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

 

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Tres Amigos

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So I racked the purple starthistle batch and it is pretty heavenly.  Strangely not very dry, but it goes down very smooth and the raisins added a very nice kind of fruity/floral undertone to the batch, and the natural flavor of the honey really comes through.  However, while racking it, what do I find in the bucket?  The stirring spoon!  Whoops, I plan to re-name this batch the “Spoon Mead”.  Did I mention that it is delicious?

 

 

Anyway, here is a picture of the three meads that I currently have, the Tgiving Mead #2 on the left (just added potassium sorbate today), the cyser in the middle, and the Spoon Mead on the right.

 

 

 

 

Stats for Spoon Mead nee Purple Starthistle:

  • Started: 4 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 9 November 2010

Stats for Tgiving 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

 

Various movements

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Did a couple things over the last weekend that I’d like to log:

1) Bottled the POM#2 on Thursday the 21st.  It is super-cinnamony, so I am going to re-name it “Cinnamon Mead” (after some deliberation : ) and cross my fingers that the cinnamon mellows out just a little bit as it ages.  It is still young.  Anyway, this time I didn’t forget to add the Potassium Sorbate and the clarifier, so no problems like the Agave Mead.  Stats:

  • Started: 18 June 2010
  • 1st Rack: 5 August 2010 onto 2 lbs clover honey
  • 2nd Rack: 27 September 2010 onto 9 long sticks of cinnamon
  • Bottled: 21 October 2010 after adding KSO4 on 17 Oct and gelatin-based clarifier on 19 Oct

2) Racked the Thanksgiving Mead #2, trying to eliminate all the extra spice bits–mostly successfully.  It was tough, the pieces of allspice and clove are getting stuck in my racking tubes.  I need the little cap that goes at the end of the tube that is made to do it anyway, but I think I have thrown away or lost them because I didn’t think I would need them.  I am dumb sometimes.  Anyway, with some forcing, it worked.  Tastes delicious, sweet and the spices are not too strong–exactly what I was trying to fix from the last time I made it!  Stats:

  • Started: 1 September 2010
  • 1st Rack: 27 September 2010 into carboy
  • 2nd Rack: 22 Oct 2010, without spices into carboy

3) Racked the cyser for the first time.  It gave me trouble with the cloves and raisins, too, but again I got it to work.  Hopefully we’ll see some secondary fermentation with the added O2 and mixing up.  Tastes…like it has promise.  Not great yet, but this process is supposed to take some time, and it’s really only 2.5 weeks old or something.  The purple starthistle mead (which, by the way, was started about 4 days before the cyser) was actually popping pretty good in spite of being older than the cyser, so I let it be.  The cyser was almost totally dead (no bubbles within a minute, at least).  Stats:

  • Started: 8 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 24 October 2010

Cyser

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So I got some apple cider from Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC to the tune of 5 gallons worth ($35, approximately) and 4 lbs (two quarts-ish) of whatever honey from the grocery store and set off to try to make my first cyser, to uncertain results. 

First, the cider is unpasteurized–props to the orchard for freshness, but adds another step for me.  So I boiled 5 gallons of cider, adding a handful of raisins, some cinnamon and cloves, and a couple cups of brown sugar (can’t fault going for more sweetness).  SINCE I had to pasteurize it myself, I then had to let it sit to cool down to at least 100 deg F or so so it wouldn’t kill the yeast. 

Anyway I used the Wyeast Sweet Mead 4184 strain and am hoping that it won’t cause any problems: it’s been a while since I’ve used it (Orange Cinnamon Mead) and that one turned out way funkier than I thought.  Also used 5 tsps of Fermax yeast nutrient Morning after, only one bubble approximately every 50 seconds, so I stirred the dickens out of it and we’ll see whether I get any more action today when I get home from school.  Sometimes it takes more than overnight for fermentation to really get going so I’ll be patient (I just really don’t want this to screw up). 

Recipe!

  • 5 gallons of apple cider, boiled
  • large handful of raisins (approx 2 cups)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 lbs honey
  • 10 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup of cloves
  • 5 tsps Fermax
  • 1 packet Wyeast 4184 added after cooling