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Trepsik
09-14-2011, 01:40 PM
I want to make a metheglin with vanilla bean, cinnamon and orange peels. I would like to add the vanilla and orange peels to the primary. After reading The Compleat Mead Maker by Ken Schamm I've decided that I do not want to heat or add chemicals to my mead for sterilization. I will take the utmost care in sterilizing all containers and utensils of course.

my question: How would I go about sterilizing additives to the mead such as those listed above for addition to the primary. The local brew store owner suggested to freeze the whole orange then thaw it in a bath of water and potassium metabisulfite.

The best idea I can come up with would be to separate a small portion of the must and heat it with the vanilla bean and maybe the orange so I can avoid using chemicals all together.

Thanks

wayneb
09-14-2011, 01:48 PM
If by orange peel you mean the "zest," as in just the colored part without the white pith, then none of those ingredients will change much if you were to dunk them into hot (above 165F) water for a few minutes. So you could just drop them all into a pot with a small amount of boiling water, take off the heat and cover tightly, let the contents cool to room temp, then pitch the whole lot (water and all) into your must.

fatbloke
09-14-2011, 02:49 PM
If by orange peel you mean the "zest," as in just the colored part without the white pith, then none of those ingredients will change much if you were to dunk them into hot (above 165F) water for a few minutes. So you could just drop them all into a pot with a small amount of boiling water, take off the heat and cover tightly, let the contents cool to room temp, then pitch the whole lot (water and all) into your must.
Or possibly just soak them in a small amount of vodka ? which would then just be chucked into the ferment.

I'm thinking small amounts as that shouldn't skew the figures much, if at all - something like 50 to 100 mls or something like that.

dunno if it's a good idea or not, but suspect it should work ok as there wouldn't/shouldn't be enough alcohol to affect the yeast.......

Loadnabox
09-14-2011, 02:51 PM
my question: How would I go about sterilizing additives to the mead such as those listed above for addition to the primary. The local brew store owner suggested to freeze the whole orange then thaw it in a bath of water and potassium metabisulfite.

Thanks

Your LHBS owner is pretty much on, you mix it all together then add Campden Tabs or Potassium Metabisulfite to the mix. This stuns any of the natural occurring yeasts/bacteria. The problem is with this method, you need to wait 24 hours after adding the Campden/Potassium before pitching your yeast, but when you do they won't have to compete with the natural ones which will simply eventually be killed by the alcohol or eaten by the commercial yeast.

The other method that Oskaar prefers to use is to over-pitch the yeast using 2g/gallon (two packets per gallon) and use a quick to start and vigorous yeast such as 71B, K1-V1116 or EC-1118. The theory behind this method is that the yeast take off so fast that they either eat foreign yeasts for the nutrients or create enough alcohol quickly enough that natural occurring yeasts don't have time to adapt and get denatured. The difficulty in this method is you have to watch things carefully and be ready to add nutrients as the commercial yeast can get stressed easily.

As always I pray someone will correct me if I have mis-quoted things :)

Chevette Girl
09-14-2011, 04:56 PM
My suggestions if you don't want to add Campden tablets to your must...

Scrub the orange with soap and water to remove pesticide residue then rinse with sanitizing solution. Rinse zester with sanitizer as well. Zest orange into sanitized container.

You can dip the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick in vodka, I've been known to give vanilla beans a brief dunk in my sanitizer instead (I use potassium metabisulphate).

That said, I generally don't bother sanitizing my cinnamon or vanilla (or any other spices) when they go into the primary unless I've gone and dropped them on the floor, gone into the package with dirty hands or let them touch something unsanitary, the yeast generally kicks up enough of an inhospitable environment for other critters that a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick straight out of the package should be clean enough. I take a little more care when adding these items to secondary, never had a cinnamon stick go funny but I did get a fuzzy scum from a vanilla bean once, but it might also have been because the end kept floating above the wine's surface...

wildoates
09-14-2011, 06:00 PM
Or do what I've done, which is to just chuck them into the must and hope for the best. :)

Guinlilly
09-14-2011, 07:33 PM
We rinse our fruit with water and chuck 'em in. Vanilla beans and spices go in as is. We never have stuck ferments or mead that goes bad. Mead isn't beer, the crazy sanitization isn't as needed.