18% ABV Sweet mead - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Dan, how do you make the honey vinegar?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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  3. #22
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Another update. After a little psyching myself up, I tasted the mead from the coffee filter set up. Still has a definite yeasty taste and is very sweet, but no other off flavors that I could discern. No hint of Jet A.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #23
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    As mentioned, time is the magic ingredient. I opened 2 bottles of Acerglyn (Maple Mead) this week. One spiced. One not. They were started on New Years Day, 2017. Both were better than anything you could buy at the store. And both were twice as good as bottles from the same batch that I opened and tried a year ago.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #24

    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Dan, how do you make the honey vinegar?
    The basics are pretty straightforward. Begin by making mead. I would mix honey and water to a specific gravity that resulted in an alcohol content lower than that rated for the yeast I was using. I wanted complete fermentation.
    Once fermentation is complete, I would mix in some vinegar mother. I would close the container using a fine weave cloth as the conversion from mead to vinegar is aerobic. Over time that process will run to completion.
    The tricky part is making sure that the resulting vinegar has neither an acid content that is too high or too low. I made sure that my initial specific gravity would result in an acid content above 5%. I titrated the final vinegar and would add distilled water to dilute to achieve 5% acid content.
    An interesting extension bulletin from 1935 on making vinegar from honey.

    https://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/Ag.%...e/PDF/e149.pdf
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  6. #25
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Thanks for the link Dan, good stuff. Uh, what exactly is a vinegar eel? Sounds disgusting.

    Ok, I googled it. They are disgusting. Tiny little worms (nematodes) living in and destroying ones vinegar.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 11-18-2019 at 08:34 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #26
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Since transferring the mead to the secondary, I noticed that I no longer was generating CO2. As I mentioned in another thread recently, I tend to keep the house a little on the cool side in the winter. Apparently, too cool for fermentation to continue. So, last night I moved the carboy in front of a heater and was pleased to see CO2 bubbles forming again. Of course, I couldn't leave the carboy full of mead in the middle of the floor, so I took some quick measurements and discovered it would fit in my incubator. Just put it inside and set the thermostat to 80 F. We will see what happens.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #27
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    Jun 2013
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    Fenton, MI
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    403

    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    My attempt at Mead was such a disaster that I'm REALLY hesitant to try again. This thread is heartening though.
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  9. #28
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    The carboy has been in the incubator for a month now and is no longer bubbling. At last check the SG was still higher than it should be indicating that the fermentation may not be complete. Talked to the guy at the home brew shop and he recommended adding more DAP and another package of the EC1118 yeast. Going to give that a try. Meantime, bought some D47 for the sweet wine, and stuff to bottle and cork the mead when it is done. Suddenly realized how valuable all the empties I have been tossing out really are. Case of 12-750 ml bottles set me back $16.50 plus corks. Quickly dug through the trash and "rescued" several bottles.

    This is my first experience with using a corker and it is cool to put the cork INTO the bottle since all my previous experience has been with taking them out So now I have an empty bottle with a cork in it. Hmmm.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #29
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    I finally got around to checking the SG of the mead. Sure enough, fermentation stopped at 1.032, or about 25 points shy of my goal. Mixed up another packet of the 1118 and dumped it in with a tsp. of DAP right behind it. Gently stirred so as not to add oxygen to the mead and put the airlock back in. Now we wait.

    20 minutes later and...we are back making greenhouse gases. Albeit quite slowly for the time being.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 12-27-2019 at 07:33 PM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #30
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Well the bubbling stopped a few days later. I let the mead sit until today. It is a beautiful deep amber colored and quite clear. Did not bother with the hydrometer and just bottled it all up. All totaled I got 12-750ml bottles of regular sweet mead and 8-750ml bottles of cinnamon metheglyn. The mead tastes good and is very sweet and strong, almost like a brandy. I definitely want to try a raspberry melomel after the next honey harvest.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #31
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Sounds like success! J

  13. #32
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    Thanks J. Not bad at all for a first attempt. Want to go a bit drier next time around too.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #33
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    I only tried mead once and didn't care for it. But if you can get it dry and more like brandy, I would give it a go. J

  15. #34
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    May 2017
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: 18% ABV Sweet mead

    I am going to start a dry 10-12% ABV today or tomorrow. A gallon of it will get raspberries in the secondary, and the remainder will be converted to vinager.

    I use one gallon equipment, because I don't drink much (haven't finished the Mel I started in October yet), and to reduce risk as well. I also like the freedom of small batches. I will push the space in my primary bucket to get 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 gallons from it, which will be split into 2 1-gallon carboys for the secondary.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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