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Posted: October 16th, 2015, 10:04 pm
Been playing around and made an Apple press from re-purposed materials. Now to figure out how to make Mead.
Posted: October 17th, 2015, 1:56 am
Mead is made from honey, not apples. Apples make cider and the traditional way was to just press apples and set the juice in a warm place for a while. Done deal. Of course you can get fancier to control the fermentation by adding your own yeast and adding other ingredients, but that method works.
Many people make various concoctions with fruit, add some honey and call it mead, but to the purist, this is a misnomer. The result is often drinkable, but barely.
There are actually other words to describe these other beverages. I checked Wikipedia and found the article fairly accurate, but as often the case, inconsistent with tradition and deeper understandings. It is amazing how much real knowledge has been lost in the avalanche of voluminous and repetitive, but shallow 'information' in this Information Age.
They say: "The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey." Since fruits already contain a lot of sugars, they usually do not require any honey to make a dry beverage. The key word in their definition is 'fermentable', and that excuses a multitude of sins.
Some fruit has been used in some cases, but mostly to overcome the lack of nutrients for yeasts in honey. Regardless of what beekeepers may wish to think, honey contains little nutrition beyond sugars.
The lack of nutrients causes mead fermentation to 'stick' halfway through, as the yeasts starve to death. When their breakdown products become available to a fresh crop of yeasts, the fermentation resumes, but sometimes that takes a year. In the meantime, the product is half-finished. Modern mead makers simply add dibasic ammonium phosphate and sometimes a vitamin/mineral mix to overcome that problem. Sometimes dead yeast is used. Many books have been written, but making good mead is dead simple.
I have published a very successful recipe here before, probably accessible from selected topics, and no, to make mead you don't need fruit.
My advice? Make cider from the apples and make mead from honey.
Posted: October 17th, 2015, 3:03 pm
Allen Dick wrote:My advice? Make cider from the apples and make mead from honey.
I do not drink much alcohol so I'm wasn't aware of the purist form of mead. As always attempting anything new there is always misinformation and bad ideas. I have read so many articles and watched dozens of videos that I'm beginning to feel like a frog in a blender. I'm at the beginning of the learning curve on this and still have a long way to go. I've got a jar of hard cider fermenting in our laundry room, it's starting to look like something is happening. I've just got the jar covered with a clean rag as per one recipe, I'll leave it for a couple more weeks to see what happens. I'm going to start one with an air lock and some ale yeast this week.
Posted: October 20th, 2015, 9:21 am
Posted: November 8th, 2015, 7:30 pm
Hey Guys/Gals, I just racked off 4 gallons of hard apple cider after my first ferment. Do I need to add anything for my second ferment or do I just put on an air lock and let her perk some more? Tried a sample and it's already pretty good, it's definitely got that booze taste.
Posted: November 8th, 2015, 8:14 pm
Usually, it is just a matter of siphoning and adding an air lock.