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Topic: Mead (honey wine) in three flavors  (Read 5322 times)
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« on: November 15, 2011 06:42:09 PM »

My fiance and I are serving homebrewed drinks at our wedding next fall. This summer we started a batch of mead, honey wine, with mesquite honey and cinnamon. A couple weeks ago my future father-in-law visited my fiance and they started a second batch with wildflower honey and added blueberries (I live in a different state right now). While I was visiting over the weekend we started a third batch with orange blossom honey and freshly squeezed orange juice. Each batch will yield about 5 gallons! Yum, yum, yum!

Here are the first two batches after we re-racked the blueberry batch:


I think they look nice side-by-side to show the unique colors. (They were prettier in person)

Here is the re-racking process from the blueberry batch:


This is the third batch. It doesn't look very attractive in this picture, but it smelled wonderful.


Each batch has about 15 lbs of honey (some containers not shown):


You can see my prototype bottle label in some previous posts, but that was before I knew we were going to do the second two batches. I will design new labels when we know that all of the mead ferments all right.

Thanks for looking! Smiley

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sum1smuma
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011 07:46:35 PM »

Wow! This looks so yummy. We just discovered Mead..mmm.. and your selections sound delicious. Such a personal touch on your wedding too.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011 02:57:47 AM »

Mmm, I love mead and your flavour combinations sound wonderful! They're both lovely colours.
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cinnamon teal
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011 10:18:27 AM »

That looks amazing! My husband brews his own beer and we've been wanting to try making mead for a while now. Except we've never actually tried mead before. Hehe.

And I really love that you're making your own drinks for your wedding. The hubster and I always say that if we had to do it again we'd have a smaller, more personal wedding.
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frankeknitter
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011 10:22:52 AM »

This is a really meaningfull way to keep liquor prices down at a wedding!
We just made our first batch of Dandelion wine this year. I hope yours turns out great!
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011 02:49:03 PM »

Thanks everyone!

Mead is great! Everyone (of legal drinking age) should try it!

We have made two other batches in the past years. The first was amazing, but there were some issues with the second. Lessons were learned... The first batch for the wedding is similar to those batches in recipe.

I'm not sure how much we are actually saving since it costs $60-80 for enough honey for each batch and we had to invest in a couple extra carboys and other equipment so that we could have so many going at once. The whole process takes about a year so we needed the extra equipment to get it all done in time. Still have to buy the bottles too! Of course, I haven't actually researched the cost of alcohol for weddings... we just really wanted to make it personal.

The mead was also the inspiration for our color theme. Unfortunately, it is amazingly difficult to find honey-colored dresses that are also formal and cheap enough.

We will probably make beer also (yuck).
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011 04:17:03 AM »

We are homebrewing for our wedding too! The fiancee is convinced that we need 8 different types of beer (!!!!) for our 150 guest wedding, but we won't get started until the spring or summer, as the wedding is next New Year's Eve.

I assume since you all are brewing 5 gallons at a time you are brewing extract? 
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2011 07:38:10 AM »

I assume since you all are brewing 5 gallons at a time you are brewing extract? 

The wine doesn't use grain or mash or any of that stuff like beer, so we did not use an extract for it. We haven't started the beer since it takes much less time and all of our vessels are still occupied by mead.

I do recall my fiance going through the whole mash process while brewing beer at some point in the spring, but I don't know anything about using extracts. He bought a boiler and modified a cooler for straining out grains when he really started getting into beer brewing...
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2011 02:22:12 PM »

Neat! We just got into all grain brewing. It just takes up to much room! Also, cleaning hundreds of bottles is such a pain. Also, I wouldn't buy them; we asked a local bar to collect them for us, and they were happy to do so!
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011 03:10:26 PM »

Also, I wouldn't buy them; we asked a local bar to collect them for us, and they were happy to do so!

In the past we have recycled a lot of bottles. Living in a college town (and being in college) has made that really easy... however, for the wedding, I don't know if we might just buy knew bottles so they are uniform... We haven't discussed that much, but it would probably be a good idea to continue recycling. We have a huge stash of bottles that we never used in FL.

I plan to buy recycled paper to make our invitations, and our centerpieces will be recycled wine bottles and mason jars. We have also started buying a lot of locally made products. I bought the orange blossom honey from a local food market in FL and took it up to NC while visiting, and my fiance got the wildflower honey from the NC state farmers market. I am also planning to get our flowers for centerpieces, etc. from the farmers market. Hopefully what I want will be in season that weekend!
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011 04:30:56 AM »

I decided to go with succulents and recycled wine bottles, so I wouldn't have to deal with flowers... Too expensive and in the end, I found other things I wanted to spend the money on (like the honeymoon!!)

I love mason jars! We are using a ton of burlap and twine in our decorations, so between mason jars and the wine bottles I am painting with chalkboard paint, I hope we get a cohesive look hahaha
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Dinozaur
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012 10:15:28 AM »

What recipe(s) are you using for the Mead? I'm a brewer myself and have been thinking about doing something like this.
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Goomba
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012 11:21:43 AM »

Props for this project.
I am a giant interest in home brew (beer, wine, mead,...distilling if I could find a good source to actually legally do it). Keep pondering making a small 1 gallon batch of basic mead but not sure if it's really my thing (never had mead) so the time investment seems iffy.
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012 01:50:26 PM »

What recipe(s) are you using for the Mead? I'm a brewer myself and have been thinking about doing something like this.

The recipes aren't really from any one place... my fiance did a lot of research from different places online and made his own recipe. One thing we are having problems with are the honeys purchased at farmers markets and from local sources. I guess there is still some stuff living in them.

Props for this project.
I am a giant interest in home brew (beer, wine, mead,...distilling if I could find a good source to actually legally do it). Keep pondering making a small 1 gallon batch of basic mead but not sure if it's really my thing (never had mead) so the time investment seems iffy.

One gallon batches are a really great idea. My fiance has always used 5 gallon carboys, so if something goes wrong, it's about $100 down the drain. Experimenting with smaller batches shouldn't be too bad.

Another thing I would recommend before starting is to talk to the people running your local homebrew store. We have lived in two states, and at both residences we have found nearby homebrew stores. When something starts to get weird, you can take a sample in to get some help saving your batch before it is too late.

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Goomba
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012 01:56:01 PM »

For sure for sure. the dudes that run the one here have been super helpful with my soda evildoers and have been super helpful with my questions about what is needed and not for the starting home brewer.
I may just really need to suck it up and go get the one gallon and give it a go.
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ysmeine
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012 01:56:48 PM »

I have drank Meade, cider, wine, and beer from home brewers. The Meade was good, but very strong. I like the idea of making Meade for your wedding, with its connection to the history of a honeymoon. That is where it gets its name from.

Although I have been interested in brewing for at least a decade, I have just started my first wine. I plan to make a stout as well. I am not really a beer drinker but want something to try while I wait for the elderberry wine. Maybe I will try Meade next.

I was always put off by the expense and all the equipment. I decided to make it by the gallon. Much less expense to start up and takes up less space in my over crowded apartment.
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2012 05:40:22 PM »

fantastic pics, I love pics, its so much easier to see rather than read, it always makes more sense to me.
My own mead is bubbling along and you have definately inspired me to give another batch a go with differant flavours.
 Grin
S
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012 06:11:50 AM »

fantastic pics, I love pics, its so much easier to see rather than read, it always makes more sense to me.
My own mead is bubbling along and you have definately inspired me to give another batch a go with differant flavours.
 Grin
S

I'm glad you are inspired! I wish you so much luck in your process Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2012 09:52:10 PM »

Lucky guests!  I just got into homebrewing a year ago - very small batches - half gallon in 2 liter soda bottles.

Most of my stuff is wine, but I'm in the process of finishing a maple mead.  (Just sampled some of it - it is ridiculously strong!)

I'm going to make up a large batch of "burnt" mead - just cook the honey 'til it looks dark and water it down again and add the nutrients.  It takes a ton of time for the honey wine to turn good, so I plan to finish the ferment and rack it several times.
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PumpkinTaylor
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2012 07:28:41 PM »

This is a GREAT idea! My partner is very...southern (trying to avoid calling her country.lol) and this would soooo be a hood way to pay homage to her "moonshine" memories from childhood!
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