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Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 12:42 PM
Hello everyone!
I decided recently to venture into the world of Mead!

My family has been distilling for about 20-30 years and I have been involved in it for about 5ish years. It's a pretty simple drink from Romania called Tuica. So I have a bit of knowledge on the fermentation process and the like but with sticking with tradition we have never tried flavoring our drink.

Anywho, I am going to start my first batch of mead using this 2L short mead recipe I found last night.

You will need the following:

A clean plastic 2-litre bottle suitable for food use – an empty 4-pint milk bottle is just perfect.
2 x 340g bottle/jars of clear honey
Half an orange
A dessert-spoonful of raisins (about 12-15), washed
Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
A balloon
Warm water
Yeast – I’m using Young’s all-purpose dried active yeast for wine and beer-making.

I want to add some loose leaf tea to one of the batches, I'm going to try and make (3) in total. 2 following the recipe and one with some tea after racking it.

Question is, for a 2 Liter batch, how much tea should I use and how long should I leave it?

My wife and I have a TON of loose leaf teas from Fruit, Herbal, Chai, Black, Green etc. I personally favor adding a bit of Chai to this one. What do you think?

wowbagger
02-28-2013, 01:11 PM
Hey, welcome to GotMead!

I've defenitely heard of adding loose leaf directly to a batch of mead and people getting good results. My only experience with it did not turn out well. I used, I think, a packet of simple breakfast tea and wasn't thrilled with the results. It wasn't bad, but imparted mostly just that 'dry-mouth' feeling you get when you drink tea.

I'm not saying you shoulnd't do it, and I'm sure others have more specific advice, but you'll have to be prepared to experiment a good bit to find results and mixes you like.

That's the whole fun of brewing though right?

Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 01:27 PM
Hey, welcome to GotMead!

I've defenitely heard of adding loose leaf directly to a batch of mead and people getting good results. My only experience with it did not turn out well. I used, I think, a packet of simple breakfast tea and wasn't thrilled with the results. It wasn't bad, but imparted mostly just that 'dry-mouth' feeling you get when you drink tea.

I'm not saying you shoulnd't do it, and I'm sure others have more specific advice, but you'll have to be prepared to experiment a good bit to find results and mixes you like.

That's the whole fun of brewing though right?
Experimentation is certainly the next best part to drinking it! lol

There is one thing I hate and thats the over abundance of tannins. I've seen posts saying to crush it into a powder but considering the strength of Chai and the ingredients in it I will just drop it in as is. I was considering a tablespoon per 2 liter since it's strong and will sit in there for a week or so.

Marshmallow Blue
02-28-2013, 01:28 PM
Question is, for a 2 Liter batch, how much tea should I use and how long should I leave it?

My wife and I have a TON of loose leaf teas from Fruit, Herbal, Chai, Black, Green etc. I personally favor adding a bit of Chai to this one. What do you think?

Hello, and welcome to GotMead! There's a couple reasons to use tea in your mead. Firstly to add Tannins which help clear out your mead, and secondly of coarse for flavor. How much flavor you want is up to you but it will determine how long you want to keep it in there.

If you brew the Tea hot; you will get more tannins but more of that mouth drying bitter flavor as you likely know from being an avid loose leafer. Brewing it cold will release less tannins but also be less bitter, so this is good for when aiming for flavor.

If our just using it for tannins; you can use just a couple bags worth for a gallon, so 1 bags worth would be good for you. You can either brew it hot and add it to your must or steep it in the must , but again. less tannins.

For flavor you need a bit more. If you have one of those tea bags that you can fill yourself with a string on it, you can steep it in your secondary that way. I'd start with a half tablespoon for some good flavor. You can always add more if you need. And taste it every couple days while its steeping and pull it out when you reach what you want.

Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 01:41 PM
Hello, and welcome to GotMead! There's a couple reasons to use tea in your mead. Firstly to add Tannins which help clear out your mead, and secondly of coarse for flavor. How much flavor you want is up to you but it will determine how long you want to keep it in there.

If you brew the Tea hot; you will get more tannins but more of that mouth drying bitter flavor as you likely know from being an avid loose leafer. Brewing it cold will release less tannins but also be less bitter, so this is good for when aiming for flavor.

If our just using it for tannins; you can use just a couple bags worth for a gallon, so 1 bags worth would be good for you. You can either brew it hot and add it to your must or steep it in the must , but again. less tannins.

For flavor you need a bit more. If you have one of those tea bags that you can fill yourself with a string on it, you can steep it in your secondary that way. I'd start with a half tablespoon for some good flavor. You can always add more if you need. And taste it every couple days while its steeping and pull it out when you reach what you want.


I'm planning on adding it cold to the secondary. I'm not so concerned right now about the clarity, mostly flavor. It could look like mud and I'll drink it as long as it tastes good.

So half tablespoon per 2 Liter? Sounds good, I'll pick up what I need tonight and start on it.

Any other tips for a Newbee?

Marshmallow Blue
02-28-2013, 01:47 PM
So half tablespoon per 2 Liter? Sounds good, I'll pick up what I need tonight and start on it.

Any other tips for a Newbee?

Yeah half a table spoon should be fine, but if you find you want more after a week of steeping you can always steep more. Hopefully you get addicted (not something you hear often I guess) and get some carboys and go as far as subscribing for monthly honey deliveries (Guilty)...

Edit: I'm sure you have a hydrometer, coming from a brewing family. But I think my LHBS guy told me distilling and brewing hydrometers where different. Maybe they just go higher.

Good Luck and Happy meading!

Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 02:15 PM
I have some basic equipment right now but it's been tough convincing my grandfather to invest in "new" technology, i.e. Airlocks.

They are different, I tried one for beer in our liquor and it didn't work.

I'm dragging the wife along to a shop in Fullerton, CA tonight, to pick up some basics and yeast per the 5 recipes I printed last night.

Once these Short Mead's finish up I will probably be investing in a nice little kit. Iv'e been working the Renaissance Faire in So Cal for a few years now so if it turns out well I'll be stocking up a regular supply.

Has anyone here tried making Joe's Ancient Orange Spiced Mead? How did it turn out?

WVMJack
02-28-2013, 02:19 PM
I was going to ask if you planned on distilling your mead also but I see you are over here now so I wont ask. WVMJ

Marshmallow Blue
02-28-2013, 02:32 PM
Most folks around here start with a JAO of some kind. If you just use the search bar for JAOV or JAOM you will be flooded with plenty of people making Joes in the mead logs, and you can see how they all turn out.

Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 02:37 PM
I was going to ask if you planned on distilling your mead also but I see you are over here now so I wont ask. WVMJ

I did not know that was a thing! I will have to think about it.

We make small batches for Christmas and party gifts. We know it's not legal in the US, but I've had a heck of a time trying to convince my grandpa to get a permit. The local PD knows that we distill once a year, they come over to check up and make sure we aren't running a moonshine operation lol.

I am planing on buying a small electric distiller, called Mr.Distiller to make some simple Rum but I'll certainly try my hand at distilling mead!

Marshmallow Blue
02-28-2013, 02:39 PM
Yeah I think any alcohol can technically be distilled. You could probably distill beer. but you'd need a lot of beer would be my guess.

Subject30Nine
02-28-2013, 03:38 PM
Yeah I think any alcohol can technically be distilled. You could probably distill beer. but you'd need a lot of beer would be my guess.

So if I distilled some mead, and then added it to some non-distilled mead it would then be Fortified Mead?