TIME TRAVEL post 09/20/2012

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Just two things on my casual note here:

Bottled plain mead. Reference my other time travel post to find out that there was some batch of plain mead that I started (who knows when), racked (on August 14th), and now have bottled.

Racked one strawberry. Who knows why one and not the other? One was probably still fermenting. At any rate, they will both be bottled SOON IN THE PAST.

TIME TRAVEL post: Aug 14

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I have travelled back in time to give you this post from what I should have done on August 14th. Lots of stuff I did:

Racked 5 o’clock mead. Note: I don’t know when this mead was started, because I stopped being diligent with my note-taking around this point. Anyway, it got racked.

Racked (something) onto blackberries and blueberries to get what I call, “Black and Blue”. Don’t know what the original batch was exactly, though it must have been a plain mead of some kind.

Racked plain mead of some kind.

Racked strawberry meads onto MORE HONEY. They were thin and needed some body, so I racked them onto some more honey. Seems to have worked, I think these two will age into something nice and refreshing. Not as strong/sweet/alcoholic as some of my other meads, but that’s okay. Often people find them too strong at first.

And I have one last note that just says “braggot”. Maybe I tried it and it was delicious? At any rate, it IS delicious and I love it now. Not fizzy bubbly like a beer but it does still get some bubbles and tastes exactly like you would imagine a honey/beer to taste.

Strawberry, plus experiments

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So, a couple of thoughts on the strawberry mead for this season. It’s a late night of tasting mead and an early flight tomorrow so I’m not going to try to put together a complete post with stats and all that, but I do want to log some stuff before I forget.

  • Racked the two boiled honey batches onto 1.5 gallons of strawberries (took 3 gallons of strawberries, chopped, frozen, boiled, cooled, split in half, racked the two separate batches onto them)
  • EC-1118 tastes better than D47 and is still fermenting (1 bubble every 10 seconds or so). I conclude EC-1118 > D47.
  • Both batches are much lighter–I like the taste of the boiled honey mead, but there is less honey in each batch than usual. I account this change to the fact that I didn’t really measure the honey in the first place and there’s probably less than I usually add.
  • I kinda like the lighter flavor. I might have to be more careful in the future about how much honey I add. The lighter mead should work better with the strawberries too.

Dealing with crystallization

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So I had about 2 gallons worth of honey that had crystallized in the 5 gallon bucket that I had bought it in. I had left it too long without using it and I think I accidentally didn’t seal the bucket itself enough to keep the moisture from getting in. So, knowing that it is still good honey and not knowing what else to do with it, I decided to make a batch (two actually) with honey that had been boiled first, much like beer is always brewed. It is a fairly common, though much debated, practice whose pros and cons are most scientifically investigated in this double blind taste test. Summarizing a very useful and informative post, essentially boiling will take away aroma but give you body and flavor.

So here’s to giving it a try. A normal plain mead recipe, one batch made with D47, one with EC1118 (because that’s all I have left in my yeast storehouse), with all that delicious honey brought to a rolling boil before being added to the bucket, cooled, and yeast pitched.

  • 1gallon honey (approx. 10 lbs, did not very precisely measure this)
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 1 tsp irish moss
  • 5tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 batch with 1 packet D47 yeast, 1 batch with 1 packet EC1118 yeast

If the method works out without completely failing, then I may be adding strawberries in the secondary for these two batches to be my strawberry mead of this season. If boiling does lower the aroma but increase the body and flavor, that would work really perfectly with the strawberries bringing in their aroma in the secondary but enjoying the flavor and body of the boiled honey.

Stats:

  • Started: 29 May 2012

Racking

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Racked today the mole mead and the POM that I started at about the same time. (In the meanwhile, did a batch of a nut brown beer from a kit). The POM is tasty and plain (as it should be I guess!) and the mole mead is man WOW! Just spot on with the balance of the flavors and the slight spicy aftertaste and the sweetness of the honey and chocolatey of the chocolate. Maybe just a bit more cinnamon next time. Anyway, stats:

Mole Mead:

  • Started: 6 April 2012
  • 1st rack: 12 May 2012 (got rid of a ton of cocoa gunk on the bottom and all of the crushed chili peppers)

POM:

  • Started: 7 April 2012
  • 1st rack: 12 May 2012

POM

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Made up another batch of plain old mead, just a simple recipe that I’m hoping turns into a regularly reproducible mead like my 5 o’Clock mead and Chai mead. Also, proving how easy it is to make mead! Recipe:

  • 1gallon+1qt honey (approx. 12 lbs)
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 1 tsp irish moss
  • 1 packet Wyeast 4632 yeast (“dry mead”)

Stats:

  • Started: 7 April 2012

Mole mead

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So on the suggestion of and with the help of a friend, I started today a batch of mole mead. I think it will taste…as good as it sounds, although when we put all the cocoa stuff in the bucket with the honey, the color of the cocoa really took over. We’ll see how it develops over time. Stuck with the sweet mead yeast this time to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa and spiciness of the chilies.

Recipe:

  • 7 dried Arbol chili peppers
  • 12 oz baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 lbs wildflower honey
  • 1 tsp Irish moss
  • Wyeast 4184 sweet mead

Stats:

  • Started: 6 April 2012

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