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Undead
06-11-2012, 03:51 PM
Eeerrm... Has anyone brewed mead with milk? I really should have asked that first, but it has been brewing for around 5 days and the milk... well. I have mostly been refrigerating it but I take it out to warm up to around 12C (the yeast is good from 10-30C) and then put it back. The mead has lost most of the opacity of the milk which is floating around the top in small chunks. Is this due to the alcohol, yeast, or am I going to have to dump the whole thing?

about 1/3 gal milk
1/3 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese 7 spice
2 sticks cinnamon (relatively weak)
3 inches vanilla bean
3? lbs honey
water to top off
reconstituted Lalvin 1116

Am I a moron? Has anyone else attempted it? And why am I doing a milk based brew when I have issues with lactose????

TAKeyser
06-11-2012, 04:24 PM
There are fermented milk drinks, but sorry this sounds gross. You are deactivating your yeast every time you stick it in the fridge since I'm guessing it is below the yeasts temperature, so the only real fermentation going on is when you pull it out to warm it to the proper range. And what happens when you pull milk out and leave it on the counter? It goes bad.

Most people will use Lactose if they want the creaminess in a sweet stout or in a mead.

Nathan K
06-11-2012, 05:49 PM
You are not a moron. We would never make progress and discoveries if people didn't try out interesting ideas.

I would stop refrigerating it. You are probably hurting the fermentation process by refrigerating. I think the best thing you could do is just take it out, let the fermentation run it's course, and see what the result is. You may have to strain out chunks of casein (cheese actually) and you may not know if you have something good or not for 3 months, 6 months... maybe a year.

Valhalla Mead
06-11-2012, 06:27 PM
Hmm good luck with this. I'm concerned what you will produce when you bring it out of the fridge. Infection is probably your biggest concern.

Keep us posted!

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

Midnight Sun
06-11-2012, 06:32 PM
Fermented milk? Yeah, done it; yields a ...unique... alcohol, to say the least. It will taste nothing like milk, trust me.

Search for "lactomel" for mead-based versions. Can also be done as a wine, see The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible by Leon W. Kania. I highly recommend the book on its own, but there are several milk wine recipes.

In my own version, I used Lactaid tablets to convert the lactose to fermentable sugars. Lactose itself is not fermentable, so it will be present in the final product otherwise. I personally think that the Lactaid added an undesirable flavor to my mead. Perhaps the liquid form would do better, if you can find it. Then again, with all your other additions, maybe you won't notice.

Midnight Sun
06-11-2012, 07:06 PM
Just wanted to add to my previous post.

Don't worry about spoilage. At some point during the fermentation, the casin will separate on its own if not removed at the start. Just scoop it up with a sanitized strainer or spoon when it appears. As to why it does not spoil, I don't have a good explanation or theory.

Also, people on this forum are a bit crazy and seem to have attempted ferments that include nearly everything under the sun: bacon, car parts, fish, etc. Consider using the search function, chances are you will find a reference somewhere ;)

machalel
06-13-2012, 04:59 AM
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered fermenting milk... It's still on my list (the crazy experiements list).

I don't really see how it can go "bad" in any way that is different to a normal brew going bad... albeit one with different flavours. If the yeast can make normal wort into beer, and must into mead, then surely it can do the same with somethink like milk?

I would agree with the others, however, that the constant in-and-out of the fridge isn't good for it.

If you are super paranoid, couldn't this be done with a lager yeast, so that you could keep it in the fridge?

Undead
06-13-2012, 04:47 PM
After hearing from everyone here I pulled it out of the fridge and the milk hasn't gone sour. It did turn into cheese curd, so I'm glad you guys told me that was supposed to happen. I was curious how the lactomel tasted. I couldn't find a good description of the flavor. Thanks.

Midnight Sun
06-14-2012, 12:04 AM
I was curious how the lactomel tasted. I couldn't find a good description of the flavor. Thanks.

Hmmm... there are a few tasting notes in my mead log, but they are a year old. Anyway, you inspired me to open a bottle! This one is a month shy of two years old, and the tasting notes are also mirrored in my mead log.

Temp: room temp.
Aroma: honey, ?citrus, citrus pith?, & alcohol in that order. There is some type citrus aroma, but I cannot positively identify the fruit.
Taste: citrus, with alcohol in the background, and an aftertaste that I can't quite put my finger on. The mouthfeel is very smooth, almost slippery (from whatever proteins remain from the whey?). It reminds me of the mouthfeel you get from a cough medicine, but without the flavor.

The flavor and mouthfeel are very unique to me, and I would consider the mead somewhere between average and good. Food pairing could be pasta, or lightly spiced chicken or fish. Hope this helps!

One more thing: icedmetal did a lactomel about 6 months after mine. His recipe was different than mine and naturally got somewhat different results. I am reluctant to post his recipe and notes, though, as it is in the Patron's mead log section (just having access to that section is well worth the $25 in my mind). I do, however, encourage you to PM him. I'm sure he'll be happy to give you his tasting notes.