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Xavious
02-25-2013, 06:02 AM
Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum but I've been using information on the website for about half a year now. The past couple days I've been doing some light research for an interesting flavor combination of coffee, chocolate, and hazelnut. A rough idea of what I'll be using is:

3 lbs clover honey
1 gallon water
4 oz cacao beans
4 oz coffee beans
1 lb hazlenuts
EC-1118 Yeast

Since this is the first mead I'm trying to do by the book so there's a couple questions I have. First off would three pounds of honey be enough to finish it at medium/sweet? For my previous meads I've used 2.5 pounds of honey to finish at that level but that was with Fleischmanns yeast and I know that the yeast I'll be using here has a higher alcohol tolerance.

Secondly is there any sort of preparation I should use for the beans and hazelnuts? Right now my plan is to just toss them in once fermentation is completed and the mead has been racked.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

kudapucat
02-25-2013, 07:23 AM
EC1118 is rated at 18%
a lot more than bread yeast.

if you've used Flieschmanns, I assume it was a JAO. That recipe calls for 3.5 pounds topped up to a gallon.
are you sure you used 2.5 last time?

on top of that, it's topped up to a gallon, you state you're adding a gallon. so it will be weaker again.

1 gallon = 3.8 litres = 3.8kg
3.5 lbs = 1.6kg = 1.15 litres.

so total 5.4kg / 4.95 litres = SG 1.090

As EC1118 is rated at 18% it will drop 135 points or so. So to have any residual sweetness you'll need SG 1.135
Which you wont have.

if you were instead topping up to a gallon, the numbers will be like so:

3.8 litres total.
water = 3.8-1.15 = 2.65kg
honey = 1.6kg
total weight = 4.25kg
4.25/3.8= 1.118

Still not enough for residual sweetness.

However it aught to be heavier still, as the beans, nuts etc will all take up room. I cannot hazard a guess how much water you'll be adding.


That said; should you add enough honey for residual sweetness, it'll be hot as hell for a long while, this will be a BIG mead and will take years to mellow.
Perhaps you should ferment it dry, stabilise and backsweeten.

Good luck, the flavours sound interesting.

H

smertz001
02-25-2013, 10:36 AM
My first thought on the recipe is the hazelnuts... The oils in the nuts could cause them to go rancid eventually. You may need to process the nuts or, find some hazelnut extract to use instead.

Marshmallow Blue
02-25-2013, 10:51 AM
wouldn't the alcohol prevent any nut spoilage since they're being added to the secondary?

Soyala_Amaya
02-25-2013, 11:02 AM
There's been some really cool threads on nuts done in the past.

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7293&highlight=nuts

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7234&highlight=nuts

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8855&page=2&highlight=nuts

Those are just some older one's where people used three different methods and actually went all the way. Some interesting tips and tricks I think. You can do more searching on your own too.

smertz001
02-25-2013, 11:22 AM
Very interesting! This opens up a whole new slew of things for me to create meads from!

Thanks for the postings on this! Always learning something!

Xavious
02-25-2013, 03:04 PM
Yes, I had meant I'll be topping the water to 1 gallon and not adding in 1 gallon. I do have a JAO going but I also started a mint-lime mead using Fleischmanns yeast and 2.5 pounds honey. Looking back on my notes though I did end up back sweetening when I found it was much dryer than I anticipated.

I did some looking around and found a tool to calculate volume based off an objects weight (http://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/weight-to-volume). Assuming it's correct 4oz cacao beans would displace .19 liters and the 4oz coffee beans would displace .26 liters. Plugging these numbers into the math you used:

Water = 3.8-1.15-.45 = 2.2kg
Honey = 1.6kg
Beans = .22kg
Total weight = 4.47kg
4.47/3.8= 1.176

How well would that be in regards to sweetness? Like you said, I'd rather not add any more honey to the primary and any extra sugars I'd prefer to add after it's stabilized. And I've not counted for the hazelnuts there since I'll likely switch up the recipe to use hazelnut extract if it looks like the oils will be a problem.

And thanks for all the quick replies, a lot of food for thought here.

kudapucat
02-25-2013, 04:29 PM
Only count the liquids
2.2 litres water = 2.2 kg
1.15litres honey = 1.6kg
So 3.8kg/3.35 litres = SG 1.134
So you're now at the tolerance of EC1118
Personally, I'd change your yeast if you can...

MadsH
02-25-2013, 06:01 PM
I am currently doing this (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20683) hazelnut mead. I basically just toasted the nuts in the oven, blitzed them in the blender and tried to get as much of the oil off as possible (Jack Keller has some advice on his homepage). I added them after about a week of fermentation. It remains to be seen how it works out in the end, but at present there is a really pronounced hazelnut flavor.

Be aware that there is a huge loss in liquid/mead from the nuts and I guess also from the coffee and cacao.

Looking forward to reading how this works out. Best of luck.

Xavious
02-26-2013, 03:30 AM
Unfortunately I already have the EC-1118 yeast and was planning to get a start on it later in the week. My choice of using this yeast was primarily because of how hardy I've read it to be compared to the other yeasts, particularly with how it has a wider temperature range than other yeasts.

Once I'll be sure to post updates on the mead as I go along.

kudapucat
02-26-2013, 10:15 AM
This is true. If you have trouble with this yeast, you're doing something very wrong.
Try to keep it on the cooler side, despite it having a high temp range; hot, vigorous ferments can destroy the more subtle aromas. Also the test has been known to throw some funky flavours at the upper end of its threshold.

Xavious
03-12-2013, 12:10 PM
I had been meaning to post an update but couldn't find the time. A couple weeks ago I started the mead and so far it's been fermenting wonderfully. Here's the final recipe and process I settled on for this one.


Brew Date: 02/27/13
Batch Size: 1 gallon
Starting Gravity: 1.122

Ingredients:
3 Lbs. Honey
.58 Gallon Water
8 Raisins
One packet of Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast

For nutrient I opted to use raisins rather than actual nutrient after reading that they can be used as such. Also I was curious as to how they would affect the overall flavor and was willing to to take the risk.

My plan for this mead is to just let it ferment out, racking once it clears, and then stabilizing it. Once I'm fairly certain fermentation will not kick up again I'll be back-sweetening with additional honey and racking one more time onto cocao bean, coffee bean, and hazelnut extract.

Here's hoping for a successful mead!