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Author Topic: Session Mead  (Read 2460 times)

Online pete b

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Session Mead
« on: March 05, 2023, 01:04:45 pm »
I have been making mead for a long time and my wife has been making it even longer. Neither one of us have made a session mead before, we both really always viewed mead as wine and made it wine strength.
I would like to make a couple batches of session mead, I am thinking about 6%, and hope to have it packaged this summer. I am planning on using up last year’s fruit harvest from the freezer and will make a mixed berry and a peach.
I guess I am going to use my usual methods but just plan on shorter fermentation and bulk aging. I think I will keg it.
I would love some information from those who have experience with session mead.
1. Have you been able to package a perfectly clear, clean, finished product in 4 months or less?
2. Have you carbed  it? I am thinking that it would be nice as a sparkling summer drink.
3. Any other tips or surprises you experienced?
4. What abv have you done?
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2023, 03:28:18 pm »
I’ll pm you. You’ll get it right off!


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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2023, 03:57:55 pm »
I use a recipe from Steve Fletty. 6 lbs of Orange Blossom honey and 4 gallons of water. 71B yeast. It ferments dry, then sorbate and add 2-3 lbs of honey (or desired sweetness level). I use Super Kleer and rack into a keg. This can be ready in a month. Remember, it’s lower ABV and doesn’t take as long.


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Dan Chisholm

Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2023, 04:55:02 pm »
I use a recipe from Steve Fletty. 6 lbs of Orange Blossom honey and 4 gallons of water. 71B yeast. It ferments dry, then sorbate and add 2-3 lbs of honey (or desired sweetness level). I use Super Kleer and rack into a keg. This can be ready in a month. Remember, it’s lower ABV and doesn’t take as long.


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Thanks, Dannyed, Glad to hear about the quick turnover time wise. I rarely backsweeten but I am open to needing it for body in a small mead.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2023, 04:59:08 pm »
I’ll pm you. You’ll get it right off!


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Matt, I got your PM and appreciate the time you put into the response and of course the content. And glad to hear from you, I didn’t know if you still hung out here.
I will digest your advice and PM you back.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2023, 09:08:52 pm »
IMHO use a beer yeast.

i tried a session mead with what i discovered was an INCREDIBLE quality honey (thistle btw) a year ago. i used i believe 71b, hit about 5% ABV. wanted it crystal clear so listened to a wineshop guy's advice  ::) and hit it with chitosan+kietelsol (not even the full things of each since i thought "this has to be overkill?") and cleared it so well it never carbed in the bottle.

i just realized you may be kegging, so that point may be moot.

but in any case give it a shot, just go for beer yeast and what you're familiar with. you could definitely get it ready in 4 months, that joes ancient mead recipe crap, letting it sit for a year is just fuddle duddle lore. hit it with yeast supplement additions at 24 and 72 hours and treat it like a beer. one month

Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2023, 05:10:35 am »
IMHO use a beer yeast.

i tried a session mead with what i discovered was an INCREDIBLE quality honey (thistle btw) a year ago. i used i believe 71b, hit about 5% ABV. wanted it crystal clear so listened to a wineshop guy's advice  ::) and hit it with chitosan+kietelsol (not even the full things of each since i thought "this has to be overkill?") and cleared it so well it never carbed in the bottle.

i just realized you may be kegging, so that point may be moot.

but in any case give it a shot, just go for beer yeast and what you're familiar with. you could definitely get it ready in 4 months, that joes ancient mead recipe crap, letting it sit for a year is just fuddle duddle lore. hit it with yeast supplement additions at 24 and 72 hours and treat it like a beer. one month
Why beer yeast? Have you tried it yet yourself?
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2023, 10:19:51 am »
I haven't done this with mead yet, but for my cider I brew it to about 7% abv then dilute and backsweeten at the same time by adding fresh juice at kegging. This brings the ABV down to my preferred level and leaves the freshest fruit character in the final product. I'd follow a similar tactic if I was making a session mead - brew a 7ish% mead, then add juice to sweeten at kegging.
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Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2023, 11:36:25 am »
I haven't done this with mead yet, but for my cider I brew it to about 7% abv then dilute and backsweeten at the same time by adding fresh juice at kegging. This brings the ABV down to my preferred level and leaves the freshest fruit character in the final product. I'd follow a similar tactic if I was making a session mead - brew a 7ish% mead, then add juice to sweeten at kegging.
I have thought that if I backsweeten a little juice might be a good idea. If I do I might have to live with the peach being a bit hazy.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2023, 12:16:57 pm »
I haven't done this with mead yet, but for my cider I brew it to about 7% abv then dilute and backsweeten at the same time by adding fresh juice at kegging. This brings the ABV down to my preferred level and leaves the freshest fruit character in the final product. I'd follow a similar tactic if I was making a session mead - brew a 7ish% mead, then add juice to sweeten at kegging.
I have thought that if I backsweeten a little juice might be a good idea. If I do I might have to live with the peach being a bit hazy.
You could add pectic enzyme with the juice
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2023, 01:15:49 pm »
I haven't done this with mead yet, but for my cider I brew it to about 7% abv then dilute and backsweeten at the same time by adding fresh juice at kegging. This brings the ABV down to my preferred level and leaves the freshest fruit character in the final product. I'd follow a similar tactic if I was making a session mead - brew a 7ish% mead, then add juice to sweeten at kegging.
I have thought that if I backsweeten a little juice might be a good idea. If I do I might have to live with the peach being a bit hazy.
You could add pectic enzyme with the juice
I definitly will add pectic enzyme but I am not sure you can get peach juice perfectly clear. I could be wrong.
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Offline mchrispen

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Session Mead
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2023, 11:56:39 am »
There’s a commercial process product called Peach Nectar that is absolutely clear and about 36 brix... But it tastes artificial.

Bentonite in primary, enzyme in peach processing, a solid fining process and you maybe shocked. Some of the heavier proteins really help pull it clear. But maybe not in a short turn.

Honestly, in a session, I wouldn’t worry.

And you can make peachy adult shakes/smoothies!


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Matt Chrispen
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Offline noonancm

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2023, 12:35:59 pm »
There is a meadary in north Columbus, OH called Zen Bee whose focus is making session 6% meads.

Online pete b

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2023, 01:04:54 pm »
There’s a commercial process product called Peach Nectar that is absolutely clear and about 36 brix... But it tastes artificial.

Bentonite in primary, enzyme in peach processing, a solid fining process and you maybe shocked. Some of the heavier proteins really help pull it clear. But maybe not in a short turn.

Honestly, in a session, I wouldn’t worry.

And you can make peachy adult shakes/smoothies!


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Yes, I will do all that but also not worry too much in a session. Maximizing the peach flavor will take priority.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Session Mead
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2023, 04:15:46 pm »
IMHO use a beer yeast.

i tried a session mead with what i discovered was an INCREDIBLE quality honey (thistle btw) a year ago. i used i believe 71b, hit about 5% ABV. wanted it crystal clear so listened to a wineshop guy's advice  ::) and hit it with chitosan+kietelsol (not even the full things of each since i thought "this has to be overkill?") and cleared it so well it never carbed in the bottle.

i just realized you may be kegging, so that point may be moot.

but in any case give it a shot, just go for beer yeast and what you're familiar with. you could definitely get it ready in 4 months, that joes ancient mead recipe crap, letting it sit for a year is just fuddle duddle lore. hit it with yeast supplement additions at 24 and 72 hours and treat it like a beer. one month
Why beer yeast? Have you tried it yet yourself?

sorry, missed this reply. why beer yeast? this is personal preference and some objective stats, imho the wine yeast just didn't lend a good character or body to the mead, and a long time clearing and i recall at that time blaming the wine yeast, thinking it would all have been better if i just used more familiar beer yeast. checked my notes.txt on that brew and dont see anything to help clarify that, but yeah. consider beer yeast unless you think theres a reason not to consider it? looks like i used my low-med hardness tap water for it, but yeah also consider pH and aim to give it a bite, rather than leave it flabby.