PDA

View Full Version : Spicing Apple Pie Mead



WayneG
01-04-2017, 03:50 PM
Sitting here, downing a Grolsch (I need bottles for bottling) I am contemplating on how to introduce the proper spicing method to get a good rich apple pie mead for my upcoming batch.

I see that most spicing attempts are done after the first racking, which seems to makes sense. Why expose your spices to all that fermentation?

From what I have read, most everyone just adds the spices to the carboy after the fermentation is done and then they wait, and wait and wait.
Assuming I am sticking to just cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans, I am guessing that since there is no agitation and minimal alcohol content in the mead the spice flavors are very slowly infused into the must, and I would further guess that this is going to take a significant amount of time.

Thinking outside the box, I figured I would run this idea past you all...

For a 5 gallon batch, (lets say 25% honey and 75% apple juice). Why not reserve a 1/2 gallon of apple juice from the batch and ferment the rest.

Then add the full dose of spices to the 1/2 gallon and heat the mixture to speed the extraction of the good stuff from the spices. Once that is done set it aside until the main batch is ready for its first racking and add it in.

My theory is that the flavor extraction will be faster and more complete with heat and if there are any funkies on the spices the heating will eliminate them. True, it will up the OG that the yeast must deal with in the rest of the batch, but with good nutrients, it should be able to handle it. Also with 1/2 gallon of apple juice added to the must after the first racking, I would guess there will be some delayed fermentation action.

So has anyone tried this for spices? What are your thoughts on doing this or alternatives?
Thanks
Wayne

caduseus
01-04-2017, 04:28 PM
Sitting here, downing a Grolsch (I need bottles for bottling) I am contemplating on how to introduce the proper spicing method to get a good rich apple pie mead for my upcoming batch.

I see that most spicing attempts are done after the first racking, which seems to makes sense. Why expose your spices to all that fermentation?

From what I have read, most everyone just adds the spices to the carboy after the fermentation is done and then they wait, and wait and wait.
Assuming I am sticking to just cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans, I am guessing that since there is no agitation and minimal alcohol content in the mead the spice flavors are very slowly infused into the must, and I would further guess that this is going to take a significant amount of time.

Thinking outside the box, I figured I would run this idea past you all...

For a 5 gallon batch, (lets say 25% honey and 75% apple juice). Why not reserve a 1/2 gallon of apple juice from the batch and ferment the rest.

Then add the full dose of spices to the 1/2 gallon and heat the mixture to speed the extraction of the good stuff from the spices. Once that is done set it aside until the main batch is ready for its first racking and add it in.

My theory is that the flavor extraction will be faster and more complete with heat and if there are any funkies on the spices the heating will eliminate them. True, it will up the OG that the yeast must deal with in the rest of the batch, but with good nutrients, it should be able to handle it. Also with 1/2 gallon of apple juice added to the must after the first racking, I would guess there will be some delayed fermentation action.

So has anyone tried this for spices? What are your thoughts on doing this or alternatives?
Thanks
Wayne

I have not done apple pie but I have done pumpkin spice. I waited until the secondary to add the pumpkin spice as the recipe I followed did not have pumpkin spice only pumpkin. This recipe left it tasting not much different than a traditional. I added pumpkin spice in for about a month with frequent tasting especially after the first 2 weeks.

When I followed the recipe for the Christmas Spice BOMM (which adds spices in the primary)- https://denardbrewing.com/blog/post/christmas-spice-bomm/ - it seemed to be weaker in spices tasting by comparison.

Based on these two experiences, I wouldn't be opposed to adding in primary but will add in secondary in addition.

Squatchy
01-04-2017, 06:00 PM
In my opinion, if you looking for something that really doe taste like apple pie. You will need more flavor adding spices than what you have listed. I think you will also need , cloves, nutmeg, cardamon, allspice. Not sure if your in a hurry or not. If you are,If you put this stuff in your vessel after you rack and stabilize, it should still be ready to come out before your mead clears naturally. You can place it in a bag and let it dangle. That way you can take it out when it gets to where you want it. If your not in a hurry and are willing to wait until it clears, your spices will be ready to come out before it's clear enough to bottle.

Having a proven recipe helps of course. Knowing how much of each to create balance doesn't always come first try. I could give you a proven recipe if you wanted one. Also you will probably find you need more than one type of apple juice to get the balance of sweet and tart right as well. I taste lots of stuff that just taste like Martinelli's with alcohol. That's pretty far from what one could have if they were more versed in understanding the different sides of the coin and how to make them all contribute accordingly in order to create something that is balanced in all aspects.

A well rounded mead takes several different things into account and weigh in each component to fit nicely and compliment the others. When this is understood, and honored, it is only now that a person can start to make good meads that are enjoyable to most people. It's when certain aspects are out of balance by either being to strong or weak, that a mead will leave the taster unfulfilled and scratching their head saying" I don't know, "Something isn't right and I just can't put my finger on it".

I'm probably rambling now so I'll shut up. :)

WayneG
01-05-2017, 08:39 AM
In my opinion, if you looking for something that really doe taste like apple pie. You will need more flavor adding spices than what you have listed. I think you will also need , cloves, nutmeg, cardamon, allspice. Not sure if your in a hurry or not. If you are,If you put this stuff in your vessel after you rack and stabilize, it should still be ready to come out before your mead clears naturally. You can place it in a bag and let it dangle. That way you can take it out when it gets to where you want it. If your not in a hurry and are willing to wait until it clears, your spices will be ready to come out before it's clear enough to bottle.

Having a proven recipe helps of course. Knowing how much of each to create balance doesn't always come first try. I could give you a proven recipe if you wanted one. Also you will probably find you need more than one type of apple juice to get the balance of sweet and tart right as well. I taste lots of stuff that just taste like Martinelli's with alcohol. That's pretty far from what one could have if they were more versed in understanding the different sides of the coin and how to make them all contribute accordingly in order to create something that is balanced in all aspects.

A well rounded mead takes several different things into account and weigh in each component to fit nicely and compliment the others. When this is understood, and honored, it is only now that a person can start to make good meads that are enjoyable to most people. It's when certain aspects are out of balance by either being to strong or weak, that a mead will leave the taster unfulfilled and scratching their head saying" I don't know, "Something isn't right and I just can't put my finger on it".

I'm probably rambling now so I'll shut up. :)

I have seen recipes online using other spices, but they seldom show how much they use. Without a measurement, I am hesitant to try it. I am fairly confident of the cinnamon & vanilla bean quantities to use them.
I figure that if I use 1/2 gallon of apple juice and heat the spice blends, then add a portion of that liquid to tasting sample my almost complete traditional mead, that will give me a approximation of how the final product will taste. If it is bad, then I have only wasted a cup of mead, a few spices and apple juice and a small bit of time, not months of work and an entire batch.

On blending apple juices, unless I press my own from store bought apples, there are not many choices here at this time of year, shipping on the juice can cost more than the juice itself. For this try I plan to use Motts 100% with only vitamin C added. I found local bulk Honeycrip apple juice, supposedly 100% organic but this is the ingredient list:

Filtered Water, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Flavors, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
I have no clue what "Organic Flavors" are?

Anyway, dont worry about rambling, some of the best ideas come from a good ramble! If you have a recipe that you want to share, I am open to suggestions!
Right now my ingredients for my incomplete recipe for 5 gallons of apple pie mead are: 75% apple juice, 25% honey, 1 vanilla bean, 1 cinnamon stick, there is definitely room for improvement.
Thanks
Wayne

Clwurster
01-05-2017, 08:56 AM
Good to see I'm not the only one to down Grolsch for mead bottling ;). I think your idea sounds spot on to blend the spices quicker-give it a go & you can send me a bottle for taste testing. Just my 2cents- I usually freeze the juice I'm going to add back & let it thaw half way & drain the concentrated juice off to mix.

Squatchy
01-05-2017, 09:49 AM
That honey crisp is perfect. Ascorbic acid is fine. It's in there to help keep the bad guys at bay but won't bother your yeast at all. It's the same as your vitamin C.

I didn't realize you were making a 5 gallon batch. Good for you :) I would use at least 60% of the Honey crisp. The motts will be very bland on it's own.

With 5 gallon in mind you can bump up your bean by one more and your sticks by 2 more. Don't add your bean during an active fermentation. The yeast will metabolize the vanillian.

Squatchy
01-05-2017, 09:51 AM
Use this with the apple portions I gave you in the above post and you will love it. I promise. It's really really good.

Size-6 gallons
SG- 1.130
Type- Cyser
Fermentation Temp- 55 to 65 F


INGREDIENTS
15 lbs. Wildflower honey
5 gallons- Unpasteurized apple juice
3 Tblsp- Dried Hungarian meadowsweet flowers
3 Tblsp- Dried Elderflowers
8 Tblsp- Dried Chamomile Flowers
8 grams- Lalvin R2 Sauternes Yeast reydrated with Goferm

PRIMARY
In a 7 gallon bucket mix honey and apple juice. Top up to 6 gallons and pitch yeast at 68. Rehydrate with Goferm according to the instructions. If you can get Fermaod O instead of K that is now my preferd nitrogen source. Fermaid K works very good as well and is more like generic food that you may have to settle for in Oz.

SECONDARY
Add meadowsweet, elder, and chamomile flowers in a hop bag.

At the end of lag phase add mixture of 6 grams Fermaid K rehydrated in 50 ml water.

Aerate twice daily until 1/3 sugar break 1.087.

At 1/3 sugar break add 6 grams Fermaid K reydrated in 50 ml water.

At the end of active fermentation rack to secondary and add the herbs. Pull out the herbs after 2 weeks. Let bulk age 6 month to a 1 year. Bottle when clear and stable.

This cyser came out dry so I backsweetend with more honey to 1.025.The flavor of this cyser is amazing! Crisp apple in flavor with a nice floral aroma. The meadowsweet gives you the impression that there is cinnamon in this cyser and the chamomile blends well with the honey and apple juice

WayneG
01-05-2017, 02:20 PM
That sounds like a awesome recipe, if you dont mind a few questions?

1) For the yeast, I have 71B in hand, and it seems to be working well with my first batch of Traditional mead. I am shooting for semi dry and my basement temps are stable at 62 deg F. I hope that is a fair substitute for the R2?

2) For the Honeycrisp Juice, I am most worried about the unknown "Organic Flavors" in the list.

3) Where do you find your dried flowers? I am a Amazonaholic for most of my exotic purchases.

4) I did not see the cinnamon or vanilla mentioned in your recipe, should they be in it, or can you get a Apple Pie Mead/Cyser without them?

5) Final question; I see you go to the secondary before 1/3 sugar break. For my traditional batch I did all the staggered nutrients in the primary and then after the 1/3 break I went to a glass carboy for the secondary, where it sits now. I will do another racking into a final glass carboy when the SG is stable. I planned to something similar for the Apple Pie batch, what are your thoughts on that?

Squatchy
01-05-2017, 03:24 PM
That sounds like a awesome recipe, if you dont mind a few questions?

1) For the yeast, I have 71B in hand, and it seems to be working well with my first batch of Traditional mead. I am shooting for semi dry and my basement temps are stable at 62 deg F. I hope that is a fair substitute for the R2?

You can choose any yeast you want. 71-B is a nice yeast. I dislike it however for a Cyser. Most cysers are already to sweet and lacking in tartness. 71-B makes it even worse by changing the acidic structure. This detracts from the tarts crisp apple notes one finds when you bite into an apple. That yeast would do well if you had some tart/dry/tanic apples juice. But you don't. This is also why I suggested you used the honey crisp apples. You can use it but I would not promise as good of results with the recipe I gave you.

2) For the Honeycrisp Juice, I am most worried about the unknown "Organic Flavors" in the list. Suit your self. I wouldn't think twice. I wouldn't make if personally if all I had to use is Motts.

3) Where do you find your dried flowers? I am a Amazonaholic for most of my exotic purchases. That works. So does LHBS and spice shops such as Pensy https://www.penzeys.com/

4) I did not see the cinnamon or vanilla mentioned in your recipe, should they be in it, or can you get a Apple Pie Mead/Cyser without them? Thats up to you. Personal preference.

5) Final question; I see you go to the secondary before 1/3 sugar break. For my traditional batch I did all the staggered nutrients in the primary and then after the 1/3 break I went to a glass carboy for the secondary, where it sits now. I will do another racking into a final glass carboy when the SG is stable. I planned to something similar for the Apple Pie batch, what are your thoughts on that?

Reread it. Aerate until 1/3 feeding. Rack after active is over. I sometimes will advise a little differently than I actually practice, just to avoid conflicting info as per the normally established protocol. Especially when helping a newer mazer.

Personally, I usually lock things up in glass/airlock when my ferment stops making a lot of CO2. Different every time but somewhere around 1015 or so. I have different time frames for adjuncts and stabilization/racking based on what I am doing as well.

Generally speaking. I taste stuff all the time during the creation process. Others won't bother to taste for months at a time. I feel if you taste along the way you learn more and can get a sense (with practice) if things are heading in the way you want it to. This might be especially useful once you stop copying recipe's and making your own things. As you become better educated you will learn to decipher and toss out the bad/misinformation that is laced in many of the available web site recipes.

If you add things while you still have a ton of yeast/CO2 in suspension you may not know well enough what you are actually tasting. With that said. The absolute best way to know about your spice duration is doing this after your mead has been stabilized and at least fairly clear. That way your not competing spice-vs- other things still suspension. If you add your beans before fermentation is over the yeast will eat the vanilla.

Because I have made this particular batch, and with variations, if you do as I suggested I'm certain you'll be ok.

Hope this help :)

WayneG
01-06-2017, 03:24 PM
Good to see I'm not the only one to down Grolsch for mead bottling ;). I think your idea sounds spot on to blend the spices quicker-give it a go & you can send me a bottle for taste testing. Just my 2cents- I usually freeze the juice I'm going to add back & let it thaw half way & drain the concentrated juice off to mix.
It is cheaper buying Grolsch 4 packs than buying new empty 16 oz. EZ cap bottles on Amazon.
A case of 12 new bottles on Amazon is $28.50 or $2.35 a bottle.
In our beverage store, a 4 pack of Grolsch 450 ml is $8.50. That is $2.12 for a single full bottle, almost a quarter cheaper than empties!
If you need the bottles anyway, you get some good brew for FREE.
Wayne

WayneG
01-06-2017, 03:29 PM
If you add things while you still have a ton of yeast/CO2 in suspension you may not know well enough what you are actually tasting. With that said. The absolute best way to know about your spice duration is doing this after your mead has been stabilized and at least fairly clear. That way your not competing spice-vs- other things still suspension. If you add your beans before fermentation is over the yeast will eat the vanilla.

Because I have made this particular batch, and with variations, if you do as I suggested I'm certain you'll be ok.

Hope this help :)
It makes sense that fermentation should be complete before adding anything else. I agree that the results will be muddied up.
What do you use for a source of apple juice?
Wayne

Squatchy
01-06-2017, 05:50 PM
I buy fresh pressed in season as well as add fresh apples to get a blend of sweet/tart/dry/bitter. And of course frozen concentrate as well.

If you go to my profile you can see my "started threads". I have some with pics recently