hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #351

BrewInfo brewinfo at xnet.com
Tue Jul 6 14:19:53 PDT 1999

Nathi writes:
>One thing you will find in the world of mead making is that a lot of people
>>have ways of doing things that they consider right.  However mead is
>simple to make and can be done in a lot of different ways.  Once you

>two pounds of honey in one gallon, this is a Great Mead, which means
>longer aging times.  
>Personally, at 2lb per gallon, using wine yeast I get what I would call a
>medium-dry mead.  The rule of thumb I use is about 1.5 lb/gal = dry
>2lb/gal=medium-dry, 3lb/gal=sweet, 4lb/gal=to sweet for me.  Until you
>makes some mead using your own methods and yeasts, it is hard to say
>what YOU will get and what you will consider dry or sweet.

This explains Nathi's private email to me on the subject of nutrients.
I have not made any meads with much less than 3lb/gal (maybe 2.5lb/gal
was the minimum), but in my experience, I get much drier meads than
Nathi.  I typically put 12lb of honey in 3 gallons of water (which makes
about 4 gallons of mead) and got medium-dry mead with Premier Cuvee
yeast, oxygen in place of aeration and 1/4 tsp of Fermax yeast nutrient
(20th century methods, sorry).  You should get sweeter meads if you don't
add nutrients because the yeast will poop-out earlier.  Note that I added
*NO* acids and the balance of these meads was very good (ribbons from
the AHA Nationals and Mazer Mead Cup).

>I have never had a mead ferment for longer than 4 months, even at
>7lb/5gal or 18lb/5gal.  It is very important to use a large starter to assure
>a quick and healthy ferment.

I disagreed with Nathi on this too... I believe that you don't want too
quick a ferment because it will generate too much heat and thus produce
excessive higher alcohols.  Cool and slow.  I used one package of rehydrated
dry yeast for 4 gallons of mead.  My mead won a ribbon after only 7
months.  Hotter, more vigorous ferments require far longer aging to lose
that roughness from higher alcohols.  I had a pyment that tasted like
lighter fluid for two years!  Now, it's nectar.  (Oh... pyment is fermented
grape juice and honey.)

>>>, during which time it 
>be racked to a clean sanitized jug, and topped up with cool boiled water 
>every three months.  
>I personally do not do this (top off) because with my stronger meads I
>find it restarts the fermentation process.  Also, have not found it
>necessary.  Racking I have found helpful in clearing the mead and making
>it smother

I rack to bottles when it's "done."  That's between 6 months and 3 years,
depending on how busy I am.


Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL
korz at brewinfo.org

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