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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Now I have used only recommended proven recipes from a trusted source in making mead. Invariably they were a bit to a lot harsh after brewing. After a year and a half, I took a sample ofmy first batch to a brewshop owner and asked him if I needed to send it down a floor drain. He told me I needed to hang on to it and would be happy I did. Now it is six months later and I bottled up three different batches to take to a bee club meeting. The one most foul when brewed was applauded by all and I could have sold it all if such were legal.

    I guess what I am trying to say is follow directions and have patience. My mead stacked up very well to the other offerings. Now I can gift the stuff with confidence at least. I cannot start to drink it all~!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Yes, it is amazing how the bouquet and sweetness comes out over time. is it not?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,087

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Like with most alcohol the difference between rail liquor and top shelf is how long it sat in the barrell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Yeah, letting the flavor of the alcohol tone down a bit helps lots, otherwise all you taste out of a young mead is the jet fuel taste - just until they really get stable it seems like the flavor can vary from day to day. I try to give them at least 6 months for half bottles-more for full bottles, depends on what other flavors are involved and how sweet/dry the recipe is. Half bottles age faster for those of us who don't want to wait as long. I got a good lemon-aid mead and a few others. First batch of cyser I tried I swear you could have lit it on fire but 9 months later it isn't bad even at about 38 proof or so - came out a bit on the high side

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    I took a fine recipe from Schramms book that was supposed to make a can't miss first attempt mead and used EC-1118 which will ferment a brick instead of the 71B recipe called for. Since I have really dry honey, I cranked out almost 22 percent alcohol. What I have called it for two years as it bulk ages is 'Resident Evil'! It now pours down like water. I said it was evil! I have now learned to read that hydrometer and go for a lower alcohol level. It just tastes better faster and you can have a glass without getting bleary eyed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    I'm waiting on a chocolate mead that should be ready around Halloween that will hit about 9%. I made a mistake converting metric to S.A.E. units on a batch of vikings blood awhile back and that is going to top out pretty **** close to 20% if the yeast runs it dry - I can't remember what yeast I used without looking at my notes. I have done the joes ancient orange spice mead with bread yeast and that hits about 13-15%, not bad stuff, really different

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Westmoreland County, PA, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    If time isn't everything, but it sure helps, extends for a few decades, than I am in for a treat. In the 70's my hobby was wine making. We moved in 1977 and I never resumed making wine ( I wasn't too good at it). This year I took up beekeeping. As I was cleaning out a cabinet in our basement a few weeks ago, I found a couple of bottles of mead that I made in 1976, yes, nearly 40 years ago.

    Not sure yet when we are going to open one, but probably this fall. I can only hope the mead continued to improve over the past 1/3 century, or maybe my wife will have a new drain cleaner.

    PS There was a recipe in a recent Bee Culture for strawberry mead. I grow strawberries and hopefully we will have enough honey next year to make that recipe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    There is some concern that there is a peak freshness to mead, it isn't exactly like wine. I think the tannins in wine are responsible for alot of the thought that it improves over many, many years, things such as first run, second run or third run on the grapes in commercial operations and many other things.
    I think that the peak for mead is kinda ball parked at 18 months to about 5 years and after that there is some concern it declines a bit. I am not sure exactly what happens, mead doesn't react as badly as wine to oxygen - it seems a bit more forgiving in some areas but touchier in others - yeast can be a biggie and temps for the yeast can affect results.
    Of course you get into sparkling, or flat mead discussions as well. Short meads for instance are effervescent, they are bubbly, kinda.
    Dunno for sure, never had any mead that sat around all that long, if it's good it disappears too quickly and if it's bad or real hot, dry or something else funky it tends to get used in other non conventional ways - de-glazing pans, christmas gifts to people you don't like, mixed drinks.


    I did a batch of pumpkin wine a couple years ago and I got to say I will never try that again, tasted like wet dog, paint thinner and smelled like rotten pumpkin in a microwave. It was thoroughly disagreeable. That kinda convinced me I would rather stick to the mead making, I have fiddled with country ( non-grape)wines but overall it hasn't been as good a result as mead for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    If the lost bottles of mead were well capped/corked/properly stored, there is a chance they might be good. I recently found a half case of wine that I forgot for 24 years in the basement. Unfortunately, it was standing up and the corks were dry and crumbly and the wine was an oxydized mess. I keep saving crap like that in case the Still Fairy drops something off at my house.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Westmoreland County, PA, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    If the lost bottles of mead were well capped/corked/properly stored, there is a chance they might be good. I recently found a half case of wine that I forgot for 24 years in the basement. Unfortunately, it was standing up and the corks were dry and crumbly and the wine was an oxydized mess. I keep saving crap like that in case the Still Fairy drops something off at my house.
    i had used Mateus wine bottles and stored them with the cork tilted down. The corks are tight. I will report back when we pop one, but I too think mead has a short shelf life.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Time isn't everything, but it sure helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_in_Westsylvania View Post
    i had used Mateus wine bottles and stored them with the cork tilted down. The corks are tight. I will report back when we pop one, but I too think mead has a short shelf life.
    Check out this guys website, http://stormthecastle.com/mead/index.htm. He might disagree about a short shelf life. Also he has lots of great info & recipes. His name is Will. He's a nice guy, will answer any questions you have & welcome any input from you.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

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