PDA

View Full Version : determining how much spice?



Vandall
01-13-2012, 07:06 PM
I am a NewBee here and I discovered Mead at a microbrew bar in my area called Dragonmead. I have also enjoyed it at Renissiance Festivals. I have recently started making beer with good results so I decided to give Mead a try. I found GotMead.com and decided to give Joes Anchient Orange Spice Mead a try. I made 2 gallons, following the directions exactly and it was FANTASTIC!!! The only problem is that it is gone. I now have a 5 gallon batch giong and 2 one gallon batches (one with cherries and blueberries and one with nectarines and blueberries) instead of the raisins and oranges.

I want to experiment with making Metheglyn and my question is, how do you determine how much of a particular spice to put in a batch to anounce its presence without overpowering the mead?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Vandall.

Mars Colonist
01-13-2012, 08:01 PM
Any spices in particular? Try making a tea with the spices and see how you like the ratios (by weight).

mmclean
01-13-2012, 08:34 PM
A note as to the raisins in the JAO.

Don't leave them out of the recipe. They are the nutrients that feed your yeast. They don't really add to the taste profile, so no real reason to leave them out.

Weak, hungry, stressed yeast will not work as hard for you. The yeast are your friends, take good care of them and they will take good care of you.

...and welcome to GOTMEAD?

Vandall
01-13-2012, 09:20 PM
I love honey mustard so I was thinking about a honey mustard mead. Call me crazy.

Vandall.

Chevette Girl
01-13-2012, 09:50 PM
Crazy!

... of course this is from someone who had thoughts of including marshmallows and mustard powder in another weirdomel and has already chucked a car part in one...

wayneb
01-14-2012, 12:59 PM
Hi, Vandall! Let me add my welcome to our delightfully daft community! ;D

I agree with the advice that you've already gotten from Mars Colonist. Take a measured quantity of the spice that you're after (in this case, some cracked mustard seed - perhaps a tsp.), steep it in a small amount of hot water (half cup or so) for a period of time (ideally with the water temp near boiling, but don't boil the spices in the water because that could lead to increased bitterness), and then strain off that liquid, and add a tsp or so of it to a mead that you know you like. Get a feel for where you want the spice level to be by tasting in-between subsequent additions. Then you can scale up your "mustard liquor" to add a similar amount to a larger quantity of finished mead. Alternately, you can add the cracked mustard seed directly to the primary fermenter and allow the spice phenolics to be extracted during the course of fermentation. Either way, getting some idea pre-main batch of how much you want to add is the best way to approach formulation of a new metheglyn recipe.

If your main batch ends up with too much or too little, you can either add more spice tea or more unspiced mead to get the balance ultimately where you want it to be.

skunkboy
01-14-2012, 02:07 PM
If you've been to Dragonmead you really need to make the trip to BNektar over in ferndale ;-)

Vandall
01-15-2012, 05:25 PM
That field trip is already on my list of things to do soon.

fatbloke
01-15-2012, 05:54 PM
I'd have thought that it might be better to make a tincture with a lot of spices, rather than an infusion of water.....

After all, a lot of spices are best extracted with alcohol i.e. "oil of cloves", vanilla, etc etc.

Something like X amount of the spice in Y amount of vodka (or even better, everclear). Then you'd know that say, 100mls of spirit that's had 10 cloves in it for say 1 or 2 months, then add 20mls per gallon of finished mead (traditional for example). Then you know that each gallon has the extract of 2 cloves and if it doesn't taste "spicey enough", you can easily repeat the exercise to increase the levels of spice flavour.

Hell, you could even do a side by side test, one with tinctured extract and one with infusion of water and then taste to see which comes out to your taste the best.

Or failing all that, just dig around for published recipes and try them......

Dan McFeeley
01-16-2012, 03:29 AM
You could also try a forum search for the individual spice you're thinking of trying out, and see what kind of recipes and advice comes up. There's also the route of experimentation. Say, you try a spice in a metheglin and it comes out a bit too strong. No problem, you have an excellent mead to add in cooking recipes. Imagine adding an overspiced mead to an apple pie. It'll work!

--

Chevette Girl
01-16-2012, 02:26 PM
You could also try a forum search for the individual spice you're thinking of trying out, and see what kind of recipes and advice comes up. There's also the route of experimentation. Say, you try a spice in a metheglin and it comes out a bit too strong. No problem, you have an excellent mead to add in cooking recipes. Imagine adding an overspiced mead to an apple pie. It'll work!


Or you have a nicely aged meth that's just waiting for some traditional and then you can start experimenting with blending... for Science!

Penguinetti
01-17-2012, 09:28 AM
Crazy!

... of course this is from someone who had thoughts of including marshmallows and mustard powder in another weirdomel and has already chucked a car part in one...

...



a car part?


... My interest is peaked.


I love honey mustard so I was thinking about a honey mustard mead. Call me crazy.

Vandall.

Actually, crazy or not, that sounds like it could be damn good.

Chevette Girl
01-17-2012, 01:44 PM
...

a car part?

... My interest is peaked.



Here's the brewlog (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17638)...