Has anyone ever made Mead. I've seen kits for sale that don't seem to expensive bit some have different options for different types of honey. Anyone have any suggestions? I would like to buy a good kit or piece it together if that is a better option.
I used to. Haven't brewed for a couple of years. Last batches were all Barkshack ginger mead, from Papazian's book.
Before mead, I made beer. So, I had all the equipment already. But, it can get expensive, and a lot of it is not really necessary.
Get some food grade buckets. You'll need lids. All the rest is fancy overpriced crap. A spoon is a spoon. Around here I buy honey from the places next to the wineries on the finger lakes. You'll have to find a good source, or it will be too expensive. Remember, you need 7-8 pound of honey for one 5 gallon batch. And that's for the milder meads. Stronger, traditional meads can take up to 15 pounds for a single batch.
I never used the fancy yeasts, but bought the cheap foil packets for champagne. Never had a bad batch at all. Just remember to start it a couple of hours ahead of time to get it going.
Mead boils over in an instant. And boiling ruins the more delicate flavors. Boil the water. Heat the honey to just starting to boil, and turn it off. Obviously, without a full boil sterilization procedures are critical.
I made a couple batches of beer about 7 years ago. None of it turned out very good and it really wasn't that much more expensive to buy the stuff so I stopped doing it. I sure wish I would've kept everything now. All I have been hearing about lately is mead. I wish I could buy some locally before I attempt to brew but haven't seen any at the liquor store. Any other suggestions as to who might sell it?
If you have a Flying Saucer or World of Beer near you then you should be able to find a single serving of mead. It is a shame you got rid of your brewing stuff; half the fun is the ability to brew anything you want. Right now my wife is getting the stuff together to make wine with some of my brewing equipment.
anyone know a good mead recipe? I brew but my lady wants to try mead.
Papazian's book (Joy of Homebrewing) has the Barkshack Ginger Mead recipe I used. Milder form of mead which most people like. Go easy on the ginger, as the batch I made using all it called for was too spicy. I use about half of the amount, about 2-3 ounces.
Here it is:
The 5 gallon recipe to follow was created by Charlie Papazian
7 lb Light Honey
1.5 lb Corn Sugar
1 to 6 oz. fresh ginger root
1.5 tsp Gypsum
3 tsp Yeast nutrient, or 1/4 oz, Yeast extract
1/4 tsp Irish moss
1 to 6 lbs crushed fruit
3 oz Lemon Grass, or other spices
1 pkg Champagne yeast
3/4 C Corn sugar (bottling)
Boil 1 1/2 gallons of water, the honey, corn sugar, grated ginger root, gypsum, citric acid, irish moss, and yeast nutrient for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off. If you're going to add fruit (this is entirely optional, as are the spices) then fish out as much of the ginger root shavings as you can. Then add your crushed fruit or concentrate and let it steep for 10-15 Â minutes. Some ideas for fruit are: Sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, chokecherries, rhubarb, grapes, grape concentrate... go wild here.
Pour the entire must (unsparged if fruit is added) into an open primary fermenter and add about 3 gallons of cold water. When cooled to 70 to 78 degrees, hydrate and pitch your yeast. After the specific gravity has fallen to 1.020 or within 7 days, whichever comes first, rack the brew into a secondary fermenter. Leave the fruit behind.
Age 1 to 1 1/2 months in the secondary fermenter. Bottle with 3/4 cups priming sugar. If using spices or herbs as a flavoring, add them now by making a "tea" and adding them at bottling time. The flavors will be fresher and sharper. Some suggested spices are lemon grass, citrus peel (just the zest, not the white part), etc. If using cloves, cinnamon, or hops go lightly on these. Adding flavors in this manner also allows you to use different flavors in the same batch, since you're just adding a "tea" to the mead at bottling time. You can bottle two or three flavors at once this way!
This mead should age from 3 months up to a year to allow the harsh flavors to mellow out. Tasting at 6 months will show approximate flavor profile. Serve well chilled.
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