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Recommeded Mead For An Un-educated Palate

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mosto

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Hi all,

Since I began brewing, I've become a big fan of adding a little honey to beer, so I've become curious about mead. I've never tried mead of any description and would like to try a commercial mead to see if I like it before I dive into making some. So my question is what brand / label would you recommend to someone who's never tried mead before. I live in country NSW so it's not something that's going to be stocked at you're average bottle-o. Dan's ahs a free shipping promo at the moment so I'm looking to take advantage of that. Looking on the website they have Daringa, Maxwell Spiced Mead, Maxwell Honey Mead, and Maxwell Mead Licqueur. I'm leaning towards Daringa or Maxwell Honey Mead. Also, what is the recommeded way to serve? Some say serve slightly warned to release the falvours, others say to serve chilled over ice.

Cheers,
 

Airgead

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Hi all,

Since I began brewing, I've become a big fan of adding a little honey to beer, so I've become curious about mead. I've never tried mead of any description and would like to try a commercial mead to see if I like it before I dive into making some. So my question is what brand / label would you recommend to someone who's never tried mead before. I live in country NSW so it's not something that's going to be stocked at you're average bottle-o. Dan's ahs a free shipping promo at the moment so I'm looking to take advantage of that. Looking on the website they have Daringa, Maxwell Spiced Mead, Maxwell Honey Mead, and Maxwell Mead Licqueur. I'm leaning towards Daringa or Maxwell Honey Mead. Also, what is the recommeded way to serve? Some say serve slightly warned to release the falvours, others say to serve chilled over ice.

Cheers,
Avoid the Maxwells. Its awful. Its cheap wine sweetened with honey. They shouldn't be allowed to call it mead.

Never tried the Daringa but given the quality of commercial meads available here I'm not hopeful.

Cheers
Dave
 

Thefatdoghead

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Just make 5L it's cheap and easy. There is a beginners recipe on her JAO I think its called. Mine is tasting really nice now after 6 months but I just went with straight honey and mead wyeast. I like it chilled but it still tastes really good served at room temp in my opinion.
 

mosto

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Cheers barls, Bathurst isn't far away and we've been thinking of going over to Mudgee for a weekend, so definitely some options there.
 

Airgead

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Cheers barls, Bathurst isn't far away and we've been thinking of going over to Mudgee for a weekend, so definitely some options there.
One thing to note - some of those links may be out of date. Mt Vincent (the best meadery in Australia) closed down years ago when the meadmaker retired. I have what i think is the last ever bottle in existence of their lochleven liqueur mead. its waiting for its 20th birthday before we crack it open.

Haven't ebeen out to mudgee in years though so not sure what has sprung up since. Someone may have resurrected Mt Vincent. If they have I hope they have a good meadmaker. Jane was fantastic.

Cheers
Dave
 

barls

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One thing to note - some of those links may be out of date. Mt Vincent (the best meadery in Australia) closed down years ago when the meadmaker retired. I have what i think is the last ever bottle in existence of their lochleven liqueur mead. its waiting for its 20th birthday before we crack it open.

Haven't ebeen out to mudgee in years though so not sure what has sprung up since. Someone may have resurrected Mt Vincent. If they have I hope they have a good meadmaker. Jane was fantastic.

Cheers
Dave
your probably right on the mt vincents, i thought thats where the honey store was getting made but not sure.
anyway cheers mate.
 

labels

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I have made one mead only. I was lucky to score 10Kg of citrus honey for $5.00 a kilo. SWMBO wanted a sweet mead so I headed for a high alcohol mead about the same as a fortified wine.

I used champagne yeast. It took nearly two years, adding more honey and yeast along the way until I got ABV to approx 18% and then adding more honey until the desired level of sweetness was attained.

I also added cinnamon sticks and cracked nutmegs for the last six weeks and finished of with a packet of cirtus peel for a few days to help kill the cloyingness. The citrus peel worked really well.

It turned out superb although I don't think I'll be doing another, that one tested my patience.

By the way, I have heard that you shouldn't use eucalyptus honey such as blue gum because the eucalyptus will come through in the finished mead and give it a medicinal flavour, don't know for sure though, I just wasn't risking it so orange blossom honey was my choice.
 

barls

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the eucalyptus rumour is just that. a rumour.
ive made wonderful meads with this honey, i know that airgead makes bloody nice ones with some as well.
saying that im just waiting for the_new_darren to chime in and say they are the devils work and will result in Botulism and should be avoided along with no chilling and the like.
 

Fat Rocky

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There is a bit of truth in the Eucalyptus "Rumor"...It comes from the Americans...and Americans being strange and all (I am one) had this faze at one stage to add eucalyptus oil to honey to use as a "natural" wound dressing and the like...My mom being all hippie like and all used to use it on me as a kid. smelt nice but kinda sticky. I forgot about until I started making mead and came across American mead making website telling people to avoid Eucalyptus...I guess its just an old throw back from the 80's...Bloody Yanks....

Oh by the way....Mosto...I live in Orange and am thinking of bottling one of my meads in the next few weeks...if you are interested you can try some of my meads...say...if you like bottling...eh?
 

barls

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fat rocky,
my inlaws live in orange.
do you want to swap some mead for some of mine next time im up there.
 

barls

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no problem ill contact you when im heading up again, which should be towards the end of the month.
 

Airgead

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ive made wonderful meads with this honey, i know that airgead makes bloody nice ones with some as well.
Thank you sir. I do indeed make mead with the Eucaypt honeys. Actually I seldom use anything else.

Working my way through 30kg of raw ironbark honey at the moment. Tastes great but for some reason the last few batches have absolutely refused to clear. Taste fine just cloudy as anything and no amount of fining will get it to drop out.

Started experimenting with oak as well. Mmmmmmm.. oaked mead.

Cheers
Dave
 

Fat Rocky

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I love the taste of toasted french oak in mead. Friends of mine are winemakers here in Orange and they switched me on to adding oak. I've found that the best way to get the most out of the oak(y) flavor is the soak the oak chips in a small amount of (very clean, not the cheep stuff) vodka. After soaking for at least four weeks I chuck the lot into secondary and let the mead extract the rest of the flavor. Works a treat for me.
 

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