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Balen
01-15-2012, 03:27 PM
Is it possible to make "meadshine"? Anyone of you tried to distill it? What was the result?

JohnS
01-15-2012, 03:41 PM
I personally have never done it, however there shouldn't be a problem doing it.

Mead is almost all water and simply distilling it would require a purchase of a distiller at the LHBS. They use to sell them at sears, or I am sure you can also get them at amazon.

Simply the process of distillation is heating the liquid so that all the water and impurities, have dissipated and all that is left is distilled mead. For a red wine it would also be called Brandy.

So making a mead Brandy is entirely possible. In fact there is a place new to Chicago will be starting to sell distilled mead. I think there is a thread on this forum devoted to this proposition.

I have even thought about making my own personal mead brandy for consumption with friends and family.

Try it and write about it here. I would like to know more about it and others here would be interested also.

calicojack
01-15-2012, 03:56 PM
waste of mead. from 15 gallons of mash you produce 1.5 gallons of pure alcohol. not to mention that here in the states it's illegal

fatbloke
01-15-2012, 05:58 PM
Unless you've a license, it's illegal in the majority of places. NZ and Italy I understand it's ok, and probably a few other places.

Hypothetically speaking, you'd need to use a pot still type device. Reflux stills would strip all of the colour and flavour.

Some places have commercially made honey spirits/brandy/whatever and whether it's been imported to where you are is anyones guess......

Loadnabox
01-16-2012, 08:57 AM
Discussion of distillation in the public areas (non-member) forums may be considered a violation of TOU for the forums as well.

It might be legal in some places but the admins here do not want to give the impression in any way that they are encouraging behavior that is illegal in the country of origin for these forums.

kudapucat
01-16-2012, 09:55 AM
+1
Don't bother.
Buy some pure grape spirit and fortify if you want to try that. Honey's too expensive to be seeking a distilled product.
Besides, think about it. An ok bottle of mead fetches $30 - $100
If you make a mead brandy, (a Mandy??) then it will become at least 3 times as concentrated. So $90 - $300 per bottle plus done for effort. I'm never going to make anything worth that much, it simply couldn't taste good enough to be worth it.

huesmann
01-20-2012, 12:48 PM
waste of mead.
+1.

You want honeyed spirits, get some of that Jack Daniels honey liquor or something.

kudapucat
01-20-2012, 05:33 PM
You mean wild Turkey's American Honey I think.
Not very meadlike, but not bad.

Chevette Girl
01-20-2012, 05:57 PM
Jack Daniels actually came out with a honey something or other... I only use JD for medicinal purposes so I haven't investigated further.

calicojack
01-21-2012, 01:15 AM
They did. oddly enough I think it's called Jack Daniel's Honey. I haven't tried it. my stomach doesn't handle hard liqour anymore. to much of it when i was younger.

huesmann
01-28-2012, 10:09 AM
http://www.drinkspirits.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/jackdanielshoney.jpg

Penguinetti
01-28-2012, 11:24 AM
I had an Irish liquor called Celtic Crossings Honey Whiskey Liquor. That was damn tasty. Even my grandma (god rest her soul) would take a few swigs of that straight.

If you want a hard honey, I'd say try that out for size...

Lawpaw
01-28-2012, 11:51 AM
Jack Daniels actually came out with a honey something or other... I only use JD for medicinal purposes so I haven't investigated further.

No better medicine for an ailing heart.

JimSar
02-14-2012, 12:10 AM
http://www.pbase.com/jimsar/image/141499985/medium.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/jimsar/image/141499988/large.jpg

My friend from Lithuania gave me this bottle which he referred to as "mead". I called it Soyuz Rocket Fuel.

Jas53
02-14-2012, 12:43 AM
Its the same as in Poland - honey liqueur. About 80 to 100 proof. Made by mixing grain alcohol with honey and spices - heating with water to carmelize and adding the mixture to grain alcohol. In Poland called Krupnik or this variety would be Krupnik Kitewski. Remember that at one time the commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania-Ukraine extended from Berlin to Moscow, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Bugleman
02-14-2012, 12:49 AM
http://www.barenjagerhoney.com/home.aspx

Penguinetti
02-14-2012, 09:08 AM
You should really try Żołądkowa Gorzka z Miodem... This stuff is crazy good, and definitely strong. It's a vodka, mixed with Polish Honey

GntlKnigt1
11-15-2013, 05:46 AM
Pretty interesting thread here!!! I just found that the National Honey Board also makes mention of mead brandy.....I wonder if these are really made from mead. Well, all hypothetical, of course.
http://www.honey.com/images/downloads/makingmead.pdf

That tract says that a honey liquer is made by backsweetening distilled mead (mead brandy).

Shelley
11-15-2013, 07:38 AM
I'll double thumb's up on Barenjager, but Celtic Honey is also a tasty one.

Noe Palacios
11-15-2013, 12:26 PM
Hello there and everywhere:

Is mead's "Cold Distillation" legal? Any experience to share?

Saludes,

mannye
11-15-2013, 04:25 PM
Hello there and everywhere:

Is mead's "Cold Distillation" legal? Any experience to share?

Saludes,

You mean like applejack? I can't see it being illegal. ROBIN! TO THE GOOGLE CAVE! The google cave found this over at HBT:

The term applejack falls into the standards of identity for distilled spirits and as such could not be produced without a permit. The process of freezing a mixture of alcohol and aqueous fermented material, like wine, causes some water to freeze and separate from the alcohol mixture. The resultant mixture has a higher alcohol content than the original and is called a “high alcohol wine fraction.” Any person who separates alcohol spirits from any fermented substance, as stated in 26 U.S.C. 5002(a)(4)(c), is known as a distiller; therefore, if you freeze wine or hard cider in an effort to extract water from the alcohol mixture, you are a distiller, and Federal law prohibits operations of a distillery in a residence. As a distiller, you would have to file an application with TTB and follow our regulations regarding the manufacturing processes approved for making distilled spirits.

Ronda Merrell, MPA
Technical Advisor
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
1-877-882-3277

SO...it's illegal without the proper permits. From the language used, they don't seem to make a distinction between the more dangerous heat distilling and the fairly safe freeze distilling, so beware. Maybe give the TTB a call and find out if it's easy to obtain freeze distilling permits?

Illegal or not, the thought of even catching a buzz on a hooch that's had all the impurities as well as the booze concentrated by freezing off the water and the resultant EPIC hangover that must cause makes me not really interested in doing it.

That said, I've never actually tried Applejack, so the above is just speculation.

Chevette Girl
11-15-2013, 04:41 PM
Or move North. Freeze distillation's perfectly legal here.

mannye
11-15-2013, 04:48 PM
Or move North. Freeze distillation's perfectly legal here.

Lucky dogs! Can you enlighten me about my applejack hypothesis? I tried freezing apple cider when I lived in NYC, but it didn't get cold enough that dday and then we just drank it all. I CAN tell you that three bottles of hard cider between three friends makes for a decent hangover.

Chevette Girl
11-15-2013, 04:54 PM
I haven't tried freeze-distilling cider yet but I've done it a couple times, once with kiwi wine and once with maple mead. It made the kiwi wine more blah (wasn't great to begin with) and it made the maple mead more awesome than it was to start.

For theoretical purposes: I tried using my deep freezer and it was solid, nothing came out. I should have let it partially thaw and then strained out the ice but I thawed it completely then chucked it out on the balcony overnight and apparently hit the ideal temperature, it went slushy. I also liked drinking the ice water once it had melted, like watered wine I guess.

Medsen Fey
11-15-2013, 07:23 PM
The correct term is "freeze concentration" it is not distillation. Concentration of wine is not prohibited by the TTB as long as the ABV doesn't exceed 24%.
See this thread
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14491&highlight=eating+crow

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Medsen Fey
11-16-2013, 01:23 PM
So it appears you can get different answers depending on who you ask at the TTB. If you are commercial, freeze concentration would be prohibited. Under home winemaking exemptions, the process is not prohibited as long as the ABV is below 24%. I think if you got arrested for some reason, a good lawyer should be able to get the charges dismissed, but how much time and money it will cost you is a BIG question. Anyone want to volunteer to be the test case? We can start the GotMead legal defense fund. :)

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Maeloch
11-17-2013, 12:22 PM
Illegal or not, the thought of even catching a buzz on a hooch that's had all the impurities as well as the booze concentrated by freezing off the water and the resultant EPIC hangover that must cause makes me not really interested in doing it.

In my youth I froze concentrated some of my brews and I can confirm the hangovers were EPIC, but some of that stuff was rocket fuel anyway so I'm not sure it proves too much. The syrupy gloop wasn't much fun to drink tbh.

I'm sure someone who knows what they're doing and is mindful of the fact all sugar and flavour compounds are gonna be concentrated along with the alcohol and jiggs their recipe accordingly would make it work tho

mannye
11-17-2013, 12:29 PM
In my youth I froze concentrated some of my brews and I can confirm the hangovers were EPIC, but some of that stuff was rocket fuel anyway so I'm not sure it proves too much. The syrupy gloop wasn't much fun to drink tbh.

I'm sure someone who knows what they're doing and is mindful of the fact all sugar and flavour compounds are gonna be concentrated along with the alcohol and jiggs their recipe accordingly would make it work tho

Seems then it might be a way to save a mead that's turned out "thin" on flavor and body? I happen to have a small amount of a test batch that did just that. I'll give it a shot.

Noe Palacios
11-18-2013, 01:41 PM
So it appears you can get different answers depending on who you ask at the TTB. If you are commercial, freeze concentration would be prohibited. Under home winemaking exemptions, the process is not prohibited as long as the ABV is below 24%. I think if you got arrested for some reason, a good lawyer should be able to get the charges dismissed, but how much time and money it will cost you is a BIG question. Anyone want to volunteer to be the test case? We can start the GotMead legal defense fund. :)

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Hi Medsen!

I will have to check my homeland laws. But going back to procedures: Which way is better? To age mead and only then concentrate it, or concentrate it after clarification and only then start aging, or finally ... both aging?

Saludes,

jkane
11-18-2013, 02:00 PM
Myth busting ...

Freeze distillation just removes the water and leaves behind all the potential bad stuff everyone is afraid will be in home distilled liquor. There is no way to remove it short of real heat based distillation. You are actually concentrating the stuff that tastes bad and causes headaches. I am not saying don't do it. Just be aware of what you are really making.

Heat distillation can remove the stuff that causes headaches, blindness (another myth that needs a longer and more detailed explaination), and that nasty dirty laundry flavor and aroma. Most modern stills are not pressure vessels, so the myth of them exploding is very unlikely. The only hazzard is plugging from the mash, which mead will not have, and is easily avoided by simple process steps and using a better still design. There is concern around handling the pure alcohol especially if you are fire powered. Keep in mind alcohol burns cool and is not highly explosive. It will not "explode" by itself. But it is still very flammable. It condenses at room temperature and does not evaporate like gasoline. If you find a way to spill it and start the whole area on fire, I kind of think you deserve what ever happens to you! Just kidding, but you get the idea. You have to be extra stupid and careless to make a modern still explode!

This is not endorsing distilling. You need guidance from someone experienced if you are thinking about doing it. I am just saying that there is a myth that freeze distilling is safer than heat distillation. That is a debatable concept. Both methods have their pros and cons.

loveofrose
11-18-2013, 03:24 PM
Having done this quite a bit, I would say you better have a very clean starting product. Otherwise the pain is not worth the gain...

antonioh
11-19-2013, 06:17 AM
See this :

http://www.alembics.co.nz/

smertz001
11-19-2013, 08:16 AM
I too have looked into this, and am pondering doing it.

Freeze concentration is legal in the US as previously mentioned. And I was also worried about the methanol (bad alcohols) in it also concentrating like jkane mentioned. The solution I came up with would be to heat up to 148F (boiling point of methanol) for a couple of minutes to evaporate it out.

Not sure how it would effect the taste afterwards, but that was just my thought process to make a clean freeze concentrated beverage.

TheGiantGinger
11-19-2013, 08:41 AM
....Heat distillation can remove the stuff that causes headaches, blindness (another myth that needs a longer and more detailed explaination), and that nasty dirty laundry flavor and aroma...

...This is not endorsing distilling. You need guidance from someone experienced if you are thinking about doing it. I am just saying that there is a myth that freeze distilling is safer than heat distillation. That is a debatable concept. Both methods have their pros and cons.

Keep in mind that the way that heat distillation removes the methanol is by distilling it all first before all the ethanol that you want. Meaning that the first 100mls or so of what comes out the other end can kill you if you drink it. If you get rid of that you're fine of course... but if you don't...

Noe Palacios
11-19-2013, 11:26 AM
Keep in mind that the way that heat distillation removes the methanol is by distilling it all first before all the ethanol that you want. Meaning that the first 100mls or so of what comes out the other end can kill you if you drink it. If you get rid of that you're fine of course... but if you don't...

One of the tests that Nicaraguan Health Ministry does to my mead is methanol concentration. Results were always very close, but very close to "0". These concentrations I obtain thanks to my temperature system control whose variation is 0.5 C. Well that is how a climate disadvantage becomes a plus. In few days they'll test my mead again. Let see how it goes this time.

Saludes,

Robusto
11-19-2013, 12:06 PM
Barr Hill out of Vermont is making vodka and gin "from honey". not sure what that actually means, but here you go:

http://www.astorwines.com/SearchResultsSingle.aspx?search=27532

jkane
11-19-2013, 02:31 PM
Mead, Fermented Honey, has such a low amount of methanol it's almost insignificant. The stories you hear about methanol poisoning are almost all from places that added it to the final product since methanol is a byproduct and is cheaper than ethanol. Stemy and woody fruit and some grain husks once fermented will be of more concern of creating methanol. Not that there is zero methanol from mead. Just a lot less.

Yes, the methanol is the first product coming from a still. It should be tossed, or burned off or what ever you like other than added to the final product.

The second thing is the heads. There is much more of those than the methanol. Those contain the things that cause headaches. You will also toss them out. You may keep a small sample near the end of the heads as a flavor product. But you should have already tossed so much of the initial heads that the potential for methanol to remain is really only going to happen if you are greedy or just plain not paying attention. If you aren't paying attention, you should not be brewing anything. If you are greedy, you are not in this for the right reasons and nothing anyone says is going to help you make better product.

jkane
11-19-2013, 02:39 PM
Vodka means alcohol that was taken from any source, mead, grain, potatos, or whatever, and distilled to almost pure. Like in the 90% plus range. Alcohol is not stable and will absorb water from the air when it is around 93-96%. That means it is very hard to get alcohol over 96% without special equipment. So vodka just means clean alcohol with no heads or tails included. It is the pure hearts cut only.

Gin is vodka with certain spices added.

Each country/state can have it's own official definition. That doesn't help people know what the difference is. Same with mead. Some places make you call mead wine. :-(

anir dendroica
11-19-2013, 03:43 PM
I wouldn't worry about methanol in freeze concentration. The thing with heat distillation is that the methanol comes out first, so that the heads contain potentially dangerous levels of methanol.

Freeze concentration doesn't fractionate but just removes water. So if you are at 10% ethanol and 0.001% methanol to start, you might end up at 30% ethanol and 0.003% methanol. Yes there is more methanol, but there is equally more ethanol so you will drink less of it and end up drinking the same total amount of methanol.

mannye
11-19-2013, 03:52 PM
The thought just makes me want to take some aspirin right now.

fatbloke
11-19-2013, 04:46 PM
I wouldn't worry about methanol in freeze concentration. The thing with heat distillation is that the methanol comes out first, so that the heads contain potentially dangerous levels of methanol.

Freeze concentration doesn't fractionate but just removes water. So if you are at 10% ethanol and 0.001% methanol to start, you might end up at 30% ethanol and 0.003% methanol. Yes there is more methanol, but there is equally more ethanol so you will drink less of it and end up drinking the same total amount of methanol.
And what's the antidote for Methanol poisoning ?........

Ethanol :D

mannye
11-19-2013, 07:09 PM
And what's the antidote for Methanol poisoning ?........

Ethanol :D

HAHA! Research has shown...repeatedly...that ethanol is the antidote for, and cause of, many things!

moridin
11-20-2013, 08:59 PM
Exterminate!!!!