? I read that you use some kind of chemicals but I can't remember what kind of claifiers you use(maybe citric acid?) what kind of fruits do you add to mead to make it an authentic homemade flavor for the holidays?(Is mead a spice wine? or a fruity wine ?)
    Patriotically speaking...Do you know that insects have a more complex political system than we do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedstruk View Post
    ... I added a good scattering of sugars. The bottle roared with foam and bubbles for about a minute that means the yeasts were hungry.
    What happened was the sugar bits became nucleation points for the CO2 in solution, it takes longer than that for yeast to produce CO2 from fermentation.

    As to clarifying, how old is the mead? If it's under a few months I wouldn't do anything yet. Do you know the current and starting gravity by chance?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    Mead should clear well on its own is given a reasonable amount of time.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aspera View Post
    Mead should clear well on its own is given a reasonable amount of time.
    Which makes for an interesting question...for me at least. I bought some apple cider recently to make a cyser. The cider itself was quite cloudy and was weeks old. There was some sediment on the bottom of the containers when I poured it, but not very much. I was wondering if the final mead will clear of its own accord. Any thoughts?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
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    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I was wondering if the final mead will clear of its own accord. Any thoughts?
    Typically, yes. But like bees, meads don't always read the textbooks. I never would even consider fining until a year, but that's me.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    I never would even consider fining until a year.
    I can be pretty patient. I'll give it at least that long.
    Thanks
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Nevada County, CA
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    If the brew stops working it usually means one of two things. The sugars are used up and the stuff is done, it just needs to age and mature, or the temperature is too low for the yeast to work.

    It usually takes a few months to get real clear, and if it doesn't it suggests that your airlock didn't work and it is contaminated.

    I have a five gallon carboy in my basement that has been aging since 1987. I should have bottled it a long time ago but I quit making mead after my wife said it smelled like cat urine(tasted great to me and a few neighbors even though they had trouble walking home) and I just can't put that much effort into something my family won't consume. Anyway, it is still crystal clear although I have had to replace the air lock three times due to deteriation of the rubber cap.
    doug

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bedford County TN
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    17

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierrabees View Post
    I have a five gallon carboy in my basement that has been aging since 1987. I should have bottled it a long time ago but I quit making mead after my wife said it smelled like cat urine(tasted great to me and a few neighbors even though they had trouble walking home) and I just can't put that much effort into something my family won't consume. Anyway, it is still crystal clear although I have had to replace the air lock three times due to deteriation of the rubber cap.
    Man I bet you have some really tasty stuff there.. I have some sourwood mean I made earlier this year and it is wonderfull.

    Unless your mead is contaminated with bacteria it should clear up on it's own given the time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC
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    264

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    aging since 1987....really.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
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    Heck that's nothing Bivy! I've been aging since "63"! I still get cloudy from time to time though, guess my airlock is loose or broken huh?

    No one seemed to have a problem with teds use of a bottle. Is that okay to make such a small amount? Any downsides because of volume other than maybe tighter tolerances because of the scale?

    I would be more likely to try and make a little if it can be done on a smaller scale than 5 gallons. It's just that hooch and me don't see eye to eye very well. I would like to do it and give it a taste but that's about the extent of it. Anything more would wind up setting on the shelf next to my 7 year old bottle of takillya.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  11. #11
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    Oct 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post

    No one seemed to have a problem with teds use of a bottle. Is that okay to make such a small amount? Any downsides because of volume other than maybe tighter tolerances because of the scale?
    You pretty much covered it; the temperature will swing more with ambient temps, less room for error, racking losses are appreciable compared to batch volume, and if you like it in a year you're out of luck (cuz it's all gone).

    It's that last one that carries water most for me. If I'm gonna wait a year for a mead, I want a few bottles of it. Heck, if a batch ends up being THAT good, I might share it or send it for judging. And for those you need a couple extra bottles.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bedford County TN
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    I have made batches of mead as small as 1 gallon and they turned out just as good as my larger batches. I am not a big drinker so I usually scale it down to 3 gallons or less anyway. I also don't usually make yeast starters. I just throw in an extra packet of yeast in my 3 gallon batches and just toss in one whole packet for my 1 gallon batches.

    The last mead I made was my best by far and it was basically as follows:

    for 3 gallons:

    3 quarts honey
    yeast nutrient as directed on package
    2 packets lavlin D-47 yeast
    water to bring up top 3 gallons in fermenter

    No boil. Just sanitize your equipment and mix together. Add airlock and ferment till it stops bubbling and clears.

    I would classify this as a semisweet. Everyone that has tasted it has loved it. It is not even a year old yet either. I can only imagine how good it is going to taste in 5 years.

    Biggest problem with mead the way I make it is to be very care full about sanitization. No boil means you have to get the yeast off an running quickly!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Eagle Creek, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    I would be more likely to try and make a little if it can be done on a smaller scale than 5 gallons.
    I have a couple of one gallon batches going right now. I really don't like mead as much as some other brews so I mainly do small batches just to tinker. The one gallon jugs that inexpensive table wine comes in make great fermenters. They're easy to clean, easy to store, easy to affix an airlock and they let you see what's going on inside the fermenter. I suppose there are other small fermenters that would work just as well but these are my favorite.


    George

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bedford County TN
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    I actually have some 3 liter bottles that also work well. You just have to scale down to them. Are you more of a beer or wine drinker? There are many different types of mead that fit into the different categories of alcoholic drinks. If you are more of a beer drinker you could brew up a braggot. I have done that with some very good results. For those that might not know, a braggot is simply a beer that is made with honey in addition to the malt and hops that a beer normally has. Meads can range the full scope of dry to sweet. You can also add just about any fruit or spice to mead. I like the range of tastes you can get out of mead.

    Ken Schramm has a wonderfull book about it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadm.../dp/0937381802

    I have to tell a dirty little secret.. I actually started beekeeping to support my mead making habbit.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Blanco, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaejel View Post

    Biggest problem with mead the way I make it is to be very care full about sanitization. No boil means you have to get the yeast off an running quickly!
    You know what you are doing. I have not really messed with mead that much (this upcoming year will be different), but I brew beer a lot. Awhile back I was able to speak with Dr. Chris White of White Labs: http://whitelabs.com/ . I asked him what the best material would be to make a starter for mead would be. I want to do no boil meads, since I feel that vital flavor and aroma would be lost when boiling honey. He said plain wort would be best. This can be easily made from dried malt extract. This year I plan on making my first real batch of mead, no boil, using a big starter. I will probably use their sweet mead yeast, since a co-worker of mine has made batch after batch with it, all of which have been excellent.
    Cheers!
    Live Removals & Local Honey in Austin, Texas. www.austinbees.com

  16. #16
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bedford County TN
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    I am sure it will be wonderfull. I had a bad experience with that particular yeast, but as it was my first batch I am sure it was my fault. I have used Lavlin D-47 as my go-to yeast for awhile now. I am cheap, so I like to just throw in a couple of those and let it go rather than spend the extra cash on the liquid cultures. I have heard that there are some ale yeasts ( I beleive the American ale yeast) makes a very good mead.

    There are some guys that really know what they are doing and they have a podcast. Mostly they do beer, but they have some interesting mead experiments.

    http://basicbrewing.com/

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