PDA

View Full Version : 2nd Mead, Recipe Idea; Advice Wanted!



sigristrl@gmail.com
02-19-2011, 10:14 AM
So, my first mead is at home and I'm on a business trip of sorts...
The scheming has begun!:D
For this 2nd recipe I look around the net and came up with this:

5 gallons for the volume

-17 lbs of Honey (12lbs Blackberry honey, and 5 of whichever honey I can get at the farmer's market)
-2 lbs Blended Blackberry
-2 lbs Blended Blueberry
-30 Tablespoons of Acai Juice (or powder, on the ropes still)
-4 Tablespoons Vanilla extract
-1 oz licorice root
- Yeast (don't know what would be best/ don't know where to look for that information)

*During initial fermentation 15 lbs honey
- 1 lb Blackberry
- 1 lb Blue berry
- 1 oz Licorice root

*Secondary Fermentation
-Add the remainder of the ingredients


-If I were to add all these ingredients at once its supposed to give me an SG of 1.125 and I'm hoping to get it to about 1.00 (this would be semi-dry?)
================================

I have a few questions:
-Where can I find a resources on which yeast to use to yield a semi-dry concoction?
-I've read that adding the secondary ingredients will allow their flavor to be more pronounced when the Mead has finished, so is there a point in me splitting them up between the 2 stages of fermentations?
-Will this recipe yield too many competing flavors? (I'm worried it might so i might reduce the quantities of the more pungent contenders)
-Finally, I exit active duty from the Marine Corps in a little bit over a year from now, and don't think I'll be able to move the alcohol! therefore I must drink it all before I move (oh no!!!); will it be ready by the time I'm out?

Well as always, I appreciate any and all advice I can get on this subject!
Take it easy, and happy drinking everyone!

YogiBearMead726
02-19-2011, 11:20 AM
This chart (http://www.lallemandwine.us/products/yeast_chart.php) has a pretty comprehensive list of Lalvin yeast strains and what their individual specifications are. You should probably pick on that has EVC (enhances varietal character).

As for adding things in secondary, yes, you are correct. The flavors you get from secondary are more from extraction than the yeast breaking down things. While there may be some more activity after you add more berries, it won't be quite the same as flavors from primary.

If you're concerned about "conflicting flavors", I would drop the licorice root for now. If you feel you want some of that flavor after primary is over, you can always add it to the secondary. If you do, make sure to taste test often so that the licorice doesn't overpower the other flavors.

As for aging, if you want this to be ready faster, I'd stick with adding the initial 15 lbs, but skip adding the last two pounds. Again, if you want some more sweetness, you can always stabilize the mead and add some honey "to taste" (add a little at a time and taste). I believe Medsen recommends taking a known volume of must in a wine glass and adding a small, known amount of honey to it, until you reach your desired taste level. Then, some simple math can scale that up to apply to the whole batch. A lot easy than adding some to the batch and tasting.

All in all, I think you'll have something pretty good. If you want more fruit character, I'd suggest adding some more, either in primary, secondary, or both. A good number to shoot for is ~3lbs per gallon of must. You could split that between the blue and blackberries if you like.

Good luck, both with the mead, and with your tour! And thank you for your service to our country! ;D Come home safely!

AToE
02-19-2011, 02:05 PM
That much fruit is very little for a batch this size, Yogi's suggested amounts are more on the mark.

The Acai I'd ditch, it's cool and very tempting to use, but it's subtle tasting and in that quantity you'll get pretty much zero flavour out of it (especially if you do up the other fruit, which I recommend, the Acai will be gone, just swamped). In all honesty it's just money gone. If you want to do an acai mead, I'd do a 1 gallon batch with no other fruit or spices.

Also, you won't be really getting much/any health benifit from adding it if that's your motivation!

I agree about dropping the liquorice root, you can always add it later, but you can't get it out once it's in there!

Golddiggie
02-19-2011, 06:07 PM
I used 7.5 pounds of blackberries in a 3 gallon batch... I might need to get some more when I can again...

I'd drop the vanilla extract and go with actual vanilla beans... Add them one at a time, until all is extracted from them. Using extract puts you at the mercy of the company that made the extract, and what beans they used (might not even be real vanilla beans)... Far better to get a few real beans (Amazon has them for ~$6 for 7 beans, so don't cry that they're expensive) and use them with restraint...

I don't know about that batch being done, and good to drink (all of it) in under a year... You might want to dial it back a couple of notches if you want to be able to drink it all in under a year... I have a 5 gallon batch with 20 pounds of honey in it, that probably won't be in bottles for another few months (started it on November 24th, 2010)... I don't expect it to be really ready for drinking until close to November of this year (if not later)... I made a blackberry melomel with 8 pounds of honey, for a 3 gallon batch, and that might be ready for drinking in another few months... It's lost the 'hot' flavor, but needs to mellow/sweeten up a bit... I'm going to let it ride and see how it goes...

Have you given any thought to maybe brewing up some beer that would be ready to drink in the ~9 month time frame? A wee heavy could fit that bill... As could an English BarleyWine, or old ale... Just something to consider.

sigristrl@gmail.com
02-19-2011, 06:35 PM
@ AToE
I'm not under any illusions about the health effects (or lack thereof) of the acai.
I just thought it might be an interesting combo w/ the black/blueberry combo. Anything that would hurt the wallet a little less come to mind?

@Yogi
Thanks for the advice on the amt per gallon to add... And also, thanks for the yeast chart!
One question about the berries per gallon, is that ratio for 2ndary fermentation or primary?

YogiBearMead726
02-19-2011, 06:43 PM
One question about the berries per gallon, is that ratio for 2ndary fermentation or primary?

It's a total ratio, and the amounts in primary and secondary are completely up to you. More in primary will allow the yeast to make interesting esters with the fruit sugars. More in secondary will give you more of the actual fruit flavor, in my experience. Just keep in mind, you don't want the mead sitting on fruit for too long, regardless of whether in primary or secondary. It can start to get a little vegetable tasting.

sigristrl@gmail.com
02-19-2011, 07:07 PM
Have you given any thought to maybe brewing up some beer that would be ready to drink in the ~9 month time frame? A wee heavy could fit that bill... As could an English BarleyWine, or old ale... Just something to consider.
Oh, you can rest assured, I am making quite a few different beers... I've got one or two 8 monthers in mind as well!


Just keep in mind, you don't want the mead sitting on fruit for too long, regardless of whether in primary or secondary. It can start to get a little vegetable tasting.

Whats the timeframe on the veggy taste?

Golddiggie
02-19-2011, 07:42 PM
Oh, you can rest assured, I am making quite a few different beers... I've got one or two 8 monthers in mind as well!

Whats the timeframe on the veggy taste?

Only two?? lol

For fruit, the general rule [seems to be] 5-7 days before racking off of it... So, I'd do it either on the tail end of the fermentation (I did some blackberries at the start of my melomel, probably won't do that in the future), or start adding them post fermentation (once you rack)...

BTW, what makes you think you won't be able to take the completed mead/melomel with you?? You might want to discretely ask people that know if you'll be able to take it with you when you exit active duty... Who knows, you might be able to... Otherwise, you might want to just hold off, or cut it back enough so that it's ready to drink much sooner...

AToE
02-19-2011, 08:15 PM
@ AToE
I'm not under any illusions about the health effects (or lack thereof) of the acai.
I just thought it might be an interesting combo w/ the black/blueberry combo. Anything that would hurt the wallet a little less come to mind?



I think it would certainly be a cool flavour to play with in mead, but I'd definitely just do a straight acai batch first (probably 1 gallon) and let it age to see what it does in a mead, then base future recipes with mixed berries on that. I think it might get swamped very easily.

I don't honestly know what else might take it's place for cheaper, but blueberries and blackberries make a very killer combo in a dry mead (and I'm sure they would in a sweeter mead as well).

YogiBearMead726
02-19-2011, 08:44 PM
I personally leave the fruit in for 2 weeks on average. I let the condition of the fruit tell me when to rack. I also enjoy a little extra tannic quality from the extended contact time. The "vegetable" flavor tends to set in after ~1 month of contact time, but YMMV.

If the fruit is all macerated and devoid of color after 1 week, I'd rack it. The key thing to remember is to punch down the cap 2-3 times per day. It keeps the fruit wet with alcohol, and ensures color and sugar extraction consistently. This is for primary. Once in secondary, you'll only need to occasionally punch the cap down, since the amount of CO2 generated from the active fermentation has died down a bit.

Also take into account, multiple rackings may be needed to get rid of all the pulp. You might rubberband a sterile muslin bag/cheese cloth over the end of the racking cane. I've had mixed success with this method.

AToE
02-19-2011, 11:04 PM
I've read that 8 days is about the max time it's going to take to get all the tannin out of fruit that you're going to get, but I guess this isn't an exact science with fruit other than red wine grapes where people really have been working on it for quite a while!

I likes me some tannin as well. Especially if a mead were going to have any sweetness I would personally want all the tannin I could get.