yes. I brew mead. I am very skilled at it and have won competitions with my mead. 3 years in a row. :)
What kind of mead were you looking to brew?
I thought I got an email that someone else replied too but i dont see it.. oh well.. anyway..
I didnt know med has this much local popularity.
You can certainly use the blueberry honey for a mead. Do you like dry, sweet or medium sweetness meads? This will make the difference in your recipe
Weird, me too. But now I don't see the reply. I can see it in my email though.
I would say that I like either sweet or medium sweetness. I used to drink Carrolls Mead like it was going out of style. But now, it seems like it is real sweet to me. I am not a dry type of drinker. Thanks for all of the help.
ok. so what you may like is a 15lb honey/5 gal miz using a sweet mead yeast
So where can I find the basics at guys? I know, Google, LOL. But I really wanted to know if someone had a good source for me to get started. Like what to purchase, how much to use of what, etc... I wouldn't mind also tasting someone's mead and talking with some people about how the process works for them. Thanks all.
1 day before. If you use liquid yeast with a smack pack, activate it and allow a day for it to expand.
sterilize all equipment with bleach or iodine and rinse thoroughly. The fermenting process creates an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, if you gear is clean, only the yeast will grow.
Big Pot with 2 gallons spring water + honey (allow room for a lot of expanding)
heat to a simmer. allow to simmer 20-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
If you are adding fresh fruit to flavor, do that during this stage as well.
Remove from heat, move to 5-6 gallon fermentation pail. Add 25 lbs of clean ice to the pail. (3 - 8lb bags will do)
Honey has a high viscosity and will hold a lot of heat for a long time. Adding in 3 gallons of frozen water (Water is 8.5lbs per gallon) will allow the mixture to cool much faster, otherwise it could take all day. Allow to cool to room temperature.
I usually like to take a cup of the mixture and cool that separately to pitch the yeast into as a starter culture to later add to the rest. Cover the cup with a zip bag and rubber band to keep air out and allow it to fill with gas as the yeast reproduce.
When the mixture in the pail is cool, pitch the yeast or pre-made yeast culture into the pail.stir and close the lid. Apply your airlock. Keep out of direct sunlight in a cool (50-75 degree) place. You can optionally add yeast nutrient to the mix but there is plenty of sugar in the honey. after a few days you will see it start to bubble. This will continue for about a month. This is not a quick process. When the bubbling stops you are ready for the next step. The mead will look slightly brown at this stage.
Racking: The mead now has alcohol but is not yet ready to be called mead. all of the yeast and waste need to be removed . Put the pail on a table. You are going to siphon out the mead. Caution, the bottom 1 inch will be full of sediment, exercise caution to avoid sucking it up in the siphon. Siphon into a 5 gallon glass 'carboy' jug. Replace the airlock. Store for about 3 months. the mead will look golden and cloudy at this stage with hints of brown
As the mead sits there in the carboy it will start to become more clear, the yeast will have stopped at this point for the most part as you have left most of them behind in the pail, but some will remain. thats ok. Sediment will again fall to the bottom. We will rack the mead again beind careful for to stirr it up while moving it.
repeat the racking process into another 5 gallon carboy. If you only have the one, you can siphon back to the pail, clean your carboy and re-siphon but make sure that you clear in glass. Allow to sit for 3 more months. After this secondary racking stage your mead should be looking fairly clear. From this point its up to you to decide to clear it some more or not. The goal is a perfectly clear,translucent mead that you can see though when bottled. If you bottle prematurely you will end up with sediment in the bottom of the bottle which will mix back into the mead when poured or moved affecting your finished product. I like to rack my mead for a minimum of 9-12 months to get it very clear. You can also invest in filters if you choose but the gravity method works well and a mead needs to mature anyway before it is really ready to drink.
When its ready, siphon to clean sterile bottles and seal them. enjoy chilled, warmed or room temperature. I find mead is best served around a campfire of close friends.
food grade plastic brewing pail 5-6 gallon with air tight lid.
Airlock (keeps air and bacteria out but allows CO2 to escape during fermenting)
Siphon tube, siphon clamp, hose
5 gallon glass carboy with rubber stopper (hole in center of stopper for airlock)
Local places to buy: BEST place to go, that I go to is to Maltose Express in Monroe, CT
You can get gear at Cornells True Value hardware in Eastchester but they dont have as much. They have a small brewing section in the basement.
I hope that helps. Good luck with your mead.