My godfather has bees and set up some hives on our family’s lot. He gave us about 12 pounds of honey from this season so I’m thinking of giving mead a shot with some of it. Except for Schramm’s book, do you guys have any other helpful resources/tips for making mead? Looking to make this as hassle free as possible
Ken’s book is a good start but things have evolved slightly since it was published. If very much recommend the meadmakers group on Facebook and taking a look at the meadmaderight.com website which handles the TOSNA nutrient protocol which I’d recommend using.
I can recommend to make a batch with Champagne yeast. I made a sparkling dry mead a while back which turned out great. After a bit of a lagering period it was pretty much sparkling wine with a light honey flavor.
If you want to have fun: i fitted some airlock to plastic water bottles (e.g. 1 gallon size) so I could have many variations going on at the same time.
Said so, I literally just dissolved honey in warm water and a glass of apple juice, and pitched some yeast in, and got the fermentation starting, if you don’t want to bother too much for your first time.
You can use the mead calculator if you don’t have a hydrometer, or if you want to predict the gravity, or if you go beyond the scale of the hydrometer (guilty as charged!).
I’d like to hear from the fellow ratebeerians their suggestion of yeast for sweet mead…
I very much like 71b for sweet meads. Fermented around 20 degrees Celsius (not above) you get just enough esters to enhance an already good sweet melomel recipe.
EC1118 is a solid choice if you’re after a high abv mead. Made a Bruery stout inspired dessert mead with that. Wouldn’t recommend it for most meads though.
D47 I’ve tried several times but it’s more prone to higher alcohols if you don’t have good temperature control and even when you do I just like the character of 71b more.
I would very much recommend using a SNA if you want a drinkable mead that’s under your control. Without it it’s more a roll of the dice and you’ll most likely have to wait years before it’s any good.
Mead is pretty much unknown over here, and it was to me as well until I received a few Polish and Slowakian meads in trades/local swaps. I love those, so I recently started investigating making mead. My wife knows a local beekeeper, so that could be a good source for honey. Just doing some research for now, http://gotmead.com/ seems like a good resource.
GotMead is a great resource but when you google different aspects of meadmaking it’s fairly common to find old gotmead posts that are either plain wrong (I’m looking at you raisins for nutrients) or not very up to date (mead takes at least 1 year to make properly). I’d recommend following GotMead on Facebook for more current info and also as I mentioned before the meadmakers group which include many succesful commericial meadmakers.
I can also recommend the MeadBook group if you just want some casual mead banter.