The Wine Pages: Homebrew winemaking
I always like to keep a few gallons of homemade homebrew mead on the go somewhere. Mead is very tasty, but does tend to taste horrible when it is first made. After a year it is quite nice, after 2 years it is great. After 3 years, it is divine. No know batch of Mead has lasted longer than that!
Honey is getting more and more expensive, some jars of Manuka honey are over 10 ukp in my local supermarket.
For this batch of mead I did my usual method of selecting some flavoured honey (more expensive) and a jar or two of cheap plain honey.
The honey was added to a large fermenter and made up to about 10 litres with hot water.
Gravity was adjusted to just a tad over 1090, so room for topping up with water at a later stage.
I had a half packet of Sauternes yeast left over, so added this.A lot of mead recipes suggest the use of champagne yeast. Somehow a Sauternes yeast seems more appropriate to me.
I also added a good slug of nutrient. I always use Tronozymol.
13th July 2008: Fermenting well in a large carboy. Giving it a shake results in HUGE amounts of froth, think I will leave it there for a few days ?
16th July 2008: Still fermenting in large carboy, Colour has faded a little bit, less dark brown now. Gravity still in the 1020-1030 range and frothing still a problem, unwilling to transfer to secondary just yet.
19th July 2008: racked into 2 demijohns with air locks onto floor of airing cupboard to ferment out.
26th July 2008: clearing from top
12th August 2008: Still clearing from top but will leave a bit longer.
17th August 2008: Sunday, racked and Campden Tablet (2) into large fermenter for degassing. Gravity 1002 so I've put a pinch of sorbate in as well.
20th August 2008: Added some two part finings.
23rd August 2008: Racked 1 Campden Tablet into demijohn and placed in cool cupboard.
20th September 2008: Added bentonite finings.
June 2009: Impressively for me, this is still in the demi-john. It is a touch sweet, and probably needs a nit more acid added counter the sweetness.
October 2009: I bottled this a month ago - before bottling a raised the acidity a touch. Drank a chilled bottle of this Mead with friends last night - a very good mead - enjoyed by everybody. Let us see how long it lasts!