Mike made an Orange Mead, all unbeknownst to me. It was a few weeks old and he wanted me to taste it at this point to see if I thought it was on the right track or not. As homebrewers, we get really confident in our ability to rate the quality of our beers at various points in the process on our own. When we make something that we don’t have a lot of practice making, we seek the advice of others who have traveled the path more often in the path.
So fellow homebrewers who may make a mead in the future, roll this video that presents our early evaluation of Mike’s Orange Mead:
Mike’s Orange Mead Recipe and Plan
Mike started out with 15 pounds of honey and the majority of it was orange blossom honey. I think this honey variety is superb for mead making. He added water to make 5 gallons.
His original gravity was 1.120 and the yeast he used was Lalvin 71B-1122 Narbonne White Wine Yeast.
Following a staggered procedure of adding yeast nutrients to his mead (the same one that I used for my raspberry mead), he got the gravity down to 1.025 after a few weeks.
The plan is to rack it to a new fermenter and let it rest on orange peel for an extended time to really make the orange taste pop.
Tasting Notes So Far
So this mead that Mike is making is a sack level mead so it’s going to be big, sweet, and a little more boozy than the ones I make. My starting gravities are typically in the standard range (~1.090). After a few weeks, it had a lot of honey sweetness but nothing tasted off about it. We have had some bad meads in our time but I thought it tasted great for what it was and where it was in the process.
I preached patience to him – these things take time and the process is so easy that I think as beer homebrewers that we feel like we have to tinker with the mead to make sure it tastes great.
You really don’t.
He started to ask me what others things he should do to the mead to accent the flavor. I think his orange peel idea is great. Keeping it simple is key. Spicing it to make it a metheglin would be fine but see how the orange peel addition does. Your patience will be rewarded.