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TheGreenOne

The Mead Thread

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Personally, I leave meads in the primary until it clears up and then rack to a secondary to get it off the lees.

The guy who taught me to make mead never racked off the lees until he bottled.

 

Diffrent strokes for diffrent mead makers. :D

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Yep, I've done it that way, too. One of the things I love about mead, you really have to work to screw it up. I need that sort of leeway.

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Chokecherry honey sounds wonderful. Chokecherry mead made with that honey sounds divine.

 

Oh, Honey???? :heart: I know where the wild chokecherries grow. Want to take a hike later this summer?

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Personally, I leave meads in the primary until it clears up and then rack to a secondary to get it off the lees.

The guy who taught me to make mead never racked off the lees until he bottled.

I wonder if anyone has done a side-by-side test, racking one batch every now and then and leaving another one to ferment out all by itself without any human interference, and trying how much of a difference it actually makes.

 

Sometimes I wonder if all this racking is just a way of keeping impatient mead-brewers entertained, because they can't manage to just sit down and wait. Old mead recipes don't say anything about racking.

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The recent discussion of mead in the cocktails thread made me want to resurrect this here mead thread and ask a bit of advice. As I mentioned in this thread, I've been thinking of making a metheglin using coloration herbs. I've got the herbs I need, but I could use some advice. Any thoughts on what proportions I should use and whether I should use them in the primary or the secondary fermentor? Any general thoughts on how I should go about this would be very welcome.

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I would add the herbs to the secondary to help retain aroma.

 

In primary, the CO2 evolution would tend to scrub some aroma components.

 

In addition, the environment of secondary is less hospitable to bacteria and wild yeast that might inhabit the herbs.

 

Another option is to add the herbs to a couple ounces of vodka, age a couple of weeks, strain and add to the secondary. This will pull more chlorophyll along with the oils, so it will effect color as well.

 

I racked my ABC Lite (Wedding Ciser) to a keg last night and added four sticks of cassia bark. It tasted a bit cidery and had a bit of yeast bite. I couldn't taste the spices yet.

 

(5 gallons of apple juice and 6# of honey, I wonder why it might taste like cider?)

 

The batch of blueberry mead is still in primary after two weeks.

 

I need to clear the primary fermenters (6.5 gallon) and get it racked to secondary (5 gallon fermenter) so I can brew again.

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Dang, I think I'm being inspired. I used to make wine in college. Always wanted to try mead. My roommate is quite the wine-maker, as well. I see a house project coming on. B)

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If I use the vodka method mentioned above, how will the added spirit affect fermentation and the ultimate flavor/abv of the mead? Will I end up with something tasting like a fortified wine?

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If I use the vodka method mentioned above, how will the added spirit affect fermentation and the ultimate flavor/abv of the mead? Will I end up with something tasting like a fortified wine?

 

Let the secondary proceed until the gravity is at or below your target. This way the additional alcohol will have little effect on fermentation.

 

One advantage of this method is you can taste test the vodka mix before adding it to the mead to test the flavors, and you can add it in stages so as not to over do it.

 

If you add 750ml of 50% vodka ( It might take 1L of 50% vodka to soak the herbs since they will absorb some liquid) and add it to 20L of 16% mead, you will increase the mead to approximately ( (.75*.5) + 20 * .16) ) / 20.75 = 17.23%

 

This is an increase of only 1.23% and not a big factor.

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This is a bit off the path of discussion but I thought I'd add it anyway.

 

On Yeast. Don't limit yourself to wine or "mead" yeast. One of the nicest meadsI've ever made used California Ale. At about 14% it unintentionally sparkled. I thought I was sweetening it up a touch with 1/2 cup of honey to 5 gallons. Instead it was priming sugar. After the second cork blew I put it all in the fridge. It was a delicious sparkling wine. :D

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Speaking of mead, Stroller! Hand me your addy ;) I got some HG for ya to make up for the delays

Edited by GrayWolf

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I was wondering if any of the mead makers here had ever tried upping the ABV of their product by freezing off the water before? I get something here called Žihadlo (bee sting) that I understand to be mead that's been "cold processed" to 40% ABV. It could be added spirits to bring up to that, but that's not what I was told and not what I would guess from the taste. Very mead-like and yet at that alcohol level it's a very different animal. Tasty, but rather potent. Liqueur-like in it's sweetness, but not really finessed like a fine liqueuer. A little goes a long way, and I'm never quite sure what to do with it. But I do enjoy a nip of it from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Yeah, yeah, I know, what is with Czechs and filteration?)

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PB, I suspect many of us know about it. Unfortunately, it's something we'd never do. This is the same process used to create Applejack which from my understanding, is illegal.

 

Many years ago, I was treated to Applejack and had one of the worst hangovers ever. However, I suspect using freeze distillation on a good mead would probably produce a much better drink than hard apple cider. I've always thought honey based alcohol provided a significantly different intoxication than other beverages (much like another favorite). I wonder if that difference would be enhanced by this process?

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I forgot about applejack.

And methanol concentration.

 

I've never drank much of the Žihadlo at a sitting, it doesn't really lend itself to that, so I don't know it's morning after effects. And it probably wouldn't be a good experiment to try. It is a CO though, so I would hope it wouldn't have significant health risks. In fact, the labelling is all about health benefits. May have to follow up on this some.

 

Unless you were referencing this:

Applejack is also a type of hat, popular in the early 20th century and with Rastafarians.

And then I might guess at the different intoxicating effects you mean.

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Freezing fermented beverages and removing ice is a method of increasing alcohol content, but it also increases, or concentrates, flavors. I really don't know which one.

All of the applejack I've tasted has had a pronounced acidity in addition to the increased sweetness. So, in theory, maybe you would try to minimize acidity and astringency in the original beverage.

 

Just a few random thoughts. cheers

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ShaiHulud : I've been really caught up in taxidermy, corset and artwork commissions trying to raise as much money as possible to make the difference between eating off the floor or at a table when I move over... much the same can be said about sleeping accomodation

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I'm thinking of whipping up a pumpkin cyser for Thanksgiving. This doesn't leave much time, though. Would something like that have enough time to ferment out if I started it this weekend?

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Yeah, you could do it. It won't have a really long secondary fermentation (how much are you making by the way?) but it can be done.

 

It sound great. I think I'm going to start fermenting a non-cyser pumpkin mead this weekend.

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I second the "yes, you can do it" opinion. I'd recommend going easy on the honey, about a pound a gallon since your fermentation time is so limited. Obviously, find a fast yeast, too. I bet the pumpkin will give the yeast plenty of food. We'll look forward to the report. :cheers:

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:heart: I would love to try this someday! :heart:

 

Would something like that have enough time to ferment out if I started it this weekend?

Personally, I think you're pushing it.

6 weeks just isn't enough time to mellow, for me. I know a lot of folks do minimal fermentation, but boy, leaving it makes a diffeence. If you like a sharper mead, though...then why not?

We make Pumpkin Juice for the fall holidays...

hot apple cider, pumpkin puree and butterschnapps...yummmm

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I agree with Sandpeddler.

 

Six months is more like the requisite if you want anything really decent, avatar embezzler.

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I set out a show mead and a pomegranate on 18 March.

I think I'm gonna crack the straight-forward on our last night here(we're moving back to Portland end of December). :cheers:

I'll save the pomagranate for our 10 year anniversary in April. I think I'll put up a big batch then, too, for (tentative)future anniversaries.

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