Ask the Meadmaker – Basic Questions Pt 3

Ask the Meadmaker – Basic Questions Pt 3

Groennfell Meadery
4 minute read

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In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about what kind of mead to brew for your first batch, what to do if your mead doesn’t taste very good, when to add yeast nutrient (and what exactly is it?), and more!

Further Watching:
Basics Part 1
Basics Part 2

Further Reading:

Your First Batch of Mead
Meadmaking Essential Equipment 
Making Mead at Home in Three Short Weeks

Video Transcript:
Hi everyone, I’m finally answering questions at work again! And… guess what! It looks the same!

Welcome to Ask the Meadmkaker, where I, Ricky the Meadmaker, answer your questions about mead making, mead drinking, mead brewing, and, really, any question you’re willing to send to me! And this is part three of probably four, maybe five, where I just answer basic questions!

And one that I get all the time is, “My mead isn’t very good. What should I do?” And the answer is easy: wait. While this won’t always solve your problem, but hopefully you’ll be brewing in the meanwhile, learning from any mistakes you made. And by the time you go back and taste it, and you’re like, “Uhhh this really wasn’t that good,” you’ll have plenty of other good stuff to enjoy.

Next question, “My mead is sour. What do I do?” Whoowooohoo… that’s not one you want to wait on. Uh… it won’t hurt ya’. Uhhhh, mead vinegar could be really cool in some Italian dishes. Also, a side note, wild fermented and sour meads are super popular these days, and we make a whole bunch of them, so you could just pretend that that’s what you were going for!

After a previous “basics,”  people have been asking, what exactly is yeast nutrient? And the answer is, it’s a blend of minerals and amino acids, some salts, and for the most part, it’s proprietary if you get one of the fancy blends, so beyond that, I don’t know. However, certain nutrients like DAP, diammonium phosphate, tell you exactly what they are.

On the subject of nutrient. One of my favorite things to talk about at dinner parties (when I want people to go home) is, “When do I add the nutrient?” And the answer is, this is a shockingly contentious subject. We do it all at the beginning. And I had someone stand up and walk out of a lecture when I said that we did that so, you know… A lot of people will do staggered nutrient additions to try to maintain the health of their yeast throughout the fermentation process. This to me implies that your fermentation – active fermentation – might be going longer than ours here at the meadery but, um, yeah, just take that as another one of them that I almost answered but didn’t quite because I don’t want to get in any fights.

Our last question this week is one that I can’t answer for you, even though I get it all the time: “Should I start with a plain mead with only honey in it? Should I do something fancier to start?” The answer is: Alright, what, what do you want when you’re done brewing? That doesn’t seem like a very hard question. Do you want a plain mead when you’re done brewing it? Or do you want something different? Because if you want something different, brew that! It’s not going to change halfway through the process. That said, if you start with plain mead, you can always add stuff to it afterwards. But that would also be a decision that you have to make for yourself! I cannot answer for you!

So that was our last question this week. Come back in two weeks for what is probably part four of maybe part four of maybe four parts or maybe eight parts… we’ll see. Keep sending your questions in the meanwhile, and I’ll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers!

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