Just Peachy!

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So I’ve got some pics for you about this peach mead I’m making. Basically I’m hyper-correcting for the mistake(s) I made on the previous (and first) batch of peach mead I made gosh two years ago? Has it been that long? Anyway, I want to get it right. So this time around I pitted, cored, cubed, pureed, boiled, and cooled the peaches before I racked the previously started “plain” mead onto the peaches. Pics of the process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used about 10lbs of peaches per batch, though I don’t think that will add quite as much peach flavor as I was hoping. I’m fine with undertones though. For the technically inclined, this mead brewed with fruit is called a melomel.

Stats (still two identical batches):

  • Started: 10 Jul 2011
  • First Rack: 30 Jul 2011 (onto 10lbs of peaches, pureed and sanitized)

Spent a lot of thyme on this batch

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So I started a batch I think a week ago. I’m guessing on this because sometimes I’m a bad homebrewer and don’t always log every thing I ever do. Shame on me, I will try to set up the recipe and stats regardless. It is currently bubbling away happily and it smells like I haven’t overdone it on the spices. For those paying special attention, I am going to start referring to mead with spices by its technical term, a metheglin. I’m also tagging this under “crazy ideas” since I’ve never done a batch with such savory spices before…the agave mead had sage in it (much to its benefit!) but the main flavor there was the agave.

Recipe:

  • 1gallon+1qt wildflower honey from bee well honey farm
  • 5tsp fermax yeast nutrient
  • 1/4tsp irish moss
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 1/4c whole thyme
  • 2tbsp ground sage
  • 1 packet Lalvin EC-1118 “Pris de Mousse” yeast
Stats:
  • Started: 14 July 2011

Peach?

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I started up 2 new 4.5 gallon batches of mead today, finishing up the 5 gallon bucket of honey that I bought earlier this summer. How fast it has gone, but oh well. For future consideration, I don’t think the money I save buying in the bulk 5 gallon bucket is worth the inconvenience of measuring out the right amount of honey for each batch. Honey is very…viscous.

Anyway, the two batches are exactly the same recipe and I intend to keep it that way, hopefully I don’t lose one of them due to spigot issues (my goal is to be very careful with the spigot from here on out). Probably going to add peaches to the secondary (maybe raspberry/blackberries! either will be in season I think). I eyeballed the honey which maybe was a bad idea but was very convenient and worst case I’ll sweeten with more honey in the secondary when I add the fruit. Also experimenting with Irish Moss for the first time as a clarifier. Recipe:

  • 1 gallon wildflower honey
  • 1 heaping tbsp of Fermax yeast nutrient
  • 1/2 tsp irish moss
  • water up to 4.5 gallons (a little under 4.5 actually)
  • 1 packet Lalvin D47 yeast

Stats:

  • Started: 10 Jul 2011

Racking

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I racked all three batches of mead I currently have going last Thursday. Both strawberry meads have aged nicely and have a very similar taste regardless of the yeast issues I had earlier. I racked them off the strawberries, just like the previous batch of strawberry mead and now I just have to wait for it to clarify. The blueberry mead (now unfortunately only one batch) I racked onto the actual blueberries and it has taken on a deep purple delicious-looking color, I am very excited about it. Stats:

Stats, Sweet Strawberry:

  • Started: 15 May 2011
  • More yeast: 20 May 2011
  • Rack onto Strawberries: 13 Jun 2011
  • Rack off of Strawberries: 7 Jul 2011

Stats, Dry Strawberry:

  • Started: 15 May 2011
  • More yeast: 20 May 2011 (another packet 4632)
  • More yeast: 22 May 2011 (EC-1118)
  • Rack onto Strawberries: 13 Jun 2011
  • Rack off of Strawberries: 7 Jul 2011

Stats, Blueberry:

  • Started: 14 June 2011
  • First rack: 7 Jul 2011 (onto 7lbs of blueberries, approximately 1gallon+1/2qt of blueberries)

Leak

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So one of my brewing buckets has a leak in it, at the faucet at the bottom. Which means that this afternoon I went down to check on my two buckets blueberry-to-be mead and one of them was in a gently-drying puddle on the floor. An unfortunate accident but you have to move on. Lesson to learn: make sure that the valves at the bottom of my brewing buckets have been sealed as tightly as possible, and keep an eye on any possibility for leaking. I could probably do a better job of monitoring the mead (daily at least?) if a leak does start I can salvage as much of it as possible. I think this leak happened pretty fast, I’d been keeping a pretty good eye on these already.

If possible I can start using the brew buckets without a spigot on the bottom, too, unless necessary. The added convenience may not be worth it if those valves start losing confidence after a year or so. In short anything that might cause me to lose an entire batch of mead needs to be avoided if at all possible, and here it is possible I think. Brew buckets are cheap.