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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:38 am 
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Halfapint wrote:
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****

So I made 1 gallon of plain mead with that honey.

1 quart (3lbs) honey
3/4 gallon of distilled water
D-47 yeast

****


Burn this with fire...... It is HORRIBLE! I went to rack it and got a little taste. Apparently the "slight smokey" flavor in the honey gets amplified 1000x during fermentation. I should say it doesn't suit my taste at all. It reminded me of a REALLY strong porter but I HATE porter. I suppose I should have bottled it anyway and see how it turns out. I just couldn't stand the taste of it. So note to self. DO NOT OVER HEAT HONEY!

Oddly enough the vanilla infused one wasn't nearly as bad. So I'll keep experimenting with different flavored meads with that honey but that honey might get fed back to the bees.


Maybe use it as an ingredient in a marinade, like liquid smoke :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:26 am 
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NamelessStain wrote:
11) Pumpkin Mead - 6 Gallon, yeast x, fermenting.
12) Basic Sweet Mead - 3 Gallons, yeast D47, fermenting.
15) DragonCon Dry Mead - 6 Gallons, yeast D47, fermenting.
16) Ghost Pepper Dry Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting.
17) Scorpion Pepper Dry Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting.
18) Basic Sweet Mead - 6 Gallons, yeast D47, fermenting.


All bottled this weekend. Yes, it was a LONG time to get all these in bottles. Luckily I rented a floor corker for $5 from my local supply place. 70 bottles corked in about 25 mins. Labels are on most, I just need to wax seal them and get them into storage.

BTW, the Scorpion pepper was like drinking liquid jalapeno juice x2. The pepper heads around here are loving it... lol.

So as of today, I have no active batches fermenting. This is something I shall have to remedy.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:55 pm 
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I'm going to have to get a bunch of 1 gallon bottles. I really want to get into some more experimentation batches going. The pepper ones sound good, but I'm afraid its going to be like the chili beer I keep wanting to like but can have less than a pint of and want to dump.

NamelessStain wrote:
Maybe use it as an ingredient in a marinade, like liquid smoke :)


I had thought about saving it but honestly it tasted like your clothes smell after a long weekend camping when its raining and you have that thick heavy smoke smell on your clothes. You don't notice it at first but you get home, take a shower, go back and smell and it nearly knocks on on your ass. That's the smoke flavor it had. hahaha

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:12 am 
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I'm starting to ramp up production again now. I made a few more test batches with some alternate recipes. I'll update more later.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:45 am 
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I normally make a Cyzer substituting apple juice for water.

My own personal method for making mead is how I was taught in the SCA. Obviously sanitize things well.

1. Pour spring water/apple juice into a large pot along with a gallon of honey***. Note that I do 5 gallon batches. Bring it to a boil. Note, boiled apple juice makes a mess if it boils over, don't let this happen. If I remember, on the apple juice I use more than 4 gallons. I have in the past put in 5 gallons of juice, boiled it down to almost 4 gallons and then added the honey. This concentrates the apple juice and removes the water.

2. Drop in whatever spices you are adding. I typically use cinnamon sticks, cloves, rosemary and nutmeg.

3. Let it boil awhile(I am not the most precise person in the world) and scoop the scum from the surface.

4. Cease boiling the concoction(think its called must?) and let it cool. Take a glass of it put it in the fridge although if you have space, toss the whole thing in the fridge, otherwise it will be ready in the morning. Put a lid on it.

5. The glass once luke warm, not cold, not hot, add the yeast. I use montroche(or something like that) yeast. Put a light weight lid on it so gas can escape.

6. Pitch it, once the main container is not hot, pour your should be bubbling glass of yeast into the carboy along with the main container. Throw on your vapor lock, stick it in a dim room and watch it for a couple weeks.

7. After the bubbling dies down a bit, rack it. Syphon all the liquid from the container into a sterile container or another carboy ensuring not to get the dead yeasties at the bottom, clean the carboy and sanitize it. Pour it back into the now clean carboy, cap it off and let it go again. You did not put the spices back in at this point unless you want a stronger spice taste, in which case use new spices.

8. Let it go for another 2-4 weeks and repeat step 7.

9. You should not see much more fermentation at this point. Once fermentation stops completely, its bottling time. Conversely if you want carbonated mead for whatever reason, bottle it at the end of the fermentation process and you bottles will carbonate.

10. Box your bottles and look into tasting them in six months. I use a lot of 2L plastic bottles at this stage just in case it carbonates and so I can see whats going on in the bottles. After 6 months or so you should have a good idea whats going on. At the 6 month mark I bottle them in glass bottles and let them sit for another 6 months and they are good to go from this point on.

11. Make sure you label everything with the date and spices used. A lot of Scadians keep ornate note books to keep logs, a simple spiral notebook works just fine.

This is a variation of things I have read above. I am not a precise person so I don't really use exact measurements and such and call a lot of stuff by eye. We drink a lot of mead in the SCA.
-Notes, a little nutmeg goes a long way. I wont put more than two shaved nutmeg pieces in a five gallon. Cloves are similar.
-For my typical mead I use one gallon honey with four gallons liquid. I am going to start a Polish Great Mead which can be 50/50 to 75/25 honey to water mixes. It then has to age for several years before drinking it.


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:01 pm 
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You actually boil the honey? I like the idea of boiling down the apple juice to make it a little more concentrated. I also know people that add apple juice concentrate to the apple juice to make it more concentrated. But boiling the honey takes away the honey flavor, and can possibly burn the crap out of it and make it REALLY bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:56 am 
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Yes. It gets the impurities out of the process and brings it to the top and mixes everything together better. You have to stir it and there is no worries about burning. I haven't noticed any loss of taste, I have tried both ways in the past. Its historically accurate as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:16 am 
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Halfapint wrote:
I'm going to have to get a bunch of 1 gallon bottles. I really want to get into some more experimentation batches going. The pepper ones sound good, but I'm afraid its going to be like the chili beer I keep wanting to like but can have less than a pint of and want to dump.

NamelessStain wrote:
Maybe use it as an ingredient in a marinade, like liquid smoke :)


I had thought about saving it but honestly it tasted like your clothes smell after a long weekend camping when its raining and you have that thick heavy smoke smell on your clothes. You don't notice it at first but you get home, take a shower, go back and smell and it nearly knocks on on your ass. That's the smoke flavor it had. hahaha


I don't know how I'd feel about that. When my hubby comes in from the hives smelling like smoke and honey, it makes me want to jump his bones. I might find that mead of yours very confusing.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:31 am 
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I have been doing a little research to figure out a few more recipes and figured out a few things we don't even really think about in the SCA when we brew.

Holy crap you guys add all kinds of extra crap to your meads outside spices, water and honey. We do the occasional clarifying agents like eggshell(I think, never used it personally) and oak chips to simulate oak barrel aging, but I cant think of any traditional brewer adding in the extra acids and yeast nutrients and such I keep reading about online. Or the tests for specific gravity or brix or what have you. All of our tests are more in the category of "Hmm tastes right" or "Hmm not ready yet, let it age another six months." Its almost a tradition for us. The brewer I learned from looked forward to these "tastings" as part of the mead making experience.

We do give a bit more leeway on yeast types. I think after some research I am going to hunt down a sherry yeast for the Dwojniak Polish great mead I am going to start in the next few weeks. I am thinking some black currant juice, a little nutmeg and cloves and call it good, rack it after a month or two, cap it off and not let it see the light of day for a couple years.

The guy I learned from was working on coming up with his own strain of yeast from the wild, also a traditional method of mead making where every family had their own strains of yeast, just as the current few producers of mead have their own proprietary yeasts. He has had a few failures in this project but Rome wasn't built in a day, nor were yeast strains.

I did a bit more research on the boiling honey thing. I have never heard of not boiling the honey before this thread. Like I said, that's the traditional way of doing it for the most part and all the mead I have had over the years aside from crappy commercial varieties has been made this way(there should be a law on what is called mead). I did discover that not all Polish mead is honey boiled, only mead with spices are boiled, the plain mead is left unboiled. Honey wine is of course a travesty and remains a blight on the name of true mead, which most of us would prefer to pretend doesn't exist. I almost prefer my father in law's name for it, "Sir Lancelot Beer."


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:13 am 
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OK, FINALLY got some time this past weekend to start the 2015 batches and I'm off to a blazing start:

1) Ghost Pepper Dry Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting. (have made before)
2) Scorpion Pepper Dry Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting. (have made before)
3) Ghost Pepper Sweet Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting. (going for a sweet heat)
4) Scorpion Pepper Sweet Mead - 1 Gallon, yeast D47, fermenting. (going for a sweet heat)
5) Apple Pie Cyser- 6 Gallon, yeast 1122, fermenting. (have made before)

In the batter's circle:
6) Scorpion Pepper Chocolate Mead, 1 Gallon, yeast x, test batch. (chocolate and chili peppers go together well, so what about in a mead?)
7) Slurried Scorpion Pepper Dry Mead, 1 Gallon, yeast D47, test batch. (just going for ultimate heat by breaking down the membranes more to release more heat)
8) Star Anise Ghost Pepper Mead, 1 Gallon, yeast D47, test batch. (licorice and heat? who knows?! they wouldn't go for my Slim Jim flavored option... lol)


The reason for all the pepper meads is because a friend of mine is a "pepper head" and loves the stuff, so I make some batches for him. Well he got a bit excited and gave me 14 peppers this week so I'm being creative with the batter's circle meads to see if I can make something "different". The first 2 I've made before and it is about as hot as drinking habanero juice.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:49 pm 
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Chocolate Mead?! http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/blog ... ad-recipe/

I'll let you know how it is.... in 2 years. YES, he recommends 2 years!

I'm so f'ing making this!!

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:52 pm 
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NamelessStain wrote:
Chocolate Mead?! http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/blog ... ad-recipe/

I'll let you know how it is.... in 2 years. YES, he recommends 2 years!

I'm so f'ing making this!!


This is all you needed to put up, his name for the mead "Chocolate Mead aka Liquid Sex Mead"

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:58 pm 
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A Scadian from a different school. I know what my next 5 gal. project is. Thanks for the link, Ill have to hunt him down at an event some time and tell him thanks for posting such a stupidly simple recipe.


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:13 am 
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Picked up that book Kathy mentioned, "Making Unusual Wild Wines and Meads, 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, & More" by Pattie Vargas and Rich Gulling. Its a very good low tech book on the subject. Its also of the boil the honey too mantra heheh. I love picking up new odd recipes, even if I will never try 99% of them, the problem with SCA mead is, the basic stuff is dime a dozen(gallon) as everyone makes it. Its the oddball stuff I like that is a lot more rare.

My group at the upcoming Gulf Wars is having a company brewing/drink making contest. I wish I would have heard about it sooner to get a good mead or wine going. Instead I will make my version of apple pie which tends to be a party pleaser. Gallon of apple juice, apple cider, pour together along with cinnamon sticks, four cups of sugar. Reduce it to about 2/3rds of what it was by boiling while continuing to stir. Let it cool. Pour in a bottle of real Everclear(I make the distinction because FL only allows low alcohol grain liquors, not the 180 proof stuff). I let it age a few weeks and remove the sticks. Turns out to be a very smooth, very sweet drink that once people get wind you have some they come out of the woodwork to get it. We also have some Polish home brewed drinks and at least another version of apple pie. I was tempted to go with my root beer float drink, half blackmaker liquor, half Pinnacle cream vodka, but I still wanted us to be mobile enough to go walk-about after the party.


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:20 pm 
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Years and years ago I was in the SCA and we were visiting Drachenwald. We gave the queen (her husband was deployed) some of our everclear soaked cherries. Next thing she was ordering her household to eat them. Quite funny actually.

Now back OT:
I am planning 3 batches this weekend. Will post details later.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:29 pm 
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This weekend is bottling weekend, all my batches, cider, cyser, ginger beer, and meads will all be bottled.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:29 am 
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Here's what got started yesterday:

6) Chocolate Mead, 5 Gallon, yeast White Labs 720, test batch. (racking next January... lol), with such an insane time to make this, I'll probably make one every 6 months.
7) Slurried Scorpion Pepper Dry Mead, 1 Gallon, yeast D47, test batch.
8) Star Anise Ghost Pepper Mead, 1 Gallon, yeast D47, test batch.

I also did a second racking on 2 of my gallon batches from last year.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:43 am 
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Bottled the two batches I had from last year, just a basic medium sweetness mead. One I used a super dark honey from PA that the guy calls "Raw Honey", No effing clue what that means, but it had ended up making a dark brown colored mead (still clear though). One of the guys tasting it said something about a wild flower called "Stripped Something". /shrug... it's a good flavor overall.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:51 pm 
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I bottled one 5 gallon batch last week. It turned out sweeter than I wanted. But I had half a glass of it and I was buzzed (I hadn't eaten that day), so it's as strong as I was hoping. It had been in the carboy since March, so nearly a year. Its going into bottles and staying there for at least 2 months before I take a sip.

I got some cool new carboys this weekend, 5L..... This way I might be able to get a gallon of hooch after a few rackings, they also come with an EZ lid so once its done you can keep it in the bottle.

I started a new batch this one was inspired by Namless.

5L carboy
dry wine yeast
a little less than 1 quart of honey
2 New Mexico Hatch chili's
filled with spring water

Going to bottle this one after about a month or so and 1-2 rackings. Racking it as soon as primary fermentation is done, to see how the chili's are tasting, might add more as when I rack it.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:55 pm 
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NamelessStain wrote:
Bottled the two batches I had from last year, just a basic medium sweetness mead. One I used a super dark honey from PA that the guy calls "Raw Honey", No effing clue what that means, but it had ended up making a dark brown colored mead (still clear though). One of the guys tasting it said something about a wild flower called "Stripped Something". /shrug... it's a good flavor overall.


"raw honey" is typically unfiltered. It's what I get/use from my bees. Most honey you get from the store is filtered (even though it's illegal to do so in the US, because it can't be traced). It I think it imparts more flavor to the mead.

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
I started a new batch this one was inspired by Namless.

5L carboy
dry wine yeast
a little less than 1 quart of honey
2 New Mexico Hatch chili's
filled with spring water

Going to bottle this one after about a month or so and 1-2 rackings. Racking it as soon as primary fermentation is done, to see how the chili's are tasting, might add more as when I rack it.


Welcome to the Insane Meads Moshpit!! :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm 
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I'm thinking I'm going to make a cyser next. I'm thinking along the lines of apple juice with 2 frozen concentrated apple juice mixed in, boiled down to concentrate it then add the honey. I want a really sweet apple flavor with that bite of mead. I might add a cinnamon stick and make it an "apple pie cyser".

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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:34 am 
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I am not sure how much you are making but typical cyser for me is exact same recipe for mead, with apple juice instead of water, no concentrate. I also do it the traditional method and boil it all together. I thought cinnamon sticks were mandatory for any drink involving apples :P


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 Post subject: Re: Mead Making
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:57 pm 
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Tropheus wrote:
I am not sure how much you are making but typical cyser for me is exact same recipe for mead, with apple juice instead of water, no concentrate. I also do it the traditional method and boil it all together. I thought cinnamon sticks were mandatory for any drink involving apples :P


I did a gallon batch with apple juice as a replacement for water, but it wasn't very apple.... That's why I'm thinking of going with some concentrate. Maybe one can of concentrate with a gallon of Apple juice and a quart of honey. I really wanted to make the cyser when I was pressing my apples for hard cider. But I only did a 5 gallon because of dad's illness.

So maybe this year I'll make some good apple cider and make some real cyser.

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