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AngryNord
09-04-2011, 11:12 PM
Hello everybody!

I have been making mead for some years and am not new, but am smart enough that I realize what I could know is far greater than what I have at my disposal now. And one of the things I have been contemplating is using essential oils in flavoring after a good ferment of a simple mead. I have read what I could and have not found much, either the Google hates me right now or it isn't explored much. I also looked at what is on this site and didn't find much. However if you don't ask, you can never know.

So I ask all there out there that care to respond if they have ever experimented with this method and what the results were. I know not to use just anything available, and will be making the oils myself. Did I miss something or is it a new territory I am exploring?

And of course I will post the results here good or bad if it turns out to be something not commonly done.

Guinlilly
09-05-2011, 09:34 AM
Hello everybody!

I have been making mead for some years and am not new, but am smart enough that I realize what I could know is far greater than what I have at my disposal now. And one of the things I have been contemplating is using essential oils in flavoring after a good ferment of a simple mead. I have read what I could and have not found much, either the Google hates me right now or it isn't explored much. I also looked at what is on this site and didn't find much. However if you don't ask, you can never know.

So I ask all there out there that care to respond if they have ever experimented with this method and what the results were. I know not to use just anything available, and will be making the oils myself. Did I miss something or is it a new territory I am exploring?

And of course I will post the results here good or bad if it turns out to be something not commonly done.

Never tried essential oils, just extracts. However, I do know that a lot of people use essential oils in cooking - for candies, ice creams, in salads etc. I would, of course, make sure that the oil is one that you can ingest and add one drop at a time tasting as you go.

akueck
09-05-2011, 10:38 AM
I don't think it's done a lot, but it certainly is practiced. Sean Paxton (http://www.homebrewchef.com/) is a very vocal proponent of making and using extracts to do crazy things to your brews. If you hit on a good combination, I'd love to hear about it!

TheAlchemist
09-05-2011, 12:17 PM
I don't think it's done a lot, but it certainly is practiced. Sean Paxton (http://www.homebrewchef.com/) is a very vocal proponent of making and using extracts to do crazy things to your brews. If you hit on a good combination, I'd love to hear about it!

Side Note:
Wow, Aaron, looks like your travel adventures are agreeing w/ you!
Love the new avatar.

AngryNord
09-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the link, I am suddenly very hungry!

SFPrime
12-02-2014, 02:37 AM
Hello,
Has anyone had more experience with essential oils? I hope so! I want to use several specific flavors and I can only access them as essential oils. They're all food safe.

CalOfTyr
12-04-2014, 01:14 AM
I have used EO's on cooking but as Guinlilly said one drop at a time. One drop of chamomile EO is equivalent to 30 cups of tea. but for mead it my differ.

antonioh
12-04-2014, 06:53 AM
Never used.

But that raised a doubt . Essential oil are not water soluble . In cooking we have fats, that retain the oil where they are soluble . Here is common to make meat with Rosmarinus officinalis or Laurus nobilis, the oil being retained by the meat.

They are soluble in alcohol, but the high dilution of this alcohol in mead, perhaps restrains the use of the essential oils ??

homoeccentricus
12-04-2014, 09:44 AM
The flavor of hops is passed on to beer through the hop oils. So mutatis mutandis it should be possible to use essential oils in mead. The question then is: how much is required. I guess that would require experiments...

Crowing
12-07-2014, 11:54 PM
http://www.gotmead.com/recipes-a-mead-making-mead-menu-13/safety-aamp-conversions-mead-menu-17/243-safe-brewing.html

All the way at the bottom: "Notes: Essential oils are not safe additives for your drink."

But it doesn't say why so it's not much help.

Chevette Girl
12-08-2014, 01:34 AM
I would think the food-safe ones might be OK, but the problem I see is with your equipment - if you've got rubber airlocks or plastic mixing spoons, racking canes or hoses, it's possible that any essential oil that doesn't mix in because of the alcohol might damage your petroleum-based equipment. Some may be fine, but high concentrations of other things could get dicey. Or cause stuff to leach into your mead from normally inert plastics... just my $.02

Monkeyodoom
12-30-2014, 02:05 PM
Have you thought of using the flavor ingredients to e-liquid for vaping. I have not yet used them myself due to just recently starting this hobby but they are water based favors and you can get just about any flavor you can think of. I've been vaping for a few years now and have about 30 different flavors since i mix my own liquids.

Medsen Fey
12-30-2014, 05:20 PM
I have used rose oil to make a rhodomel. It turned out to be good. You need such a small quantity of oil for the impact that it presents no problems for equipment. I don't recall if the oil was food-safe in my case, but the quantity was so tiny in relation to the size of the batch that I believe it was irrelevant. I figured it was as safe or safer than the possible rose-petals I have access to in my location.

Add them by the drop so you don't wind up overdosing it badly.


And my,... we have resurrected the dead with this thread haven't we.

skunkboy
12-30-2014, 08:13 PM
Since reading "Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent " I'm really wondering what an ambergris mead would taste like? :)

I'm assuming it is so expensive that you would only buy the essential oil/alcohol with some of the ambergris dissolved(?) in it...

skunkboy
12-30-2014, 08:14 PM
Medsen: Did you buy a tiny bottle of the of the rose oil?

Medsen Fey
12-30-2014, 08:28 PM
Yep, a very tiny bottle. A little goes a long way.

EJM3
12-30-2014, 08:53 PM
As a fixative I wonder what aromas/flavors it would "fix" in place...

Shelley
12-31-2014, 07:54 AM
Since reading "Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent " I'm really wondering what an ambergris mead would taste like? :)

I'm assuming it is so expensive that you would only buy the essential oil/alcohol with some of the ambergris dissolved(?) in it...

It's worth thousands of dollars an ounce (and illegal to possess in the US).

skunkboy
12-31-2014, 11:17 AM
They still use it in perfumes? Any references for it being illegal in the US?

Shelley
12-31-2014, 12:14 PM
They still use it in perfumes? Any references for it being illegal in the US?

Mentioned in http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/February-2013/Valuable-ambergris-whale-vomit-on-Hawaiis-beaches-Not-likely/ and buried in http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/permits/mmpa_regulations_scoping.pdf

All_beesness
01-12-2015, 01:02 PM
I've been looking into the safety of Lavender essential oil (as I'd like to make a lavender mead of some kind, and I happen to have an ounce of 100% pure organic lavender essential oil and thought, Heck! if it's safe why not use it?) however. after reading this thread and some searching online for credible sources I found this:

Medline Plus at the National Institute of Health gives a very vague explanation of the safeties of ingesting this essential oil, but definitely doesn't stand behind it.
See that page here: http://tinyurl.com/Medline-on-Lavender-EO

Then I found something a bit more conclusive from the University of Maryland that basically says: "It's TOXIC!" It can cause constipation, headache (paradoxically enough), and increased appetite.
See that page here: http://tinyurl.com/UMM-on-Lavender-EO

I think one of the basic things to understand with lavender (which is the great thing about it) is that it is known to relax the body, even the central nervous system. I used to carry a bottle around with me in nursing school to help calm nervous geriatric patients. But in highly potent forms, well too much of a good thing can still be too much. And I imagine that is why essential oils are not used often in fermented beverages.

rayway
01-13-2015, 01:22 PM
I have used LorAnn Orange Oil in a Orange Creamsicle mead to bump up the orangey-ness. It's specifically designed to be used in baking, fondants, etc. Found it here: http://www.vanillafoodcompany.ca/LorAnn-Candy-Oils-p/lor-candy-par-1oz.htm

It took my mead from good to incredible.

All_beesness
01-14-2015, 09:43 AM
I have used LorAnn Orange Oil in a Orange Creamsicle mead to bump up the orangey-ness. It's specifically designed to be used in baking, fondants, etc. Found it here: http://www.vanillafoodcompany.ca/LorAnn-Candy-Oils-p/lor-candy-par-1oz.htm

It took my mead from good to incredible.

I LOVE Orange Creamsicle! It was my absolute favorite ice cream flavor growing up :)
but I digress.....
I took a trip to the natural foods store down the road from my place yesterday and wandered up and down their aisles of essential oils, dried herbs and what-not. Then I found a rather large section of herb extracts labeled as "herbal supplements". When I looked at the prescribed uses on the bottles they said to add between 2 and sometimes 40 drops depending on the herb to a cup of water to drink each day.

So, with that in mind, I would guess that "herbal supplements" which are intended for ingestion are safer in food products than essential oils. But if it were me I'd trust a good herbalist more than I would my own superficial knowledge on the matter.

rayway
01-14-2015, 08:51 PM
The stuff is two (and a half?) years old now and pure gold :) The others in my local wine guild are trying to figure out which category to enter it in for the Provincial competition. It's got juicy orange, creamy vanilla, and just a touch of bitter orange to keep it from being too sweet. Those LorAnn oils have a ton of different flavours from natural fruit to rum butter.

EJM3
01-14-2015, 10:50 PM
I'll have to ask my friends who make candy how much a bottle or two of different flavors cost as they use them all the time to make candies.

rayway
01-15-2015, 11:33 AM
Cheap like borscht - or nearly so :) I paid $5-$6 for a fl oz and it goes a long way.

I'm considering buying a bit of a multi-pack for some 1 gallon experimental batches: rum butter, rootbeer, pecan pie...Damn "to Brew" list keeps getting longer and longer.

EJM3
01-18-2015, 05:06 PM
I try to keep my to-brew-list down to something reasonable, like a 40 volume set, for the index.

Actually something more like 3 pages of ideas so far...