Contest: name this mead

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So I’ve just started two batches of what I consider my most reliable recipe for mead, what is a very close adaptation of my very first mead batch. I’ve had correspondence with Will, the proprietor of the Storm the Castle site, and I can’t stress enough his influence on the very beginnings of my mead exploration.

OH! The contest. I need a name for it. A recipe along these lines may very well be the first kind of mead that I try to mass-market, for whatever that means for a guy who carefully organizes containers of spoiled honey water in his basement. Send me a name for this mead, especially if you’ve tasted it, either the original, the “2nd Gen” or “3rd Gen”. Because here is 4th and 5th gen (or gen 4a and 4b) and I think it needs a name. Comment below, or on facebook, or tweet me, or whatever. Even if you haven’t tasted it, read the ingredients and tell me what you think.

Here is the recipe, one with D47 and one with Wyeast 4632, otherwise identical. The honey has crystallized a bit because I left it in the cool of my basement for too long, but it seemed to dissolve in the water just fine. I’m also trying to make my meads less dry–sweeter and more fizzy if possible. So I’m lowering the honey content a bit now and might try to prime it with some more honey before bottling. We’ll see, if nothing else I just wanted to tinker a bit.

  • 1 gallon wildflower honey
  • 1/2 tsp irish moss
  • 5 tsp fermax yeast nutrient
  • 6 oranges, quartered and boiled to sterilize
  • 5 half sticks of cinnamon (boiled to sterlize)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (chopped and boiled to sterilize)
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • pitched yeast: one was D47, one was Wyeast 4632 “Dry Mead” yeast (note: the wyeast was about 2 months past the “expiration date”, dunno if it’ll matter, we’ll see over the next few days)

Stats:

  • Started: 18 Jan 2012

Two oranges

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So I’m currently racking the two orange batches, first the Just Orange batch (made with EC-1118 yeast), which is still more dry than I want. I’ve been playing around with different meads, but sampling this one it still has the slightly-too-dry overly-alcoholy aftertaste of the Blueberry Mead. So I don’t think it is precisely the yeast (although that still plays a part, I’m sure). I’m thinking it might be the amount of honey (I’m consistently starting with 1gal=12lbs of honey) since I could certainly be adding more. The only strict guidance I’ve gotten about how much honey was way back in my first batches when I read that 10lbs yields a “drier” mead and 15lbs yields a “sweeter” mead. Not precise enough I don’t think. So I added 1qt of honey before I racked it and we’ll see how it goes. Stats:

  • Started: 29 March 2011
  • 1st Rack: 3 May 2011

The 3rd gen mead is not as dark or meaty as the first generation, nor as dry as the 2nd, but is still dry (equally as Just Orange). So I added another quart of honey before racking it, stirring profusely. I’m pretty sure the fermentation is still active by the number of excited bubbles that came up and foamed at the surface–just a curiosity of the second yeast (D-47) generating more bubbles, and possibly the raisins providing a better fermenting environment for the yeast. Definitely a bigger fan of D47 than E1118. Stats:

  • Started: 29 March 2011
  • 1st Rack: 3 May 2011

Videos of the process

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With my friend’s help I started a couple batches on Tuesday night and actually shot some video on my super-old digital camera. 2004 old. Anyway, it’s a pretty comprehensive look at the different things I do to start a batch. No specific how-to or anything, but it does show off  the equipment I use and the ingredients that go into a batch. First vid with some general info:

 

Second vid with one batch just about finished, the other about to have the yeast pitched:

Busy night

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So with some help from a friend I was able to clean up my basement, put up some shelves, organize my brewing equipment, and start two batches. Expect video and pictures forthcoming from the clean-up and the two new batches, but for now I need to record the recipes and get to sleep.

3rd Gen recipe:

  • 1gallon wildflower honey
  • 5tsp fermax yeast nutrient
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 1.5c raisins, chopped
  • Lalvin D47 yeast

Stats:

  • Started: 29 March 2011

Just Orange recipe:

  • 4qts Orange Blossom honey (from Bee Well, though not local)
  • water up to 5 gallons
  • 5tsp Fermax
  • 5 navel oranges
  • Lalvin EC1118 (Prise de Mousse) champagne yeast (water may have been too hot, measured at 110 when I pitched yeast. I monitored my assistant’s work inadequately. Should be okay, we’ll see)

Stats:

  • Started: 29 March 2011

That puts me at 5 currently progressing batches of 5 gallons. That’s definitely the most mead I’ve ever had in production at one time. They’re all turning out great, it’s just a matter of putting the work into bottling them! Comments about yeast and pictures/vid to come later this week.