Mead Recipes

For those making mead and related drinks
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Caddarn

Mead Recipes

Post by Caddarn » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:59 pm

I'm looking for some suggestions/links to some mead recipes. I've tried making the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead but found it too dry for my taste so I'm specifically looking for sweet meads and some tips on how to achieve that.

I'm fond of banquet type meads, a particular favourite is Moniack but I've not found much on the internet that might help me get there. I'm aware of the gotmead website but as it's something I will rarely brew I grudge spending the money to gain access to the bulk of their recipes.

Any help will be appreciated!

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Cpt.Frederickson
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Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Cpt.Frederickson » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:00 pm

You've got two basic options to get something on the sweeter side;
1. Back sweeten
2. High gravity, and hope the yeast poop out early
To my mind, recipe composition for basic traditional mead (honey, water, yeast and nutrients only) is pretty easy. The nutrient stuff can be complicated (but doesn't have to be), but the amount of honey to use is pretty easy. Gotmead have a calculator for working this out for a set volume/gravity etc.
Most important of all...age.
How old was you JAOM? Did you stick to the exact recipe?
Mead is a drink for very patient people. I made my first meads just after my daughter was born and they're starting to show good character now. She's two years old in about a fortnight :shock:
Would recommend at least 12 months aging, more is better. Perception of 'sweetness' can become more prominent in well aged mead, even if it finishes dry.
Hope all that makes sense.
The Hand of Doom Brewery and Meadery
Fermenting -
Conditioning - Meads - Raspberry Melomel yeast test, Vanilla Cinnamon Metheglyn, Orange Melomel.
Drinking - Youngs AAA Kit; Leatherwood Traditional Mead, Cyser, Ginger Metheglyn.
Planning - Some kits until I can get back to AG, then a hoppy porter, Jim's ESB, some American Red.

Caddarn

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Caddarn » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:39 am

Hi Cpt.

I stuck to the JOAM recipe as exactly as I could while converting the measurements to metric. It fermented out around 4-6 weeks and that's when I bottled it. I left it to condition for 6 months but when I tried it, it tasted more like a dry white wine. I'll take my time planning this out and read more of what I have access to on Gotmead before I try again. Thanks for the reply!

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Cpt.Frederickson
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Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Cpt.Frederickson » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:13 pm

No worries mate. Personally I bulk age my stuff and bottle eventually (reminds me, I need to get some bottles...) which pretty much guarantees no bottle bombs and saves the need for faffing around with finings etc.
As an rough example recipe (this is my favourite mead thus far) here's a ginger metheglyn I made.
1 gallon batch:
Honey to 1.120 (approx. 1700g/3.75lbs)
80g peeled ginger, finely sliced
250mls Assam tea (stteped and cooled)
'Nutrient' and 'energiser' (look up staggered nutrient additions if you like your life complicated!)
Lalvin D47 (Lallemand/Lalvin is the preffered yeast, I recommend D47 if you can control temp or K1V-1116 if you can't)
Water to 1 gallon (Imperial)

Recipe formulation is easy with mead (to my mind); work out what strength you're aiming for and calculate the honey addition then decide if you want additional flavourings. Adjust if these contain additional sugars. Then work out a feeding schedule. Simple! (yeah, right!)
The Hand of Doom Brewery and Meadery
Fermenting -
Conditioning - Meads - Raspberry Melomel yeast test, Vanilla Cinnamon Metheglyn, Orange Melomel.
Drinking - Youngs AAA Kit; Leatherwood Traditional Mead, Cyser, Ginger Metheglyn.
Planning - Some kits until I can get back to AG, then a hoppy porter, Jim's ESB, some American Red.

fatbloke

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by fatbloke » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:46 pm

JAO dry ? Not a hope in hell. I make mine to the same numbers but as an imp gallon not US so 20% larger but with the same honey etc and it still doesn't come out dry......

its a bad dry recipe anyway as it focuses the flavour on the pithy bitterness which is usually masked by the sweetness.

you didnt use wine yeast by chance did you ?

Caddarn

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Caddarn » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:36 am

Hi fatbloke,

Definitely didn't use wine yeast, Allinsons bread yeast, it's still in the cupboard and will likely stay there forever. It was nowhere near as sweet as any commercial Mead I've tried, and I try them at every opportunity. As I was left drawing my cheeks in after a sip I'd say it was definitely on the dry side!

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Cpt.Frederickson
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Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Cpt.Frederickson » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:16 pm

6 months is still pretty young for most meads. Its disappointing when you try and your high hopes come crashing down in flames, but I hope you have some left. Long aging is the key!
But fatbloke is right, it is unlikely to be genuinely dry with bread east. Do you know what your initial and final gravity figures were? Also, most commercial meads are VERY sweet so they're more palatable without needing significant aging.
The Hand of Doom Brewery and Meadery
Fermenting -
Conditioning - Meads - Raspberry Melomel yeast test, Vanilla Cinnamon Metheglyn, Orange Melomel.
Drinking - Youngs AAA Kit; Leatherwood Traditional Mead, Cyser, Ginger Metheglyn.
Planning - Some kits until I can get back to AG, then a hoppy porter, Jim's ESB, some American Red.

JKaranka

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by JKaranka » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:37 pm

The ones I've made that worked for me where mainly braggots and they didn't need much aging:
- 4% pale braggot 50/50 honey and pale malt with late addition of Citra hops
- 6.5% dark braggot with 50% honey, rest pale malt, special B, crystal and roast barley. Flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla
- pink sparkly mead, around 1.3kg of honey and 200g blackcurrants to the gallon. Prime in bottle
- Sima, which uses bakers' yeast and is ready in a week (but also sweet and less than 2%abv)

fatbloke

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by fatbloke » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:00 am

Caddarn wrote:Hi fatbloke,

Definitely didn't use wine yeast, Allinsons bread yeast, it's still in the cupboard and will likely stay there forever. It was nowhere near as sweet as any commercial Mead I've tried, and I try them at every opportunity. As I was left drawing my cheeks in after a sip I'd say it was definitely on the dry side!
Well that's unusual, but feasible......

not had that with Allinsons, or Tesco/Co-op/Asda/Hovis etc.......

it usually is about 1.135 or so SG and finishes about 1.025/1.035 sort of area. If it does come out dry, you can always just stabilise it and back sweeten.....

I was sent some Fleischmann's from a mate in the US so I'm gonna start 2 with that. 1 as a 1 US gallon size batch and 1 as 1 imp gallon size........

Caddarn

Re: Mead Recipes

Post by Caddarn » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:08 am

Cpt. & fatbloke,

I was still fairly new to homebrewing when I attempted the JOAM and had neglected to think ahead enough on how to take a sample from the demijohn to measure gravity so I didn't take any readings... :oops: But in the spirit of homebrewing I decided to learn from my mistakes and try again when I was more experienced. I'm hoping to try again in the next few months so I'm planning ahead this time!

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