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Lexington
07-21-2010, 05:47 PM
Hi, all. Definitely new to the mead-making world, but I'm enjoying what I've done so far!

To give a little history, back in January I followed a very basic recipe found here:

http://scottdavisanderson.com/blog/sustainable-vision/mead-making-101/

It's been several months, and I've since racked it for the last time. It currently has a strong, but sweet taste.

I read where some of the people were adding cinnamon and cloves to their batches, and that sounds like it would be great. My only concern was whether or not it was too late to do that. Should that be something added in the beginning, or can it be added in later without ruining the taste of the mead?

I likely won't be opening it up for consumption until mid-August when I'm going away with family, so it would have close to a month to sit if I added anything else.

Any input would be appreciated. Thank you! :)

wayneb
07-21-2010, 06:22 PM
Hi, Lexington! Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!

To answer your question, it is not too late to "spice up" your mead with some spice additions. Adding spices during secondary fermentation or during bulk aging is a common practice, and as long as you make sure that the surface of your spice is sanitized you should have no problem whatsoever. When I'm putting spices into secondary I'll routinely give them a quick dunking in a potassium metabisulphite solution; I know of folks who have done the same thing successfully in vodka instead.

But once they're in, make sure that you can take periodic taste samples (every week or so) so you can rack off of the spices when the flavor profile gets to where you want it to be. Once too much spice has been added, it is virtually impossible to reduce the amount of spice presence in the mead. Some attenuation will occur with aging but that usually takes a very long time, and some spice phenolics seem to never reduce in intensity.

BTW - Joe Mattioli's original recipe (properly called Joe's Ancient Orange, Cinnamon and Clove Mead) did include spices in the primary fermentation. If you search for Joe's Ancient Orange on the site here, you'll find a very long thread (hundreds of posts) that goes back almost to the inception of Gotmead, discussing all the various aspects of making this recipe.

ckbryant
07-21-2010, 10:21 PM
I'd just second that. Adding spices after the fermentation is finished lets you really pay attention to the spice level in your mead, so you're in a better position to get a well-balanced end product. Of course, there's kind of an aspect of driving while looking in the rear-view mirror: "Now, taste every week, and as soon as the flavor is too strong, back up and rack the mead off the spices one week earlier than that!" Which seems reasonable to a computer professional like me.

My habit lately is to boil my spices in about a cup of water (for a one-gallon batch), cover and steep for ten minutes, and then add the spice to the secondary fermenter and use the "tea" to top up the fluid level after racking. That seems to work pretty well. If I were worried about losing some delicate aromatics from a short boil, I might just cross my fingers and add the spice straight--although the sulphite strategem sounds like a good one, too. I'll have to try that sometime.

PitBull
07-21-2010, 10:58 PM
Three days ago I bottled 5 gallons of cyser that was started as a single batch in October of last year. I racked it into five, one-gallon batches using wine jugs as carboys. I added the following, post-fermentation:

1) Left it “as is” to serve as a basis of comparison.
2) Added Cinnamon and Vanilla.
3) Added Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove.
4) Added House Toast American Oak.
5) Added home-made Pecan Extract.

Nos. 2, 3 & 4 turned out quite well. No. 5 was a failure as it added nothing positive, or negative, to the cyser (probably not enough extract). Each gallon produced three 750 ml and four 12oz. bottles. I’m hosting a sit-down tasting with another meadmaker this weekend to evaluate the results (plus open a couple of other bottles of mead/wine).

ckbryant
07-22-2010, 09:40 AM
Pecan's very subtle in booze. Abita makes a seasonal pecan ale that's pleasant enough, but the pecan flavor is very faint and they have to dial everything else way down so you can taste it at all, so it comes across as fairly watery. Almost more of a mouthfeel than anything else--a pillowy/mealy thing. I'm not surprised it wouldn't stand up to your (presumably) bursting-with-flavor cyser.

Fisher kel Tath
07-22-2010, 10:43 AM
Pecan's very subtle in booze. Abita makes a seasonal pecan ale that's pleasant enough, but the pecan flavor is very faint and they have to dial everything else way down so you can taste it at all, so it comes across as fairly watery. Almost more of a mouthfeel than anything else--a pillowy/mealy thing. I'm not surprised it wouldn't stand up to your (presumably) bursting-with-flavor cyser.

why did i read "pecan" as "pelican"...

PitBull
07-23-2010, 02:49 PM
Pecan's very subtle in booze. Abita makes a seasonal pecan ale that's pleasant enough, but the pecan flavor is very faint and they have to dial everything else way down so you can taste it at all, so it comes across as fairly watery. Almost more of a mouthfeel than anything else--a pillowy/mealy thing. I'm not surprised it wouldn't stand up to your (presumably) bursting-with-flavor cyser.
I did not realize how subtle the pecan flavor is. Nothing ventured except a little time and some pecans. But I got a good lesson in return. Perhaps I should consider a commercially produced extract next time, if I want a nutty flavor to complement the apple, like black walnut or almond extract.

As for the bursting-with-flavor, the pecan definitely got overwhelmed by the buckwheat honey. But the apple comes through nicely. The other spices also hold their own, even the vanilla.

Lexington
07-31-2010, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys! I've got a lot of suggestions to look into.

I decided to let some of my in-laws taste it before adding anything, and they all agreed it tasted good as it was. I guess they were worried about a good thing getting messed up, so I put the spices back in the containers.

But, I was impatient for some mead with cinnamon in it, so I looked up Joe Mattoli's recipe like you suggested, Wayne. Picked up all the ingredients I needed, followed his instructions, and now I have another gallon batch in the making. This is fast becoming an obsession!

Again, thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I really appreciate it. :D

davehaster
07-17-2017, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys! I've got a lot of suggestions to look into.

I decided to let some of my in-laws taste it before adding anything, and they all agreed it tasted good as it was. I guess they were worried about a good thing getting messed up, so I put the spices back in the containers.

But, I was impatient for some mead with cinnamon in it, so I looked up Joe Mattoli's recipe like you suggested, Wayne. Picked up all the ingredients I needed, followed his instructions, and now I have another gallon batch in the making. This is fast becoming an obsession!

Again, thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I really appreciate it. :D

Hello,

I want to try this, So could you suggest which herbs. I would prefer to add together for better taste....

dingurth
07-17-2017, 08:46 PM
Hello,

I want to try this, So could you suggest which herbs. I would prefer to add together for better taste....

Hey Dave, welcome to Gotmead! You may not have noticed, but this thread is from 2010. It's generally considered bad practice to comment on old (dead) threads, so you might consider opening a new one yourself.

What exactly would you like to try? Have you made a mead and want to add spices to it now? Or are you all the way at the beginning of the process? There are a lot of good spices suggested in this thread. Were you looking for something else? Do tell us more wherever you decide to post it.

davehaster
07-23-2017, 08:32 AM
I did not realize how subtle the pecan flavor is. Nothing ventured except a little time and some pecans. But I got a good lesson for Buy best spices (https://rawspicebar.com/collections/buy-spices)
. Perhaps I should consider a commercially produced extract next time, if I want a nutty flavor to complement the apple, like black walnut or almond extract.

As for the bursting-with-flavor, the pecan definitely got overwhelmed by the buckwheat honey. But the apple comes through nicely. The other spices also hold their own, even the vanilla.

Hello,
Thanks for the post.