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upther
03-13-2015, 09:08 AM
Sorry if this isn't the right place for this question. I figured since the two are so closely related that you guys might have some good ideas for this.

I'm going to do a Florida tej and use a native Florida plant/root for the bittering agent. I'm thinking of using kudzu since it's so abundant around here and "Florida Kudzu Tej" has a nice ring to it. I know it has some bittering qualities to it, but I'm just not sure how much. Anybody got any other suggestions?

bmwr75
03-13-2015, 09:36 AM
Search for T'ej BOMM on this forum. I've made this recipe.

edblanford
03-13-2015, 10:22 AM
I have found for "ethiopian" work best, for me at least. Also "gesho" works well. Lots of stuff there.

upther
03-13-2015, 10:36 AM
I'd like to stay away from gesho since it isn't native to Florida.

bernardsmith
03-13-2015, 11:14 AM
I believe t'ej uses gesho. If you don't use gesho then calling the mead a t'ej may create an ethical problem as there will be little "truth in advertising" (and inchet and kitel - the twigs and the leaves of the plant do make for a very delicious mead).. but that said, I have also made meads with beer hops and that can taste quite delicious. There is a recipe on line for an IPA mead (no malted grains) but the author offered the title tongue quite firmly in his cheek

http://meadist.com/making-mead/mead-recipes/hop-head-mead/

You might want to use that recipe as a jumping off point for anything you might want to try.

Another thought- and I have yet to try this - although I have the ingredients - is to make a mead using gruit herbs (mugwort, heather, yarrow, etc). Before hops were ubiquitously used in beers other bittering and flavoring herbs and herbs with anti-oxidant and preservative qualities were used . But again, to call such a mead t'ej would not be accurate.

Kudzu may be abundant in your state but it is not a native plant any more than gesho is...

upther
03-13-2015, 11:34 AM
I guess native wasn't the right word to use. Trying to keep it to plants that grow wild in Florida, which kudzu is definitely one of.

I also realize that not using gesho technically means it isn't a t'ej, hence calling it a Florida t'ej. But since I'm not going to be selling this I'm not really worried about false advertising or any other ethical problems.

bernardsmith
03-13-2015, 01:01 PM
I guess native wasn't the right word to use. Trying to keep it to plants that grow wild in Florida, which kudzu is definitely one of.

I also realize that not using gesho technically means it isn't a t'ej, hence calling it a Florida t'ej. But since I'm not going to be selling this I'm not really worried about false advertising or any other ethical problems.


Whoa Nelly! So it is better to dissemble to friends and family than it is to bend the truth to total strangers... ? I dunno... :o

upther
03-13-2015, 01:24 PM
Seriously? I didn't know I signed a morality clause when I signed up for this forum. I thought I would get some advice from friendly people looking to help. Instead I'm getting told what a bad person I am.

Look, I'm still in the early planning stages of this brew and when all is said and done, it probably won't even have t'ej in the name anywhere. I'll be classifying it as a Florida honey wine inspired by the t'ej style. Will that make you feel better?

Now, back to the topic at hand. Anybody have some suggestions about that grow wild, which I can find in Florida, that would work well as a bittering agent?

brentG
03-13-2015, 03:02 PM
I made 2 batches of T'ej BOMM. Good stuff. One plain and one with steeped dried elderberries. Me thinks the elderberries are the way to go.
I'd recommend boiling the sticks (I used gesho, but whatever) to kill off the wild yeast. If you want to drink it within a couple months, use the BOMM recipe.

Only one way to find out about kudzu: try it! Who's stopping you?! If it's bitter, back-sweeten with more honey.

brentG
03-13-2015, 03:09 PM
Also, my batches stained my fermentation bucket yellow, and all the bleach in the world doesn't seem to make a difference. No big deal, I know, but I figured I'd throw it out there. You may want to try using the plastic jug the spring water comes in and shove the sticks in? Or a food grade pail you don't care about. I did a few melomels before those batches, and fruit didn't stain that bad. Just sayin'.

upther
03-13-2015, 03:11 PM
There's nothing really stopping me I guess. I'll have 5 gallons of honey to go around so I'll have plenty to back sweeten with if necessary.

Probably gonna try and make some teas of the kudzu and a few other things to see what kind of flavors and how bitter they are. I've heard sea grapes are great for this kind of thing but apparently taking them from anywhere, even your own property, is a big no-no here.

upther
03-13-2015, 03:36 PM
Also, my batches stained my fermentation bucket yellow, and all the bleach in the world doesn't seem to make a difference. No big deal, I know, but I figured I'd throw it out there. You may want to try using the plastic jug the spring water comes in and shove the sticks in? Or a food grade pail you don't care about. I did a few melomels before those batches, and fruit didn't stain that bad. Just sayin'.

I'm a home brewer so I have plenty of fermenting buckets lying around. New buckets are cheap enough so I'll probably just use an old one or my bottling bucket and go buy a fresh new bucket. Thanks for the heads up.

Medsen Fey
03-15-2015, 08:06 AM
I think the idea of making a tea to zero in on the right amount is wise. Kudzu has been used in tradition Chinese medicine for centuries. The flowers may have value as a hangover remedy. Unfortunately the roots are used as treatment for alcoholism and may interfere with the metabolism of alcohol and acetaldehyde so you may wind up with worse hangovers
http://www.alcoholjournal.org/article/S0741-8329(07)00137-1/abstract

Keep that in mind as you plan your recipe.
Other alternatives in Florida for native bittering and flavor would include oak leaves, sassafras root, and dandelion.

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pokerfacepablo
03-15-2015, 10:01 PM
Interested in a wild fermentation? This video explains a some history and has a detailed recipe. There is a fantastic link at the end which gives you some other methods.
http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=O60_S25EoFI

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