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Mead recipe please

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BabyBee 

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does anyone have a recipe for mead suitable for a complete novice please?
many thanks
 

Mike a 

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Google is your best bet, hundreds of hits on how to make it.
 

BabyBee 

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aye i did that but i was kind of hoping someone expereinced would have one - much better than taking a guess via google
 

admin 

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I will type a couple up tommorow that I have made.
 

ElectricBlueBee 

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Somehow "OSR Honey" doesn't have the same ring to it as "Heather Honey"

I like a bit of rape on my toast... :leaving:
 

Nellie 

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Having spent the day making some mead I think I can divulge the recipe that we used. apparently 6 hours isn't enough and it'll take at least 6 months before we can try it but we were coached by one of our local award winners so I'm hoping this works out but it is based on her "I know it's right by the taste of the honey/water mix" method.

3lbs+Cappings (I reckon approx 2.5lbs of honey on its own would do it, we used 8lbs of cappings in the end as most of the honey was in the bottom)
1/2 teaspoon Yeast Extract (marmite for the less commercially conscious)
1 cup black tea (for the tannin)
Wine yeast, about half a teaspoon
Table spoon of Lemon Juice.

Wash the cappings in 4pints warm water until honey dissolved. (you can use a hydrowhatsimacallit to be precise on this, I believe you want it be about 1.12-1.15 which should get you to around 13-15% alcohol)

While you're faffing around with dissolving the honey in the water sterilise a Demi-John using 1tsp Sodium Metabisulphate to a pint of water. Pour into the demijohn bung it up and leave it for at least 15 minutes.

Once sterilised, rinse thoroughly with water.

Dissolve the Marmite in the cold tea.

Add the yeast to the demijohn first

Then add the tea, lemon juice, honey/water solution and top up with water if necessary so it's just under the bottom of the neck. Add the airlock to the top and leave in a warm place and it should start to ferment and you'll see bubbles in the liquor and glugging from the airlock.

After 1-3 months depending on the speed of fermentation the bubbling will cease and the Mead will clear leaving sediment on the bottom. At this point, rack it off to another, sterile, demijohn and keep until bottling.

Older the better. Apparently the Buckfast abbey boys recommend maturing in oak barrels for 10 years. Here 6 months of preferably a year was recommended.
 

Arfermo 

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Hi Babybee,
I have been making wine at home for nearly 30 years and rely almost exclusively on a book entitled "Recipes for Prizewinning Wines" by Bryan Acton last published in 1982. I have scanned a page or two for you as attached. Apart from that have you considered joining a wine club? I live in Shrewsbury and the local wine club is tops for everything re wine as well as trips to vineyards and even an evening of free tasting at the local Morrisons supermarket. Think about it and enjoy. The main reason that I prefer my own wine to bought stuff is that I think it is better quality as well as can have it to suit the palete of my whole family, rather than making do with whatever comes out of a bottle in a restaurant for instance.
Arfermo
 

Arfermo 

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As a followup to my previous post giving the mead recipe I have used for donkeys years, I entered a bottle of mead that I made last October into the Mead section of the Shrewsbury Flower Show (13/14 August) and won second prize (£4). I also entered a bottle of some that I made in 1984 but that unsurprisingly went nowhere, also a bottle of 1997 Parsley which got a third (£2). Also got various other certs from Very Highly commended downwards. Very pleased I am, having never entered any competitions before and certainly not one of the status of the Shrewbury one.
.:party: :cheers2:
 
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wilderness 

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Just made a gallon following Nellie's recipe.

I used to make wine and beer many years ago and I always added boiling water to the ingredients (without the yeast). The recipes for mead I've looked at elsewhere also suggest boiling the honey and skimming off the scum.

Have I made a mistake by not boiling and presumably killing off wild yeasts?
 

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I have never had any problems just adding the honey as is.
 

Nellie 

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Just made a gallon following Nellie's recipe.

I used to make wine and beer many years ago and I always added boiling water to the ingredients (without the yeast). The recipes for mead I've looked at elsewhere also suggest boiling the honey and skimming off the scum.

Have I made a mistake by not boiling and presumably killing off wild yeasts?
I wondered the same after doing a bit more reading around. Mines still bubbling away though it looks like it's just about finished and I'm assured that boiling is unnecessary and can spoil the flavour (though all the recipes I looked at online seem to be split 50-50. Between boiling and not boiling)
 

wilderness 

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I racked mine off last week as there was a layer of sediment and it had stopped working.

8/9/2010 Original Gravity = 1.075
20/10/2010 SG = ~1.000

So it looks like it has fermented out but it tastes like water and very little flavour.

Should I bottle it now and hope for the best? :cheers2::cheers2:

Nellie - when did you start yours?
 
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Nellie 

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Started mine at the end of august. Not too sure what to suggest, mine definitely doesn't taste of water!

I took a very unscientific approach though. I used my cappings honey, tasted the mix before hand to make sure it tasted of something and used a hydrometer. Think my initial reading was 1.15 which seemed to be a the top end of acceptable sugar levels.

This is my first attempt at it though so I might yet have paint stripper or water.
 

Poly Hive 

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If in any doubt at all that it has not finished working then DO NOT BOTTLE... exploding bottles are not only very very messy but highly dangerous.

Your starting SG seems low. How much honey did you add per gallon?

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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DO NOT BOTTLE... exploding bottles

Good advice for the unwary/inexperienced, but I would say:

Use of the correct bottle for the job - not a strong screwed cap, is the best safety practice.

Once had to carefully (covered in heavy cloth) remove screw caps from fermenting wine in lemonade glass bottles (thirty or more years ago) after two had already exploded in the cupboard! Not of my doing, in the first place, I might add.

Bottles with a dimple in the base and corked properly, while still spoiling, should be safe.

Simple risk assessment here, I think.

Regards, RAB
 

Nellie 

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So insurance policy of corked bottles aside, is there a reliable way to determine for sure that the fermentation has stopped?
 

Arfermo 

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So insurance policy of corked bottles aside, is there a reliable way to determine for sure that the fermentation has stopped?
Yes - by killing the yeast by using sodium metabisulphate (2 powdered Campden tablets followed by stuff called "Sorbistat"). HOWEVER - if bubbling has only virtually stopped, it means either that the yeast has reached its saturation point by virtue of either alcohol or of its ability to use the sugar that was in the must in the first place. A hydrometer will tell you if the specific gravity is below 1000 and tasting or using an alcohol measure will tell you if the wine is at its optimum for drinking. If there isn't 12-13% alcohol or the hydrometer shows a reading above 1000, kill the yeast off as described above or fiddle about to bring the alcohol level up to 12 - 13% by volume by either adding sugar if the specific gravity is below 1000 or adding water to help the yeast restart fermentation to use up the residual sugar to get the reading down below 1000. Even then, safety first, stun and kill the residual yeast too.
 

Poly Hive 

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FWIW.

I used to put i four pounds of honey per gallon so 20lbs per five gallons.

I no longer have my wine making kit so no longer have a hydrometer to look at to refresh the memory but roughly it was over 1110 I think. I then had a drop of about 100 and the best I ever had came out at 995, that I do remember clearly as the resulting mead was VERY dry and ever so ever so strong....

I did boil my honey and did skim it carefully. I know some say do so and others say just get in dissolved.

Oh and if you have a batch that just stays positive in the blooper and seems not to be working, just exercise some patience and it will pay off, same as patience with bees does. Consider it winter training...LOL

Hope this helps.

PH
 

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