mead to last the years (>20)

I want to make a mead that will age gracefully over the next 20 years
or so. What I want to do is make a special present for my kids after
they get married (for the honeymoon - sappy I know).

So for the meadmakers, what sort of recipe should I make...a melomel
or a straight mead? Any suggestions on a flavor that will age
well...or maybe even a recipe?

For the winemakers, what sort of residual sugar, alcohol and TA should
I shoot for so that the mead will stay stable?
I know it will be a gamble on whether or not it will turn out to be
any good in the end...and I would track its process...so I will end up
making a couple of gallons to squirrel away so that I know if it is a
waste of time.
Reply to
Droopy
If you are gonna age it for 20 years, you might as well go for a really nice mead, made from the best honey you can find. I am excpecting good things from a Greek honey I have just set off - lovely liquorice flavour to it which should develop into a nice mead after ageing.
Don't boil the wort. You will lose the delicate aspects of the honey. Go for pasteurisation. Make a good acid blend with tannin and use a good bottled mineral water for trace minerals.
Rack off when you get about one to half an inch of sediment and make sure that fermentation has ceased completely before you bottle it!
Above all, dwell on the fact that what you are doing will be appreciated even if the end result isn't a best of show!
:I want to make a mead that will age gracefully over the next 20 years : or so. What I want to do is make a special present for my kids after : they get married (for the honeymoon - sappy I know). : : So for the meadmakers, what sort of recipe should I make...a melomel : or a straight mead? Any suggestions on a flavor that will age : well...or maybe even a recipe? : : For the winemakers, what sort of residual sugar, alcohol and TA should : I shoot for so that the mead will stay stable? : : I know it will be a gamble on whether or not it will turn out to be : any good in the end...and I would track its process...so I will end up : making a couple of gallons to squirrel away so that I know if it is a : waste of time.
Reply to
Tao Shan
I don't know if you can get it and I don't even know where you are but from what I read, heather honey makes a mead that ages very well and it is even recommended that you age it at least 8 years.
Ray
Reply to
Ray Calvert
Apis in Poland makes Jadwiga which is the oldest commercially made Mead on the market. It's either 20 or 25 years old. Barrel aged and pretty darn good too. It's got a very golden color, on the thick side of consistency and very very sweet. It's about $30.00 US per bottle. I've had a couple bottles that were both very good but each had a different taste to it too. You may want to research the process they use to make it and see if you can duplicate it.
Jon.
Reply to
Jon Foster
I will not even speak to the basic questions you ask. Others can do that as well or better than I can. Instead, I will simply suggest that you begin researching the very best corks you can find. Call Presque Isle and ask them if they still carry a cork that will last 20 years. They used to. If they still do, expect to pay about 75-cents apiece for them.
Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
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Reply to
Jack Keller
Paul, I'm sure it is, but that is overkill and really is not why I said to get good corks. Corks break down after a while, and cheap corks break down REALLY fast.
Good, quality corks can last 20 years, but you need to ask for a cork that will do that. There are very few places that even carry a 10-year cork, let alone 20. Presque Isle (North East, PA) used to carry a 20-year cork called COPR7 that was made by Scott. I thought they ran about 75-cents each, but I checked the other night and it was around 90-cents each. But they were without doubt the best cork I've ever used or even seen.
Presque Isle -- look for closures at
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Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
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Reply to
Jack Keller
: Paul, I'm sure it is, but that is overkill and really is not why I : said to get good corks. Corks break down after a while, and cheap : corks break down REALLY fast. : : Good, quality corks can last 20 years, but you need to ask for a cork : that will do that. There are very few places that even carry a : 10-year cork, let alone 20. Presque Isle (North East, PA) used to : carry a 20-year cork called COPR7 that was made by Scott. I thought : they ran about 75-cents each, but I checked the other night and it was : around 90-cents each. But they were without doubt the best cork I've : ever used or even seen. : : Presque Isle -- look for closures at
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: : Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page :
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May be a good idea to consider a synthetic cork... quite superior imho.
Reply to
Tao Shan
It has been about five years since I did my research on synthetic corks. Back then, research was coming in from Australia, where synthetic corks have been used longer than anywhere else, that questioned whether they were superior. I'll take another look when I have the time, but if anyone has URLs to share on this subject please post them.
Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
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Reply to
Jack Keller
Three things affect the long term stability of the mead in bottle.
1. Quality of the cork 2. length of the cork 3. suitability of the bottle for #1 and #2
I have 15 year old meads and can't wait untl they are 20 or thirty. Natural 1.75" AA quality corks.
Mike
Reply to
MeadMax
at the rate I am producing mead and drinking it I believe I should have enough for the grand children ( only 4 years old right now) assuming they don't drink until 21 ( sure, right and which cave did I come out of?)
Three things affect the long term stability of the mead in bottle.
1. Quality of the cork 2. length of the cork 3. suitability of the bottle for #1 and #2
I have 15 year old meads and can't wait untl they are 20 or thirty. Natural 1.75" AA quality corks.
Mike
Reply to
Joseph Toubes
:> May be a good idea to consider a synthetic cork... quite superior imho. : : It has been about five years since I did my research on synthetic : corks. Back then, research was coming in from Australia, where : synthetic corks have been used longer than anywhere else, that : questioned whether they were superior. I'll take another look when I : have the time, but if anyone has URLs to share on this subject please : post them. : : Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page :
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Hi Jack,
In saying that synthetic corks were superior, I was only registering an opinion; however, in arriving at that opinion, I asked myself what the purpose of a cork was. The straightforward answer was to provide an 'inert barrier' between the alcohol in the bottle and the atmosphere outside.
Corks (as opposed to synthetic plugs) are biodegradable and porous and therefore rot and allow the passage of liquid and gas. It is only the fact that corks swell in liquid that allows them to fulfil the role of a stopper. Otherwise they would be useless (as is evidenced by wine going off when its cork dries).
A synthetice plug is not subject to either porosity or biodegradability and this is what I based my opinion on.
In the book, Sake Pure and Simple, it is noted that many Sake producers, especially in America, now use synthetic plugs and twist-off caps, instead of corks, as they provide a superior seal. The fact that Sake can oxidise rapidly (and react badly to UV) is why (brown bottles and) modern stoppers ares used...
Sake and Mead - as different as chalk and cheese! (No hangover with Sake!)
Reply to
Tao Shan
PS Quite often, a small amount of oxidisation and reaction, resulting from the choice of cork, can add some character to a wine - possibly why corks are still found in the bottles of the very best wines?
: Sake and Mead - as different as chalk and cheese! (No hangover with Sake!) : :
Reply to
Tao Shan
If you get a hangover from mead there is something wrong. You should not get one even if you tie one on real good.
One of the biggest problems with most mead is that it is fermented too warm, I'd say even too hot. Higher temperature fermentations cause all kinds of bad stuff to be produced while lower temp fermentations produce more of the good stuff.
Additionally, meads that are too sweet (read sickly sweet) are possibly the biggest culprit. Not to mention too many chemicals.
Just my two pesos.
Mike
Reply to
MeadMax
: : : : > : > Sake and Mead - as different as chalk and cheese! (No hangover with Sake!) : > : If you get a hangover from mead there is something wrong. You should not : get one even if you tie one on real good. : : One of the biggest problems with most mead is that it is fermented too : warm, I'd say even too hot. Higher temperature fermentations cause all : kinds of bad stuff to be produced while lower temp fermentations produce : more of the good stuff. : : Additionally, meads that are too sweet (read sickly sweet) are possibly : the biggest culprit. Not to mention too many chemicals. : : Just my two pesos. : : Mike
Hi Mike,
True: Warm fermentation does produce what distillers refer to as heads and tails (pure ethanol does not give hangovers), and reduces the yield that a yeast gives. A better quality product is arrived at using lower ferment temperatures which is why sake breweries produce their stuff during the Winter months.
Having said that, though, a lot of character is derived from the impurities that are produced in a ferment and so a compromise is often best for meads!
Reply to
Tao Shan
Your assumptions are sound to the point of proving them emperically. They are the same assumptions they made in Australia 10-12 years ago when they jumped on synthetic corks big time. The problem was that after 6-8 years they found that their wines were oxidizing under synthetic corks just as they had under natural corks.
The main theory when I last read the literature was that microscopic air bubbles in the synthetic material were "leaking" into the wine. I found that theory to be uncompelling, as I cannot imagine that much 02 being trapped in the tiny spaces of the synthetic materials. So, if that is not the reason, clearly another explanation pertains. I just haven't kept up on reading the literature. If someone else has (Lum?), please educate us.
Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
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> Hi Jack, > > In saying that synthetic corks were superior, I was only registering an > opinion; however, in arriving at that opinion, I asked myself what the > purpose of a cork was. The straightforward answer was to provide an 'inert > barrier' between the alcohol in the bottle and the atmosphere outside. > > Corks (as opposed to synthetic plugs) are biodegradable and porous and > therefore rot and allow the passage of liquid and gas. It is only the fact > that corks swell in liquid that allows them to fulfil the role of a stopper. > Otherwise they would be useless (as is evidenced by wine going off when its > cork dries). > > A synthetice plug is not subject to either porosity or biodegradability and > this is what I based my opinion on. > > In the book, Sake Pure and Simple, it is noted that many Sake producers, > especially in America, now use synthetic plugs and twist-off caps, instead > of corks, as they provide a superior seal. The fact that Sake can oxidise > rapidly (and react badly to UV) is why (brown bottles and) modern stoppers > ares used... > > Sake and Mead - as different as chalk and cheese! (No hangover with Sake!)
Reply to
Jack Keller
Interesting. What is an optimal temperature range for hangover-reduced fermentation? (Yeasts seem to be labelled with a very broad range of "working" temperatures.)
Thanks, WB
Reply to
nospam
I also run a commercial distillery and the goal is to remove as much of the heads and tails as possible. Making the cut properly is the big difference between cheap booz and a fine spirit.
Same goes for mead. The goal, at least in my meadery, is to arrive at a product that portrays the honey as the main thing.
Low phenol, aldehydes, methynol etc is ideal.
Mike
Reply to
MeadMax
I was under the impression that ageing was in part an oxidative process, so you actually want some oxygen permeating the cork over time. The response so far has been very positive. From soing some reading, I have seen that ageign potential in white wines (so I an extrapolating to meads somewhat) is due to acidity, residual sugar, alcohol content and (the hardest to measure) flavor. Meads are good on residual sugar, alcohol and in some cases (depending on how it is made) flavor. Meads generally do not have high acidity. I guess if I made a mel with soething like blackberries, the acidity could be brought up, plus there would be some tannin to help....but I don;t know if the flaovr of the blackberries is one that can survive long peroids of time without going weird or tasting off. I think the safest thing would be to make a sack (very sweet) mead with a strong flavored honey. Of course, safe dosen;t always lend itself to memorable.
Reply to
Droopy

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