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   Descent BB Forum Index > Hobby Lobby > Home-Made alcohol adventures: Mead, the Drink of Kings Post new topic   Reply to topic
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Bunyip
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:30 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Quaff of the Norsemen, most ancient fermented beverage, A/K/A Honey Wine

As of this morning , the mead is merrily fermenting away. Pix later, just wanted to post now. Sadly, after fermenting for several weeks, it must then be further aged for up to six months before it considered drinkable.

Yeah, I'm dying here already.

I made 5 Gal, and when I rack the batch, I'm planning to do a gallon each of differing flavors, from plain to blueberry to jalapeno...

If you're not familiar with mead, I recommend a trip to your local connoisseur liquor/wine store for a try. In a pinch, Chaucer's will do, although it's supposed to be really kind of generic and mediocre at best. (I'll let you know after I do a tasting of my mead and compare it) Better yet try to find a mead from Poland, where the meadmaking tradition is still strong.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:08 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Oh man, mead. I've tasted some really excellent homebrewed mead. Do you plan to carbonate it? What type of honey did you use? Yeast? Did you filter your water, use a bottled product or go straight from the tap? Did you do anything to de-chlorinate the water, if from the tap? I hope you don't plan to flavor it all. Plain old mead is best, IMHO...but carbonated! Don't be afraid to carbonate some, if not all of it. It's easy to do and deeelish....

C'mon, give us the details and take some pics FFS! Smile
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:49 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Simmer down! Speaking of which I just got home and the mead is merrily perking away. The carboy looks kind of like a freshly poured glass of hefeweizen (only much murkier) and there are so many bubbles rising through the batch I'm surprised the fermentation lock isn't making more noise, although I can see it going glug glug glug.

This is our first batch, and on the recommendation of the book I purchased and my brew-shop guy, it will be a still mead. It's just easier to get a good result without all the fiddling. Oh and no need to buy a bottling setup this way- we are on a budget!

For this, my first mead, I chose to do an orange blossom honey, once again on recommendation from both the book and the brew-shop - not to mention, I live in FL so orange blossom honey is easy to get. I used 3 gallons of purified water, plus one gallon of tap to make the must (and 15 # of honey!). The tap water was boiled for 10 mins at a hard boil, then kept at 160 for another 10 once the honey was added, but I don't know about the chlorine.

As for flavors, I'm planning to do at least one plain, but I'm really looking forward to throwing some homegrown peppers into my mead as well...

Getting Set up:

The Mad Scientist:
LMAO at the hecklers who are "helping" me pour the honey.
Results:

24H Later:

I couldn't get the bubbles to come out in the pictures but they're there, oh yes... they're there.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:10 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Looking good! Is that a polycarbonate carboy or something? I've only ever used glass. What are you sanitizing with? some sort of caustic or plain 'ol bleach?

Not sure if your guy told you this, but a couple shots of ozium in the room when you rack will pretty much guarantee no wild yeasts or contaminants in the air. I know it's anal, but nothing is worse than putting in hours of work, not to mention dollars, just to end up with an infected batch.

As far as the chlorine... If you boiled it, The chlorine is gone. a 24 hour rest in a 5 gal. pail with no top pretty much lets the chlorine out overnight, as well.

Man, now I want to make some mead. So much easier than beer. No grain mashing and whatnot...
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:05 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Yeah, I went with the PET carboy because once again it was inexpensive. I would have preferred to go glass but the $ was out of whack. I will invest in all-glass stuff down the road, once I figure out what it's all about. I sanitized with an iodine-based (Iodophor) sanitizer but it's pretty expensive and bleach does well enough according to what I'm reading. Thanks for the tip on the ozium, I'll give it a shot just in case.

I'm not real interested in making beer, too much work. In fact so much work I laugh at wine snobs now that I know the difference...

One of the books I picked up talks about oak aging, which sounds interesting. Turns out you can use chips too, if you'd like. It's a pretty good book, but heavy on info and short on practical how-to, check it: The Compleat Mead Maker. Something else they talk about in that book is making a wierd hybrid with grain mash and honey... Which may interest you... or appall you...

Smile

Something else I'm thinking of is making my own fermentation locks out of glass..

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:53 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

I noticed you're using a cork style stopper for the carboy. When you go glass, invest in a "condom-style" stopper, for lack of a better term. It covers the neck of the bottle for a few inches and doesn't leave your seal in a place where critters can settle by gravity. Before you uncork that sucker, flame it by swabbing with grain alcohol and firing it up. It shouldn't hurt the stopper or the PET, as long as you don't douse it.

I know you're only doing mead, but this book may prove an invaluable resource, since there are so many parallels between mead and beer. I'm pretty sure there is a section on mead, as well as some recipes.

Decorative glass airlocks would sell like hotcakes. I believe you've discovered an untapped market!
BUBBALOU
Insane!




PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:31 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Oh I miss the early 90's brewing cases of beer every week.... Had plenty of time on my hands up in Maine... Smile

Relax have a Homebrew!

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I seem to have a better workout dodging your stupidity than attempting to grasp the weight of your intelligence
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:36 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Can we get an update? I used to time the bubbles to determine if fermentation was waxing or waning...
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:52 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Still ferming mentally along. The lock is bubbling a bit more than 1x per second. Seems about the same as yesterday or a just a smidge faster.

The part that really bums me out is the bit where in a week and a half I take it and put it in a new container and then wait months...

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:36 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

update: Still moving right along, although subjectively it's seeming like it's slowed down....the lock is still bubbling merrily away.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:49 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Did you take a specific gravity reading before you pitched your yeast?
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:00 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

"add ye honey until it floats an egge"

In all seriousness I don't own a hydrometer - yet. I'll probably take an SG reading when I rack, but first I have to buy another carboy to rack TO, as well as said hydrometer.

Next on my mind is flavorings and how to go about it...the guys at the brew shop are telling me to go with 5 separate 1 gal containers, adding flavorings then... I'm not sure if they're saying to leave the mead on the yeast cake for months first or to do a secondary and then bottle with flavorings, or to do a secondary in the bottles. I'll be talking to them soon, and then maybe one of the brew forums if their answers seem sketch.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Zuruck
Ace




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:49 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

In that book there is a really good recipe for some prickly-pear mead. Made that about a year or two ago...it's a long wait but worth it. Had a good early summer Mead Party...yeah we all got pretty drunk.
roid
Inane!




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:04 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Sounds GLORIOUS

(mead thread... we should probably all be speaking like Beowulf)

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i'm here to ... uh,
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:16 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Bunyip wrote:
"add ye honey until it floats an egge"


roid wrote:
Sounds GLORIOUS

(mead thread... we should probably all be speaking like Beowulf)


...skimmer.
roid
Inane!




PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:18 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

NEY! I devour this thread with such vigour, that the villagers tremble

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Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:55 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

The dragon thou seeketh, resideth in me codpiece, m'lady!
willkill
Ace




PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:17 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Wow this brings back unwanted memories of hiding 5 gal. milk bags full of orange juice and honey mix under or in a prison mattress....then routing the dispensing tube under the bunk into an empty Bugler (tobbacco) can filled with water/lilac scented shampoo to disguise the smell.

Those were NOT the days, although I did enjoy some of 'em! Smile

Good stuff tho' Bun...bet it's gonna be tasty.

You should try cookin a batch with tomato puree then distilling the finished product for some 'shine that'll run a gas engine...literally! Very Happy

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If you're gonna bluff, be prepared to strike..fast, hard and often..leaving nothing undone.

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Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:59 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

lol moonshine & pruno!

So I just went and picked up a 5 Gal Glass Carboy to do secondary fermentation. I also picked up a hydrometer, so I'll be able to take proper measurements. Once this batch slows down some more I'm going to rack it to glass and leave it alone for months...

In other news, I'll be starting a new batch almost immediately afterwards Smile Yum! Just waiting on some supplies off of the web...

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:57 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

My dad has a wine press. I've been thinking about trying some hard cider.
CORD
Hotshot




PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:59 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

My sister and some friends bought a 55 gal drum of honey and went to a local microbrewer with it to make mead. I guess this is common in Rhode Island. After the months of brewing and waiting, they had cases of mead to enjoy. They gave a lot of it away as holiday gifts, and I was the recipient of a case of it. Damn good stuff. Still have a couple of bottles left. I hope it ages well, as I never had mead till this case.


Also, the corn mash/honey beverage is great too. There are a couple of distillers that produce it. One is called American Honey, and is a Wild Turkey/honey hybrid. Great sipping whiskey when chilled in the freezer then consumed. Also, Evan Williams distillery makes one too called Honey Reserve. Not as rich and thick as American Honey, but makes a great mixed drink with Ginger Ale, and less expensive. 13 bucks /750 ml vs 23 bucks/750 ml for American Honey.

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Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:23 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Properly made mead can age very well indeed, Cord - like any other fine wine.

edit: Apparently there's more to it. "It's recommended consumers cellar their bottles for a few months and judge whether the additional ageing improves their taste." Additionally, meads with lower alcohol content (11% or less) or with added fruit may not benefit as much from aging.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
BUBBALOU
Insane!




PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:53 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

BarenJager is awesome compared to WT American Honey if you want to try it off the shelf and forgo the labor

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I seem to have a better workout dodging your stupidity than attempting to grasp the weight of your intelligence
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:49 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Well I racked out my mead to a 5 Gal. glass carboy. Now it just sits for a few months getting better Smile I reserved about a quart which I bottled in a couple reusable swing-top bottles for taste testing. The mead is great, still sweet and tasty despite the fact that the yeast I used is supposed to ferment to dryness. Really looking forward to seeing how this turns out in 6 months or so when I bottle it. Looking forward and kind of worried.

In the meantime I'll be making another batch almost immediately, I have 30# of honey, enough for two 5 Gal batches. I also located a yeast recommended for more traditional meads which means I can get a sweeter mead without adding chemicals and back-sweetening. I also found a couple interesting one-gallon batch recipes, so I probably will try those as well... I just need some 1 gal fermentation vessels and a couple locks.

Oh, and the woman was snapping pix of me today as I siphoned, I'll post one up for your mockery later Wink

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Fiend
Hotshot




PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:36 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

hmmm i need to reread this... but 1st impression damnit Bunyip very nice (i have some exp w/ making stuff at home)
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:24 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

where's the pics?
roid
Inane!




PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:54 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

pics... of alcohol? That's not going to give us any idea of how good this stuff is.

i think the generally accepted way of proving the quality of alcohol online - is to have a binge and then upload some drunken karaoke vids onto youtube.
Then we'll know Smile

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Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:20 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Somehow lost the pic of racking to secondary, Vinny sorry...

In consolation, here's the new batch: 3 Gal of "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead" although my understanding is that this qualifies as a Metheglin or possibly even a Melomel (Spiced &/or fruit meads, respectively). I multiplied a 1 Gal Recipe by 3 Gal to fit my small carboy... total cost around 23 bucks (although I had to shell out for the spices too I'm not counting them as I'll get lots of use elsewhere):

11# honey
3 Large Oranges
75 Raisins
3 Cinnamon Sticks
5 whole cloves
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
pinch allspice

and oh yeah, this one is made with Fleischman's bread yeast. If you have a gallon jug handy and 3.5 # of honey (easily available at most grocery stores) you can play along at home. The only tough part will be the ferm lock which you can improvise with some poly tubing and a little MacGyverism...



Right after I pitched the yeast...




Yum Smile

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Beowulf
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:19 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

I neeeeeed to start doing this. With homebrewed mead and these plants growing here, I'd be completely self-sustaining. (For intoxicants)

_________________
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
Neo
[deleted]




PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:30 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

This is probably why that company that makes school supplies chose its name. Razz
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:56 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Sadly, that's incorrect Neo. The company is named after its founder...from way back in the 1800's. It's a common Surname, and most likely has nothing to do with the beverage, and everything to do with geography...

BEO: 5 Gallons will make you the equivalent of 25 bottles of wine. You're looking at about 2 bucks a bottle there. Not bad, but if you want sustainable intoxication you're gonna need to buy a lot of equipment (or make big fucking batches) Typically the law restricts you to 100 gallons per year per person, with a 200 gallons per year per household maximum.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
Neo
[deleted]




PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:24 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Sadly??
TheWhat
Insane!




PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:11 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Neo wrote:
Sadly??

Am I missing something here? Why don't you let him make his mash and shutup?

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Richard Dawkins stole my woman with his big evolved dick.
Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:17 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Looking good Chris.

The problem with Beo's plan is...you can't sit around and drink 7 pints of mead, unless you want to puke and have the worst hangover of your life the next day.
Bunyip
DBB Staff




PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:57 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

7 pints of mead? Good lord...You'd be so fucked up it's ridiculous... Mead is 14-18% alcohol. That'd be like pounding 5 or 6 bottles of (strong) wine...and you'd never see it coming either because mead is sneaky as fuck.

Neo: I know you're not much for "reading between the lines, connecting the dots, or for nonliteral language (including humor, irony and teasing) in a conversation, so I'll lay it out for you: Yes, "Sadly" because it would have been pretty cool if that was the actual origin of the name. Unfortunately, the truth was not nearly as fun - and that's a little bit sad. Not majorly sad, but a little bit.

_________________
BELIEVE NOTHING, no matter where you read it, or who has said it,
not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense. - GAUTAMA BUDDHA
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