Anna’s Mead

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So Anna found and brought home a bottle of Founder’s Mango Magnifico beer which was amazing in every way. Being clever, about 5 minutes into the beer, she asks a question–the first question, the oldest question in the universe hidden in plain sight, “can we make a mead out of this?” So that day was born the idea of a mango habanero mead. With a couple additions of my own (orange juice cause I like the citrus flavor and what it does to the overall feel of the mead), we will have some pretty rocking mead in a couple months. Recipe:

  • 2lbs of frozen mango chunks (no need to get complicated trying to choose, buy, chop, sanitize the mango myself)
  • 60 oz bottle of Simply Orange high pulp OJ (note: this may be too much, I have traditionally used actual oranges but am trying something new. It may overpower the flavor of the mango and habanero)
  • 2 small habanero peppers, seeds removed (because they’re so hot!). Starting here, maybe adding some more in secondary if necessary
  • 5qt of honey (Bee Well wildflower)
  • 2.5tsp yeast nutrient
  • 2.5tsp irish moss
  • 1 packet D47 yeast, prepared according to package

For the record, I’m going to play around with the taste after primary a lot. I went way low on the habanero because I don’t want it to be too spicy. The amount of mango I used may not be enough–it looked a lot less in the bucket than it did when I bought it on the shelf. So we’ll see how it goes. Stats:

  • Started: 18 November 2013
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Pumpkin Maple Mead

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Okay so I’m writing this up as the raw ingredients are being boiled (for sterilization) on the stove. My whole house smells like sweet fall goodness and I’m really excited about how this is turning out. For the record, so I don’t forget:

Ingredients added to pot to boil for sterilization:

  • 2 small pie pumpkins, sliced, baked, chopped
  • 2 quarts (total 64 fl oz) grade A amber maple syrup (not from the source this time, unfortunately), 4lbs weight
  • 1 small container of whole cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 tsp whole secret ingredient

Allow all that to cool to an acceptable temperature, or manipulate the temperature by choosing what temperature water you add to reach 5 gallons. Then add:

  • 3 quarts of honey (about 9 lbs, so a total of 13lbs total sugar)
  • packet of D47 yeast
  • irish moss (clarify)
  • yeast energizer

And stats:

  • Started, 17 November 2013

Cider 2013, Agave Mead #2

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Started today 2013’s cider, got 4 gallons of cider from Sky Top brewery, put in some spices, some Dry Mead yeast (4632), and got it started.

Recipe:

  • 4 gallons of cider (pasteurized)
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 nutmegs
  • cloves
  • 1 gallon honey
  • spanish moss
  • Wyeast 4632

Stats:

  • Started: 9/22/2013

And also a new batch of Agave Mead (technically an acerglyn from what I recall), following this approximate recipe (couldn’t find the original).

Recipe:

  • 1 gallon of agave nectar
  • 1/2 gallon of honey
  • spanish moss
  • Wyeast 4632
  • Water up to 5 gallons

Stats:

  • Started: 9/22/2013

Aladdin mead

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So I’m giving you the best I can put together for a post about a special kind of mead I put together actually based on a recipe! It must have started in early June, so I’ll call it June 10th. I racked it a couple times and then bottled it. The recipe goes something like this:

  • Steep a spice bag with .1oz each: green cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, long pepper.
  • 10 lbs of honey
  • 46fl oz muscat juice concentrate
  • Add saffron to secondary (1 gram, and that’s still expensive)

So basically a lot of Islamic-inspired spices. I’m not happy with the strength of the spices–they were only steeped in a spice bag and that water was added to the primary. So I think it could have been stronger on all accounts, though you can always add more, you can never take it away. Stats, for what it’s worth, as accurately as possible:

  • Started 10 June 2012
  • Racked 27 November 2012
  • Bottled 4 February 2012

 

Long time! Lemon-Ginger re-born

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Stating the obvious it’s been a while since I’ve posted. For the record of the future, today is the day I started re-blogging my brews. The other posts that may come after/before this one are actually being FALSELY MARKETED into the past using wordpress’ time stamp tool.

Tuesday I started two batches of Lemon-Ginger mead, starting again an old recipe that I absolutely LOVE. The lemon adds just a slight bit of acidity (which helps the fermentation and the flavor) and the ginger gives just a slight “what was that?” kind of after taste. Neither one really over-powers the honey either, just complements it nicely. Recipe:

  • 1 gallon + 1 qt of honey (approximately 20lbs)
  • peel of 4 lemons, 1 whole lemon
  • 1.5oz fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of irish moss
  • 1 packet yeast (1 with D47, one with Pasteur Champagne yeast, same as original batch)

4 days in and they are both bubbling nicely. As a bonus! I added 1 tbsp of juniper berries to one, just to try something new. We’ll see how it goes; didn’t want to overpower it any.

 

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

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