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Crane_Dell
11-05-2012, 06:52 AM
We used ground spices for a holiday pyment that was started back in August, and I just found out that use of ground spices is typically a no no (Thanks to fatbloke).

So here is my question. Should we filter the pyment to get it completely off of the spices? If so, should we do it now or right before bottling? We are planning on bulk aging this for about another year.

My assumption was that the ground spices would just fall out into the lees as the pyment aged, and then the pyment would go along nicely after that. Is that not the case?

And one last question, When you have spices floatin openly in a mead, will the spices keep giving it more and more flavor until it is over powering? Or will it mellow over time?

Thanks in advance for your help!

triarchy
11-05-2012, 09:04 AM
It would seem to me that whole spices would take longer to flavor a mead, given the same amount was used. That would be nice because you would have a longer window for tasting and removing the spices when you thought it was appropriate. The other big advantage is ease of removal. Put the whole spices in a cheesecloth bag and just pull the bag when you want. Age a year and taste, if you want more spice just add another bag and taste once a week or so until you get it where you like it.

For your current pyment, I guess I would filter the ground spices and taste the pyment. If you think it needs more spice flavor, go the whole spice route. Just remember that you cant easily correct for too much spice flavor, but its relatively easy to add more. Good luck!

fatbloke
11-05-2012, 09:36 AM
It would seem to me that whole spices would take longer to flavor a mead, given the same amount was used. That would be nice because you would have a longer window for tasting and removing the spices when you thought it was appropriate. The other big advantage is ease of removal. Put the whole spices in a cheesecloth bag and just pull the bag when you want. Age a year and taste, if you want more spice just add another bag and taste once a week or so until you get it where you like it.

For your current pyment, I guess I would filter the ground spices and taste the pyment. If you think it needs more spice flavor, go the whole spice route. Just remember that you cant easily correct for too much spice flavor, but its relatively easy to add more. Good luck!
Top answer, that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

It's not that you can't or shouldn't use ground spices, just that this isn't cooking. You want the flavour, but not the debris.

Plus, its easier to gauge/measure whole spices. If you think of the comment in the JAO recipe about cloves, its spot on. They are powerful little blighters, and I'd guess, even 1/8th of a teaspoon would be too much if ground. Whereas you can start with 1 clove, and if you want it stronger, you can add another one i.e. whole spices are more controllable.

Edit - plus, IMO you get a cleaner flavour with whole spices and none of the gritty dust taste you sometimes get with ground spices......

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 10:26 AM
Just thought I'd add, the ground spices probably have a very limited time where they're actually contributing anything, most of the reading I've done suggests about two weeks for full extraction, so you may not have to worry about removal at this point, just let things settle out. Unless you're trying to get it bottled this year and there's still debris floating around... :)

Crane_Dell
11-12-2012, 03:10 AM
Just thought I'd add, the ground spices probably have a very limited time where they're actually contributing anything, most of the reading I've done suggests about two weeks for full extraction, so you may not have to worry about removal at this point, just let things settle out. Unless you're trying to get it bottled this year and there's still debris floating around... :)

Thank you all for your input and information on spices. In the future I am planning on using whole spices (or coursely ground to the point where it will stay in a cheesecloth bag). As for the pyment at hand, taking Chevette's input and discussing with my wife, we think we'll leave it in for now. The spices have been in there for two months at this point, and we are thinking that all of the flavor will have been exracted at this point.

So for now we'll just let this one continue down it's path and see how it ends up. lol maybe it won't turn out all that well, but next year's batch will be fantastico!

Thanks again.