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pax
02-25-2007, 08:47 PM
Hello everyone,

Total newbie here. A buddy of mine has been using our kitchen to make mead for the past couple of years, with my clumsy and ill-informed assistance. Fascinating (and yummy) stuff.

My question is probably a long shot in this crowd, but I couldn't think who else to ask. Bear with me, please!

I do a lot of sourdough breadbaking, and have been particularly intrigued by the parallel lives of bread- and brew-yeasts. So as a kind of historical exploration (and maybe just because it sounds do-able), I'd like to use some of the mead dregs to flavor and rise a loaf of bread.

Now obviously, it would be no big deal to simply use mead to create a new sourdough starter, but I was hoping for a "mead-ier" final loaf, one that would be a true Mead Bread and not simply a sourdough bread that once had mead in its ancestry.

Has anyone here experimented with using an actively fermenting mead in breadmaking? Got a recipe or just some tips to share?

Thanks,

pax

Chimerix
02-25-2007, 11:05 PM
Aloha and welcome, pax!

I've yet to try this with mead dregs, but we did try it with beer dregs from the earliest days of my homebrewing experiences. Our experiment could be best described by the term "kinda funky."

Not to worry! We blamed that more on the choice of bread recipe than on the yeast, which performed admirably in its role. We were just surprised how much yeast character and how little bread character that slurry imparted to the funky finished product.

If ever there was a place to find the perfect mead-dregs recipe, it is here. And, whether you find it or bravely try to develop it on your own, please keep us posted!

pax
02-26-2007, 07:03 PM
Chimerix ~

Thanks for the welcome & the friendly reply.

Beginning to look as if I'm going to have to just start experimenting. Bummer -- I was hoping to find at least a jumping off place!

pax

Chimerix
02-26-2007, 07:18 PM
Ok, after an evening of collectively trying to remember exactly what we did, I now have one concrete piece of advice to offer:

Don't use yeast in a bread recipe designed for baking soda!

It was, as I believe I mentioned earlier, funky.

Good luck!

Phrinkle
11-16-2010, 01:09 AM
I've done this several times. The yeast I used fermented the mead to dry and still had a much higher alcohol tolerance. If your yeast has reached its alcohol tolerance this probably wouldn't work. My mead has about 12% alcohol, but the yeast could go to 18%. I added extra sugar to the dregs and enough flour ( I used whole wheat and bread flour) to make a very wet dough. I let it rise for about 3 hours at room temperature. Then, I give it a quick knead and shape into a loaf. I find it to be a quite slow riser, so I leave it to rise overnight and bake it the next morning. It makes an extremely flavorful and chewy bread.

dave_witt
11-19-2010, 10:18 AM
It makes an extremely flavorful and chewy bread.

Do you have a specific recipe you could share? It's sounds like something with which I'd like to experiment.:)

Chevette Girl
11-26-2010, 08:10 PM
DAMMIT, now I have another thing on the list to try converting to gluten-free!!! Thinking about dregs with fruit bits too...

kudapucat
12-14-2010, 01:31 AM
Recipe (or more aptly named: experiment):

Dry Mead
OG: 1080
FG: 0998
Yeast: D47
ABV: 12% (tolerance 14%)

counted out 4 cups of flour (standard loaf size for my breadmaker, and oven loaf tin)
Shook lees into suspension
Added lees until dough 'seemed right'
a pinch of salt

Turned breadmaker on to prepare dough

Pulled it out before it had time to properly rise as per the machine's wishes (it was 1:00am and I hadn't realised)

warmed the oven to about 35C
placed dough in loaf tin and left to rise.

8:00am: warmed the oven up again
8:30am: fired up the oven to 180 and baked

Promptly forgot about it, and at 10:20 rescued the loaf.

Didn't rise as much as normal bread.
Had a thick crust. (cos I over cooked it)

Tasted pretty damnably good!
I would make a wetter dough, and add sugar next time, to maybe give the yeast a little more life.

wayneb
12-14-2010, 01:02 PM
FWIW, I did a similar experiment aeons ago (circa 1980 or so), and I found that when I used mead lees as a leavening agent for bread that it worked far better if you treated the dough like a typical sourdough recipe (as in, make a "sponge," allow that to work for a day or longer in order to build up a large colony of active yeast, etc....) It works quite well, if you also have the patience to wait hours for the risings. But hey, meadmakers have learned patience as part of the hobby, eh? ;)

kudapucat
12-14-2010, 04:09 PM
I've never made sourdough.
What do you mean by a sponge?
Care to detail the procedure a little bit?

wayneb
12-14-2010, 05:36 PM
Sure!

A sponge is a very wet mixture of flour and water (at least 1 to 1 water and flour by volume - sometimes depending on your climate and/or altitude you'll need even more water in it - and it can also have little extra fermentable sugar added). That serves as a starter growth medium for your yeast. Sourdough yeasts can be harvested directly out of the air by exposing this wet mixture to the air for a bit, then loosely covering the container with a cloth and allowing those yeast cells to be fruitful and multiply, stirring every few hours until you begin to see signs of fermentation. Or, if you already have a mature sourdough starter, you can simply add a few spoonsful of it to a bowl that has the flour/water sponge mixture in it, mix thoroughly, cover loosely, and wait for things to happen. You can also do the same with the surface layer of lees from a fermented beer or mead - just mix those lees in with the water and flour, and keep that starter sponge mixture loosely covered in a nice warm place, and pretty soon the mix will have enough CO2 percolating up through it that it begins to resemble a wet sponge.

The sponge serves as the base for your dough - the rest of the process entails adding enough flour to create a bread dough like consistency when kneaded. A little salt, and optionally a little cooking oil, is also usually added during the initial mixing/kneading.

Sourdough doughs (and mead or beer yeast doughs) are notorious for taking LOTS of time to rise, so expect your breadmaking to take up the better part of a full day while you wait on those rise intervals.

Update: Here's one of the better sourdough websites that I've run across: http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

kudapucat
12-14-2010, 05:53 PM
Na zdravi Wayne!

wayneb
12-14-2010, 06:30 PM
De nada, amigo! ;D ;)

kudapucat
12-14-2010, 06:54 PM
De nada, amigo! ;D ;)

Bože moj! Berapa bahasa yang kamu berbicara?

wayneb
12-14-2010, 07:18 PM
Bože moj! Berapa bahasa yang kamu berbicara?

Just a few. ;)

phreebyrd
12-15-2010, 01:51 AM
do you need baking soda and have how much salt do you need

kudapucat
12-15-2010, 02:03 AM
do you need baking soda and have how much salt do you need

No, the yeast cake does the rising. Baking soda could be used if you are dissatisfied with the yeast's rising ability though. I wouldn't but then I'm a purist ;)

I added 1 tsp of salt per 4 cups of flour... I usually add 1-2 tsp to 3 - 6 cups...
most of my cooking is by feel, or 'Bucket chemistry' as it's called in the geeky circles I move in, so exact amounts are almost unheard of.

YogiBearMead726
12-15-2010, 02:06 AM
Sourdough doughs (and mead or beer yeast doughs) are notorious for taking LOTS of time to rise, so expect your breadmaking to take up the better part of a full day while you wait on those rise intervals.

Update: Here's one of the better sourdough websites that I've run across: http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm

Thanks for the link, Wayne! I had to try this, and currently the house smells like sourdough heaven.

On a similar note, I used some lees from a 5 gallon batch as the starter, and it took off like a rocket. The dough even rose really quickly (although I'm sure it could do a bit more if left to go longer than the few hours I did for). I'm definitely doing this more often. ;D


do you need baking soda and have how much salt do you need

Check out the link Wayne provided. It's got a good recipe. No baking soda, and only a few teaspoons of salt. Pretty simple...and cheap! :)

phreebyrd
12-15-2010, 02:13 AM
this is gonna b cool thanks, i have a batch im about to move to a new jug. do i just save the lees and use them imediatly or how do i you do it

YogiBearMead726
12-15-2010, 02:34 AM
this is gonna b cool thanks, i have a batch im about to move to a new jug. do i just save the lees and use them imediatly or how do i you do it

That's what I did! :) I just added an equal amount of flour as lees slurry until I got the consistency described in that article for the "sponge" or starter. The bread is cooling now...I wanna eat it sooooo badly! ;D

phreebyrd
12-15-2010, 02:48 AM
ya me too home made mead bread home made apple butter and some home made mead ooooo i cant wait let u know how it comes out

Chevette Girl
12-15-2010, 11:22 PM
A sponge is a very wet mixture of flour and water (at least 1 to 1 water and flour by volume - sometimes depending on your climate and/or altitude you'll need even more water in it - and it can also have little extra fermentable sugar added). That serves as a starter growth medium for your yeast.

Oh, so THAT's what it's called, I did that all the time when doing sourdough! My sourdough starter was generally happy enough that I got decent results by letting the sponge do its thing for an hour or two.

I didn't do it this time with the mead bread though because I was in a hurry so I added bread yeast <shrug>.

That's funny we all chose the same time to actually do it, I made a gluten-free bread from fermented cranberries.

I mixed a cup of cranberry moosh with two cups of water, two cups of gluten free flour blend, some chopped dates, cinnamon, the rind from a clementine and probably two tablespoons of xanthan gum with the teaspoon of bread yeast.

I think I let it rise to much though because it fell, then when I took it out of the pans, it shrank!! The little loaves were OK (very light texture and I tried using a lot more xanthan gum than previous on the hopes that maybe this one wouldn't fall like the last one) but the big one's pretty funny looking.

Just cut it open and it's all collapsed and gummy looking, so into the toaster it goes!!

YogiBearMead726
12-17-2010, 04:35 PM
Loaf number 2 is currently baking, and it's full of Golden/Incan berries and the lees of the mead made with those. While it was baking, I had an idea...

I'm taking this loaf to a party later along with some of my mead. I wanted to get something to go on the bread (other than cheese...), and I had the idea of making a mead, using it's lees to make sourdough bread, and then making a reduction of some of the mead along with whatever was used (in my case Incan berries) to make a nice dip to accompany the tasting. Is this just over-kill, or is this a potentially wonderful tasting/food pairing idea? ;D

phreebyrd
12-19-2010, 12:41 AM
i think its cool.... i was whatching brewmasters and the egyptians made wort my dipping bread loafs in the must and then dquizing it out........so if they can do that can you take mead bread to make more mead?

YogiBearMead726
12-19-2010, 03:53 AM
i think its cool.... i was whatching brewmasters and the egyptians made wort my dipping bread loafs in the must and then dquizing it out........so if they can do that can you take mead bread to make more mead?

Probably? Mead bread is basically just a culture of yeast. I think it might work better before cooking, though. Just a thought.

phreebyrd
12-19-2010, 09:17 PM
so help me understand, yeast is in the dough, you bake it and the yeast survive into the bread? is that possible?

YogiBearMead726
12-19-2010, 09:21 PM
so help me understand, yeast is in the dough, you bake it and the yeast survive into the bread? is that possible?

Oh, no I misunderstood before. :p Once it gets baked, so do the yeasties. I think over 100F is around where they start to die, but I could be mistaken on that number.

phreebyrd
12-19-2010, 09:26 PM
so then new yeast is on the bread than in the dough, is it the same strain or totally different type of yeast? for example i use lalvin1118 if i brew, then use the lees for bread and try to use the bread to make another batch of mead, is it still lalvin 1118????

YogiBearMead726
12-19-2010, 10:17 PM
so then new yeast is on the bread than in the dough, is it the same strain or totally different type of yeast? for example i use lalvin1118 if i brew, then use the lees for bread and try to use the bread to make another batch of mead, is it still lalvin 1118????

Probably. But you would have to use the starter, not the baked bread, to start a batch of mead. So...as long as you keep your starter alive, you can potentially have whatever yeast you use. The only concern I'd have is with mutation. Theoretically, the yeast could evolve into something slightly different.

The other concern you might have (though I don't, because I like sour beer) is the yeast/bacteria culture accumulated in making the sourdough starter just from the air could do some funky things to your mead that you didn't expect.

One final thought, I'm not sure how well flour does in mead, but if it's a small quantity used to build up a starter culture, it should be negligible.

Chevette Girl
12-19-2010, 10:40 PM
So I was more patient the second loaf and tried to get the wine yeast to start something, but it never did so I added more bread yeast to it... This time it didn't rise and fall, it just never really rose much, but the texture is better than last time. Reminiscent of a hot cross bun.

I think the reason old recipes sometimes called for a piece of bread to innoculate a must is because it's the ideal food to encourage the wild yeasties you're after - I mean, we feed our wine yeast with yeast hulls, right? And if you'r trying to get yeast overgrowth out of your body, you can't eat anything that feeds yeast or that has ever been near yeast, like bread, flour, sugar and vinegar (what a dull and dreary existence that is, let me tell you).

This is more like holding the yeast hulls (and the guts) out and going, "Heeeeere, yeastie yeastie yeastie!"

And in the way, way, way back, they didn't have powdered yeast purchased at the store, they just kept using the same culture by reserving a blob of dough from the last batch or keeping a sourdough going, and they probably reused the dregs from previous batches to get new batches started. I don't think you'd want to use a sourdough starter for wines because it more than likely is soured by similar bugs to the ones who want to turn your precious mead into vingegar...