Author Topic: I'm brewing some mead  (Read 20239 times)

Kriegsspiel

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I'm brewing some mead
« on: December 15, 2012, 06:45:51 PM »
Using the simple method from stormthecastle.com, I just put together a batch of mead.  Pretty excited to see how it turns out!  If it's great, I might get a hold of some real brewing equipment and make it on a large scale.

Anyone brewing their own stuff?  I think I saw that Jacob from ERE brewed wine, anyone else?

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 07:40:56 PM »
We brew mead!  I'd love to share some of our techniques, we generally make some excellent aromatic product!  The equipment we have is still pretty basic, a few carboys ranging from 1 to 7.5 gallons, one 7.5 gallon stainless pot, a long handled spoon, some airlocks, a thermometer, a scale, and a transfer tube/wand. 

Okay, writing that out it is quite a bit...

DreamingofFreedom

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 08:06:36 PM »
I've been brewing mead for almost 5 years now!  I brew in 3-gallon batches because I find the 3-gallon carboys easier to handle than the 5-gallon ones, especially when they are full and slippery from being wet.  If you haven't come across it yet, I think "The Compleat Meadmaker" is one of the better books on the topic. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 10:58:47 PM »
Ohhhh shit guys, that's great!  I don't know what you need a ton of equipment for, mead seems pretty simple to me, but I guess if you put more effort into the mead the better it would be.  More like wine I guess?  Anyways, I figure if the Vikings could do it, I can too!  I have balloons for an airlock, but it's surely more than they had a millennia ago, right?

DreamingofFreedom

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 06:31:51 AM »
You definitely need less equipment for mead than for something like all-grain beer, and it is less labor intensive.  I think the only things I would really recommend that you buy new are bottle caps or corks, tubing, sanitizer, and the ingredients (honey, yeast, and water; maybe fruit and spices as you get more advanced).  The rest of the equipment you should be able to pick up pretty cheaply or even free secondhand.  I let all my friends know that I was collecting bottles and it didn't take long for me to have an impressive bottle collection! 

I do find that the mead rewards putting more effort into it, but to me that just means extremely fastidious sanitizing, exact measuring and calculations, and great care when I'm brewing.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 06:50:59 AM »
Dreaming, I find meadmaking to be part science and part art.  And I'm a food scientist!

There are things that you do that I don't.  Sanitizing for example, we just use hot soapy water and bottle brushes (doh! Those should be added to the necessary list!)

Our basic process is:

But the honey from a local source that doesn't pasteurize it.  The store-bought honey is pasteurized and has lost a lot of the aromatic qualities of unpasteurized honey.
We usually add fruit from our yard, this can be wild grapes, blackberries, black raspberries, mulberries.  Sometimes we go for spices instead, I recently made some chai mead with all the spices from chai in the first step, lovely!
Weigh the honey into the pot (our pot has measurement lines at every half gallon, very useful when you need to make for a specific carboy size).  We shoot for about 18% sugars in the batch.  This yields a sweet mead at about 16% alcohol.
Add other ingredients like fruits, tea, spices.
Add water up to the right line.
Heat to exactly 145 degrees F.  Any hotter and the aromatics that you were so proud of will vanish!
Put on the lid and let it cool to body temp, that's usually the next morning.
Add the yeast, we usually use sweet wine yeast from a packet.
With the lid still on let it bubble in this pot for 7 days, scooping off the foam daily.
Once the foam is gone the mead can be transferred to the carboy using a flexible tube.  This can be tricky because you don't want to get fruit pulp stuck in the tube or anything.
Put on the airlock and find a way to keep it warm for a few months!  Some things we have done: 
Put it right next to a heat register cover, wrapping a towel around the sides away from the register.
Put it on top of a table with a hole in it (like an expandable table), put a space heater under the table, trap the heat down there with a blanket and wrap up the carboy.  Enough of the heat goes to the carboy to keep it warm.
If you want to be fancy (we haven't done this yet) make a cabinet with a lower and upper chamber.  The lower is for an incandescent light bulb and the upper is for the carboy.  Drill a few holes in the shelf so the heat can rise to the mead.

Anyways, sorry, I can get a bit carried away when speaking of mead!  I started making this in 2002 I think, then got my brother and later my husband into it as well.

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 07:49:01 AM »
I do both mead and all-grain beer (all-grain's really not that hard!) The flip-top Grolsch style bottles work OK for mead, but corking is probably better long-term. I get used wine bottles off of everyone I know (every time I go to a party I ask to root through the recycling bin), cork, seal with wax.

I usually do 3 gallon batches too, just because honey is not cheap!

The #1 thing with mead is patience. It's drinkable after three months if you aerate the must, but takes about a year to be truly good. Then it just keeps getting better.

DreamingofFreedom

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 08:19:59 AM »
I recently made some chai mead with all the spices from chai in the first step, lovely

Chai mead sounds delicious!  I started a blackberry-sage mead and a mint mead this summer. 

Everyone I know approaches sanitizing differently.  I sanitize scrupulously, but I also don't heat the unpasteurized honey at all.  It works for me!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 09:10:06 AM »
Does the concoction need to be kept at a certain temperature?  Is a low end of 50 F ok, or will that kill the yeast?

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2012, 10:28:25 AM »
Does the concoction need to be kept at a certain temperature?  Is a low end of 50 F ok, or will that kill the yeast?
I find that the must will not ferment in our basement, which is about 65 F, without additional heat being supplied.  I don't super carefully control the heat, but it tends to be a bit warmer than body temperature, based on my unscientific "hand on the carboy" technique.

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 10:30:43 AM »
I recently made some chai mead with all the spices from chai in the first step, lovely

Chai mead sounds delicious!  I started a blackberry-sage mead and a mint mead this summer. 

Everyone I know approaches sanitizing differently.  I sanitize scrupulously, but I also don't heat the unpasteurized honey at all.  It works for me!
As long as you have a tasty and safe to drink end product, who cares how you get there?

Mmmmm, blackberry sage sounds great!

On the mint front, have you ever made sekanjabin?  There are several spellings, don't know if that one's legitimate.  It's a mint syrup recipe from the middle ages.  When you want to drink it you add it to water, it's very refreshing!  Not alcoholic though.

DreamingofFreedom

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 10:41:58 AM »
Does the concoction need to be kept at a certain temperature?  Is a low end of 50 F ok, or will that kill the yeast?
I find that the must will not ferment in our basement, which is about 65 F, without additional heat being supplied.  I don't super carefully control the heat, but it tends to be a bit warmer than body temperature, based on my unscientific "hand on the carboy" technique.

It all depends on the type of yeast.  What yeast did you use?

I try to brew in a warmer season.  I just keep the must upstairs during primary and put it in the basement after that.  Sounds like some other people here get a little more technical than that. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 10:50:50 AM »
I used the regular Fleischman's quick rise yeast.  It looks like it's working, there's lots of bubbling and fizzing in there.  It's about 70 right now, but at night it gets down to about 50 or 55 in my apartment.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 12:33:57 PM »
Does the concoction need to be kept at a certain temperature?  Is a low end of 50 F ok, or will that kill the yeast?
I find that the must will not ferment in our basement, which is about 65 F, without additional heat being supplied.  I don't super carefully control the heat, but it tends to be a bit warmer than body temperature, based on my unscientific "hand on the carboy" technique.

It all depends on the type of yeast.  What yeast did you use?

I try to brew in a warmer season.  I just keep the must upstairs during primary and put it in the basement after that.  Sounds like some other people here get a little more technical than that.
I use sweet wine yeast.  It comes in a little packet that looks a lot like a bread yeast packet, but smaller.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 12:53:05 PM »
Here's what it looks like right now.  Raisins floating around (they go to the bottom, then float back to the top), if Beerfest is any indicator, that's the yeast pulling them down.  A big slug of honey on the bottom, and some bubbling muck on top.  The balloon hasn't inflated yet, it's been a bit less than 24 hours.

DreamingofFreedom

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 01:23:40 PM »
I've never brewed with bread yeast, but for wine yeast, it can take 2-3 days sometimes for fermentation to really take off.  I guess I wouldn't worry too much unless your yeast doesn't get active in the next couple of days. 

You can always re-pitch the yeast if it really doesn't seem to be fermenting.  I had one batch a few years ago that just refused to ferment.  I added a slurry of yeast that had a larger range for temperature tolerance and it ended up being just fine.

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 01:38:14 PM »
I've been brewing up mead for a little while now, though I am still very much a novice.  I actually used the stormthecastle.com recipe for my first batch as well :)

There is a lot of great info over at gotmead.com that helped me out when I was first getting started.  The boards there are filled with friendly people that are happy to answer questions.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2012, 11:04:11 AM »
I've been  brewing mead, wine and beer for over 15 years. Great to see the enthusiasm! Some pointers:

- bread yeast tastes like bread; wine and mead yeasts are much cleaner and more pleasant.
- Adding yeast energizer and nutrient (if you are not a complete purist) will result in a healthier and shorter fermentation for nutrient-poor growth mediums like meads
- Using a sanitizer like iodopher is essential; it knocks down the organism count more effectively than just detergent sanitizers
- Detergents like dish soap can leave degreaser in enough quantity to cause head retention/flatness issues in carbonated beverages. Oxygenating cleaners like oxiclean won't do this.

Happy brewing!

destron

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 10:07:43 AM »
I do all-grain brewing and have for the last 3 years. It is very inexpensive, although I have about $350 worth of equipment at this point.

The main cost is getting a good kettle (I use a 15-gal aluminum kettle), a propane burner and a wort-chiller (used to cool the hot wort from boiling to the temperature you pitch yeast at). I do not have my own grain mill.

Including a vial of yeast, a light beer costs me about $25-30 in ingredients, a dark beer about $30-40. I wash my yeast though so my overall costs are a little lower. Of course, you also have to factor in propane.

I reuse beer bottles. I have so many now that I don't even have to try to collect more unless I give some away and don't get them back. I really like the large bottles that take caps (Chimay and other corked beers are a no-go), makes for less work.

I make 5-7 batches a year -- that's 25-35 gallons of beer. Since I can't drink that much delicious beer, I give a lot away or have friends over to help me drink it. Everybody has fun and I enjoy being generous at low cost.

I would imagine that mead costs a lot more to make than beer after the first couple of batches because ingredient costs are so high. How much $$$ does it cost to make 5 gallons of mead? The costs of the brewing equipment are quickly amortized.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 10:31:30 AM »
We probably have between $200 and $300 in brewing supplies, and make 10-15 gallons a year in different flavors.  The most expensive part by far is the honey.  The last time we needed to buy any was 3 years ago, it was $94 for a 5 gallon (60 pound) bucket, or about $1.57 a pound.  We put 21.5-22.0 pounds in a 7.5 gallon batch, which works out to about $4.60 for the honey in a gallon of mead.  The other ingredients we mostly pick from our yard, and we collect bottles from friends just buying new corks.  So I guess overall we are spending a bit less than $1 on ingredients for a wine bottle of mead.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 11:08:54 AM »
I once worked out a trade with a local beekeeper. He gave me as much honey as I wanted in exchange for 1/3 of the finished mead that I produced. It took a few years, and it worked out really well for both of us; this might be something to consider!

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2012, 12:17:13 PM »
The last time we needed to buy any was 3 years ago, it was $94 for a 5 gallon (60 pound) bucket, or about $1.57 a pound.  We put 21.5-22.0 pounds in a 7.5 gallon batch, which works out to about $4.60 for the honey in a gallon of mead.

Interesting. I am pleasantly surprised at how inexpensively you are able to get honey. How did you source honey at that price? Did you go directly to the farm?

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2012, 12:26:06 PM »
The last time we needed to buy any was 3 years ago, it was $94 for a 5 gallon (60 pound) bucket, or about $1.57 a pound.  We put 21.5-22.0 pounds in a 7.5 gallon batch, which works out to about $4.60 for the honey in a gallon of mead.

Interesting. I am pleasantly surprised at how inexpensively you are able to get honey. How did you source honey at that price? Did you go directly to the farm?
Exactly!  It's a bit of a drive (I suppose I should add in the drive to the cost of the honey!) to the one we have gone to in the past, but the honey is top quality and I like the people who sell it.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2012, 06:28:49 PM »
Yea the honey was my only concern.  I had a funny thought last night about owning a meadery as a fun business later on in life.  I was thinking a cool little wooden building, with giant flowers for all the bees to feed on, with some hives around somewhere. ...


... I think I've played too much Skyrim.  Does sound cool though (maybe just the mead-making).

But yea, honey is expensive, I think I will branch into wines next.

destron

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 02:01:31 PM »
Yea the honey was my only concern.  I had a funny thought last night about owning a meadery as a fun business later on in life.  I was thinking a cool little wooden building, with giant flowers for all the bees to feed on, with some hives around somewhere. ...


Around 99% of people who start brewing think to themselves, hey, I should start a brewery! It is actually very difficult to make money, though. The problem is not so much in making good beer / mead / whatever, but it is in the business side and selling enough volume to meet your costs. There are quite a few podcasts where these issues are discussed. In short, unless it is truly your passion to brew and you are committed to working a lot to make your dream a reality, it is better to stay at the hobby level.

Le Dérisoire

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 02:46:16 PM »
Word of advice: If your mead tastes terrible, do not throw it away!

I brewed some very dry and sparkling mead 5 years ago. A few weeks after bottling, it tasted like a mix rocket fuel and vomit. Barely drinkable. I thought something must have gone terribly wrong and just threw away a lot of it, keeping only about 20 bottles.

A few months later, I tasted it again. It was OK­... but still not very good.

2 years later, I tried again. The taste was simply AMAZING. The very acid taste that was so disgusting was gone. What was left was an incredible honey smell and taste, perfect bubbles, perfect color, not too acid, not too sweet... just perfect.

5 years later, I only have 1 bottle left. I'm keeping it for a very special day.

Green mead can be bad, especially if it's dry. Try to keep it in a relatively cold and dark room for a few months or even a few years. You'll taste the difference.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 04:03:27 PM »
Yea the honey was my only concern.  I had a funny thought last night about owning a meadery as a fun business later on in life.  I was thinking a cool little wooden building, with giant flowers for all the bees to feed on, with some hives around somewhere. ...


Around 99% of people who start brewing think to themselves, hey, I should start a brewery! It is actually very difficult to make money, though. The problem is not so much in making good beer / mead / whatever, but it is in the business side and selling enough volume to meet your costs. There are quite a few podcasts where these issues are discussed. In short, unless it is truly your passion to brew and you are committed to working a lot to make your dream a reality, it is better to stay at the hobby level.

Yea I was just thinking of something fun to do to make some money, you know?  Like, brewing seems like a thing that's easily scaled up a bit.  I'm not talkin gabout going straight to a full tilt company, just making a label and selling a batch to a local beer store, kinda as a hobby.

Le Dérisoire

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 11:19:45 AM »

Yea I was just thinking of something fun to do to make some money, you know?  Like, brewing seems like a thing that's easily scaled up a bit.  I'm not talkin gabout going straight to a full tilt company, just making a label and selling a batch to a local beer store, kinda as a hobby.

You probably want to check the law where you live about that. Where I live, you need a license to sell alcohol and the license costs something. I heard it's not really profitable to do it on a small scale.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:25:56 AM by Le Dérisoire »

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2012, 09:50:52 PM »

The #1 thing with mead is patience. It's drinkable after three months if you aerate the must, but takes about a year to be truly good. Then it just keeps getting better.

My husband discovered the same thing.  We don't drink any of it until after the year now.  We've made blackberry, raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, non-flavoured, and we have a batch of rhubarb on the go right now as well.

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2012, 09:42:47 AM »

The #1 thing with mead is patience. It's drinkable after three months if you aerate the must, but takes about a year to be truly good. Then it just keeps getting better.

My husband discovered the same thing.  We don't drink any of it until after the year now.  We've made blackberry, raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, non-flavoured, and we have a batch of rhubarb on the go right now as well.
Ooo, what's your rhubarb mead recipe?!  I have rhubarb in my yard, some actually put up for the winter in my freezer, but have never made it into alcohol.

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »
I think he just mashed the rhubarb into a pulp, and it is just in with the mead right now.  I think he'll leave it in the mead during fermenting, until he racks it to filter at about 6 months, but I'm not too sure.  It looks like some horrible mess, but it will hopefully be tasty!

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2012, 01:05:37 PM »
Lol, that lack of specificity sounds eerily like many of my recipes!

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2012, 04:47:58 AM »
Word of advice: If your mead tastes terrible, do not throw it away!

I brewed some very dry and sparkling mead 5 years ago. A few weeks after bottling, it tasted like a mix rocket fuel and vomit. Barely drinkable. I thought something must have gone terribly wrong and just threw away a lot of it, keeping only about 20 bottles.

A few months later, I tasted it again. It was OK­... but still not very good.

2 years later, I tried again. The taste was simply AMAZING. The very acid taste that was so disgusting was gone. What was left was an incredible honey smell and taste, perfect bubbles, perfect color, not too acid, not too sweet... just perfect.

5 years later, I only have 1 bottle left. I'm keeping it for a very special day.

Green mead can be bad, especially if it's dry. Try to keep it in a relatively cold and dark room for a few months or even a few years. You'll taste the difference.

I had a very similar experience the first time I made mead!  After brewing beer for a long time, I decided to try my hand at mead, not realizing it is much more comparable to wine than beer.  Primary fermentation went fine, and I was letting it condition but while that was happening, we decided to move to another city so I had to bottle it early so we could move it.  I tried it about a month after bottling and was surprised how terrible it tasted since my beers usually come out pretty good.  Rocket fuel was also how I described it.  I ended up giving about half the bottles to a friend.  I kept the other half, not really sure why but I figured at the least I could use it to get rip-roaring drunk if the mood ever hit me.  Put it in a closet and forgot about it for a while.  About 9 months later, I got a call from my buddy telling me how awesome the mead tasted and it was the perfect drink for a hot summer day while he was working his garage sale!  Not quite believing him, I cracked open a bottle and I couldn't believe how different (and good!) it tasted.  Learned a lesson in patience from that experience!

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2012, 09:40:34 PM »
Lol, that lack of specificity sounds eerily like many of my recipes!

He has a detailed journal for all his brewing activities, so he can track what works out well, and what doesn't.  It's his baby though, and so I don't pay as much attention to the process, as I do to drinking it ;)

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2012, 07:19:37 AM »
Lol, that lack of specificity sounds eerily like many of my recipes!

He has a detailed journal for all his brewing activities, so he can track what works out well, and what doesn't.  It's his baby though, and so I don't pay as much attention to the process, as I do to drinking it ;)
My husband is similar, but my "recipes" from before we got married are a hot mess!  It's a good thing I have him to keep track of these things nowadays!

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2013, 12:07:28 PM »
Would anyone be willing to use a Sleeman's twist-off bottle for home-brewing?  I have 60 of them that I haven't returned for recycling yet, they look far superior to regular twist-off bottles...

Pic of one beside a regular bottle:


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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2013, 04:13:22 PM »
I, too, have been a mead and all-grain beer brewer for many years.  If you want to keep this process low-equipment, that is easily accomplished if you are willing to work in smaller batches of a gallon or two.  I did that for the first three or four years I brewed, as I worked out the kinks, because who the hell wants five gallons of crappy brew? 
      On the subject of mead, which was my first ever brew and remains near and dear to my heart, I completely agree with the other posters who have advised patience as the primary ingredient.  Let this stuff sit five years and you will think you've died and gone to heaven when you taste it.  If you can't wait that long, brew some beer in the meantime. 
       I hope you enjoy all this bubbling and gurgling as much as I have... it's a blast. 

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2013, 06:05:32 PM »
Would anyone be willing to use a Sleeman's twist-off bottle for home-brewing?  I have 60 of them that I haven't returned for recycling yet, they look far superior to regular twist-off bottles...
How would you reseal it?

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 06:51:57 PM »
I assume like a normal bottle?  (don't know!)

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 06:57:31 PM »
A normal bottle is sealed by taking a slightly-too-flat cap and crimping it over the lip of the bottle with a bell-shaped housing inside a capper. Twist bottles don't have a big lip for the cap to grip, so homebrewers don't reuse them.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2013, 04:28:42 PM »
There are some cappers that reseal twist off caps, we have one.  Though, we almost always choose to use non twist off bottles.

One thing that amuses me, our caps were bought at deep discount because someone went out of business and they say "twist off" on them.  But we put them on regular bottles :-)

turtlefield76

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2013, 06:28:09 PM »
Zaga needs to start a mead making blog STAT!

grantmeaname

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2013, 06:27:01 AM »
A mead making blog would be pretty boring. You could make about two really interesting posts, and then you'd have to wait at least 6 months to say anything else. ;)

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2013, 08:53:01 AM »
A mead making blog would be pretty boring. You could make about two really interesting posts, and then you'd have to wait at least 6 months to say anything else. ;)

LOL, this is pretty dead on.  storm-the-castle is interesting, but you can't really do a post a week unless you are spending a ton of money on non-stop brewing.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2013, 07:46:57 PM »
A mead making blog would be pretty boring. You could make about two really interesting posts, and then you'd have to wait at least 6 months to say anything else. ;)
Exactly!  I'd have to have a ton of other interesting things to write about, and the time to write, for that to work.  Really, although I've been making mead for about 10 years, I only make it about once per year.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2013, 07:08:45 PM »
I think my mead died :(

I'm getting no more bubbles.  If I dump another packet of yeast in, will everything be ok?  Poor little yeasts.

grantmeaname

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2013, 06:06:56 AM »
No more bubbles means that there's very little sugar left to ferment. That's not failure, that's fermentation nearing completion. Follow the schedule with your recipe or start to think about moving to the next step.

Zaga

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2013, 06:11:22 AM »
I think my mead died :(

I'm getting no more bubbles.  If I dump another packet of yeast in, will everything be ok?  Poor little yeasts.
Right, what grantmeaname said.  Your fermentation might just be done! 

Depending on how long it's been in the fermentation chamber it might be time to transfer to a clean carboy and let the sediment start to settle out.  You can tell it's settled enough when you hold up a candle or flashlight on the opposite side of the carboy and see it clearly through the mead.  I just love that part!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2013, 07:30:33 AM »
Oh, awesome!  That's really great news, I thought I was going to have to start over!

KimAB

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Re: I'm brewing some mead
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2013, 11:02:10 AM »
I have not made mead, but I have fermented a lot of things.  Fermentation is a great way to keep food without refrigeration.

I do it super low-tech with canning jars for juice, tea, yogurt, kefir, etc.  And larger glass jars or 2 litre glass measuring cups for things like kim-chi or fermented grains/ sourdough.  I do small amounts and get it to where I want then consume.

It is a great way to use less than perfect (but not mouldy) fruit and veg.  Things do sometimes get a little bit alcoholic...  but not enough to be dangerous, IMO.  :-)

And patience is the rule in all ferments.  If it is not mouldy (green/ white and FURRY) then leave it alone and it will become wonderful.  It might get really SOUR or horrible first, but it will usually mellow after that.