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loveofrose
03-24-2016, 08:47 AM
I love historical recipes. I also love category defying meads. This time, I'm trying something new that is actually very old.

I've been reading "How to Brew like a Viking". It's a fascinating book that is focused on the history and lore of Nordic/Viking peoples as it relates to their version of mead. A version nothing like ours.

In any event, Vikings didn't really make mead the way we think of it. It was more of a mixture of everything they could pilfer or barter. Anything fermentable was fair game: grains, honey, various sugar, fruits, etc. Herbs with stimulating effects were frequently used (often psychedelic). Any brew Vikings made would likely defy any category the BJCP currently has....Awesome. I've got to make some of this!

Grains mixed with honey seemed preferred mostly due to availability. The gruit or herbs were know to have a stimulating/intoxicating effect alone, so they are crucial to the mix. After much research, I've narrowed the major herbs down to sweet gale (bog myrtle), yarrow, marsh rosemary, and mugwort. Secondary spices are varied and numerous but included juniper, ginger, wormwood, and many others. Basically, whatever they could find.

Recipes were simple. Make a syrupy, spiced tea and ask the gods to bless it (with yeast). They often had a stirring stick colonized with yeast ( though they didn't know that). I'll get to that eventually. The important point is that the recipes were easy!

Goals: I want an easy, throwback to gruit mead with a few modern improvements to reduce spoilage and ensure fast consumption; however, my ultimate goal is to make this a wild ferment. I'll start with a BOMM style to get the recipe right, then generate a ginger bug for the recipe. Or culture a bee for yeast. I've thought a lot about that, so it will likely happen.

My question to the group is as follows: What are your suggestions on gruit spice ratios and timing of additions? I'm doing the research currently, but nothing replaces experience!


Better brewing through science!

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zpeckler
03-24-2016, 09:38 AM
I've got that book sitting on my coffee table, but haven't gotten around to it. Was too busy finishing up Yeast by Chris White.

That being said, I'm highly interested in what a LOR wild ferment would look like!

bernardsmith
03-24-2016, 09:53 AM
I made a gruit beer about 16 months ago- used about 1 oz of mugwart, 1 oz of sweet gale and 1oz of yarrow to the mash water to make a gallon of the beer. A gruit mead is in my "to make" book. I would use the same quantity of herbs. But I never tried capturing wild yeast for the first project and cannot see me doing that for the next one.

loveofrose
03-24-2016, 09:56 AM
How long did you boil the herbs?


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Kettla
03-24-2016, 10:29 AM
I'm making my first batch of mead today, and I would like to add some heather tops, but i'm unsure as when to add it. I am no expert but I imagine that people in ancient times did not have the cooking equipment that we have today, so I imagine that they (herbs and spices) were added together when they would mix the water and honey.

the buzzed bee
Kjetil

loveofrose
03-24-2016, 10:38 AM
I have experience with heather. Boil for bitterness or dry hop for aroma.

I think they probably understood boil versus dry hopping. My psychotropic drugs lose potency when boiled.


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Mazer828
03-24-2016, 11:33 AM
Just my $0.02 on Heather, you will not get high returns in bitterness from it. You really need to add quite a bit and boil a good length of time to get it. I prefer not to boil or heat the honey for mead so I don't use Heather tips for bitterness. The floral character is quite nice though, but I recommend only adding as a dry "hop" style addition, post ferment. That way you minimize chance of bugs in the Heather infecting your mead, and your ferment doesn't blow off all those delicate floral aromatics.

loveofrose
03-24-2016, 03:41 PM
In my hands, you need a lot of heather with a long boil time (1.5 hrs) for bitterness.


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curgoth
03-24-2016, 03:48 PM
I enjoyed this gruitish mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/23521-CDB-Batch-9-Viking-Bog) I made a while back.

Mazer828
03-24-2016, 04:09 PM
Is there any evidence that the old Nordic way included boiling at all?

loveofrose
03-24-2016, 07:22 PM
They would have to boil to extract sugar from grains. Or at the very least hot water.


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bernardsmith
03-24-2016, 08:44 PM
How long did you boil the herbs?


Better brewing through science!

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I was brewing beer and I used the following site as a guide: http://www.gruitale.com/rec_basic_gruit.htm
I don't have my notes with me - won't have them until Sunday night or Monday but I suspect I boiled the herbs for about 60 minutes and 30 minutes (as if they were hops).

loveofrose
03-24-2016, 11:21 PM
Would this be your gold mazer cup entry? Congrats!


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pokerfacepablo
03-25-2016, 08:02 AM
I made some gruit last summer. Still in the keg. I know the post is somewhere if you search. Just common sense to add your tasting and floral herbs either in the secondary or during flame out. Beware the bog myrtle can be potent with the bitterness... use sparingly. I saw some posted about gruitale.com. Great resource and full of helpful links.

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loveofrose
03-25-2016, 08:30 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. It has been extremely helpful. I'm compiling a list of major and minor herbs with effects in a spreadsheet. I'm also creating an online source list as these items can be difficult to find. I've got the major herbs on order from www.brewbrothers.biz.

I am also in the market for a few live bees for yeast culturing purposes. It may be an awkward conversation with my local beeks, but if there is mead involved it will likely smooth over. I'm thinking of trapping them in a jar with a petri plate of yeast selection media and seeing what yeasts culture off of them.

Anyway, always lots of ideas and little time. I'll get to it eventually!


Better brewing through science!

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Yenren
03-25-2016, 09:38 AM
Hi, I used 2oz of Bog Myrtle "dry hopped" in 23 Liters of porter, It was very nice to my taste and that of many others.But as for the effects I think the hops and bog myrtle clashed, I found myself to be a bit edgy after a few bottles, but have been told when mixed with yarrow the effects are very fun!
Check out this book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harrod Buhner
its very informative, but the recipes do need bit of tweaking, Its on torrentz.eu if your want to try before you buy!
I have a herdlist buddy who has made this gruit before I will try and wrestle a recipe out of him.

loveofrose
03-25-2016, 09:55 AM
Here is what I've got so far:
1738
Any additions?

Yenren
03-25-2016, 10:24 AM
This is a good site with good recipes and info about herb quantities and how to use them.
http://www.gruitale.com/intro_en.htm

loveofrose
03-25-2016, 11:34 AM
Yes, that seems to be the only real gruit site. Everything else is random recipes. Most all of them are strongly beer related. I'm going to lean more towards mead centric recipes for my purposes.

Vikings likely made beer like gruit for normal consumption while mead forward gruit was reserved for ceremonials. I'm working towards recreation of the later as well as tapping into the (mostly) forgotten potential of these herbs.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

bernardsmith
03-25-2016, 02:41 PM
Heather is not itself a psychotropic but there is a fungus that grows on heather known as fogg and I believe that fogg is said to have psychotropic characteristics. Wormwood, is something else. Isn't that the key ingredient of absinthe (thujone) ? And isn't absinthe rather infamous for its deleterious effects on those drank it.

Mazer828
03-25-2016, 02:52 PM
And the name of the star is called Wormwood. And a third part of the waters were turned into wormwood. And many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
Revelation 8:11

loveofrose
03-25-2016, 06:10 PM
Wormwood does contain thujone. Thujone is very close to THC. Both are irrelevant historically and currently. To get a high enough concentration you would need to use so much it would be undrinkable.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
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Yenren
03-25-2016, 07:36 PM
Here is a real life recipe from my herbalist buddy its an ale recipe but should help give an idea of portions. from beers of his I have drank before he tends lean on the low end of the flavor spectrum
50 g ling heather (might have been dry) for 30 min. 12g dry bog myrtle and 8 g dry yarrow flowers for 15 min. Then a whopping 300 g fresh ling heather thrown in at the last 2 min of boil. This was for a 30 litre recipe. Was in a brown belgianish ale with 800g honey as well

bernardsmith
03-27-2016, 11:08 PM
OK - have my notes. Seems I boiled 1 T of mugwort and 1 T of yarrow for 1 hour and added 1 T of sweet gale 50 minutes into the boil. Allowed the tea to cool and blended my honey (clover) with this tea. Pitched US-05 and added 1 T of sweet gale after first racking

beecarp
03-28-2016, 12:20 AM
Thanks Bernard, what size batch?

Yenren
03-28-2016, 06:08 AM
1 T, 1 Tablespoon or 1 Ton?!

bernardsmith
03-28-2016, 03:09 PM
I T is a tablespoon (standard cooking measure in the USA) and the batch size was 1 gallon.

Yenren
03-29-2016, 12:11 AM
Tiz a pity we don't have some sort of System of International units!

bernardsmith
03-29-2016, 11:15 AM
We do... Liters and grams... One tablespoon is about 15 ml (volume) and about 15 grams weight. One US gallon is about 3.7 liters (about 4.5 liters if you use a British gallon).;)

loveofrose
04-06-2016, 08:16 AM
I've compiled all the info I have at my site here:
https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/gruit-mead/

It is a work in progress, so expect updates. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I want an easy guide for anyone to make Gruit mead.

I still haven't received my Gruit herbs to start testing. I've started a ginger bug (how I did it on the site) to begin testing wild ferments. The idea is to split up the problems. First, get the herb concentration/mix right in a BOMM. In parallel, get a decent wild yeast strain. After both are accomplished, combine them. Cheers!


Better brewing through science!

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See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
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Clwurster
04-06-2016, 02:30 PM
With the use of obtaining your own wild yeast culture, does this mead swerve into the realm of a sour?

loveofrose
04-06-2016, 05:40 PM
Day 4 of Honey-Ginger Bug

We have signs of life! It still smells good!
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160406/4a6ddc5e5b0200ba7f9b6f633c605396.jpg


Better brewing through science!

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loveofrose
04-06-2016, 05:44 PM
With the use of obtaining your own wild yeast culture, does this mead swerve into the realm of a sour?

It's possible. It just depends on what bacteria co-colonize. I hate sours, so that would get tossed out.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

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rulohood
04-08-2016, 04:01 PM
I'm having a hard time finding the herbs for a gruit, could anyone give me some hints? Been looking for quite a while! (where to buy/get the herbs)

Yenren
04-08-2016, 06:05 PM
Try reaserching what is growing wild in your area with a focus on bittering, flavour full and psycoactive herbs chuck into mead must repete refine.
I am going to make a mugwart, yarrow, bog myrtle gruit very soon. I got my local health food/herblist shop to order the mugwart and yarrow. I had the bog myrtle myself.
Have fun!

loveofrose
04-08-2016, 06:24 PM
I'm having a hard time finding the herbs for a gruit, could anyone give me some hints? Been looking for quite a while! (where to buy/get the herbs)

Try the link in post 31!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
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rulohood
04-08-2016, 09:32 PM
Thanks a lot Loveofrose! That's a damn good link!

loveofrose
04-11-2016, 09:34 AM
Update on Ginger Bug:
The first batch of Ginger bug smelled wonderful, but developed white puffy mold on top. I abandoned this batch. I've also decided that in order to make this more mead-centric, a "honey bug" is actually a better way to go. See below.

Honey Bug

I must admit, this is my own (unproven) method for generating a wild starter. Yeast naturally exist in honey as well as most fruits. Here, I am attempting to cultivate yeast from pure honey. It is critical that you use raw, unpasteurized honey for this to work!

1. To a 1 pint mason jar, add the following and mix until full dissolved:
-1/4 cup honey
-3/4 cup spring water
2. Cover with cheesecloth or loose lid, swirl everyday, and wait until you see signs of fermentation.
3. If pleasant tasting, pitch into a batch of gruit mead (2 TBSP for 1 gallon; whole cup for 5 gallons).

loveofrose
04-11-2016, 07:24 PM
Gruit BOMM

I finally received my gruit herbs. It is time to make some Gruit mead! I've decided to stay true to Viking tradition and add a bit of dried malt extract. The DME is only 20% of the fermentables, so it is mostly mead.

For herbs, I checked various recipes for amounts online. The consensus for beer gruit was 1 hour boils with 10 grams of each herb per gallon. For a delicate mead, I think this is far too long and too much. I don't want a bitter mead. Rather, I would like emphasis on the flowery aroma of the herbs.

1. Add 1 quart of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the following:
-8 oz Golden DME
-5 grams Sweet Gale
-5 grams Yarrow
-5 grams Marsh Rosemary
2. Boil 10 minutes and cool in an ice bath.
3. Add strained wort to a carboy with 2 lbs of Orange blossom honey to carboy (SG ~1.1).
4. Add 1/4 tsp DAP, 1/2 tsp Fermaid K, and 1/2 tsp K2CO3.
-Add DAP/Fermaid K again at 1.066 & 1.033.
5. Add water to half gallon and swirl vigorously until honey is dissolved.
6. Add water to 1/2 cup shy of gallon. Taste: Very nice and herbal. Reminiscent of hops with a menthol type flavor.
7. Add a smack pack of Wyeast 1388.
8. It should finish around 1.003 (unfermentable sugar in the DME should prevent 1.000).

Post Fermentation
9. Add the following dry herbs in a Muslim bag and leave for 2 weeks:
-5 grams Sweet Gale
-5 grams Yarrow
-5 grams Marsh Rosemary
10. Cold crash and bottle with carbonation tabs.

Specs
SG - 1.102
FG - 1.003
ABV - 13%
4.5 Lovibond




Better brewing through science!

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See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

pokerfacepablo
04-12-2016, 12:21 AM
I have my gruit mellowing in a 3 gallon corney. I made it last summer and curious to see how this aged out. I remember it being a floral bomb. Your recipe sounds like a winner.

If you're interested.
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24814


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loveofrose
04-12-2016, 08:38 AM
I have my gruit mellowing in a 3 gallon corney. I made it last summer and curious to see how this aged out. I remember it being a floral bomb. Your recipe sounds like a winner.

If you're interested.
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24814


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Thanks! I'm trying to compile all gruit attempts here so I appreciate the link. Give us some tasting notes next time you pour a glass!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
04-12-2016, 06:23 PM
Day 1
Gruit blasting out of the airlock. Looks like the yeast like gruit!


Better brewing through science!

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loveofrose
04-14-2016, 09:56 PM
Day 3
Gravity 1.045. Degassed and added nutrients. I may not add the last batch of nutrients since this is going so fast. It seems the herbs are providing something beneficial.

Much to my surprise, the taste is wonderful right now! The Gruit herbs are very fragrant and the taste is difficult to describe. Think flowers with a very restrained menthol/herbal note. I think the old ways were quite good!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

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loveofrose
04-16-2016, 11:24 AM
Day 5

Gravity 1.015. No need for extra nutrients. This will go dry on its own. Flavor is good, but I'm trying to access whether I need to dry hop with herbs or not. The problem is that I don't know what flavor each is contributing. Let's remedy that problem.

Gruit Herb Flavor Analysis

Since I will be dry hopping herbs, I need a simple taste analysis to determine what flavor is coming from where and what needs reinforcement. For this purpose, I'm simply taking a bit of the herbs and chewing them up to get the flavor (and hoping the stimulant effects aren't too much). I also tried a few extra herbs that I have in my toolbox. My notes below:

1. Sweet gale - A very mild wintergreen flavor with an astringency that implies a dry beverage. Good to balance a sweet beverage and give a nice cooling effect on the palette.

2. Yarrow - Extremely flowery with a honey-like component. A slight bitterness at the end, but it's almost like a bee pollen bitterness rather than hops.

3. Marsh Rosemary - Rosemary is the perfect description, only very mild in comparison to true Rosemary. It also has a small peat-like element in the aftertaste that you would not want to overdo.

4. Meadowsweet - A marshmallow like flowery flavor with a mellow, slightly tart finish. I would use this to reinforce a flowery aroma.

5. Mugwort - Definitely bitter, but not as bad as you would think. It also has a spicy note that could be nice to work with. After some time passes, the spiciness fills your entire mouth. This would be a cool effect with hot peppers!

6. Horehound - Exactly like meadowsweet, but you would need triple the amount of horehound to get the same amount of flavor.

Based on the above, the current Gruit BOMM has lots of yarrow, appropriate amounts of Marsh Rosemary, but not enough Sweet Gale; therefore...

Dry hopped with 2.5 grams Sweet Gale in a sanitized muslin bag.


Better brewing through science!

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loveofrose
04-18-2016, 06:14 PM
Day 7
Gravity 1.005. A substantial tartness has become apparent due to the dryness. The sweet gale is also providing a nice wintergreen type note.

Added 6 oz of honey to balance the tartness (1.020). Vodka added to airlock.


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loveofrose
04-22-2016, 06:31 PM
Day 11
Oh yeah! That's what I'm shooting for! Right now, it's room temp and still fermenting, but it has a cooling effect all the way down your throat. Extremely tasty! I can't wait to see how it is when clear.


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curgoth
04-22-2016, 08:55 PM
My most requested BOMM variant uses rosemary and caraway. I clearly need to track down some marsh rosemary and try a gallon with it!

RiverNomad
04-23-2016, 12:27 PM
This is a fascinating thread, thank you for sharing your research and information. I'm getting ready to do a mead with fresh herbs from my garden so I'm sure I'll be referencing back to this frequently.

One quick question though...
I've never used carbonation tabs. I make wine and mead only and haven't even heard of such a thing.
Have you ever used them before? Can you use them with anything or do you have to know for certain that your yeast has been maxed out before using?

loveofrose
04-23-2016, 01:03 PM
Carbonation tabs only are used if the gravity is 1.000 or below. If there are viable yeast at the end of the ferment, they will work. The amount of time it takes to bottle carbonate is variable. It depends on temp, viable yeast, and ABV.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

pokerfacepablo
04-23-2016, 01:18 PM
Carbonation tabs only are used if the gravity is 1.000 or below. If there are viable yeast at the end of the ferment, they will work. The amount of time it takes to bottle carbonate is variable. It depends on temp, viable yeast, and ABV.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html
Hope you don't mind if I add my 2 cents. Medsen helped me out with my carbonated hibiscus tea recipe a couple years ago. Carbonation tabs are a little unpredictable with when they will carbonate. So I fill one small pop bottle and add a tab. I wait for pop bottle to expand and hiss with carbonation before I decide to open the rest. Also, be aware that if the ABV gets too high, the yeast won't take hold again even after adding the carbonation tabs. Some of my hibiscus carbonated and some didn't.

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RiverNomad
04-23-2016, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the info guys.
The tabs may not be of use to me with my sweeter meads then. Their ABV is usually pretty up there and I like residual sweetness somewhere around 1.02 to 1.03. I was thinking one of them would be rather good as a carbonated drink but I'll continue on in my quest to figure out a way to do that without breaking the bank on a machine.

As far as the carbonation tabs go, I've been kicking around the idea of a dry and bitter mead so they may work just perfectly with that.
And I assume that they can be left in the bottle indefinitely without losing the carbonation?

pokerfacepablo
04-23-2016, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

They may not be of use to me with my sweeter meads then. Their ABV is usually pretty up there and I like residual sweetness somewhere around 1.02 to 1.03. I was thinking one of them would be rather good as a carbonated drink but I'll continue on in my quest to figure out a way to do that without breaking the bank on a machine.

As far as the carbonation tabs go, I've been kicking around the idea of a dry and bitter mead so they may work just perfectly with that.
And I assume that they can be left in the bottle indefinitely without loosing the carbonation?
I have kegging equipment so that solves that issue. Keep an eye on morebeer.com for deals.

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loveofrose
04-27-2016, 05:38 PM
Day 16
Gravity is 1.005 again. The taste is great even at room temp. Began cold crashing. I want it to carbonate in the bottles, so the residue is acceptable.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

zpeckler
04-27-2016, 08:18 PM
Update on Ginger Bug:
The first batch of Ginger bug smelled wonderful, but developed white puffy mold on top. I abandoned this batch. I've also decided that in order to make this more mead-centric, a "honey bug" is actually a better way to go. See below.

Honey Bug

I must admit, this is my own (unproven) method for generating a wild starter. Yeast naturally exist in honey as well as most fruits. Here, I am attempting to cultivate yeast from pure honey. It is critical that you use raw, unpasteurized honey for this to work!

1. To a 1 pint mason jar, add the following and mix until full dissolved:
-1/4 cup honey
-3/4 cup spring water
2. Cover with cheesecloth or loose lid, swirl everyday, and wait until you see signs of fermentation.
3. If pleasant tasting, pitch into a batch of gruit mead (2 TBSP for 1 gallon; whole cup for 5 gallons).
Hey Bray, did you ever end up making and using the Honey Bug?

loveofrose
04-27-2016, 08:25 PM
First try was a fail. I'm trying a few things now to boost the success rate. I'm planning to write a series of articles on honey bugs, yeast isolation, and ancient mead made modern.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
04-28-2016, 06:02 PM
My previous attempt to make a honey bug resulted in mold only. How do I know? I streaked the culture on plates selective for yeast and grew no yeast. Success is only met after much failure. I repeat: Success is only met after much failure.

So what went wrong? Maybe too much honey. Honey is a hostile environment, so let's cut it back a bit. Also, maybe there was no viable yeast in the honey I chose. I can increase my chances by using multiple honey sources. Hopefully, at least one will have yeast. Let's try this again:

1. To a jar add the following:
-1/5 cup of honey from a mixture of summer Berry, OB, Meadowfoam, Acacia, and Tupelo varietals.
-4/5 cup ozarka spring water

I also made another ginger bug using only summer Berry honey as above plus a 2" price of ginger sliced thinly with the skin on.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
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loveofrose
05-01-2016, 05:33 PM
Day 19

It's a bit hazy, but much clearer than before. I decided to try a bit. It is very smooth with a strong wintergreen cooling effect. All the gruit herbs come through nicely in nose and flavor. I'm a bit surprised it's this good on the first try. I guess you can't have bad luck all the time!

This recipe is great start for getting to know the herbs. Experimentation can certainly run wild on this.

Improvements? It's really quite good as is, but carbonation would also be nice (which is the plan if the yeast are still viable). Small amounts of ginger or licorice could certainly be nice additions. I like it dry, but sweeter would be tasty as well for winter months.

Let's talk about the thing no one answers on any of the posts I found on gruit. Is the buzz different or not? This gruit mead is just shy of 15% ABV. It is strong in alcohol alone, but it does have a relaxing effect that goes beyond that. I don't really get any "Viking berserker rage" going on with this. It's more of a happy, extremely relaxed buzz. I would say it is a different buzz, but my n=1 at this point. Let's return to this point after more testing. More tasty testing. Yes, [sip] more testing is definitely required.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

zpeckler
05-01-2016, 06:09 PM
At n=1 your study is insanely under-powered. So much possibility for Type 2 errors!

You really need to get those numbers up. Lots more data-collecting is clearly required. :D

loveofrose
05-06-2016, 11:53 PM
Day 25
Bottled with 4 Cooper's carbonation drops per liter. Man, it smells great. I'm thinking this and Game of Thrones in a few weeks. I don't even care how carbonated it gets. It would be good as is, sweetened, or carbonated. You can't lose with this mead!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

pokerfacepablo
05-17-2016, 10:42 PM
Day 25
Bottled with 4 Cooper's carbonation drops per liter. Man, it smells great. I'm thinking this and Game of Thrones in a few weeks. I don't even care how carbonated it gets. It would be good as is, sweetened, or carbonated. You can't lose with this mead!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html
"That's what I do. I drink and I know things" Tyrion.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

loveofrose
06-14-2016, 10:42 PM
My previous attempt to make a honey bug resulted in mold only. How do I know? I streaked the culture on plates selective for yeast and grew no yeast. Success is only met after much failure. I repeat: Success is only met after much failure.

So what went wrong? Maybe too much honey. Honey is a hostile environment, so let's cut it back a bit. Also, maybe there was no viable yeast in the honey I chose. I can increase my chances by using multiple honey sources. Hopefully, at least one will have yeast. Let's try this again:

1. To a jar add the following:
-1/5 cup of honey from a mixture of summer Berry, OB, Meadowfoam, Acacia, and Tupelo varietals.
-4/5 cup ozarka spring water

I also made another ginger bug using only summer Berry honey as above plus a 2" price of ginger sliced thinly with the skin on.


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Update to "Honey Bug". I allowed this to sit in a dark place loosely capped until the mead cleared. That's right. I said the mead.

At this point, there was a nasty looking mat of filamentous fungi on top; however, the bottom had a fluffy layer of yeast. I pulled the top layer off to the side and got a loop of yeast for plating:
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160615/7255506ed75b2c91aa5b473ea242b2d5.jpg
You can see filamentous patches and round white colonies here. The white colonies are yeasties. I've re-streaked one of the well isolated colonies to obtain a pure culture. Can't wait to make some mead with the pure strain!

Ginger bug also worked:
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160615/978e0e03a1488797da15d55b9a5fcd62.jpg
Streaked a single clone of this as well.

zpeckler
06-15-2016, 07:21 AM
Eagerly following these honey bug-related posts. I'm hoping to use your technique to get a starter growing to augment the microbial diversity of my lambic meads.

I had some older crystallized raw honey lying around, and played with this a bit. I mixed up four different bugs with 1, 2, 3, and 4tbs honey and water to 1 cup volume. I let them go a couple of weeks, but never saw signs of fermentation. I pitched them when they started growing mold, but apparently I should have just let them keep going!

loveofrose
06-16-2016, 07:31 PM
I'm on passage 3 of purifying the honey yeast. It seems to be pure, so I inoculated a 1 cup starter as follows:
1 ounce honey
4 ounces water
1 tsp Fermaid O
One loop of yeast from a single colony

Let's see if the isolate has good characteristics before we go all out.



Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
06-19-2016, 10:41 AM
Full on fermentation.
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160619/2f4f68fb2dc6660a1184cf70e9690ee9.jpg
This yeast isolate smells like honey during fermentation! Can't wait to see how it tastes!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

Sadcheese
06-19-2016, 12:29 PM
The ginger bug looks pretty straightforward. Out of curiosity, why leave it under cheesecloth instead of under an airlock if the yeast that you are aiming to cultivate lives on the ginger? Is the goal to catch bugs in the air as well?




I've compiled all the info I have at my site here:
https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/gruit-mead/

It is a work in progress, so expect updates. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I want an easy guide for anyone to make Gruit mead.

I still haven't received my Gruit herbs to start testing. I've started a ginger bug (how I did it on the site) to begin testing wild ferments. The idea is to split up the problems. First, get the herb concentration/mix right in a BOMM. In parallel, get a decent wild yeast strain. After both are accomplished, combine them. Cheers!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
06-19-2016, 01:48 PM
I actually use a loose lid to avoid airborne microbes. Other folks seeking any yeast will use cheesecloth. It just depends on your goals!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
06-21-2016, 03:29 PM
The starter of my honey yeast isolate is bone dry. I decided to taste it to see if it was worth going forward to ABV tolerance testing.

Keep in mind this starter had an SG of 1.09 and now it's dry. Most meads at this point would be very thin in body and light in flavor.

Not this mead. It's the thickest mouthfeel I've ever felt in any yeast. It's dessert liquor thick with massive honey aroma. You would swear it was raw honey, but then you realize it's bone dry on the finish. I think I hit the gold mine on this one.

I hope the characteristics last through aging. Crazy good and extremely different. I think I have a true mead yeast!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

loveofrose
07-23-2016, 07:47 PM
Month 3
My first go at Gruit Mead is a massive success. It is stupid easy to drink a liter of this by yourself....which I've done. Twice.

It has this wonderful wintergreen flavor that has a cooling effect. I can't wait to make this with my wild yeast!


Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html