Posts tagged ‘mead’

Orange Ginger Mead – Batch 009

So I caught the brew bug last night at about 4:30pm, right before I left the office. I had some honey and yeast already sitting at home, so tonight was a mead night. I had been looking for something interesting to make and had decided a few days ago that a ginger mead needed to be attempted. So I swung by the local Food Co-op, picked up some ginger, and headed home.

Not being a simple man, I knew I needed one more ingredient to make the mead really shine. I was searching the cupboards when I noticed the fruit basket out of the corner of my eye. A lone orange was calling to me. My quest was complete. Here, then, is the recipe:

7 ½ lbs Colorado Wildflower Honey
½ lb fresh thin-sliced Ginger
Zest of one medium-sized orange

Additives:

1 ½ tsp Yeast Nutrient
3 tsp Yeast Energizer
Lalvin K1-V1116 re-hydrated in 105º water for 15 minutes

I brought 2 gallons of water up to about 178º and then removed it from the burner (to avoid scorching the honey) and added the wildflower honey. At the same time, I added the orange peel and the sliced ginger. I let that sit at 155º for 30 minutes. Then I cooled it down to 70º and transferred it into my 3 gallon carboy, ginger and all.

The OG was 1.084.

I’ll let it go for a month, then rack it off the ginger and orange peel. It sure does smell amazing though! I can’t wait for this one to age a bit! I now have 8 gallons of mead either in the primary or secondary, plus about ten 12 oz bottles left from batch 001. I should have a decent supply now, as soon as some of those in the carboys get settled and then bottled.

March 26, 2008 at 10:11 pm 2 comments

Tension Tamer Metheglin – Batch 008

I finally got up the supplies and urge to do another batch of mead. I should mention that I tried a little bit of the Sweet Raspberry Mead when my brother and his wife came to town and it is so good! I cannot wait for it to age a few years, it will only get better. I will have to make another 3 gallons soon.

On to the metheglin:
Tension Tamer Tea

I love Celestial Seasonings tea. So why not make a mead out of it? Here’s the recipe for 3 gallons of mead:

3½  lbs orange blossom honey
3 lbs wildflower honey
24  tension tamer tea bags
1 tsp yeast nutrient
½ tsp yeast energizer
Lalvin EC-1118
water to make 3 gallons

I used the heat pasteurization method. I brought 2½ gallons of water to a boil for 10 minutes. I then removed it from the heat and added the honey along with the nutrient and energizer. I then let this sit for 30 minutes to pasteurize. During this time I added the tea, 12 bags at a time, for 7 minutes each. I took a reading with the hydrometer to find the OG at 1.077.

I didn’t think ahead enough to make a starter, so I settled for re-hydrating the yeast at 100° for 15 min while I cooled the must with my wort cooler. I cooled it to 68° and pitched the yeast. That’s all there is to it! I may try bottling it in about 2-3 months instead of waiting longer. This after hearing that Redstone Meadery only ages their nectars for 3 months before bottling.

I think I may have to make another batch of mead soon, perhaps another melomel. It goes fast after I start to share it!

March 17, 2008 at 10:20 am 2 comments

Updated – 003 – Sweet (Sack) Raspberry Mead

I updated the raspberry mead post, here it is for easy finding!

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I tasted this about a week ago and could not be more pleased. If anything, it is a bit too sweet and should perhaps be watered down, but I don’t plan on mucking about with it. I can’t wait for it to age and get even better! I heartily recommend you brew up a batch of this mead!

March 4, 2008 at 2:25 am Leave a comment

Change of Plans

Due to a lack of funds, I am postponing the porter until I can get some money for a propane tank and ingredients. In the meantime, I’m going to brew up some more mead. I’m thinking of venturing into Metheglins (mead with spices). Further, I thought I should keep it local, and I know that I can get Colorado honey at Hops and Berries, my local brewing supply store. The question was where to get my spices. And then it hit me: who is the best at mixing exquisite spices? Celestial Seasonings. I’m going to make a Tension Tamer Metheglin. I just think this sounds terrific! So, I still need to get in the good graces of my wife to budget in the supplies, but this is the next batch unless I find a propane tank before I get my honey.

Just a little factoid for you today: Tension Tamer Tea actually has hops and catnip in it. Who knew? If you live around Boulder, CO or pass through it, definitely take the tour. It’s a lot of fun and all the tea you can drink! And then go to Redstone Meadery just down the road. Both very good tours.

February 14, 2008 at 10:04 am 2 comments

Sweet Raspberry Mead – Batch 003

This is my second attempt at mead. The last batch was wonderful, but left much to be desired as well. So this time I decided on a sweet raspberry melolmel (mead with the addition of fruit) to try and quench my unending thirst for an elixir fit for the gods.

Brew Date: Nov. 29, 2007
Volume: 2.5 Gallons
Adapted from Steve Mercer’s Sweet Raspberry Mead

Ingredients:

12 lbs. Raspberry Blossom Honey (Bought at Main Street Brewing (Hillsboro, Oregon)
60 oz. frozen raspberries (store-bought)
juice of 3 small lemons
juice of 3 small oranges
1/2 cup English breakfast tea (brewed strong)
1 Tbsp yeast nutrient
1 vial White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast

Process:

  • Boiled 1 pint water and 1/4 cup DME (Dry Malt Extract, extra light) for 10 minutes. Pitched yeast into this (after letting it cool) to create a starter. Let it sit for 24 hours (until activity was seen).
  • Boiled honey and water at 210° for 30 min, skimming top to remove meringue-like foam.
  • Added raspberries (half thawed and sent through the Cuisinart) and covered for 15 min to pasteurize the fruit.
  • Cooled in Ice bath.
  • Yeast pitched at 69°.
  • Placed in 3 gallon bucket for primary fermentation.
  • OG: 1.167
  • Determined racking schedule of 3 weeks, 2, 4 and 6 months. To be bottled at 8 months.

12/10/07

The yeast was thought to be stuck, so I added Champagne yeast again (as batch 001). Turns out my bucket just wasn’t sealing, so I racked it to the 2.8 gallon carboy and now I may have a very high percentage dry raspberry mead. only time will tell.

SG: 1.106

12/20/07

Racked mead off of yeast and raspberry pulp. The bubbles in this stuff are really white and almost look like mold. But I am fairly certain they are not mold.

SG: 1.088

01/20/08

Racked. SG: 1.078. I was surprised at the amount of sediment still in the bottom at this point.

03/03/08

I tasted this about a week ago and could not be more pleased. If anything, it is a bit too sweet and should perhaps be watered down, but I don’t plan on mucking about with it. I can’t wait for it to age and get even better! I heartily recommend you brew up a batch of this mead!

03/05/08

I picked up a few gallon jugs for my raspberry mead today. I did this because it was in the 2.8 gallon carboy and was only filling that about 1/2 way. So I racked the mead into the (2) gallon jugs and what space was left I decided to fill with water so there was no airspace to create oxidation. One was 1.5 cups added and the other was just a tad.

January 7, 2008 at 12:24 pm 3 comments

My First Brewing Experience – Batch 001

My first batch of homebrew was supposed to be a medium sweet show mead. The recipe was adapted from THE essential book on making mead: the compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm. This book is clear enough for beginners and has all the information you need for years of creative meadmaking. The recipe I adapted was the Medium-Sweet Orange Blossom mead described on page 30. However, I decided to make only a 3 gallon batch, seeing as this was my first adventure, and honey is expensive.

Firemead

Here is the recipe I used to create F I R E M E A D :

9 lbs. Gulimette’s Busy Bees Cascade Fireweed Honey (from a small stand in Lynden, WA)
2.4 Gallons of water (filtered with a Brita pitcher)
1.2 tsp nutrient
0.6 tsp energizer
WYEAST 4184 (Sweet Mead Yeast) (Smack Pack)

The method I used is simply as follows:

  • The yeast smackpack was brought to room temperature and prepared per the instructions on the package.
  • The water and honey were heated to 155° & left for 10 minutes to pasteurize.
  • The must (honey and water) was then cooled to 80 degrees and the yeast was pitched after oxidizing the must (stirring it up vigorously)
  • This mix was then siphoned into a 2.8 gallon carboy to ferment.
  • OG (original gravity) was measured to be 1.110

I did have trouble getting this brew to ferment, I’m not sure why, but on March 11, the specific gravity had only dropped to 1.094, and so I decided to pitch more yeast. I chose Rad Star Pasteur Champagne yeast because it is good at unsticking stuck fermentations. I pitched two packets that had been rehydrated in 105º water. This did the trick as it began bubbling shortly after.

June 6, 2007

Mead was racked off of yeast into secondary fermenter. SG (specific Gravity) was found to be 1.022 (and was largely completed at this point. I was surprised that it stopped here considering that I added champagne yeast capable of up to 20% tolerance. But I was very satisfied, because I wanted a sweet mead anyway.

October 1, 2007

Mead was bottled with a FG of 1.020.

Tasting notes:

  • As a first attempt, this stuff is good.
  • with a couple of months in the bottle, it interestingly developed an effervescence. I suppose there was some dormant yeast that got kicked up during bottling.
  • The mead has a strong yeasty taste, probably associated with the fact that I left it in the primary for way too long (almost 3 months).

So this was my first mead experience (and the only one to date that is in the bottle). I was very happy to have it be the least bit drinkable, and it is much more than just that!

Some day I will add pictures to the site, but currently I have no camera. Damn airports.

January 6, 2008 at 11:56 pm 1 comment


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