Dry Mead Misinformation

Scouring the internet, you can find a lot of people who don’t hesitate to spit verbal diarrhea at people who have questions about their mead, even when they themselves have less of a clue (eg “a dry mead has to be backsweetened or it will be undrinkable”, or “you must add orange slices and tea bags”, or “it will take a mead 2 years to be drinkable”). I’m primary a beer brewer, but let me tell you about my first mead experience:

I like the history of mead, and it intrigues me that no one drinks it anymore. But it’s hard to find a commercial mead that I enjoy drinking, they’re all just sooooooo sweet. So I decided to brew a light, dry mead (7.0 lbs of honey → 3.0 gallons). Following northern brewer’s instructions, I pitched Wyeast’s Dry mead yeast, no starter since it was only 3.0 gallons. On “brew” day and every other day for 4 days I added FermaidK + DAP (totaling 1 tsp FermaidK and 2 tsp DAP). C02 was released by shaking the bucket in the morning, afternoon, and evening for primary fermentation.

Primary fermentation in the bucket finished in 1 week! After reaching terminal gravity in 15 days from start date, I racked into a 3 gallon carboy. The mead tastes delicious, almost like a pinot grigio!!! A little harsh, but the yeast seemed to have an overall healthy fermentation. I would drink this mead after 15 days of fermenting over any of that sweet garbage you can find (and I’ve spent a pretty penny trying to find a mead at my local liquor stores and wineries that I enjoy). Given 2-3 couple months of aging/clearing, and possibly carbonating in the bottle, you can have a 10-12% ABV mead ready with SIMPLE INGREDIENTS … no oranges, no black tea, none of that sh!%.

You may think this is another guy spatting verbal diarrhea (especially if you like sweet, strong mead), but I like a dry “sessionable” mead … and if you do too, follow this recipe and instructions, you won’t be disappointed. :blah:

I’ll 2nd the thoughts sboyer.

It’s been a while sense I read Hightest’s web site. But I believe he mentions having a very drinkable mead in 3-6 months with the staggered nutrient additions.

I’ve only purchased 1 commercial (local) mead and it was way to sweet. 13% and 1.060 gravity!

10-13% with a gravity under 1.010 is delicious.

I use 71-B wine yeast. Haven’t tried the mead yeast. Just heard many good things about 71-B and for under $1… :smiley:

Drinkable and as good as it could be may be very different things in some cases. I too agree that you can easily produce a very drinkable dry to semi sweet mead in less than 6 months with the aid of proper fermentation temps and using staggered nutrient feedings. However, many of the stronger flavored varieties of honey such as basswood will continue to develop subleties with extended aging. I have a 12% Ice Storm mead made with “Grade A” first flow clover honey that has continued to develop even after 5 years in the bottle. It continues to win me awards to this day.