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

“Mead”ia!

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Okay, I don’t want to overload all of the mead-ia (that’s a terrible pun I just thought of, and you can blame the mead) in one post, but I did take some video and pictures of my mead in progress and I thought I’d go ahead and post the pictures so you can see it a little how it works. Note, this post is also the first post to have media in it, so bear with me as I get used to how wordpress handles it. My next post should hopefully have some youtube videos.

First, a picture of the Thanksgiving Mead #2:A carboy full of 5 gallons of Thanksgiving Mead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second, a picture of the POM#2, which (see previous post! -ED) actually tastes very cinnamon-y: A 5-gallon carboy of Plain Old Mead, second attempt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(PS: note the dinosaur poster which is in my basement and I’ve owned since I was maybe 8 years old)

Little things

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Part 1

So the agave mead went all a-splody on me…in other words, I opened a bottle of the agave mead that I bottled a month or so ago (zounds! just did a search and I never recorded on here: September 21st) and it started foaming over a LOT and got all over my pretty hardwood floors.  Good thing I have an “accidents” tag on here.  What happened was that I failed to add both the Potassium Sorbate (the yeast-neutralizer) and the clarifier (a gelatin-based thing that makes it look all clear) because in my naivete I assumed (yes, ass-u-me-d) that since it looked clear and the airlock wasn’t popping that it was fine to bottle regardless.  I won’t make that mistake again!

The solution was to take a bunch of it (read: 9 bottles) to a party that I went to and promo my mead as much as possible.  It went fast and delicious…it was old enough (pushing 7 months) and a delicious recipe anyway so it worked.  It was served chilled in place of the white wine and was amazing–just bubbly enough, not too sweet, unique flavor.  I want to try it again but not fail at the preservation step because I am very curious what it would have tasted like a year from now.

Part 2

With that in mind, I added potassium sorbate to the POM#2 yesterday to neuter the yeast and today I stirred it a bit and added the clarifier.  I do not want it to end up like the Agave Mead: thoroughly enjoyed, but before its time.  Unfortunately I think I overdosed on the cinnamon (i.e., I snuck a little for myself and tasted it) but it is still really tasty.  I think the Tulip Poplar flavor will come through regardless so the idea of keeping it simple still applies…it’s just not technically a POM anymore.  I think I’ll still call it that for simplicity. 

Just some housekeeping

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I racked the POM and decided that it would be super-delicious if it had some cinnamon in it, so I did.  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

And I racked the Thanksgiving Mead #2, perhaps a bit prematurely (3 bubbles/min in the airlock), but it has been a slow fermentation anyway and I didn’t think it would hurt to oxygenate it a little bit if that would speed it up a touch.  Totally forgot about adding the citrus-yness, but there’s still time.  I think I will hold off anyway, though, just to see how it goes.  And darnit I forgot to taste-test it, so my fault there, but so it goes.  I still have confidence. Stats:

  • Started: 1 September 2010
  • 1st Rack: 27 September 2010 into carboy

POM #2 update

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Racked the POM#2 onto about 2 lbs of Clover honey today, looking/smelling good, I’m only a little worried about covering up the Tulip Poplar flavor with the Clover, but the main point is to get a good batch of plain old mead, so we’ll see how it goes.

Stats on POM#2:

  • Started: 18 June 2010
  • 1st Rack: 5 August 2010 onto 2 lbs clover honey

Plain Old Mead, #2

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I started today another batch of Plain Old Mead: my last batch is almost all gone and I want to try to refine my process.  Plus the other two batches that I’ve got going right now are a maple mead and an agave mead, both very non-traditional.  I may add some spices when I rack it, but for now it is just honey, water, yeast nutrient, and yeast.  I’m using Tulip Poplar honey for the first time, so I also wanted to see what kind of flavor comes straight out of that honey.

Today I also added clay to the maple mead to clarify it and am eagerly waiting for the first rack on the agave mead, but the airlock is still happily bubbling away approximately 4 times/minute.

Recipe:

  • 12 lbs Tulip Poplar honey
  • 4 gallons warm tap water
  • 5 tsp fermax yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast, prepared according to the packet

Stats on POM#2:

  • Started 18 June 2010