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9

The best resource for mead making is Ken Schramm's book The Compleat Meadmaker. It covers almost all you need to know about mead and is an excellent book. There current state of the art in mead builds on the information there and can be found in this pdf condensing the info from the Meadmaker of the Year panel at the National Homebrewers Conference. The ...


9

A couple years is a LONG time :) I would make a starter with the yeast, if the starter takes off then you're all set. If it doesn't get going, get some new yeast. These are some good instructions for making a starter http://www.beerdude.com/yeast_starter.shtml


8

A while ago I visited a local meadery and chatted with the brewer (meader?). He was planning on making use of a local micro-distiller's equipment to produce a spirit from his mead. I asked him the name of the resulting product, and his answer was "distilled mead". Not the answer I was hoping for. I've never tasted such a thing and suspect that the subtle ...


7

You can transfer the mead from secondary into a keg for extended conditioning. In my experience it is better to bulk condition, then any adjustment that may need to be made can be done before bottling. These things would include stabilizing, back sweetening, adding acid, etc. If you bottle and later realize that you should have added some sweetness you ...


7

Most micro organisms will not grow in honey due to it's low water activity rating of 0.6. Bacteria needs at least 0.91 and fungi needs .7 water activity to grow. The water activity of distilled water is exactly 1. Most honey should be fine for making mead without heating. You do need to be aware that if it starts to separate the water activity has ...


7

Slow down a second, DWRHAH. What makes you think this batch is infected? Vigorous fermentation is usually just a sign of good yeast health. Most of my batches of beer are done with the bulk of fermentation 24-48 hours after pitching. Honey, unlike malt, is mostly monosaccharides, and is actually easier for yeast to ferment, thus would progress even faster. ...


7

An extended soak of your brew bucket with warm cleanser and/or bleach or baking soda will help clear up your bucket post this ferment. Its not something to worry about IMO. My old buckets have definite stains from years of use but I've never had carry over flavor issues. Its usually too dilute compared to the flavors of the next ferment.


7

Pure sugar is the most fermentable substance, at 1.046 points per pound per gallon. With 12 pounds of sugar in 3 gallons, you'd expect a OG of 1.183. Honey has an estimated yield of 35 ppg, and correspondingly the gravity would be lower - 1.135. There could be 3 possibilities for the observed high gravity the stratification is causing the reading to be ...


6

It most certainly is a function of your fermentation profile. Reviewing your temperatures and the amount of yeast you pitch makes a difference. Mead is also a fairly poor nutrient substrate for yeast. The very best mead makers preach about staggered nutrient additions while also degassing the CO2 from the must during the early part of fermentation. ...


6

Here is a link to a document written by Steve Piatz who was the AHA mead maker of the year a few years ago. The method is often referred to as the staggered nutrient addition method. The types of nutrients typically used are Yeast Energizer which contains diammonium phosphate(DAP) and fermaid K or Nutriferm Advance which are similar nutrient blends. The ...


6

According to Wikipedia there doesn't appear to be much in the way of a family name for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead I think the closest would be "Midus" Midus: Lithuanian for mead, made of natural bee honey and berry juice. Infused with carnation blossoms, acorns, poplar buds, juniper berries and other herbs, it is often made as a mead distillate ...


5

How do you cover the 5L mason jar? Does it have any sort of airlock, and is there a means of preventing bacteria and/or fruit flies out of the jar? I ask because fruit flies carry acetobacter (they're also known as vinegar flies), and acetobacter turns alcohol into vinegar in the presence of oxygen. So if your mead was exposed to air and a fruit fly got ...


5

You should be fine storing wine in a stainless container. It is entirely light proof and air-tight. Beer has been stored and served in stainless steel for many years. You are correct, white wines are fermented in stainless vessels. Reds can be too (they add wood chips to the mix to simulate barrels).


5

The purpose of degassing in wine or mead is to benefit the yeast. CO2 is toxic to yeast and inhibits the yeast's ability to fully ferment the larger amount of sugars in wine/mead. Degassing mead is highly recommended during primary fermentation to help the yeast, even if you plan on making a sparkling mead. I'm curious about whether beer would benefit from ...


5

It depends somewhat on what flavors you are looking for and how long you want to wait, post-fermentation, to drink it. Warmer fermentation is going to produce more fruity esters from the yeast, but they also produce more complex (hot) alcohols. Primary fermentation will finish relatively quickly, but the mead is going to have to sit in secondary for ...


5

Assuming that all of the proceeding is accurate, would it not just be a "honey brandy"? I can imagine a very sweet flavor with an interesting aroma and probably fairly drinkable if not pleasant flavor. I know that mead was popular in Egypt, Turkey, etc. since the dawn of civilization and you can't be the first person in human history to think of this so I ...


4

You need a fermenting chamber and a way to seal that chamber off from outside invaders and sanitizing liquid. That's it as a minimum. A glass jug or carboy is probably the most common fermentation chamber, whether the 1 gallon variety or the bigger 5-6 gallon variety. Glass is used by lots of people because it scratches a little less than plastic and ...


4

In the words of Dwight Schrute, "That's debatable. There are basically two schools of thought..." Some people swear that honey should never be heated, and others maintain that heating or chemical pasteurization is necessary. Regardless of your stance, it's undeniable that heating honey destroys it's aroma and flavor, so it's best to minimize the amount of ...


4

You do not need to use grape juice. I know that honey has almost no nutrients and such for the yeast cells to eat. Most recipes I've seen have you throw in a teabag (for a few days), or grape juice, or whatnot to add nutrients to the must so the yeast can do it's work. I personally go with Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer. I'd suggest starting with a ...


4

I eventually got around to it, kept it very simple: Recipe: 3.5L water 0.667 kg "Organic raw blue" agave nectar (I was looking for "dark" for a stronger flavour, but they didn't have any) Bring the water to a boil, and leave it there about 20 minutes to sterilize it. Let water cool to about 40-45C (the label on the agave nectar bottle suggested that the ...


4

You should listen to the Basic Brewing podcast on brewing meads with Ale Yeasts. Short answer: the flavors ale yeasts provide to beers are not always transferred into mead flavors because you are fermenting in a totally different medium than grain-based beer. Some yeasts work better than others. Some were great, and some sucked. I have't listened to this ...


4

I think your chances of success are slim -- 21 years is a long time. You'll want a very high ABV to reduce the viability of spoilage organisms. I'd even consider fortifying the mead with neutral spirits to bring the ABV to 20% or higher. (This is also a good way to halt the fermentation at a point where the residual sweetness from honey is to you taste.) ...


4

The wine wand or the mix/stir works well for degassing but you should be adding sulphites or campdem tablets before this process to absorb the oxygen and prevent oxidaton. Another great way to degas is to use a pump. Blichmann engineering has the WineEasy vacuum degassing kit that works very well. This is a much larger investment but will not introduce ...


4

It could be from bacterial contamination, old yeast, or from stale ingredients. BJCP page, Mead Faults, lists some typical causes: Vegetal Smell or taste of plants or green vegetables. Cooked, canned or rotten vegetable (cabbage, celery, onion, asparagus, parsnip) aroma and flavor: Encourage a fast, vigorous fermentation (use a healthy, active ...


4

Not sure if this an answer, but why not make a ginger extract and add post-fermentation to taste? You essentially have two possible methods, the first being preferable: 1.) Make a tincture with the ginger. Chop it or puree it finely, then add vodka or grain alcohol, cover and rest for one week, put through a strainer, and add the homemade extract in ...


3

Time is your friend. The flavor will never go away completely but it will mellow a bit with age. Adding honey as you suggest could possibly balance out the grapefruit with more sweetness but it will not get rid of the grapefruit flavor. If you still have viable yeast they will go to work on the new sugars and assuming they have enough O2 they will ...


3

People will tell you that bugs won't grow in raw honey, and they're right. The bad news is that they're still there and they'll grow just fine when you add water to make the must. (Let's remember people, there are bee parts in this stuff...) If you pitch well with a very large yeast population, it is possible to have a fine ferment and a fine mead because ...


3

Wine is degassed because it is served still. "Still" is a term that means not-carbonated. Beer is carbonated, so there is no need to bother, since you are introducing CO2 to the beer anyway. Mind you, there are phases of beer production on certain styles where you are essentially degassing, (diacetyl rest) but that is for different reasons than why you ...


3

Assuming you followed sanitary practices, then I don't think you've wasted any money at all. sounds like a tasty mead...maybe a bit heavy on the ginger, but that's really down to personal preference. When making mead, it's a good idea to add yeast nutrient with the honey so the yeast have something to propagate from, and remember to airate well, especially ...


3

It sounds like you severely under-pitched. That OG sounds a little low too--it's about what I would expect from 10-12 lbs of honey in 5 gallons, but maybe that brand of honey is a little more watery than most. I've never used that strain of yeast (I'm a Lalvin guy) but if it is a wine yeast (as is likely) you are probably stuck with it. I would order ...



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