Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Frederictonian Mead  (Read 4705 times)

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Frederictonian Mead
« on: March 22, 2011, 01:35:07 AM »
After making a few inquiries to some nice people operating an apiary in the local area (http://fredericton.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and- ... Z266495656) I have decided to concoct another mead.
  • 20lbs non-pasteurised honey.
  • 3 Limes (ascorbic + citric acid)
  • 3 tsp Yeast Nutrient (blend including yeast hulls).
  • Enough water to make the above fill a 6 gallon carboy with a few inches of headspace.
  • Lalvin 1118.


Note: No (additional) sulfites, just the same level of care to avoid oxidation + contamination as in beer. This is something of an experiment from my perspective, as I seem to be sensitive (not allergic, just low flavor threshold) to sulfites.

  • Boil 5L of water in brew-pot.
  • Turn off heat and immediately dissolve (all) honey in water. DO NOT CONTINUE BOILING.
  • Pour contents into 6-gallon carboy.
  • Add the yeast nutrient.
  • Heat 0.5L of water to 80C; blend lime pulp; place in water; leave 20 mins at 75-80C
  • Strain lime pulp into fermenter.
  • Top up to 2-3 inches below the carboy neck with cold (tap) water, shaking frequently.
  • Pitch yeast.


Wait until visible fermentation has stopped, rack to secondary, leave a couple of months, fine, bottle, leave a few more months. You can probably tell, I'm not making any solid plans after pitching :P

I'm hoping this dries out pretty much completely, which guesstimating the OG at around 1.120 and FG at a little below 1.0 will be 14-15% ABV. I'm toying with the idea of bottle-carbing + conditioning, for a sparkling mead.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 01:07:31 PM »
Definitely going to shoot for a dry, sparkling, almost champagne-like mead. Will have the final conditioning be a priming + conditioning, a couple of weeks after fining.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 01:10:27 AM »
Well, this is now all gone save for a single bottle. Definitely one to repeat.

The intended dry profile was achieved, with a very strong flowery note both on the nose and the beginning of the flavour. Absolutely nothing like sparkling wine though - the lack of wine acids make this taste much like a dried-out alcoholic honey. To me that's preferable, as it's closer to the profile I'm used to from meads I could acquire commercially in Edinburgh. There was absolutely zero sulphur flavour that I could detect.

I suspect next time around I will return to attempting a sweeter, still mead, but of a similar strength. I will just be taking the same recipe and adding campden before bottling along with enough honey to back-sweeten. The  campden will be at fairly low levels because I just need to inhibit the yeast enough to avoid bottle-fermentation.

I'm in touch with the guy who runs the apiary to get more honey; if you want in on that give me a shout (Kyle has already). No real price-breaks past anything you could get yourself (it's already exceptionally good value), but I can perhaps roll your order in and avoid transport overhead.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 09:30:18 PM »
Got another bunch of honey to re-run this and a sweeter, still mead. Going to pretty much re-play this recipe with the addition of strawberry pulp in the secondary.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Madavascus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 02:24:46 PM »
Hey Richard! I've bought everything I need to try and make this recipe, but I have a few questions first.

I don't have yeast nutrient, but I do have yeast energizer. Will that do the same thing? Also, when you say "strain lime pulp into fermenter", you mean that you add the lime juice to the fermenter and not the solids? As for yeast, I only have Lalvin 1116 handy. Will that work just as well as the 1118?

Thanks, I'm really looking forwards to tasting this.
"He was a wise man who invented beer." - Attributed to Plato. Whether or not Plato actually said that remains to be proven. However, the statement itself is axiomatic.

Bottled]Frederictonian Mead[/url] (Pitched 14/05/12). Midday Dandelion Wine (Pitched 20/05/12)
Planned: Cincinnati Pale Ale.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 02:32:14 PM »
Keep the ABV down versus this recipe - about 12% maximum. Anything higher than that and whilst the mead will taste fine, you'll have issues with hangovers. Also you want to keep the fermentation temperature under control - 18C would be optimal, and again if you let it heat up much more than that you'll end up with some pretty dank magic-marker hangover fuel.

Last time I made this I just used lime juice from a plastic bottle... worked fine.

1116 is fine versus 1118... and to my knowledge yeast energiser is just a nutrient blend, so should be fine.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 02:33:39 PM »
Oh and last thing - mead is best aged - you'll be surprised how well it mellows out in just six months. I find warmer storage really helps the aging, also.
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Madavascus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 02:41:58 PM »
Hey man, thanks a lot! I didn't expect such a quick reply! I'll definitely keep those things in mind. Alright then, guess I'm making mead tonight! I'll let you know how it came out in a few months. :-)
"He was a wise man who invented beer." - Attributed to Plato. Whether or not Plato actually said that remains to be proven. However, the statement itself is axiomatic.

Bottled]Frederictonian Mead[/url] (Pitched 14/05/12). Midday Dandelion Wine (Pitched 20/05/12)
Planned: Cincinnati Pale Ale.

Offline jamie_savoie

  • Yeast Curator
  • NBCBA
  • Forum Hero
  • ****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 683
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 03:55:28 PM »
Richard, if I've read everything correctly, you've made this mead and drank it within 3 months?  I thought mead took months/years to mellow out?
Just wondering because I have 3 melomel that are in secondary since october :)

Offline Chris Craig

  • Charter Member
  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 3189
    • Google+
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 252
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 03:57:20 PM »
Quote from: "jamie_savoie"
Richard, if I've read everything correctly, you've made this mead and drank it within 3 months?  I thought mead took months/years to mellow out?
Just wondering because I have 3 melomel that are in secondary since october :)


Richard has the patience of a 3-year old  :lol:

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 04:16:43 PM »
If you're going to make mead, wine, beer, or anything else vaguely culinary - you owe it to yourself and your eventual victims to taste everything throughout the process...

... mead does not take three years to become drinkable if you do it right; nor will age remove the bulk of hangover-causing congeners if you do it wrong. If it tastes good enough to make you proud, drink it ;)
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.

Offline Kyle

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 3051
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 234
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 06:53:01 PM »
I keep trying to foist my melomel (16.4%abv) on people and have had limited takers, but I made it in August, and its gotten quite good in the last month or so. At the three month mark though, the sample I took of mine was completely undrinkable.
Charter Member

Fermenting: --
Conditioning: --
On Tap: --

Offline sdixon

  • NBCBA
  • Senior Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 753
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 11:15:57 PM »
I have made a few batches of mead and molomel over the years. My experience is 6 months is a bit of a magic number, before which mine was never great. My very best was at 18 months. I prefer the parkling mead, but I get what Richard said about the dry alcoholic honey... easy to get it too dry. I plan to do a batch this summer and divide into several small carboys (1 - 3 gal) and try a bunch of different yeasts and yeast combinations. One yeast I will try is Wyeast 3522, and a priry with 3522 and secondary with 1118. Life is too short to take your yeast seriously ;-)
"Good people drink good beer"
Hunter S. Thompson


On Tap]

Offline Madavascus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 10:39:25 PM »
Hey Richard! As you know I'm currently in the process of making some of your Frederictonian Mead, and I have a question. The fermentation is absolutely amazing, it bubbles and fizzles like I've never seen, of course this is my first time playing with yeast energizer. I want to know if it's normal that my fermentation hasn't receded (or even slowed down a bit) after almost a month? I guess I'm used to fermentation slowing down and stopping with my beer after a few weeks, but this stuff doesn't take a break! I'm keeping the mead in a dark closet so it stays around 20 most of the time, but the temperature does go up a little on hot days like today, which definitely seems to activate the mead.
"He was a wise man who invented beer." - Attributed to Plato. Whether or not Plato actually said that remains to be proven. However, the statement itself is axiomatic.

Bottled]Frederictonian Mead[/url] (Pitched 14/05/12). Midday Dandelion Wine (Pitched 20/05/12)
Planned: Cincinnati Pale Ale.

Offline Richard

  • Charter Member
  • Forum Ninja
  • *****
  • Posts: 4618
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: Frederictonian Mead
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 10:55:01 PM »
The stuff is so active when it's fermenting that if you were to add oak chips at any point other than pre- or post-ferment the stuff would shoot out of the carboy like you threw mentos in cola (from experience  :frazzled:). I've found that the fermentation time can be a bit variable, and a month isn't unusual... The acid blend in my most recent recipe (New Brunswickan Mead) seems to have promoted a more rapid turn-around on the ferment, but I made good mead using this older recipe with a lower OG than the original recipe promoted (I mentioned 12%... about what the newer recipe should produce).

Short answer: yeah, when I used this recipe and the full whack of honey (16% ABV), the ferment time was a month or more. I would expect it'll slow down a lot in the next week or so.

Rack two or three times for clarity, in addition to using a wine fining agent (or gelatin if you're not squeamish about that stuff)... you'll get it crystal clear.

Good job on the temperature control - 1118 is a little bitch when it comes to temperature control... too hot and you end up with paint thinner.

By way of example; I was serving this stuff at six weeks to people at a party out of the carboy - it was very well received (but turned the party into a complete shit-show - giving 16% booze to your guests when they think it's maybe 8% is perhaps unadvisable... oh well, nobody died). Kyle's stuff was fermented hotter, and was undrinkable for some time. Exactly the same honey & recipe.

The problem with sack mead (which this original recipe is), is absolutely one of congeners. I would argue that your long fermentation is in fact a good sign, since the yeasties are taking their time, rather than blitzing through their sugars like a bunch of kids at Easter.

RDWHAHB :)
Charter Member

Kegged: air.
Primary: air.
Bulk Aging: Silence of the Lambics (Pitched 13/05/2012).
Owed: JQ LSA x 1, Kyle Stout x 1 & IPA x 1.