Interesting read Jonathan, can you put up some sources for that info?
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If I interpret this thread correctly, then I am the coolest person on this forum, simply by virtue of being Belgian. And so, obviously, there's no reason for me to own any of these snob glasses. Which I don't.Pretty dang snobbish!
Using staggered nutrient additions, you can have drinkable mead in 6-8 weeks. But these will be in the mid-teens ABV%, so they could always use some extra time to age and mellow out.
One more thing, you can't go by the manufacturer's recommendation for the yeast's alcohol tolerance with meads. Using proper staggered nutrient additions, you will generally exceed the yeast's listed ABV tolerance (sometimes substantially). For example, Lalvin states that 71B has a tolerance up to 14% ABV. My meads are typically around 16%, and you can get it up over 18%.
Honey can vary in sugar concentration a bit. 35 PPG is a conservative estimate. I usually start with that as a guideline, and take a gravity reading after I mix in my water. If I need to dilute it a bit, I do so at that time. I brew 1.5-2 gallon batches. I use a 6.5 gallon bucket for my primary, and mix the honey and water using the whisk attachment on my immersion blender. Make sure you have plenty of headspace in whatever fermenter you're using! The mead will foam up quite a bit as you aerate and add nutrients for the first week or so.
Good luck and enjoy. Meadmaking is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. And the results can be fantastic.
Beekeeping is not a pleasant little hobby. It's a lot of work. Depending on the nectar flows in your area, they can need constant attention. If I knew then what I know now, I may have never taken up the challenge. When my garden is planted and the little buggers are out there pollinating their little hearts out and my harvest is once again better than ever, I will retract the previous statement. I will never again bristle at the high price of good quality local raw honey.
Got to try this...loved it. Very crisp and refreshing.
Good for Sierra Nevada...year round offering. I will be enjoying it this summer.