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Beau Erwin

Who wants to make some mead?!

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Hope this is okay to post.

I thought with the large number of us interested in most things norse that this might be a cool thing to post here.

 

Few nights back I was having me some wine, and chatting with my girlfriend, and was mentioning to her how I've always wanted to try some mead! Telling her a few years back while I was still taking college classes that my computer drawing teacher, was actually a member of the brewer's guild in Oklahoma City and had been making mead for a long time.

 

He told us all this in class, and told us that if any of us wanted a copy of his e-book The Making of Mead, to just email him and he'd send a copy.

 

Well I had done so, and then lost it in some hard drive problems.

 

Since I had it on the brain, I decided to play with google and see if it could be found.

I remembered his name was Steven...so tried that and Stephen along with The making of mead, and had no success till I added oklahoma to the search and removed his name, which was just Steve. anyway after doing so I immediately picked out a link as I recognized his last name in it. Hrm actually it does say Stephen...eh *shrugs*

 

And thus it was found.

You can go to the download section to download a PDF with basically the contents of his site.

 

I've not gotten to try it yet, but would like to someday.

If anyone wants to say thanks for the link and gives it a try, send a bottle my way! *laughs*

 

 

The Making of Mead by Stephen Pursley

http://members.cox.net/spursley/

Edited by EdgarFigaro

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Everyone send "the good vibe" to the little honeymakers- they've been having a helluva couple of years with massive dieoffs and I've read conflicting reports as to why (either a mite/parasite or bacteria). Without them we lose a lot more than just honey- almost every non-grain crop requires bees for pollenation!

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I've made several batches of mead over the years. I like mine on the dry side, it often is like cough syrup. The big problem with mead is that even the high alcohol stuff, like mine, tastes harmless. You really pay for it the next day. It's really good, though.

 

Geoff

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I saw something on the news about that here in Oklahoma where a bunch of the beehives of various farmers had turned up empty, and don't know why.

 

Sounds like it's definitely something they need to be looking into as bees are pretty important.

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Thanks for the link i have never tried it before but my neighbor is a bee keeper so we will probably give it a go.

Cheers Bob

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It's a father-son tradition, chez moi, we decided to try brewing two years ago, as part of a science project and haven't stopped. we currently have a few gallons brewing. Try godmead.com for recipes and stuff. :)

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I wanna get around to trying it sometime.

It sounds like some good fun.

 

Especially the sampling.

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our congress was acused of pork spending when they put the study of bees in one of there bills a few years ago........ sometimes pork is good........ I've never had mead but I'll be looking to sample some now.......thanks

dick

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I've brewed it a few times (Back in the long-ago days when I drank). Due to its antiseptic nature, honey can be troublesome to turn into mead, but it's worth it. I preferred it rather dry and winey. As noted above, its mild taste can be treacherous. The morning after was one of many things that prompted me to cease indulging in spiritous beverages!

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Let me add my warning to Geoff's! :ph34r: Mead is dangerous stuff. When it's good, it's the nectar of the gods, and when it's bad it's the scrofulous drippings of the devil's posterior. All of it, though, will hurt you when (not if! ;) ) you overindulge. It's sneaky stuff. So much so that it's already way too late by the time you feel the first stirrings of "Hmmmm, maybe that's enough for tonight...." :lol:

 

A few mead hangovers and you'll suddenly understand a LOT more than you used to about the Vikings!

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I make five gallons of blackberry and wild apple mead each year. If you age it in erratic temps it improves the flavor. Let it get cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

 

The only challenge is to get honey with consistant sugar levels. Even though I get mine from the same beekeeper the sugar varies alot each season. Another trick is not bring it to a full boil but just a fast simmer. The albumin will be thicker and easier to skim off. The more you can get out the clearer it will be.

 

Rhubarb mead is also some interesting stuff, you have a sweet and tart combination going on.

Edited by B Finnigan

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I like good ol' "Irish Moss" (carrageenan/ seaweed) in the boil and then I add my honey. I've only made a few batches but they've each been crystal clear :)

 

good thread! :D

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I've never brewed mead, or anything else for that matter. I've looked into it a bit, seems like you need to age it quite a while for the best product.

 

There is an israeli producer of mead, it's rather sweet as far as I recall.

 

matthew

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I use either bentonite clay or gelatin, they both seem to work also. But it is paramount to get the albumin completely out then you do not have to be so reliant on clearing agents.

 

It's always amazing to see just how much protien is in honey.

 

I have had batches that have taken over six months of fermentation before it's ready for bottling. Every month I purge the carboy with CO2 since the slightest amount of oxidation will completely ruin it.

 

It is still easier then wine and beer to brew though.

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I've still got a few bottles of a batch I brewed at least 15 years ago! Smooth and deadly. I did a Melomel (mead and fruit, in this case an oriental plum) about 12 years ago that I've been offered money for. We opened the last bottle in October of '05 to toast my wedding, wonderful stuff.

 

"Where the bee sucks, there suck I."

 

Puck

Midsummers Night Dream

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I have made a couple batches of sparkling mead which were incredible. I added 1/2 tsp of corn sugar to each bottle before racking. If the water you used during boil is fairly soft you will get a good sized head after pouring, at least twice that of champagne.

 

I was checking out my mead stash last night and ran across two bottles of ginger mead. I thought it was all gone. I will try to find the recipe I used becuase it is some wild and complex tasting grog.

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Let me add my warning to Geoff's! :ph34r: Mead is dangerous stuff. When it's good, it's the nectar of the gods, and when it's bad it's the scrofulous drippings of the devil's posterior. All of it, though, will hurt you when (not if! ;) ) you overindulge. It's sneaky stuff. So much so that it's already way too late by the time you feel the first stirrings of "Hmmmm, maybe that's enough for tonight...." :lol:

 

A few mead hangovers and you'll suddenly understand a LOT more than you used to about the Vikings!

 

I must never have had any of the "nectar of the gods" stuff! :lol: You know those Vikings got their heavenly mead from a the udders of Odin's goat named Heidrun! Last bottle I had was made by my niece's former husband and it exploded while sitting on top of our refigerator after a year. That was the stickiest mess we ever had to clean up, from the floor, wall and ceiling!

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Pretty cool seeing all the discussion on the topic. I wouldn't mind having some recipes to put in my notebook to try later on when I get around to making some =]

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Most of the recipes use between 8 and 15 lbs of honey with enough water to make five gallons. More honey means it will be sweeter and less will be drier. I use 8-10 lbs for most of my batches. If you use any fruit additives then you calculate that in to reach five gallons.

 

Mead is much less complicated then wine if you do your own grape crushing. The only complex part is avoiding oxidation throughout the sometimes long ferment stage. Each time I take a hydrometer reading I purge the top of the carboy with CO2. I have never had a batch oxidize (yet).

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Another thing that affects sweetness is the kind of yeast you use. Champagne yeasts will convert 90-95% of available sugars, giving you a drier product, while ale yeasts are much less tolerent of alcohol, and so start to die off in the 70-75% range.

 

Today I can get 50 different kinds of brewing yeast, each with their own special character, either on-line, or at my brew supply house. It's a far cry from the first time I brewed and we used bread yeast (:insert mr.yuck smiley:)

 

Geoff

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Yup he covers a section on yeasts in the website/document.

Kind of a fun read =]

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To purge it I run a tube from the CO2 regulator just inside the top of the carboy. Since CO2 is heavier then air it will displace the air. I run just enough to equal or exceed the volume above the mead. During bottling I also CO2 purge before corking.

 

A longtime friend of mine owns a very large home brewing supply store so I have a great resource for equipment and info.

The Beer Essentials He has been bugging for the last five years to come to work for him. One of my own rules is do not work for friends plus he could not even come close to matching what I make being self employed. It would be kind of fun to maybe work part time.

Edited by B Finnigan

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I've been reading the original posters link with great interest. Thanks :)

 

So Geoff, is it possible to create your own yeast from the starter you use. Say, like sour dough or miso?

 

matthew

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