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Jess
11-07-2009, 06:37 PM
O.K.....I started my second batch of mead this afternoon. Decided to get a little creative (for a newbee) and dumped three pounds of peach puree and two pounds of strawberries into the must. I always sample the must from the tube after measuring O.G. and it usually tastes pretty damned nasty. Not this time. It tasted like a peach soda! LOL!! I can only hope that the final product tastes as good as it was when it was raw. Good stuff. My only hope is that the two pounds of strawberries impart enough of their essence to counter (or enhance) the overwhelming peach flavor.

The recipe I used is:

4 gallons of water
15 lbs. of wildflower honey
3 lb. can of peach puree
2 lbs. sliced strawberries
2 single handfuls of raisins
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
2 tbsp. of Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
1 pkg. of Wyeast Liquid Champagne Yeast (4021)

Gave the whole thing a two minute wack with oxygen and aeration stone and had an O.G. of 1.100. Planning on hitting it again tomorrow and Monday with the oxygen and then letting it do its thing. I'm really excited about this one.

Checked the first batch that I made (JAO) and it's still holding at .996 gravity. Same as it was a week ago. I can't believe how clear it has become and that tartness that I was talking about a week ago has pretty much dissipated.

Thanks to all for the advice. Guess you could say that I'm pretty jazzed about my first two batches.

wildoates
11-07-2009, 07:01 PM
It sounds tasty to me!

Jess
11-07-2009, 07:21 PM
It sounds tasty to me!

Thanks, Wildoates. I was amazed at how good the raw must was. Of course, I'm a peach fanatic and hence a little biased towards that flavor. LOL!

As a BTW......

Does anyone else get bees in their kitchen whenever they're boiling honey and water? I sure do. My wife has a "green thumb" and our back yard is overgrown with flowering plants and trees. Living here on the central coast of CA the whether almost always stays between 65F and 75F and so we keep our doors open during the day and those bees quickly abandon those plants to follow the scent of the honey. Today I had to open a window to release about five of them and then had to free one from a spider's web. The spider looked pretty pissed that I had set his prey free. LOL!!!

Medsen Fey
11-07-2009, 07:33 PM
Does anyone else get bees in their kitchen whenever they're boiling honey and water?

Easy way to prevent that - don't boil honey and water. You really don't need to, and all those wonderful-smelling aromatic compounds that are wafting through the air attracting the bees are compounds that will not be in your bottle of mead because they been boiled away.

The recipe does sound tasty. I hope it gives a terrific mead.

Medsen

wildoates
11-07-2009, 07:58 PM
Thanks, Wildoates. I was amazed at how good the raw must was. Of course, I'm a peach fanatic and hence a little biased towards that flavor. LOL!

As a BTW......

Does anyone else get bees in their kitchen whenever they're boiling honey and water? I sure do. My wife has a "green thumb" and our back yard is overgrown with flowering plants and trees. Living here on the central coast of CA the whether almost always stays between 65F and 75F and so we keep our doors open during the day and those bees quickly abandon those plants to follow the scent of the honey. Today I had to open a window to release about five of them and then had to free one from a spider's web. The spider looked pretty pissed that I had set his prey free. LOL!!!

I don't boil, but insects do seem to like the honey if I leave it out. :)

Where on the central coast are you?

Oskaar
11-07-2009, 08:13 PM
Thanks, Wildoates. I was amazed at how good the raw must was. Of course, I'm a peach fanatic and hence a little biased towards that flavor. LOL!

As a BTW......

Does anyone else get bees in their kitchen whenever they're boiling honey and water? I sure do. My wife has a "green thumb" and our back yard is overgrown with flowering plants and trees. Living here on the central coast of CA the whether almost always stays between 65F and 75F and so we keep our doors open during the day and those bees quickly abandon those plants to follow the scent of the honey. Today I had to open a window to release about five of them and then had to free one from a spider's web. The spider looked pretty pissed that I had set his prey free. LOL!!!

Jess,

You've just touched on something very important here that should be mentioned. I'm a firm believer in tasting the must before I inoculate it. If the must tastes thin, watery, or doesn't have the type of starting flavor you're looking for, keep adjusting until it does. That way you know you had a good tasting must and you'll have a good tasting mead.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Jess
11-08-2009, 12:54 AM
Oskaar.....

The raw must tasted PHENOMENAL and so I am aniticipating (fingers crossed) a great final product.

Wildoates......

I live in Seaside, CA on Monterey Bay. In fact, Monterey is our "sister city".

Medsen........

I knew that posting that I boiled the honey would get at least one response against boiling the honey. LOL!! I think I just boil out of habit and for psychological sterility reasons. I'm so used to boiling beer wort and also so afraid of bacterial infections that I just automatically bring every wort or must to a boil. Of course, I only boil the mead must for about ten minutes as opposed to the one hour boil for beer wort. I'll try and break myself of this habit.

wildoates
11-08-2009, 01:10 AM
Oskaar.....

The raw must tasted PHENOMENAL and so I am aniticipating (fingers crossed) a great final product.

Wildoates......

I live in Seaside, CA on Monterey Bay. In fact, Monterey is our "sister city".

My daughter lives in Salinas. I know exactly where you are. :)

As I said before, I don't boil--it seems such a shame to boil something as lovely as honey and it isn't necessary if you use good sanitization procedures to prevent infection. Beer is completely different--you have to boil that even totally disregarding the sanitization issue. And being lazy, it's a whooooole lot easier to not boil. Boiling is a pain, it's hot, you have to watch it, you have gallons of sticky hot must to deal with, and it takes a lot of energy. You have to do that with beer, but why do it if you don't have to?!

So far I have had no problem with infection, and I'm only semi-anal about sanitation. ;D

I haven't tried any of those canned fruit purees yet. It's on my list of things to do.

/better live a very long time

wildaho
11-08-2009, 05:37 AM
Here's a weird fact: Beer doesn't need to be boiled either. We only do it for two reasons:

1.) Isomersation of the alpha acids in the hops. Hops have to be boiled for that conversion from alpha acids to bitterness. Otherwise, hops contribute mostly a "grassy", chlorophyll like flavor that doesn't do much for the beer.

2.) Protein conversion in the malts. A full roiling boil is the only way to get those solids to drop out in both the hot break and the cold break.

Okay, one more reason: unboiled wort is the perfect breeding ground for lactobacillus. Every batch I've ever done wherein I've left the runnings from the mash for more than a couple of hours, I've ended up with sour. Not a bad thing in itself but not what I've been going for at the time...

:cheers:
Wade

Oskaar
11-08-2009, 12:42 PM
I knew that posting that I boiled the honey would get at least one response against boiling the honey. LOL!! I think I just boil out of habit and for psychological sterility reasons. I'm so used to boiling beer wort and also so afraid of bacterial infections that I just automatically bring every wort or must to a boil. Of course, I only boil the mead must for about ten minutes as opposed to the one hour boil for beer wort. I'll try and break myself of this habit.

LOL, us ... tell you not to boil? Say it ain't so!
People can make good mead any number of ways so rather than say, don't boil, I generally say you don't need to boil.

My reasons:

I'm impatient and I would rather make the mead quickly so I can get back to drinking, chasing women, gambling, spitting and watching football.

I'm lazy and boiling means I have to actually get out the O2 tank to add all the oxygen I boiled out of my must.

I'm cheap, gas cost additional money on monthly utilities that I can better spend on making more mead.

I'm practical, I spend a metric F-Load on good honey I don't see the point of boiling off the floral and varietal subtleties along with the other beneficial enzymes, proteins and pieces parts when I spend good money for them.

I'm aware that honey is already sanitary and bacteriostatic so boiling to "sterilize" is unnecessary.

I'm aware that mead is mead, not beer so boiling and making it like beer does not, in my opinion do the honey or the end product justice.

And the number one reason I don't boil my mead. . . . I don't like the end product from boiling as much as I do the unboiled.

Cheers,

Oskaarhttp://www.qtl.co.il/img/copy.pnghttp://www.google.com/favicon.ico (http://www.google.com/search?q=beer%20)http://www.babylon.com/favicon.ico

Jess
11-08-2009, 01:53 PM
O.k., I'm convinced. LOL! Next time, I'll try "not boiling". Can I at least heat the water to around 160 or 180 to make dissolving the honey easier?

wayneb
11-08-2009, 01:59 PM
FWIW, I've found that hot water straight out of the tap (125 to 140F) is more than enough to make the honey dissolve easily. And when I'm trying to maximize the retention of aromatics in the honey, I don't use anything above room temp water.

Dan McFeeley
11-08-2009, 03:02 PM
There was work done in 1939 on this topic -- don't have the reference handy at the moment but a few figures will suffice. It was found that only a few minutes at 150 degrees F was sufficient to destroy any wild yeasts in honey.

Fifteen minutes will pasteurize it.

A good reason why honey is a clean medium is the osmotic pressure -- the stuff is so dense that only well adapted spores can survive in it. So long as the honey was packaged under sanitary conditions, there is little to worry about.

Dan McFeeley
11-09-2009, 10:31 AM
Ok, found the reference -- pulled it off a post to the venerable Mead Lovers Digest #746:

The original source is a 1939 article by G. F. Townsend in J. Econ. Entomology, titled "Time and temperature in relation to the destruction of sugar tolerant yeasts in honey." The information below comes from John White's chapter on honey in _The Hive and the Honey Bee_, 1978, p. 513.
Townsend found that five honey yeasts common to Canada were destroyed under the following conditions.

Time at indicated temperature Temperature
470 min 125 F
170 130
60 135
22 140
7.5 ** 145
2.8 ** 150
1.0 ** 155

** Extrapolated from logarithmic curve constructed from Townsend's data, according to John White's notes.