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Mirakk
09-08-2013, 12:10 PM
Hey guys,

I'm brand new to mead-making, having only taken a class where we made some must for a braggot, and helping a friend whip up a batch of Metheglyn. The very first homebrew I ever tasted was a T'ej, and I really want to try my hand on making one.

I have a recipe, and the ingredients are on their way. The recipe I'm using is below.

Tej Recipe

Yield: 1 Gallon
3lbs honey (Wildflower)
8 oz of ground hopps (Gesho Leaves)
4 oz of hopps sticks (Gesho Twig)

DIRECTIONS
Mix and let stand at room temperature for three days.

Take about 6 cups of the mixture and bring to a boil with the hops and hopps stick.

Cook for 15 minute in low heat. Let cool and add to the mixtures. In a sealed container leave at room temperature for 15 days.

If too dry add a cup of honey and leave over night. If too sweet, add more hopps directly into the mixture and let it ferment more. Strain and serve cold.

END


Now, I'm not so crazy about keeping it traditional and using the wild fermentation method, as it's unreliable at best and I still don't really know what I'm doing. The batch could be bad and I'd be clueless about it.

So I've decided that I want to make it using brewer's yeast. Traditionally T'ej is quite dry, so a champagne yeast would work, but I want something a little sweeter.

My questions are as follows.

1. Will using a semi-sweet mead yeast like Lalvin D-47 give the quality I'm looking for?

2. What will my steps look like now that I'm not using Wild Fermentation? There are a lot of time periods in the recipe that would change, I'd imagine.

fatbloke
09-08-2013, 02:00 PM
Hey guys,

I'm brand new to mead-making, having only taken a class where we made some must for a braggot, and helping a friend whip up a batch of Metheglyn. The very first homebrew I ever tasted was a T'ej, and I really want to try my hand on making one.

I have a recipe, and the ingredients are on their way. The recipe I'm using is below.

Tej Recipe

Yield: 1 Gallon
3lbs honey (Wildflower)
8 oz of ground hopps (Gesho Leaves)
4 oz of hopps sticks (Gesho Twig)

DIRECTIONS
Mix and let stand at room temperature for three days.

Take about 6 cups of the mixture and bring to a boil with the hops and hopps stick.

Cook for 15 minute in low heat. Let cool and add to the mixtures. In a sealed container leave at room temperature for 15 days.

If too dry add a cup of honey and leave over night. If too sweet, add more hopps directly into the mixture and let it ferment more. Strain and serve cold.

END


Now, I'm not so crazy about keeping it traditional and using the wild fermentation method, as it's unreliable at best and I still don't really know what I'm doing. The batch could be bad and I'd be clueless about it.

So I've decided that I want to make it using brewer's yeast. Traditionally T'ej is quite dry, so a champagne yeast would work, but I want something a little sweeter.

My questions are as follows.

1. Will using a semi-sweet mead yeast like Lalvin D-47 give the quality I'm looking for?

2. What will my steps look like now that I'm not using Wild Fermentation? There are a lot of time periods in the recipe that would change, I'd imagine.
Hops will likely give you different flavours/tastes. You'd probably have to try either a health food store type place or some sort of herbalist place for the Gesho.

So, your questions.....

1. Don't think of yeasts like that. D47 is a wine yeast, not "semi-sweet"....

The batch will be as dry or sweet as you make it. D47 is tolerant to 14% ABV and 3lb of honey made up to a gallon will likely finish dry. Equally, if you work out that you wanted to have X percentage of residual sugars, and then try to get it all in up front, then you're asking for problems. That's a beer making technique, not a wine - well certainly not a home brew wine technique.

D47 also carries a caveat, inasfaras, it needs fermenting below 70F/21C otherwise it's known to produce fusels.

2. Timings are a poor method to use for the stages of a ferment. They are so variable as to be almost useless. How long stuff takes, depends on so many things, like yeast type, yeast nutrition, pH/must acidity, temperature, etc etc.

Many recipes try to use timing for the making stages and people just get stressed when it doesn't turn out like the recipe suggests.

If you go for a sensible strength brew, don't get too hung up on the number for the alcohol content, but work to say, 12 or 14% ABV, check on recipes/method/technique about whether you can just make the batch as a traditional and then add the flavouring elements or whether you need to make the Gesho into a kind of tea and use that to water down the honey, or even just put it in dry and let the ferment extract the flavour.

Use a normal winemaking method, ferment dry, then stabilise, then back sweeten to the level of sweetness that you want/like etc.

Of course, if you have some sort of "genuine" recipe to try, go with that, but if you're not using normal/regular techniques, don't be surprised if you get some problems.

Tej is, as I'm sure you already know, a very region/area specific version of mead. There's not gonna be the kind of levels of info/guidance/help you might find with more usual types.....

Good luck with your efforts, and for regular/usual technique and method, the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) answers most questions about that.

{edit} p.s. and of course, welcome to the forums....

Mirakk
09-09-2013, 12:19 AM
Thank you for the quick reply.

Thank you for the insight into D47. Given that, I'll probably switch to 71B-1112 which is more tolerant of a wider range of temperatures. I don't have any temperature control, and it'll just be sitting in my basement in wisconsin. This time of year it won't be an issue, but in summer it surely would be.

I guess I'll just follow standard procedure for the timing of the rest.

Thanks again! Once the gesho arrives in the mail and my primary bucket is empty I'll give it a go.

fatbloke
09-09-2013, 01:12 PM
Thank you for the quick reply.

Thank you for the insight into D47. Given that, I'll probably switch to 71B-1112 which is more tolerant of a wider range of temperatures. I don't have any temperature control, and it'll just be sitting in my basement in wisconsin. This time of year it won't be an issue, but in summer it surely would be.

I guess I'll just follow standard procedure for the timing of the rest.

Thanks again! Once the gesho arrives in the mail and my primary bucket is empty I'll give it a go.
good on yer for sourcing real Gesho, I'd have thought that'd be the best way to keep as close to what the genuine flavour would be like.

Just re-read your original post though, now I understood that T'ej is normally quite sweet - seem to remember reading that somewhere about the forums, can't say myself as I've not tried any.......

bernardsmith
09-10-2013, 04:44 PM
I made a gallon of te'j in May (found gesho on Amazon) and I used 71B. in place of using the yeasts on the gesho to ferment the honey. My guess is that the time the recipe calls for the gesho to be mixed in with the honey is to give the gesho time to inoculate the honey with wild yeasts. I used K-meta to eliminate any wild yeasts and I added pectin enzyme and acid blend to obtain a pH of about 3.5.

The quantity of mead that is then boiled with the gesho seems to me to be very similar to the beer maker boiling hops in the wort to extract the bittering qualities from the leaves and twigs.

I prefer dry wines to sweet and so allowed the mead to ferment dry (I used my hydrometer rather than my calendar to determine when it was ready) and I bottled the mead without any additional carbonation (I believe that traditional tej is bottled while the honey is still fermenting and so the wine would be somewhat sweet and sparkling). I thought the tej tasted drinkable and an Ethiopian acquaintance of mine said it tasted just as he remembered it but the owner of my LHBS who tasted the tej said that he could taste a hint of resin...

This time around I have chosen to make 3 gallons and make version of tej which uses beer making hops rather than the traditional gesho (inchet and kitel). Pitched the yeast (71B) on Monday and the SG was about 1.100 (3 gallons). This time around I am going to carbonate the wine before bottling.

Mirakk
09-11-2013, 12:17 AM
fatbloke- The Tej I had was backsweetened, so the original dryness is hard to speak for. I've heard many people call it dry, and most people serve it sweet, so I'm guessing this is largely based on preference?

Bernardsmith- If you're not using Gesho, isn't that technically just a hopps Metheglyn? Not bashing, but I'm really curious how that would taste. It could be quite good! What hopps did you use out of curiosity?

fatbloke
09-11-2013, 02:30 AM
fatbloke- The Tej I had was backsweetened, so the original dryness is hard to speak for. I've heard many people call it dry, and most people serve it sweet, so I'm guessing this is largely based on preference?

Bernardsmith- If you're not using Gesho, isn't that technically just a hopps Metheglyn? Not bashing, but I'm really curious how that would taste. It could be quite good! What hopps did you use out of curiosity?
Well, I was thinking more along the lines that if your original ingredient list was reasonably original/genuine, it would be like a show mead but flavoured with the gesho.

Show meads are well known for long, slow, almost torturous ferments often ending sweet because of the lack of natural nutrient sources for the yeast (irrespective of whether its a cultured wine yeast or a wild one).

Yes, any bittering factor from the gesho or from hops for that matter, would help to balance the taste, rather like the way residual sugars in JAO help balance the pithy biterness from the orange......

But surely, it would still likely come out sweet, just not cloyingly so......

bernardsmith
09-11-2013, 12:54 PM
fatbloke- The Tej I had was backsweetened, so the original dryness is hard to speak for. I've heard many people call it dry, and most people serve it sweet, so I'm guessing this is largely based on preference?

Bernardsmith- If you're not using Gesho, isn't that technically just a hopps Metheglyn? Not bashing, but I'm really curious how that would taste. It could be quite good! What hopps did you use out of curiosity?

I just pitched the yeast Monday so I cannot really say how it tastes just yet (the SG was 1.100 on Monday and this morning, Wednesday, it was 1.070 - so still a long way to go) but I used 1 oz of Cascade pelleted hops, 1 oz Citra, 1 oz Centennial. These I boiled for 60 minutes, 45, and 15 minutes respectively.
After I rack the mead into the secondary (when the gravity approaches 1.000 I will add another 1 oz of Cascade hops and let the mead sit on them for about two weeks and then rack again and allow to age two months and rack again etc so that the mead does not age on lees

Merry927
09-17-2013, 06:20 PM
I am working up to my first brewing experiment and chose t'ej too.

I had almost the same questions, but I was thinking of 71B-1112, because of the temperatures in my home this time of year, too.

From what I have read, there is naturally occurring yeast on the gesho twigs, so for my recipe it seemed to make sense to add the yeast at the same time as the gesho.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I hope to hear back about everyone's progress too.

Merry927
09-21-2013, 05:48 PM
So, I got my gesho entchet in the mail from Brundo Ethiopian spices yesterday. I was surprised by the smell. It smells strongly of the typical spices used in some Ethiopian meat dishes I've had. I was surprised because I have not seen the scent described as particularly strong or easily identified before, so I'm wondering if this normal or if the gesho was allowed to absorb the scents of other spices at the store.

Does anyone have any insight into this?

Mirakk
09-23-2013, 12:52 AM
I've got Gesho from the same place, so I can't really say if it's normal, or something from that supplier.

As a side note, what recipe are you using? The one I listed seems like a TON of gesho for a 1 gallon batch. I've seen recipes that say to use 2-3 tablespoons of gesho kitel for a batch this size. I suspect the recipe I listed was meant to be listed as 8g instead of 8OZ (8oz=two packages when I received it!)

Haven't tried a recipe yet because I just sprung for 25lbs of honey, and I have to lay low a while to prevent my wife from killing me. Plus, the recipe just seems to be completely wrong considering the amount of herb I received.

fatbloke
09-23-2013, 06:43 AM
I've got Gesho from the same place, so I can't really say if it's normal, or something from that supplier.

As a side note, what recipe are you using? The one I listed seems like a TON of gesho for a 1 gallon batch. I've seen recipes that say to use 2-3 tablespoons of gesho kitel for a batch this size. I suspect the recipe I listed was meant to be listed as 8g instead of 8OZ (8oz=two packages when I received it!)

Haven't tried a recipe yet because I just sprung for 25lbs of honey, and I have to lay low a while to prevent my wife from killing me. Plus, the recipe just seems to be completely wrong considering the amount of herb I received.
Well hit google too see what else comes up, recipe-wise. You may be right on the money with the 8g instead of 8oz point, but equally, while spices do often provide a strong flavour, there's no telling with an unfamiliar one like Gesho. It could easily be "all fart and no sh1t" (all aroma, limited flavour).

Without convincing information it's hard to tell, though maybe you can check out local enthic grocery stores, cultural centres, etc, as they may have links or info to any locals with Ethiopian roots who might know, or at least know who to ask......

Merry927
09-24-2013, 12:27 PM
fatbloke, maybe *you* should do a google search. It wasn't just a learning experience, but I even found some, somewhat helpful information.

The issue with t'ej is that it wasn't resurrected from the past by native English speaking, western people for modern western people from a tradition of monks and nuns, who had a cultural bias regarding systematizing processes and writing things down. It came into modernity by being an unbroken living tradition in Ethiopia and among the Ethiopian diaspora.

It seems to be considered common knowledge and therefore not requiring much thought or discussion. Each *household* has it's own version and it seems they can vary significantly. The recipes are not written down; they are learned by watching, listening, and doing in one's home or family business. Amounts in recipes are not exact and consistency is doesn't seem to be considered important. One writer referred to them as "intuitive."

So it would seem to be a whole different kettle of fish. And I use the word "seems" because of course this is just what I've garnered from the information available to me and is just my interpretation or the interpretations of other western people, who of course, will put their own cultural spin on information too.

So these discussions aren't this messy because of people being completely uninformed, but because it is the nature of the beast.

Merry927
09-24-2013, 01:26 PM
Mirakk: “I've got Gesho from the same place, so I can't really say if it's normal, or something from that supplier.”

But it did have a strong scent of Ethiopian cooking?


I hadn’t settled on a recipe when I first posted, but have since chosen one from Exotic Ethiopian Cooking, which is widely available. This recipe uses wild yeast from the honey and gesho for fermentation, instead of adding yeast. I’ve bounced around from one thing to another many times in my learning/planning process.

This recipe uses 1-1/2 cups of woody hops (gesho)*, 32 oz of honey (it’s not clear whether this refers to weight or volume – I’m going with liquid volume), and a gallon of water.

The honey and water mixture sit for 3 days in a warm room in a wooden barrel. Then you take 6 cups of the mixture to boil with the hops, simmering for 15 minutes. The boiled mixture with gesho and the remaining honey mixture are put in an air-tight container ** and stand for another 5 days, in which time fermentation is expected to begin.

The gesho is then removed and the mixture stands for another 24 hours in the sealed container. At that point you taste for sweetness and correct for it by adding more gesho or by adding another cup of honey if it is too sweet. You recover and let it sit for 20 days.

Before serving, the mixture is filtered through a clean cloth. After this, it can be stored in the container in a cold room or bottled and refrigerated. In 4-8 days you remove sediment by pouring the liquid out slowly.*** Serve chilled or at room temperature.

*Since the recipe called for “woody hops (gesho),” I am taking this to mean entchet only.

**I am not going to use a wooden barrel (I have no idea of where to get one). I decided to use Harry Kloman’s suggestion of a big 2 gallon glass storage canister for the whole process.
http://www.pitt.edu/~kloman/tej.html#making
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O60_S25EoFI

***I just did a tour of Heidrun meadery and as hokey as the method of pouring in such a way that the sediment doesn’t pour out with the t’ej sounds, the riddling and disgorging methods at Heidrun sound crazier.

This discussion actually answered some of my questions. You may want to read it.
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=51538&start=30

bernardsmith
09-24-2013, 03:46 PM
I made a batch of t'ej some months ago and decided very early on in the process not to rely on wild yeasts to ferment my must. In the first place I was fairly sure that the honey I used had been processed in a way that would have removed almost all wild yeasts, so I would be left with yeast on the gesho (leaves and twigs) but since I had ordered the gesho from Amazon and since they had been shipped I had no way of knowing under what temperature conditions they had been shipped or stored. Insofar as traditional t'ej recipes rely on wild yeasts, the local conditions and the local sources for honey and gesho may result in far more likely large populations of appropriate wild yeasts. Certainly, in my batch there was no perceptible fermentation activity after two days so I pitched a packet of 71B 1122 and the fermentation took off like gangbusters.

lhommedieu
12-17-2013, 08:00 PM
I'm interested in making a grain/t'ej hybrid (i.e. a honey beer flavored with gesho) in order to blend with a stout to make a Dogfish Head "Bitches Brew" clone.

As the stout will take 6-8 months to condition, I am wondering if I should condition the t'ej for the same amount of time (I've never made a mead, but I've heard that they do well if you condition them for a long time)? Would a longer conditioning time cause the gesho flavor to drop out? If so, I'd probably blend the t'ej while it was still relatively young, as the gesho flavor is part of the flavor profile of this particular stout.

Best,

Steve

bernardsmith
12-17-2013, 09:15 PM
I'm interested in making a grain/t'ej hybrid (i.e. a honey beer flavored with gesho) in order to blend with a stout to make a Dogfish Head "Bitches Brew" clone.

As the stout will take 6-8 months to condition, I am wondering if I should condition the t'ej for the same amount of time (I've never made a mead, but I've heard that they do well if you condition them for a long time)? Would a longer conditioning time cause the gesho flavor to drop out? If so, I'd probably blend the t'ej while it was still relatively young, as the gesho flavor is part of the flavor profile of this particular stout.

Best,

Steve

Hi Steve, People more familiar with meads than I can probably offer you better information but the gesho flavor in my mead never dropped out even after months.... but I treat mead making much like I treat wine making and not like beer brewing so the flavors are integral to the wine and are not added after fermentation (in the secondary fermenter). But that said, traditional t'ej whether wine or more beer like (made with grains) is, I believe, usually drunk very green.

WVMJack
12-18-2013, 04:02 AM
Morewine is selling powdered Geshu now, WVMJ

Merry927
12-21-2013, 11:30 PM
lhommedieu, I'm sorry, but I have very little experience with any brewing. You may want to direct your question to the larger community.

I wonder if the OP ever finished his project. I'd love to hear about how that turned out.

I was very pleased with what I came up with in my first go. I feel that the Purple Vetch that I used is just a perfect match for gesho. It was what I was aiming for, although being so inexperienced some of getting that was just dumb luck.

I am now in the process of making two new batches of honeywine.

Due to all the cautions against "off tastes" that I encountered while researching mead generally, I intend to use bucket with an airlock and packaged yeast with an otherwise identical recipe, so that I can identify these "off tastes." (I am betting that I am not going to want to eliminate them in future batches though.)

I also got some orange blossom and some tupelo honey for hopped meads, using the unsealed jar and environmental yeast. The inspiration for this was my local brewing supply company have Simcoe hops, whose flavor I have always adored. I think the honey varietals I chose will compliment it particularly well.

lhommedieu
12-22-2013, 10:28 AM
Thanks for your responses, guys. Upon further research I've decided that what the folks brewed up at Dogfish Head Brewery is closer to an Ethiopian honey beer (t'alla) than a honey mead (t'ej). Two months conditioning after fermentation is probably appropriate, although the stout will condition for about six months beforehand before I blend them together.

Both will have an ABV of about 9% which will definitely make this a winter sipping beer.

It's interesting to note that the recipe given in "Extreme Brewing" for "t'ej" uses a mead yeast, although I have also heard from other brewers who suggest an ale yeast instead. There was a Discovery Channel show a while back about how DFH brewed this beer in about eight weeks (!) in time for the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" album, but commercial breweries have tricks and techniques unavailable to the home brewer. They considered using raw, unfiltered honey at first but figured out that it wouldn't dissolve easily in their equipment, so they ended up using a small amount as a nod to authenticity but made up the bulk with orange honey.

The "Extreme Brewing" recipe also recommends pulling about half the volume of beer out, three days into primary fermentation, and boiling for 15 minutes with 9 oz. of gesho. Cool beer and add back into the primary fermenter.

bernardsmith
12-22-2013, 04:32 PM
Thanks for your responses, guys. Upon further research I've decided that what the folks brewed up at Dogfish Head Brewery is closer to an Ethiopian honey beer (t'alla) than a honey mead (t'ej). Two months conditioning after fermentation is probably appropriate, although the stout will condition for about six months beforehand before I blend them together.

Both will have an ABV of about 9% which will definitely make this a winter sipping beer.

It's interesting to note that the recipe given in "Extreme Brewing" for "t'ej" uses a mead yeast, although I have also heard from other brewers who suggest an ale yeast instead. There was a Discovery Channel show a while back about how DFH brewed this beer in about eight weeks (!) in time for the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" album, but commercial breweries have tricks and techniques unavailable to the home brewer. They considered using raw, unfiltered honey at first but figured out that it wouldn't dissolve easily in their equipment, so they ended up using a small amount as a nod to authenticity but made up the bulk with orange honey.

The "Extreme Brewing" recipe also recommends pulling about half the volume of beer out, three days into primary fermentation, and boiling for 15 minutes with 9 oz. of gesho. Cool beer and add back into the primary fermenter.

Traditional t'ej recipes call for boiling some of the honey with the gesho and the leaves (forgotten what they are called) to bitter the honey. The gesho acts like hops and presumably boiling the gesho isomerizes the acids much like you do when you boil European/ US hops.

lhommedieu
12-23-2013, 11:46 AM
Traditional t'ej recipes call for boiling some of the honey with the gesho and the leaves (forgotten what they are called) to bitter the honey. The gesho acts like hops and presumably boiling the gesho isomerizes the acids much like you do when you boil European/ US hops.

Yes - that's what my research turned up as well. I should have mentioned in my post that you remove the gesho before returning the cooled beer to the fermenter. I think that I'm going to age the stout 6-8 months, age the t'asso for two months, and blend them together for a month before carbonating. The Discovery Channel show about DFH brewery's "Bitches Brew" also mentioned that both the twigs and the leaves were used in the boil.

When making traditional t'ej I think that you also add the gesho sticks to the fermenter both for bittering and also because there are natural yeasts in the gesho twigs that will ferment the mead. It makes sense that the leaves are used for bittering and the sticks are used as a sort of dry hopping. The twigs get a grey fuzz on them (a fungus?) that is considered normal. It's considered ready within a month or so. Before drinking the t'ej the twigs are taken out and the liquid is decanted.

It's really a fascinating piece of chemistry when you think about it...

bernardsmith
12-23-2013, 12:19 PM
Yes - that's what my research turned up as well. I should have mentioned in my post that you remove the gesho before returning the cooled beer to the fermenter. I think that I'm going to age the stout 6-8 months, age the t'asso for two months, and blend them together for a month before carbonating. The Discovery Channel show about DFH brewery's "Bitches Brew" also mentioned that both the twigs and the leaves were used in the boil.

When making traditional t'ej I think that you also add the gesho sticks to the fermenter both for bittering and also because there are natural yeasts in the gesho twigs that will ferment the mead. It makes sense that the leaves are used for bittering and the sticks are used as a sort of dry hopping. The twigs get a grey fuzz on them (a fungus?) that is considered normal. It's considered ready within a month or so. Before drinking the t'ej the twigs are taken out and the liquid is decanted.

It's really a fascinating piece of chemistry when you think about it...

It is very fascinating but after a few days of inaction with the twigs (inchet) and leaves (inchet) I broke down and added wine yeast. I suspect that the in storage and transit the gesho available here may be less than a viable source of natural yeast. But that said, using a bittering agent to make a traditional Ethiopian mead got me thinking about using Western bittering agents (AKA hops) in my meads and so I am experimenting with hops and the use of hops in mead got me thinking about whether hops might work in hard cider and so I am experimenting with both dry and bitter hops in cider..

Stasis
01-10-2014, 06:54 AM
Recently I have become interested in brewing a T'ej mead. The only problem is that finding gesho is extremely difficult. Brundo does not ship to Malta and morebeer.com have gesho available but shipping to Malta is EXTREMELY expensive.
I'm looking at $48.75 total cost to import only 4oz of gesho to Malta. This is excluding any importation tax I might be lucky enough to be required to pay when it finally arrives here.
I might order gesho in bulk to save on shipping, but then again I do not know much about t'ej to know if the cost is worth this hassle. Plus I do not know if the strength of gesho diminishes by time, and I do not know if it expires like some other fresh herbs I bought, and I do not wish to be brewing only t'ej for the next couple of years...
I have therefore dismissed the idea of ordering gesho from morebeer.com and have run out of options.

After some research I found that there is a common tree in Malta which is very similar to the gesho tree. The gesho tree is Rhamnus prinoides while the Maltese version is Rhamnus alaternus. Both these trees come from the Ramnus genus. Now I know this doesn't mean anything. For all I know they could be totally different when it comes to using them for t'ej. The similarities though are:
- Same 'medicinal' fruit. Although perhaps the Maltese version has different uses.
- Same look of leaves and fruit
- Same genus
- Most importantly, the Maltese version is not poisonous! heh

I was about to dismiss this use because in the end the fact remains that they are not the same. But then I got thinking: If the Ethiopians had this strain it is very much possible that they would have used this as gesho anyway. It might not be the same, but it could be something like using a different type of grape to make wine. The flavor could be somewhat different in the end but they would both be wine and equally good. I would also get all my "gesho" for free and from a local source.
Or I could be brewing a gallon of laxative :)

Just thought I'd throw this around before potentially doing something stupid. Thoughts?

Stasis
01-11-2014, 11:00 AM
After a lot of research I have stumbled upon this study:
http://tinyurl.com/pu3roqd

The study points out the various similarities of plants of the Rhamnus subspecies. In fact, Rhamnus Staddo is also used as gesho in Ethiopia.

I could make a large rant out of this post but the bottom line is:
Using Rhamnus Alaternus instead of Rhamnus Prinoides as gesho for the making of T'ej seems promising. The jump from theory to practice in mead making could be huge, therefore I intend to make a side-by-side comparison of a "Maltese t'ej" and Ethiopian t'ej. I hope that this could help brewers from all around the world brew a form of t'ej in an easier and cheaper way. Unfortunately it might take as long as 6 months for any sort of conclusions to be made.
Until then, wish me luck

WVMJack
01-11-2014, 11:17 AM
Have you tried to find an Ethopian resturant and see where they get theirs from? Are there any Ethopian grocers in country? WVMJ

Stasis
01-11-2014, 11:53 AM
Have you tried to find an Ethopian resturant and see where they get theirs from? Are there any Ethopian grocers in country? WVMJ

There are no Ethiopian restaurants or groceries in Malta. Most of the Maltese market caters only for what the majority of people need. In fact even mead making ingredients and some equipment is hard to find, if not impossible.

abruck
05-05-2016, 09:50 AM
where did you get the Gesho?

bernardsmith
05-05-2016, 03:06 PM
I tend to add yeast to the honey when I make t'ej. I use the gesho for its flavoring properties and not for its fermenting ability. If you intend to do something similar you might then consider using beer hops for their bittering and flavoring (and aromatic) properties. You would be making a Maltese variation on traditional Ethiopian t'ej. You could boil the water for 20 minutes to maximize the flavor of the hops (or 60 minutes to maximize the utilization of the acids) or add hops when you remove the kettle from the heat to maximize the aromatic quality of the hops.