Mead greenhorn
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Mead greenhorn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Mead greenhorn

    Hi all. This Mead thing is a foreign language to me. Luck has it I have some higher moisture honey that I'd like to turn into Mead. This has been a quick decision (as some of mine often are. *eyeroll*) ...so today I bought a beginner's wine kit.
    It includes:
    2 gallon bucket with lid.
    Recipe book
    1 gallon jug and 38mm screw cap
    5' of tubing and shut off clamp
    Active wine yeast
    Campden tablets (whatever that is)
    Straining bag
    Easy clean cleaner
    Mini auto siphon
    Econolock

    The guy suggested both yeast energizer and yeast nutrient so I spent 3 bucks on that too. Total of 36 bucks.

    SO...I promise I'm going to read up on making Mead before I start, but before I open the box, what do you all think of the kit for starting out?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Hi Stella:
    All I use is:
    2- 4 gallon disposable water jugs from Walmart. The green or blue ones. I use the water for my mead then re-purpose the bottles, 1 for 1st and 1 for 2nd ferment.
    I have a 4 gallon S/S stock pot I use to warm and mix everything.
    5ft.- 3/8 clear plastic tubing.
    1- plastic airlock c/w stopper.
    yeast, energizer and nutrient.
    I buy used wine bottles from recycling for .30 each and only get the type with screw tops so I don't have to cork them.
    But every sunday afternoon he is a dirt track demon
    In a '57 chevrolet- Jim Croce

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    That kit gives you about everything to make a gallon of wine or mead. The 2 gallon bucket is for your primary (first) fermentation. The 1 gallon jug is for secondary fermentation and bulk aging. It will work as your storage jug too, but if it works out, you just might find yourself making more and larger batches so you will want additional wine bottles (buy wine and empty the bottle ourself, it's more fun that way) or 1/2 gallon cider jugs (these are great!). I make 3gallon or 5 gallon batches. I use 1 gallon batches to experiment and develop recipes.

    The campden tablets are potassium or sodium metabisulphite. When these tablets are dissolved in the must they release sulphur gas. It is used before adding your wine yeast to kill foreign yeast and bacteria to give it a good head start. It is also used sometimes to stop a fermentation at a certain alcohol level.

    The most important aspect of making your own wine, mead, or beer is sanitation. Read up on that!

    A quick web search will reveal many sites devoted to winemaking and several sites specializing in mead. Even basic google-fu skills will get you there.

    My favorite mead is a semi-dry melomel I make with sour cherry juice. exquisite

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    One more thing... if this becomes another hobby for you, you will definitely want to get a hydrometer, a device used to measure the specific gravity of your brew, which gives you a method of determining the alcohol level. You'll also be needing more airlocks and a bottle brush.
    While you're at it, you will want a closet, or maybe a room, for fermenting and aging.
    Oh heck! Who am I kidding? Kick the ol'man out of the basement, you're taking it over for your booze!. He can go build a shed outside for his man cave!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Thanks to both of you for your replies.
    I'm kinda freaked out about wasting any precious honey so I'm starting small with one gallon to see how I do and build or diminish my confidence. From what I read, those of you that make it, love making it.
    Colino- I'll definitely keep that supply list at hand! I can see that in my future.
    No problem saving wine bottles here as I am a big fan of wine!
    Sanitation! Got it! I'm a stickler in that Dept.
    I have a nice cedar lined sauna with benches in my lower level that could serve as a good wine room. Could even add a couple wingback chairs for tastings with friends. Ha! That would be fun if the wine turns out good.
    Move over hubby, there's another new hobby on the horizon! He's learning....didn't even roll his eyes this time.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    The hygrometer becomes a critical tool very fast.
    The 1 gallon glass jugs can be scrounged pretty easy for fermenters (filled with cider, they aren't much more $ at a grocer than what the home brew stores get for empties).
    Beware of old recipes that suggest the must needs to be boiled (totally unnecessary) or suggest no nutrients (additives or fruit) need to be added (very likely necessary).
    "Active Wine Yeast" is pretty open. Most people making mead develop a preference to the type of yeast pretty fast - pros and cons to them all.

    JOAM (Joes Ancient Orange Mead) is a pretty easy beginner recipe & you can substitute the "Wine Yeast". The challenge with 1 gallon batches is you'll want to try it and you don't get enough to really let it age out (it does get better with age) so making something easy that's hard to screw up and drinkable early on will help to keep you interested.

    We keep 20 - 30 gallons in secondary fermentors and 100+ bottles aging which means we can keep going back to a favorite or leave something that's just "OK" time to age.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Thanks to both of you for your replies.
    I'm kinda freaked out about wasting any precious honey so I'm starting small with one gallon to see how I do and build or diminish my confidence. From what I read, those of you that make it, love making it.
    That would be fun if the wine turns out good.
    Move over hubby, there's another new hobby on the horizon! He's learning....didn't even roll his eyes this time.
    Stella:
    Making mead is really simple, don't get lost in the double speak rhetoric by those who are die hard perfectionists. Basically what you are doing is cooking with a recipe and instead of heat you are using yeast bacteria. As long as you don't kill your yeast and let oxygen get into the fermenting process you will get mead. It may not be the best but it will probably be drinkable and then after you get the method down pat you can shoot for perfection. From what I've read some of the first meads were scavenged from bee trees where the bottom of the cavity filled with water and honey dripped into it giving the wild yeast something to eat. Have fun.
    But every sunday afternoon he is a dirt track demon
    In a '57 chevrolet- Jim Croce

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    My son and I made our meads last night. I made the JAOM. Son made his own recipe. This morning his is slipping out a bubble every 15 seconds. Mine isn't doing a dang thing although it has some foam on the top of the oranges and some condensation in the airlock. He uses the s shaped airlock and mine is a 3 part tubular thing.
    Should I be concerned that mine isn't bubbling yet?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    is it bubbling yet?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    YES!!!..thanks for asking HB! I seem to be a days delay compared to my sons.

    I almost hate to admit... that I sit in the sauna/mead room with my coffee and watch the brew bubble. If that's weird then call me weird! Why haven't I done this sooner! Science I hopefully can drink!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    It can be fermenting before you see the bubbles in the airlock, but those 3 piece locks need a little more pressure before the gas will burp through.than the S-type. You can often actually see tiny bubbles or froth on the surface of the must before they push through the lock.
    Glad it's working for you . Enjoy watching.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Hi all!
    Started my joes ancient mead on 10/10. It has stopped bubbling but the fruit is still at the top with the exception of a few raisins.
    Any advice on what to do next? Bottle it? Wait for the fruit to fall?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,793

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    You have no idea, or maybe you do!, How many possibly productive hours and weeks have been waisted sitting and watching bubbles, counting bubbles per minute. It is an addictive and useless pastime that all brewers have taken part in.

    How warm is your sauna? I tend not to brew if temps in the brewspace are much over seventy and stop when above 75 is likely. Hotter means faster fermentation but it also means more off tastes and longer aging periods before you have a drinkable product.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    With a JAOM, let it sit until the fruit drops. If you followed the recipe, the prescribed yeast poorly flocculates, the fruit drop will help keep a siphon out of the lees.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Thanks for your reply Vance. The sauna has not been lit. It is just a good dark room for fermenting.
    OK Chuck I'll be patient. Thank you.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Thanks for your reply Vance. The sauna has not been lit. It is just a good dark room for fermenting.
    OK Chuck I'll be patient. Thank you.
    You don't need 'dark' if you aren't using hops.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Thanks. It was my assumption, while reading up on JAOM, to place the carboy in a closet or cupboard. A dark place. Maybe it was meant to hide it from impatience.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,095

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    YES!!!..thanks for asking HB! I seem to be a days delay compared to my sons.

    I almost hate to admit... that I sit in the sauna/mead room with my coffee and watch the brew bubble. If that's weird then call me weird! Why haven't I done this sooner! Science I hopefully can drink!
    Call me weird then too Stella. I just started mead making about 6 weeks ago. I moved my meads to what I call my "well cellar" since the farms original well is still down there. It's about the right temperature for mead making and I now miss watching the bubbles. I like this weirdness!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Thanks. It was my assumption, while reading up on JAOM, to place the carboy in a closet or cupboard. A dark place. Maybe it was meant to hide it from impatience.
    LOL! That could be. But I leave them right out in plain sight where I can watch them. Ales get covered with a heavy-duty green trash bag so that I can sneak a peek every now and then.

    If the mead is going into big bottles, I also make up a six-pack of 12oz 'testers' so that I can crack one at intervals to see how it's coming along.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mead greenhorn

    Ravenseye, mead is so much fun! Glad your trying it also. So easy.
    I always wonder when I start a new adventure why I didnt try it sooner.
    How do people go through life without hobbies?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •