Fall mead

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You can give many names to the different kinds of mead that exist: metheglin for meads with spices, melomel for meads with fruit, even braggot for mead/beer combos. That said, I don’t think there is a name for meads made with vegetables, and yet here I am. Fall comes to Greenville and while everyone else is out making  jack-o-lanterns (a neat but wasteful pastime), I iconically consider fermentation the highest virtue to be bestowed upon anything that contains sugars.

Here are is the recipe for the Sweet Potato mead (dubbed “Sweet Sweet Potato”), the must has a wonderful smell to it:

  • 6lbs sweet potatoes, diced, baked until soft, mashed, and cooled
  • 4.5 qts honey (approx. 12 lbs)
  • water up to 5.5 gallons (a little more because the sweet potato takes up so much space)
  • 2 tbsp whole allspice, 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1.25tsp irish moss

And the Pumpkin mead (yet unnamed):

  • 3 medium-sized, flat, cream-colored pumpkins (on the recommendation of the farmer’s market cashier for sweet pumpkins “like for pies”). Baked with cinnamon, skinned, mashed, pitched.
  • 4.5 qts honey (approx. 12 lbs)
  • water up to 5.5 gallons
  • 2.5tsp DTP (yeast energizer)
  • 5tsp Fermax yeast nutrient
  • 1.25tsp irish moss
  • 1 packet D47 yeast
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Cysers

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I racked the two cysers tonight, one is strangely dry and the other has a beautiful sweetness. The former was almost entirely settled out and I’m imagining the fermentation happened very quickly and directly. I’m fine with that, it is still delicious, reminisces of last year’s apple cider. Much different from the other, which was still relatively cloudy and perhaps even a bit sparkly. Why are they different? It seems like I should be able to answer this question, but alas. I am not a scientific meader, though I try. I did a dumb thing when I added the yeast by dissolving two packets simultaneously into 1/2 cup of water and trying divide that evenly over the two buckets. Maybe I should cut corners like that. Anyway! Stats for the two batches:

  • Started: 18 September 2011 (yeast on 19 Sep 2011)
  • 1st rack: 4 October 2011 (added 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract)

Racking peach mead video

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Just uploaded a video to youtube of the racking process for the two batches of peach mead. Enjoy the video!

Tres Amigos updates

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Missed some updates.  Bottled the Thanksgiving Mead #2 on November 18th and it is delicious! I added Potassium Sorbate and used a clarifier, but didn’t give the clarifier enough time to work…so all of my bottles are plenty clear and pour clear if you go slowly, but there is still a bit of sediment on the bottom.  It’s okay, though because either way it is still delicious!  The spices worked out much more subtly this time which is what I was really going for.  Sweet and just the right aroma of Thanksgiving spices.  Final stats for Thanksgiving Mead #2:

  • Started: 1 September 2010
  • 1st Rack: 27 September 2010 into carboy
  • 2nd Rack: 22 Oct 2010, without spices into carboy
  • Yeast killed: 9 November 2010, (actually there are a fair amount of spices)  with Potassium Sorbate
  • Bottled: 18 November 2010

I also racked at some point the Cyser.  I don’t remember exactly when, I think it was in the middle of November at some point after I bottled the Thanksgiving #2, so I’m going to guess Sunday November 21st.  Stats:

  • Started: 8 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 24 October 2010
  • 2nd Rack: 21 November 2010

And for the last amigo, I am racking the Spoon Mead today into a new carboy and it tastes just perfect.  Very sweet, a little bubbly, no fancy flavors or anything.  Although I don’t know if I can discern the difference in flavor between, say, a clover mead and a purple starthistle mead, I would like to say that the flavor of the honey came through.  Anyway, with age it will improve to even greater heights, and I think this will be a good showcase mead to people who don’t know it as well.  It is remarkably clear for only its second rack.  Stats:

  • Started: 4 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 9 November 2010
  • 2nd Rack: 12 December 2010

 

Oh yeah, I did some stuff

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A little late on the posting, but I wanted to make sure that I logged some racking/bottling that I did.

1) On the 29th of July I racked the agave mead, backsweetening with about 2-3 lbs (about a 1/4 gallon) of clover honey.  Fermentation definitely restarted and I got to watch it in the carboy like I did in the old days before I got a bucket for primary fermentation

Stats:

  • Started: 16 May 2010, 8:27p
  • 1st rack: 29 July 2010 onto 2-3 lbs of clover honey

2) On the 7th of July I bottled the maple mead and it is truly amazing already, can’t wait to see what happens when I let it age for a year or so.  Not very bubbly, which would have been nice, but very sweet and kept a very strong maple flavor.

Stats:

  • Started: 8 March 2010, 9:00p
  • First rack: 5 April 2010, 9:53p
  • Second rack: 16 May 2010, 7:39p (with potassium sorbate)
  • Bottled: 7 July 2010, after using a clarifier