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Tiwas
03-03-2011, 08:03 AM
I "almost" forgot about tannin. Do you usually add it to plain mead? If so - how much? Is it ok to add during the second day of fermentation? I read it helps with clearing, and also the taste...

Cheers!

wayneb
03-03-2011, 12:20 PM
While things like grape tannins and tea tannin can be added to traditional meads (and since they bind with some polysaccharides that could otherwise hang in your mead and prolong "haze," they do sometimes help with clearing), I prefer to add tannin "the natural way," through slow extraction from oak during aging. Along with the tannin from the wood, other substances are also added that help develop the flavor profile and mouthfeel in ways that I find pleasant. I don't get the same results from additions of dry, powdered tannin extracts.

The addition of tannin, what type, and when to add it, are pretty much matters of personal taste. I'd suggest that you take part of your traditional batch and add a little tannin just to it - then let it age a bit (a month or so) and taste both the modified and unmodified batches at the same time. Then you can decide for yourself if the tannin helps to achieve the flavor profile that you are looking for.

AToE
03-03-2011, 01:46 PM
I'm a big fan of the powder tannin galalcool (which is extracted from oak rather than grape seeds or other sources), from my recent uses of it I find it does amazing work in a traditional mead. I'm with Wayne on oak, love the stuff to death, but I find it very easy to over-oak a traditional batch - and over-oaking always seems to occur for me long before I have the levels of tannin that I desire. I like dry drinks, and tannin helps add some interest to a dry mead, which can be a little flat tasting. If I were making a mead that was sweet at all, I would load up on the tannin for balance (I have a personal opinion that acid additions in traditional meads render mead less mead-like and make it taste more like grape wine. As such, whenever sweetness needs balance in a traditional, oak and tannin are the first thing I turn to, because they (in my opinion) preserve the mead-y-ness!).

I do highly recommend following Wayne's advice on seperating out a portion of the mead to add tannin too and then let it age for a while and do a taste test with and without. If you add it to the whole batch then you won't really know what was contributed by the honey and the yeast, and what was the tannin (unless you have an experienced palate).

biochemedic
03-03-2011, 02:04 PM
I don't use tannin all that often, but I do especially like it for some melomels, especially cysers.

K5MOW
03-03-2011, 03:08 PM
I'm a big fan of the powder tannin galalcool (which is extracted from oak rather than grape seeds or other sources), from my recent uses of it I find it does amazing work in a traditional mead. I'm with Wayne on oak, love the stuff to death, but I find it very easy to over-oak a traditional batch - and over-oaking always seems to occur for me long before I have the levels of tannin that I desire. I like dry drinks, and tannin helps add some interest to a dry mead, which can be a little flat tasting. If I were making a mead that was sweet at all, I would load up on the tannin for balance (I have a personal opinion that acid additions in traditional meads render mead less mead-like and make it taste more like grape wine. As such, whenever sweetness needs balance in a traditional, oak and tannin are the first thing I turn to, because they (in my opinion) preserve the mead-y-ness!).

I do highly recommend following Wayne's advice on seperating out a portion of the mead to add tannin too and then let it age for a while and do a taste test with and without. If you add it to the whole batch then you won't really know what was contributed by the honey and the yeast, and what was the tannin (unless you have an experienced palate).


Can someone tell me how and when to add Tannin.

Thanks Roger

AToE
03-03-2011, 03:47 PM
If you're adding it with powdered tannin extracts then I would add it at the beginning of primary, but realistically you could add it at any time (it takes some aging to integrate so be ready for that, especially if you get heavy handed). I've so far been happy with adding about 2g (1 tsp) in a 6 gallon batch, I've seen Oskaar add more than that, but then he also mentioned that he thought it was a bit heavy handed and took a very long time (years) to properly integrate.

It really depends on the mead. I would start small, around 2g for a 6 gal batch, if it's a dry traditional, but if it's going to be sweet then it could probably handle more. It also depends on how much you like tannin - some people don't really like it at all.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome to the forum!

biochemedic
03-04-2011, 01:00 AM
Can someone tell me how and when to add Tannin.

Thanks Roger

Until you know if a recipe really needs it, you might want to consider adding it at bottling. What was recommended to me a long time back, and I still follow to this day is to take samples before bottling, and add a small amount (I do the same with acid blend) to see if it "makes the mead pop." If so, I'll add before bottling, then next time I will likely (for the tannin, not the acid blend...I always add that at bottling) add it when I brew. I've used 1.25 tsp per 6 gallon, and seem to be happy with that...

akueck
03-04-2011, 02:00 AM
I also like the galalcool tannin in traditional meads. I've used 2-3 g per ~5 gallons before. I think you could go a little higher and get additional benefit, but I'd stay below 1 g/gal until you know what you're in for.

Tiwas
03-04-2011, 02:07 AM
Thanks! Guess I'll make four samples
* Plain
* Oak
* Powder
* Tea

Anyone got any suggestions on amount for a liter? If 2g of powder is good for 6 gallons, then I guess 0.1g is good for a bottle...how about the others, and how long should I leave the oak in? Was thinking about tying it to some rubber string and lower it into the bottle. That way I can pull it out when it should be done :)

Chevette Girl
03-04-2011, 08:41 PM
I generally add one two-cup teabag to a cup of water and steep it cold, squeeze the bag, for each gallon. I think it imparts a notieceable amount of tannin without too much tea flavour. So you'd probably want 1/4 to 1/3 of that for a litre.