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madwing
10-28-2013, 11:47 PM
hi, first time poster here, and newbie mead maker. I have brewed extract and all grain beers, and worked in a local brewery as filterboy for a couple of years.

a month ago I helped a vintner friend and his business partner make a light malt extract/wheat/Malvasia Bianca juice brew fermented with wild yeast from a small bottle of fresh cinsault juice. it has been off the first lees for more than three weeks. when we bottle we're making a tea of chinchona bark mixed with enough DME for carbonation.

all this to say, while I have no experience with mead, I have a bit of transferable knowledge. and I am not afraid to try things.

I have a friend who can provide me with dark Santa Cruz mountains honey (tarweed/buckwheat/orchards), and I have buhner's "sacred herbal beers" as a starting point. i am trying to understand how herbs express not so much their flavors, but their healing/energizing/psychotropic properties. for example, does anyone know how to tell how much licorice and mallow root to use in a mead fermentation to make a mead/elixer that would be good for someone who needs the mucus in their chest softened?

I think of tinctures, teas, and fresh material and wonder does the fermentation process intensify or dilute their characters? things like this. aside from buhner, are there other resources to check out for these types of information?

sorry to come on so heavy with a first post. but after a month of thinking about it and reading here and other places I finally found the words I wanted to put into the questions I wanted to ask :)

Noe Palacios
11-02-2013, 01:31 AM
hi, first time poster here, and newbie mead maker. I have brewed extract and all grain beers, and worked in a local brewery as filterboy for a couple of years.

a month ago I helped a vintner friend and his business partner make a light malt extract/wheat/Malvasia Bianca juice brew fermented with wild yeast from a small bottle of fresh cinsault juice. it has been off the first lees for more than three weeks. when we bottle we're making a tea of chinchona bark mixed with enough DME for carbonation.

all this to say, while I have no experience with mead, I have a bit of transferable knowledge. and I am not afraid to try things.

I have a friend who can provide me with dark Santa Cruz mountains honey (tarweed/buckwheat/orchards), and I have buhner's "sacred herbal beers" as a starting point. i am trying to understand how herbs express not so much their flavors, but their healing/energizing/psychotropic properties. for example, does anyone know how to tell how much licorice and mallow root to use in a mead fermentation to make a mead/elixer that would be good for someone who needs the mucus in their chest softened?

I think of tinctures, teas, and fresh material and wonder does the fermentation process intensify or dilute their characters? things like this. aside from buhner, are there other resources to check out for these types of information?

sorry to come on so heavy with a first post. but after a month of thinking about it and reading here and other places I finally found the words I wanted to put into the questions I wanted to ask :)

Hello madwing:

I can't say nothing about licorice and mallow root. But if we talk about metheglyn, according to my experience herbs behave better during secondary fermentation. Some times I use them even during clarification and aging.

Remember, on mead making rules try & error principle.

Saludes,

TheAlchemist
11-02-2013, 12:04 PM
My metheglin experience to date has mainly been with using the honey itself to extract the scent/flavor of the herb (KissMe SpankMe Joe, Haleakala, Kimmy in the mead log) and honey does a fine job of extracting scent/flavor. Scarborough Fair (also in the mead log) used herbs directly in the mead. I haven't tasted that yet.

As for extracting the medicinal property of the herb in mead, I know less about that. I have friends that use a tisane of linden blossoms as a sleep aid. When I take a teaspoon of linden blossom varietal honey at bedtime I find no change in how quickly I get to sleep, but I do find that my dream life is more active. I have made a traditional mead with this honey (Oneiric in the mead log), but it's nowhere near quaffable yet, so the jury is out on the question of its medicinal use.

The only example I know of where a particular varietal of honey used in the making of a mead conveys the "medicinal" properties of the herb is given in Simon Buxton's book, The Shamanic Way of the Bee.

Midnight Sun
11-02-2013, 01:25 PM
For spices in mead, "The Compleat Meadmaker" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning/dp/0937381802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383410835&sr=8-1&keywords=compleat+meadmaker) by Ken Schramm is a good resource. He discusses various herbs and spices but not medicinal qualities.

Not a mead reference, but here (http://byo.com/equipment/item/1928-brewing-with-spices-techniques) is an article for beer brewing with herbs. A table accompanies that article here (http://byo.com/images/stories/brewspices.xls). For more info along that line, do a search for "gruit" and take a look at various recipes.

As for medicinal quality references, I am lacking. Would interested to hear if others have any, though.

Welcome to Got Mead!

joemirando
11-02-2013, 01:31 PM
For spices in mead, "The Compleat Meadmaker" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning/dp/0937381802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383410835&sr=8-1&keywords=compleat+meadmaker) by Ken Schramm is a good resource. He discusses various herbs and spices but not medicinal qualities.

Not a mead reference, but here (http://byo.com/equipment/item/1928-brewing-with-spices-techniques) is an article for beer brewing with herbs. A table accompanies that article here (http://byo.com/images/stories/brewspices.xls). For more info along that line, do a search for "gruit" and take a look at various recipes.

As for medicinal quality references, I am lacking. Would interested to hear if others have any, though.

Welcome to Got Mead!

If memory serves, there is an ebook rattling around in my kindle about the healing power of honey, and there is a section on medicinal herbs. I will see if i can find it and any pertinent information.

Joe

TheAlchemist
11-02-2013, 01:56 PM
If memory serves, there is an ebook rattling around in my kindle about the healing power of honey, and there is a section on medicinal herbs. I will see if i can find it and any pertinent information.

Joe

Please do post.

joemirando
11-02-2013, 04:48 PM
Please do post.

I have found two files of interest:

The Healing Powers of Honey (http://honey2booz.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/the-healing-powers-of-honey-cal-orey.pdf)
and
Healing Herbal Wines, Vinegars, & Syrups (http://honey2booz.wordpress.com/private/)

I highly recommend searching them out for kindle or nook, or in pdf format.

Neither are particularly extensive, and I make no claims as to the accuracy or veracity of them.

Joe

Midnight Sun
11-02-2013, 09:21 PM
Neat, thanks Joe!

fatbloke
11-02-2013, 09:26 PM
See I when I read the OP's post initially, I was thinking some.

I've read some stuff about the usual methods of extracting various flavour/aroma elements - most of which was about extracting for "essential oils".

Sure, I know that most spices will extract very well with alcohol i.e. tinctures etc, but with herbs, it does seem that they're better extracted when fresh, but there's much confusion as to the best method or whether it's down to the individual plant type.

Some will do OK in alcohol, others in heated water, others need boiling then distilling out, others in cold water as heated/hot water destroys too much of the aromatics/flavouring elements of the plant.

I never did find whether anyone has published a definitive list and as I use spices (mainly) for stuff like that, I usually just use whole spices as they're easy to remove and put them in at the secondary stage.

Sure, you could make an infusion in hot/boiling water. Some of the oils will come out that way, but others are better with alcohol as it dissolves all the aromatics/flavourings etc - cloves being a good example and Joe's comments about using too much of them in JAO etc.......