How long does mead take to brew ?

Discussion in 'Coffee, Kombucha & Mead Forum' started by cheshirehomebrew, Jun 26, 2018.

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  1. Jun 26, 2018 #1

    cheshirehomebrew

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    Hi all I was thinking about making some mead up and it looks fairly straightforward, the thing is I am getting different info when I look into the brewing bottling drinking cycle.

    As I usually brew IPA's I am used to a 6-8 week brewing bottling drinking cycle, however I have read info where its laid down for months on end.

    Is this how long it takes or simply some myth that's come down to us from the Vikings when they brought their food and culture here.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Jun 26, 2018 #2

    rank_frank

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    I've made mead a couple of times and it tastes like drain cleaner at first. My experience is that it takes at least 4 months to be palatable and improves with further aging. At 8 months it's really quite good.
     
  3. Jun 26, 2018 #3

    Sadfield

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    I heard a good rule of thumb for mead is; 6 months, plus an extra month for every 1% ABV. So a 9% mead should need 15 months.

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  4. Jun 26, 2018 #4

    IainM

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    First mead I did fermented out, and was horrible after fermentation. I put it aside for 10 months and it became very nice indeed, and had similar experiences with a cyser and a blackcurrant melomel. This is about the time-scale of a 13-14% abv mead. My latest mead I put on at the beginning of January, but this time much higher gravity. Fermentation slowed after a couple of months, but it is still going now with a glug every 15-30 mins or so. I'll bottle it at the end of the summer then probably leave it another year or so before trying it. Good mead, and indeed country wines, are long-term investments and not for the impatient, but stick it out and future you will thank present you.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2018 #5

    GerritT

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  6. Jun 27, 2018 #6

    cheshirehomebrew

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    Blimey, thanks everyone, I may pop back for further guidance before I make a couple of gallons up and lay it down for next spring then.
     
  7. Jul 2, 2018 #7

    Zephyr259

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    There's also the BOMM which is mead in a month using Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Staggers the nutrient additions and de-gasses often but gives a good mead in a month which presumably improves with some more aging. But got around to trying it but after finding a local-ish meadery at the Aberdeen market on Saturday I'm keen to make my own again.
     
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  8. Jul 17, 2018 #8

    AdeDunn

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    If you want a mead you can drink faster, make a metheglin (spiced mead) with something like vanilla, stopping it early so it's still quite sweet and less alcoholic. I did this last year with a batch of vanilla metheglin and it was quite nice pretty much from the off (took it from an OG of 1.090 down to 1.004). The spices help to cover the flaws present in such a young mead. It still tastes better given time to mature though. A straight up mead though, with no spices or anything to cover flaws, needs as long as you can give it to taste good. The longer you can give it the better it tastes. The higher the ABV, the longer it needs.

    Hydromel can be fun to make too. It's kinda mead ale, so super simple to make. Last batch I made I didn't even mess around with citric acid, tanins etc. Just honey and water to an OG of about 1.045, then an ale yeast to ferment it. Once it's done, prime it with honey (use a priming calculator as you would for beer) and bottle, give it a few months to carbonate and condition. Give it a chill, serve it at a barbecue and have a something different to drink and discuss. You can play with spices, herbs, fruit etc just like you can with meads, but I kept my first attempt simple. More recently I made a braggot, but that's a whole different kettle of fish, and was a whole other level of complexity, what with mashing grain, boiling wort with hops etc.... lol
     
  9. Aug 3, 2018 #9

    Gee117

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    You can make a good high alcohol mead that's drinkable straight away if you do it right, you need a good yeast strain not a cheap one or bread yeast, also you need to degas and oxogenate properly and keep the yeast at the correct temperature - use a brew fridge or place demijohn in a bucket of water remember that the brew inside will be 1-2 degrees higher because of the yeast working, a good place to start is keeping the brew at about 16-17 degrees or at the manufacturers recommended temp, because you get most of the bad flavors from the yeast being stressed.
    also think about adding yeast nutrient not rasins they don't do anything for the yeast food wise and make a good starter and add it to your brew when the starter and your brew are close to the same temp with in 1 - 2 degrees

    Dont use distilled water! You can kill your yeast

    What you can do to help yeast is put bread yeast in a cup with water in it and microwave(to kill) and add that to the starter when cooled if your not using nutrient
    I made a blueberry mean and it was all drank with in 3 weeks apart from 1 bottle I have left

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  10. Aug 4, 2018 #10

    AdeDunn

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    It'll still taste even better given more time.

    I made a raspberry rubamel last year. Thanks to pressure from friends and family, I took some to a BBQ whilst it was still fairly fresh. For sure it got guzzled with gusto. That same mead now though is absolutely delicious! Mead is ALWAYS better given time to condition, regardless of how you make it.

    Oh and for the record, I use Lalvin yeasts, always use nutrient, degass etc etc (I oxygenate the must, NOT the mead, you should never oxygenate the fermented mead just drive off the CO2 out of suspension). I just firmly believe that if you want something fast, and want folks to want more, then you are better of either making a sack mead, or something like hydromel.

    I took a bottle of the same rubamel to a party with some of the same people from the BBQ the other day, they were very surprised that it was the exactly same one. One lady who had never had mead before chose it over a commercial mead she was given to try even.

    Good mead is about patience, not rushing.
     
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  11. Aug 4, 2018 #11

    ScottE75

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    Can I ask how you degass your mead? I've been using a degassing wand with a cordless drill, I assume that's incorrect.
     
  12. Aug 5, 2018 #12

    Gee117

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    You want to oxogenate the mead for the first 3-4 days, it helps the yeast multiply in there 'growing' stage untill a critical mass has been reached then you want the yeast to go anaerobic, you are right mead will taste better then longer you leave it

    I use an aquarium pump with a small bubbler stone

    I can provide evidence I if you don't believe me, not atm I'm on a phone

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  13. Aug 5, 2018 #13

    Nicks90

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    That's how you do it!
    Before you add your yeast, beat you wort / must / juice like it owes you money. That's gets oxygen into it for the yeast to use. Posh people use air pumps with aquarium stones, others use a big plastic spoon or whisk.

    Once it's brewed and stored for a bit, degass before bottling using your gadget and drill...or gently swirl the demijohn for 15 mins. Either way, don't excessively agitate and get oxygen into the brew.
    Personally I leave the bubbler in place and swirl my DJ. That way all the gass in the top is carbon dioxide and if I do agitate and it sloshes about, I won't introduce oxygen in to the liquid.
     
  14. Aug 6, 2018 #14

    ScottE75

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    Ok, thanks! athumb.. I was concerned I was dong it wrong, lol. I think I might go a bit easier with the drill.

    What does oxygenation do to the finished wine? Is there any way to tell?
     
  15. Aug 6, 2018 #15

    Gee117

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    You want to oxogenate the mead when it's still in its butting stage it helps them devide stops them getting stressed and creating some of the harsh flavors like nail polish ect

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  16. Aug 7, 2018 #16

    ScottE75

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    It's not supposed to taste like nail polish? I've been doing it wrong then! Doah!

    Thanks for the advice guys!
     
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