Took the plunge

For those making mead and related drinks
bobsbeer

Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:44 pm

I have been meaning to make some mead for the last two years, but like many things, never got round to it. So today I finally got round to it. Having consumed many a glass of Sharon and Adams mead at the Festivals and the Northern Get Togethers I felt I should give it a go. Not sure how it will turn out but this is what went into it.

5 Lt Batch
1.7kg Asda Clear Honey
6 whole cloves
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Vanilla pod (split)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 sachet White Bordeaux yeast (Just what I had on hand)
SG: 1.102
PH: 5.9 (This seems low but I'm more used to making wine, so not sure what to expect with mead)

It seems to have set off fermenting already so so far so good. I did think of putting in some orange peel, but didn't have an orange. A grapefruit sounds good though so may get one and throw it in during the first fermentation. Any thoughts?

McMullan
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by McMullan » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:22 pm

Looks nice, but bung in some more nutrient I reckon.

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Wonkydonkey
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by Wonkydonkey » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:26 pm

McMullan wrote:Looks nice, but bung in some more nutrient I reckon.
Yeh, but isn't there SOMTHING about not bunging it all in in one go, spread it out a bit
To Busy To Add,

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Re: Took the plunge

Post by McMullan » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:32 pm

Wonkydonkey wrote:
McMullan wrote:Looks nice, but bung in some more nutrient I reckon.
Yeh, but isn't there SOMTHING about not bunging it all in in one go, spread it out a bit
Yes, it is best added in stages, but a tsp to start ain't much in honey...

Rookie
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by Rookie » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:48 pm

Be prepared to wait a while for this to get really good. With that S G you'll get a pretty strong mead (well over 10%) that will probably taste harsh for quite some time.
The last mead I made was a braggot at a bit over 9% and it didn't get really good until a year after bottling.
I'm just here for the beer.

bobsbeer

Re: Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:13 am

After making this I went off and did a bit of reading. Seems the nutrients are an issue with mead, so I'm going to add some more nutrient in a couple of days and another teaspoon 2 days after that. Hopefully that will keep the yeasties happy. My reckoning is this is going to be around 13%, depending on how low it goes, but aiming for 1.000 to 1.010. The acid level is bothering me a bit at 5.9, so I think I'll add 1/2 tsp tartaric and check it again. Around 3.5-4 and I'll be happy for it to age for a year. But I don't know what mead should be.

bobsbeer

Re: Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:28 am

Added 1/2 tsp tartaric acid along with a Vitamin B1 tablet today. The ph is a far more respectable 3.9 now, so happy with that. The added Vit B1 should also help the yeasties along too. Maybe add some more DAP in a few days.

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Mr Squiffy
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by Mr Squiffy » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:18 pm

Good luck with it Bob, but you didn't use out of date bread yeast, that was the vital ingredient in Sharon's :lol:

bobsbeer

Re: Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:27 pm

Mr Squiffy wrote:Good luck with it Bob, but you didn't use out of date bread yeast, that was the vital ingredient in Sharon's :lol:
Oh bugger. She didn't let that one slip. :D This one should be ready by next Festival too. Assuming I haven't drunk it all by then, checking on its progress. :D

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adman1966
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by adman1966 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:00 pm

The trick is to start a batch every 2-3 months. That way you don't run out and you pick up a prize at the festival! :D
I was very, very drunk!

bobsbeer

Re: Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:12 pm

True Adam, but how do you know if it's going to be any good? My white wine, (usually WOW type) is usually ready to drink after a couple of months, but doesn't mead need to age like country wines?

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adman1966
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by adman1966 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:10 pm

None of mine have got past 9 months. The one at the first festival was only 3 months old. The most recent one was 9 months.

The additions on top of water, honey and yeast, seem to mask a multitude of possible issues. Also I've read that sweeter meads need less time than dry meads.

Having said that, I'm not an expert. Someone with greater knowledge will no doubt be along to correct any suspect information I may have given.
I was very, very drunk!

bobsbeer

Re: Took the plunge

Post by bobsbeer » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:06 am

Nothing wrong with your mead Adam, or maybe my tastebuds are set at a low standard. :lol: No doubt I will have to re calibrate them in a week or so at the Northern Get Together. Or at least I hope so. :D

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GAZ9053
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by GAZ9053 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:18 pm

adman1966 wrote:None of mine have got past 9 months. The one at the first festival was only 3 months old. The most recent one was 9 months.

The additions on top of water, honey and yeast, seem to mask a multitude of possible issues. Also I've read that sweeter meads need less time than dry meads.

Having said that, I'm not an expert. Someone with greater knowledge will no doubt be along to correct any suspect information I may have given.
So if you start one every month you might get some past 9 month old Image

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adman1966
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Re: Took the plunge

Post by adman1966 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:29 pm

Either that or not drink them as quickly... better get more demijohns. :D
I was very, very drunk!

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