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View Full Version : First time making Mead - Vanilla Metheglin



occhuzzo
05-04-2014, 07:12 PM
Hi everyone I am making my first batch of JAOM but wile that is going i want something with Vanilla in it so i found this:

Vanilla Metheglin - 1 gal

2.5 lbs unprocessed orange blossom honey
2 Vanilla beans (Mexican or bourbon)
1 gallon spring water
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet dry yeast

Combine 2.5lbs honey with 1/2 gallon of spring water and heat to 160f. Maintain 160f for 30 minutes to sterilize the must and make sure to skim off any foam that forms. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient. Once must has cooled to 80F (or room temperature) transfer to the primary fermenter and pitch the yeast. Once primary fermentation is complete and the mead begins to clear, rack into secondary fermentation chamber. Cut vanilla beans length ways to expose the interior of the beans and add to the mead. Secondary fermentation should last at least 3 months so the beans have adequate time to infuse the mead with the mellow vanilla flavor. Bottle once you have verified that the gravity has stabilized


My 3 problems. 1. I do not know if I should do the heating of the honey because many people say they do not and you lose something in the taste. 2. I do not like dry mead, should I add more Honey to make it sweet or should i back sweeten it? 3. What is the best type of yeast should i use for this?

Amy help or Ideas would be great. Thank you all.

William

Stasis
05-04-2014, 08:16 PM
Welcome to GotMead!

I'd like to start out by saying that it's good to know you have tried your hands on the JAOM before trying something maybe more complex. How is the JAOM? Getting some basic feedback from the JAOM could mean that some small tweaks may be made towards future recipes and methods. I skipped the JAOM myself, but that's because I don't happen to like orange flavor in just about any type of alcohol.
I have seen some advice on adding the nutrient after the lag phase since the nutrients could actually be detrimental to your yeast as they are still acclimating to your must. I wonder what others have to say about leaving the vanilla beans for 3 months. I would have thought the flavor would be infused before this, but I may be wrong. I have seen many prefer 1 bean/gal so perhaps you can have a taste before the three months are over to check on the taste.
1. I've seen people do it either way. I only heated my honey when it was unprocessed and I wanted to gather some wax from the surface. Even then I didn't boil the honey. Otherwise I'd boil the water to sanitize it and add the honey later when it has cooled a bit down. The heat would pasteurize and leave the taste and aromas intact (I hope). Others may add the honey directly into a cool must as honey should naturally have very little wild yeast/spoilage bacteria.
2. Either add the honey up front (let's say use 3lbs or 3.2 lbs instead of 2.5) and stop fermentation as it hits your preferred SG (I don't know, 1.020?) with a combination of cold crashing and stabilizing. This way you will still have a final alcohol content similar to what is intended in the recipe. Or finish the mead dry, stabilize and back sweeten. Or use a yeast with a low alcohol tolerance and hope it poops out before the mead finishes dry. This is the approach used in JAOM. You could either use bread yeast again or maybe an ale yeast with low alcohol tolerance. I haven't tried doing this with an ale yeast so maybe someone more experienced can give their advice on this last option. I imagine hoping an ale yeast poops out could be an imprecise science.
3. I'm still experimenting with yeast myself.
Goodluck!

occhuzzo
05-05-2014, 12:49 PM
Thank you for the worm welcome and advice. The JAOM still has a month out before I rack it, so it is still being made. I have not tried it because the directions said do not touch it so I am taking that one to heart. I have 2 gal going. 1 gal will be racked for a wile and then put into bottles. The remaining gal will be racked and will be aged no less then a year. If I like any of the 1 gal of any of the meads I make they will be turned into 5 gal batches. No need to wast money on 5 gal batches if I hate the taste and have to dump it.

Letting the Bean sit there for 3 months was my concern as well and never making anything like this I have no idea how strong one bean would be let alone 2. I think doing gravity test and then tasting would be ideal.

I think 3 pounds of honey would sweeten it up. Maybe use Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead yeast or look through some guides and pick something that dies out at 10%-12% alc. So many ways to do this it is science with part skill. Any more ideas would be great.

Stasis
05-05-2014, 01:14 PM
I think the reason to dump anything would more likely be because something went terribly wrong, rather than a fault in the recipe. Unless you attempt something extreme most faults seem to age out. However, I have yet to have 1st hand experience with faults aging out because I have not yet gotten so far. To be clear: the idea of using 3lbs rather than 2.5lbs would be to stop fermentation roughly around the point where the yeast have eaten up 2.5lbs of honey's sugar. Then fermentation would be stopped by cold crashing and stabilizing and the remaining 0.5lbs would remain for sweetness. Your final alcohol content would be the same as if you fermented your recipe dry. Seems you're on the right track. Although wait until you make a good batch and drink it before the year is over.
I really need to start making BOMMs, if only it weren't so expensive and such a hassle to get the yeast to Malta...

Get_Wiggly
05-05-2014, 04:39 PM
Learn how to keep yeast cultures - you can use them up to 7 generations, more if you're very careful with sanitary practices.