BVC - Re: BVC: Meade instructions for beginners (fwd)

sdrake sdrake at
Wed Feb 9 07:55:34 PST 2000

I have to say that I tasted Hamlin's mead at a class he taught for us in
Mooneschadowe.  I don't know if it was the 1990 or an older version but it
was excellent.  Anyone who has tasted my cordials can tell you that I like
sweet things (ok, maybe the cordials are a little sweeter than I like mead
GRIN).  I didn't find the mead too dry at all and it was certainly not
cloying.  Very nice indeed.

I have to say, though, that Ainar just put his first batch of mead in the
carboy (his first racking off experience - you should see our kitchen
floor!!!!!) and he steered away from the champagne yeast for fear of
dryness.  Maybe on the next batch so we can compare............  We do have
a packet in the frig.


> I prefer ale yeast or white wine yeast for meads rather than the champagne
> yeast as they are just easier to control and predict because of their
> alcohol tolerance.

I did mention that my recipe produced a strong mead.

> If you are using a champagne yeast and you want a sweet
> mead you will often have to add so much honey that you get cough syrup,
> meaning that it is sweet but also hot from alcohol.

Here you are in error. My recipe will produce a sweet but not syrupy mead.
Around the leibfraumilch to Mogen-david area of sweetness. The taste of
alcohol is quite disceptibly absent. A heady aroma with a flavor that
explodes with honeyness in the mouth.

It is not a dry, acidic, delicate, "you need an educated palet" french
wine, to be sure. But if you are looking for a big flavor to warm
your spirits in the dead of a norse winter, this is it. The secret is
plenty of honey because there must be enough honey for both the
fermentation and the honey taste at the end.

> With ale and white wine
> yeast it is easier to target for those sweet and medium meads.  I suggest

It is also easier to end up cloying.

> I completely agree with Hamlin when he says WAIT.  I think that for a
> traditional mead it is important that you plan on at least a year before
> consumption.  The mead will probably continue to improve for a couple of
> years perhaps longer depending on storage conditions and original
> considerations like alc%, pH, sugar content, honey source, etc.

At least a year. Metheglyns really need more like 3.


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