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Weatherlite
02-05-2014, 05:57 AM
Hello fine folks at Gotmead! Been a lurker for a while and I've also been a mazer for a few years. I have been sticking to either show meads or basic metheglins using just cinnamon and clove with some citrus zest. The only thing I would ever mess with was the type of honey. Well, now that I am branching off a bit I find I need some help so I decided to stop lurking!

My problem is that I don't know if I'm going to have a problem or not. lol Normally I let the must sit for 24 hours prior to pitching. I go back the next day and it looks much the same as it did when I put it into the fermenter. On this particular batch I came back in 12 hours just to take a look at my other recent batches and I saw something scary. The bottom half of the bottle looks like it's filled with a sludge that would rival an oil spill, while the top half is VERY clear and golden. This recipe was at the request of a friend who wanted something very specific, so it may seem odd the way it was done.

4 lbs honey
3 cinnamon sticks
15 cloves
6 whole allspice
2 teabags
1 star anise pod
1 vanilla bean
1C orange juice

Add all components except honey to 1/2-3/4 gallon water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. When temp is below 140F add honey. When cooled below 80F, place in fermenter, top off with water, shake to thoroughly mix new water with must, cover and let sit 24hrs before pitching.

I used a local unprocessed wildflower honey. The apiary only lightly filters it for bee parts and whatnot. There is more to the recipe than that, but it all comes during the secondary stage so I didn't post it. I haven't used any Irish Moss, pectinase, etc etc. Nothing but what you see above. Everything was washed and sanitized using Star-San. The original gravity is 1.163 adjusting for temperature.

Here's a picture. Hopefully the link works.http://dc615.4shared.com/img/57s4WyUkba/s7/1440179dec0/IMG_20140204_165321647.jpg?async&rand=0.5864489474956542

WVMJack
02-05-2014, 07:06 AM
You boiled the orange juice? I get the feeling you are coming from a beer brewing background? You may have just set the pectin and it possibly could have combined with the tannins from your tea to sludge out on the bottom. Maybe next batch only boil the spices, let cool to room temp before adding everything else, and with the spices if you just bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and drop in the spices and steep them it would work well. WVMJ

Weatherlite
02-05-2014, 07:35 AM
Do you think it's salvageable or should I just toss it? Yeah, I boiled the OJ. Do you think stirring it up and adding pectinase would help? It's a small batch so I don't mind re-doing it, but learning how to save musts is as important to me as learning how to create good musts as well.

So I take it boiling a fruit/juice causes the pectins to coagulate?

mannye
02-05-2014, 10:06 AM
I would give it a taste before you toss it. If anything you can always use it to blend with another mead depending on the flavor profile.

Take another reading. If it's just a color thing I would pitch and see what happens. Maybe rack it off the sludge and add some more OJ?

NEVER THROW AWAY MEAD! :) even mead must.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

fatbloke
02-05-2014, 11:22 AM
First read the JAO recipe.......

thats about the right numbers for 1.163 and with 15 cloves in it..............thats all you're likely to taste !

Cos you'll see from the JAO recipe only to use 1 or if you "really" like cloves, 2 at most......

you'll only use too much once, before you pick up on "less is more" with spices.......

mannye
02-05-2014, 01:12 PM
I didn't say notice that! 15 cloves. That's a lot for one gallon. But since he hasn't pitched yet, I would strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer then again through the same strainer lined with cheese cloth. Even now there is probably enough clove "essence" to get that clove taste and feel. Then pour some OJ in there and pitch.

Also, the whole process just seems a little over-complicated. Why let it sit 24 hours? You're just opening yourself up to allowing wild yeast to take hold. All that boiling is not needed IMO.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

WVMJack
02-05-2014, 07:24 PM
Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

So have any of your batches made it to the 100 year mark intact? WVMJ

Weatherlite
02-05-2014, 08:54 PM
First read the JAO recipe.......

thats about the right numbers for 1.163 and with 15 cloves in it..............thats all you're likely to taste !

Cos you'll see from the JAO recipe only to use 1 or if you "really" like cloves, 2 at most......

you'll only use too much once, before you pick up on "less is more" with spices.......

Well, like I said, this is a special order for a friend. He also wants some rather bitter and fruity flavors added in the secondary, hence why he wanted so much clove. I have used a buttload of clove before and it turned out well actually, but it was also a short mead. If I do anything that will actually stick around a while I definitely taper off on the spice. lol

I'll rack off the good stuff and then strain the rest to see what that is and if any of that crud is still good. Will keep you posted.

mannye
02-05-2014, 08:54 PM
So have any of your batches made it to the 100 year mark intact? WVMJ

I won't know until March 2009. ;)

Honeyhog
02-05-2014, 09:33 PM
I wonder if it's just the honey separating and falling out of suspension.

mannye
02-05-2014, 10:14 PM
I wonder if it's just the honey separating and falling out of suspension.

I don't know... would it be "cloudy" as in cotton bally like that?

WVMJack
02-06-2014, 03:00 AM
Honey doesnt fall out of suspension, its either mixed in our not, especially at 140 degrees it should go right in with a few stirs. Also if you dont mix the honey in well its not a fluffy pile on the bottom, it looks like syrup. Could be a mix of honey protiens and cooked pectins from the orange juice. WVMJ


I wonder if it's just the honey separating and falling out of suspension.

joemirando
02-06-2014, 10:27 AM
...My problem is that I don't know if I'm going to have a problem or not. lol Normally I let the must sit for 24 hours prior to pitching. I go back the next day and it looks much the same as it did when I put it into the fermenter. On this particular batch I came back in 12 hours just to take a look at my other recent batches and I saw something scary. The bottom half of the bottle looks like it's filled with a sludge that would rival an oil spill, while the top half is VERY clear and golden. This recipe was at the request of a friend who wanted something very specific, so it may seem odd the way it was done...

That looks exactly like a batch I made a while back. It was a traditional, if I remember correctly, and the only thing I did differently that time was to add a cup or two of brewed tea and about 1/8 tsp of bentonite to see if it curtailed the foaming for me.

The batch came out very nicely, and the 'murk' dissipated after a day as the yeast started churning things up, and it didn't lead to any more lees than usual at the end.

My guess with yours is that the oils (eugenol) from the cloves and/or the tea caused your "dark and stormy night". I dont think I'd worry too much about it. I don't know if that many cloves will stymie the yeast or not, but I would give it a shot.

Oh, and welcome to GotMead, AND to The Obsession! <grin>

Maze on!
Joe