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Thread: Home brewing mead

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    Default Home brewing mead

    I looked for a homebrew thread… was surprised not to find one. Or maybe I’m just dense.

    My wife and I decided to start brewing small batches of mead kinda on a whim. There’s a whole lot of “on a whim stuff we are doing now that we have some space and a yard. This first batch is a cyser bouchet. I probably chickened out a little with the honey caramelization but I was afraid of burnt flavors. Clocks in at 14.8% abv and I really like it. Bottled half this batch dry, and am about to gently backsweeten the other half.

    I know we deeply understand fermentation these days, but it still feels a little like magic.

    FD36D17F-B5E5-47B0-A60D-31EAD2D7B86B.jpg
    835DA97D-D8D5-4C25-954D-40066F55EB7C.jpg

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    What yeast did you use? My wife and I have two large hives (each with two 10-frame honey supers) and make mead quite regularly, but nothing fancy - just a nice homebrew to sip on. We don't take it very seriously. I'm intrigued by the bouchet method but have never ventured there.

    Care to share your recipe, ratios and yeast(s)-wise?
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    What yeast did you use? My wife and I have two large hives (each with two 10-frame honey supers) and make mead quite regularly, but nothing fancy - just a nice homebrew to sip on. We don't take it very seriously. I'm intrigued by the bouchet method but have never ventured there.

    Care to share your recipe, ratios and yeast(s)-wise?
    Yeah, it's best to do it irreverently and not too seriously. When I come across homebrew dudes and the way they seem to approach control and perfection and I just can't imagine it being fun. To each their own... but it's something I like about mead. Mead seems to just kind of work on it's own without too much fuss or intervention.

    This batch was about 2.5gal:
    5lbs honey
    2.5gal fresh pressed apple juice (bought juice this time, have found a way to press apples for the next one)
    4g Lalvin D47 yeast

    Fermented with 2 sliced apples, 1 cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 1 split vanilla bean, 1/4c raisins.

    This one started at 1.119 and finished at 1.006. We didn't rack it off it's lees until after 7 weeks for a variety of reasons. It did seem to take quite a while to finish fermentation, and since the sliced apples we put in were not washed and right off the tree there's maybe some wild yeast in there too. Pretty happy with the D47--it expresses the spice quite strongly.

    Next batch (fermenting in the above picture) is a masala chai mead. I'll report back when I find out if it's any good.

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    I think it depends on how you homebrew. If you're mashing your own grain then precision is key to get all the sugar out, but if you do it like I did and use malt for the backbone and grain tea for flavor it is like making a batch of cookies. The only thing you need to obsess about is making sure everything is clean.

    After you boil it up putting the yeast in there and saying "OK, little fellows, do your stuff" is definitely kind of like magic.
    Tom Ambros

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    I give you guys an 'A' for effort. My wife drafts me for when she wants to make homemade Miso (fermented soybeans) , and plum wine (japanese style- Umeshu).

    Mead is a neat drink and one I really like in moderation. (I don't want to be a drunk Viking. Although my Vikings did play like they were drunk half the time this year)

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    Quote Originally Posted by vertical_doug View Post
    I give you guys an 'A' for effort. My wife drafts me for when she wants to make homemade Miso (fermented soybeans) , and plum wine (japanese style- Umeshu).
    oh nice. I hadn't even thought about making my own miso. Do you have trouble finding/working with koji?

    I've thought a few times about making umeshu... but ume prices around here make it a kind of silly thing to do. I did make a huge amount of anzuboshi with underripe fruit from my parents tree and homegrown purple shiso and it turned out great. But I don't think the apricots would work the same in the liquor.

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    Years ago, back in the days when meth cooking was really in the news, I was on a solo ride pretty far from home in a sketchy area of rural MO and decided to explore what my map told me was a dead-end road. As I rode by some run-down houses I thought to myself that I really shouldn't dawdle.

    As it turns out, maybe they were Vsalonistas, with a still out back...


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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    No distillation here. No sir… one needs a license for that. Wouldn’t do that…

    Funny story: my younger brother has a BS in forensic chemistry and a MS in computer forensics. He was late in the interview process with NCIS and they asked if he ever possessed illegal alcohol. Now, my brother is honest and earnest to a complete fault. He is precisely the kind of person you want running your lab if you want everything done to the letter. He of course answered yes, he and his other honors chem students had “borrowed” a sonicator to expedite herbal extractions and built a still in their dorm room. He didn’t get the job.

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    oh nice. I hadn't even thought about making my own miso. Do you have trouble finding/working with koji?

    I've thought a few times about making umeshu... but ume prices around here make it a kind of silly thing to do. I did make a huge amount of anzuboshi with underripe fruit from my parents tree and homegrown purple shiso and it turned out great. But I don't think the apricots would work the same in the liquor.
    No, it's pretty easy to get if you have a Japanese Grocer nearby. In NY area, my wife buys it either at Daido in White Plains, or Mitsuwa in Fort Lee. In London, we get it at Japan Centre in Piccadilly .

    We have never bought the stuff Amazon sells, but Miyako Koji is more than adequate. My wife likes to marinate steak in it.
    Now, I have made myself hungry for Amazake.

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    Default Re: Home brewing mead

    I hope you have a better skill set than a bunch of home brewers i have tried. Most can make pretty good beer, but I have had so many terrible glasses of home made Mead from home brewers. Rough stuff sometimes.

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