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Squatchy
01-26-2017, 01:34 AM
So it seems pretty slow around here so I thought I would try to stir up the must a little.

Depending on where we are all at on our discovery process making mead. I'm certain many of you have intentions to learn this or that.

So I'll kick it off.

For me personally. I feel like most of the mead world is missing out on not embracing things wine makers have done for 100's of years. I'm talking about blending blends and using different yeast for the nuances each can contribute to the whole. An parable would be I have been painting one picture at a time with one color. And on occasion using 2 or 3 primary colors. I want to learn to use different colors. And to learn to use shade variations within the one color, to highlight and shade to make a picture pop, from a flat picture to one that has depth.

Once one understands good fermentation management and can move beyond a recipe. Being able to balance all the different fractions that make up the whole becomes imperative to making good mead.

These are the things I will continue to work on this year. I feel all of what I have already mastered has only now brought me to a place where I can really start to soar.

Lastly I will be testing to become a certified mead judge in 2 months. That is a huge undertaking that is an everyday thing right now. I'm certain I will do this but it still takes an incredible amount of effort

So. What's on your plate? Here is a great place for you lurkers to jump into the mix and make yourselves be know :) As well as you other guys. Without a doubt there are way more qualified people who excel in one area or another that hide in the shadows. Step up and say hi and let us know what's up in your world. :)

Ryan

Stasis
01-26-2017, 03:09 AM
In wine I've heard about blending different varieties such as sangiovese with low tannins and a merlot with high tannins. Cabarnet and Merlot, for example is a very common blend and we get blends throughout the commercial range. I think the primary reason wineries might blend is to get the best of more than one variety and get an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the mead world we seem to almost always blend buckwheat, so this might be a fair comparison. I'm not sure blending for different yeast nuances is that common. Sounds logical and surely it has happened (or has it?), it's just that I have never heard about it as of yet

Swn Gwyrdd
01-26-2017, 06:36 AM
Me and a friend of mine first got into making mead as I always bought our group of friends bottles for our Christmas party. Last year 2 of us decided to try making our own as it was getting increasingly difficult to find decent quality commercial stuff (In Britain, anyway). Since then, I've got really into it and spent a lot of long evenings and weekends reading books, listening to podcasts and watching videos on how to improve my technique, and without blowing my own trumpet, I've gotten rather good at it. Everyone who's tried it has said it's really nice and that I should sell it.

So, on our agenda for this year is to get to a point where we can sell mead so other people around here can enjoy it, and not just have to rely on the spiced honey water that is the commercial stuff to drink at Christmas. It'll probably be a lot of hard work and a fair bit of money, but Rome wasn't built in a day. If we don't do it now, we may never get to thanks to Brexit constantly shafting our economy.

zpeckler
01-26-2017, 10:04 AM
I just hit the 1/3 sugar break in a tannin taste-test experiment I've got running. (Gonna post the results once it's finished.) I also want to run taste tests with other winemaking additives like Booster Blanc.

This year I also want to keep up my work with funky ferments. My lambic meads are slowly improving but still not quite "there." I want to try making a Golden Coast-style sour mead. This weekend I'll be pitching a cyser I'm fermenting with 100% Brettanomyces.

My fiancee wants me to try my masala chai mead again and make her a sweet mango mel.

caduseus
01-26-2017, 10:14 AM
I just hit the 1/3 sugar break in a tannin taste-test experiment I've got running. (Gonna post the results once it's finished.) I also want to run taste tests with other winemaking additives like Booster Blanc.

This year I also want to keep up my work with funky ferments. My lambic meads are slowly improving but still not quite "there." I want to try making a Golden Coast-style sour mead. This weekend I'll be pitching a cyser I'm fermenting with 100% Brettanomyces.

My fiancee wants me to try my masala chai mead again and make her a sweet mango mel.

IS your masala chai mead recipe a secret? I am interested in learning more about it

Squatchy
01-26-2017, 10:16 AM
Hello and welcome to the forum.

I didn't state it in my original post but I too am looking into getting a liscense to become professional. In our country is is very hard and takes for ever jumping through red tape. That is if you can even get to that point.

zpeckler
01-26-2017, 10:17 AM
IS your masala chai mead recipe a secret? I am interested in learning more about it

It's not a secret, it's just not very good yet. I based it off the recipe over at The Meadist.

Squatchy
01-26-2017, 10:24 AM
I believe what you said about reds are correct. I have already been making blends by making large batches of must and then dividing it into different vessels. Then ferment them all at the same time and then blend them back together some how or another.

I have also been using some of the adjuncts Zac spoke of in his reply as well as many of the others grouped with Booster blanc.

I'm excited in as much as now when I open bottles of some of my earlier stuff I think it's pretty good. But I also taste it and can tell how to better make the same thing next time. This shows me I am getting better. It's exciting to contemplate where I will be 10-15 years from now.

Stasis
01-26-2017, 10:29 AM
In wine I've heard about blending different varieties such as sangiovese with low tannins and a merlot with high tannins. Cabarnet and Merlot, for example is a very common blend and we get blends throughout the commercial range. I think the primary reason wineries might blend is to get the best of more than one variety and get an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the mead world we seem to almost always blend buckwheat, so this might be a fair comparison. I'm not sure blending for different yeast nuances is that common. Sounds logical and surely it has happened (or has it?), it's just that I have never heard about it as of yet

Damnit I was supposed to close the window this morning but instead I guess I pressed send. This comment has no point. Oh well

zpeckler
01-26-2017, 11:38 AM
I have also been using some of the adjuncts Zac spoke of in his reply as well as many of the others grouped with Booster blanc.

Yeah I've been using stuff like the Booster and FT Blanc, but haven't done side to side tests to see if it's doing my mead any good or if I'm just wasting money. A tannin taste test with FT in primary and Riche Extra in secondary is in progress. Booster will be put under the microscope next.

Squatchy
01-26-2017, 02:02 PM
Yeah I've been using stuff like the Booster and FT Blanc, but haven't done side to side tests to see if it's doing my mead any good or if I'm just wasting money. A tannin taste test with FT in primary and Riche Extra in secondary is in progress. Booster will be put under the microscope next.

Nice. Please let us know your results .

Dadux
01-26-2017, 05:57 PM
Well in my agenda there are 4 things at the moment.
1- New styles of mead. The concept of the bochet really fascinates me and I will be trying this soon. A capiscumel is something i want to try too.
2- Doing a dry traditional with a 4-varietals blend. I have beeng doing mostly monovarietal mead and my experiences with dry trads was bad at the start of the last year when i started making mead
Now that i know more about fermentation management (altough I have some things to figure out, but they turn much better than at the start ;D) I have a hunch that I can achive better results by blending honeys in a dry traditional and this will probably make a very interesting mead with a different profile. I also want to try using a minimal amount of lemon juice and tea in trads to add acidity and tannins (I am unsure about oak, I dont have any and for now I dont want to use it, even if that might be a mistake).
3- Designing a label! I have been working on this for a while and its nearly finished. I cant wait to stick em to the new and old batches.
4- And most importantly of all, I might be moving out of my country soon and I want to keep doing mead very much but I dont know if it will be possible or not. So im actually trying to figure out how the hell can I do it.

About what you said, squatchy, I read an article a couple days ago about grape varietal blending. But i dont know about the yeasts. You can use a killer sensitive strain to start a ferment and then add a starter of a killer strain. This would kill the other yeast and finish the ferment, yielding a different result. This would really be interesting (altough I might just be nuts).

Also good luck to you Squatchy and Swn Gwyrdd!

Squatchy
01-26-2017, 06:47 PM
I expect you will find that using blends of honeys for the most part will make a better mead than a stand alone honey. That is unless you have a very nice honey that you want to showcase the varietal all by it's self. I just bought a good bit of Tupelo for the first time. Actually it's the first time I have ever been able to find some in bulk so I sold the grand kids off and bought some.

I wouldn't want to blend it. Not even with moon dust at this point in time. But in general I find honey blends make for a better tasting mead. I would suggest to always taste your must any time you are putting a mead together. This way you will start to get a better idea of how that taste profile ends up after your fermentation process is over. I also taste everything I make during the entire process for the same reasons.

BTW thanks for your imput on yeast pH over on the other thread. What kind of background do you have to know these things ? :)

Dadux
01-26-2017, 07:18 PM
Yes I expect at least the result will be different. The honeys are not that special, just OB (40%), wildflower (25%) (here in Spain its basically lavender/rosemary, white/yellow and sweet), chestnut (25%) and clover (10%). If it gets any good I might make a post or something.

Also I'm finishing a degree in biology, want to go to other country to do a master degree (that's why I dunno if i will be able to keep doing mead). I am specializing in cell biology so I know some stuff because of that. Maybe less than others (see-loveofrose) but the scientific background sure its helpful for some stuff (altough in meadmaking, as in most things, I believe practice makes perfect).

PD: For me the best honey is acacia honey hands down. I could just drink that. But I dont have access to tupelo here...

djsxxx
01-27-2017, 04:04 PM
I've made 2 fruit bomb meads, 1 is still clearing, but both of them have a very distinct taste that I'm not a fan of. Best I can describe it, is if you bite into a seed of a strawberry, you get that very dry ?sour? taste.

Is that tannin?

My first batch I tried clearing with gelatin as I hear that helps remove tannins, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

To mask the taste I just back sweetened a bit, but I'd like to leave this current batch dryish.

So this year's agenda is to make a dry fruit bomb mead that doesn't have that taste.... If it's even possible [emoji1]

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

Dadux
01-27-2017, 06:07 PM
What fruit is it? I once did a strawberry mead. Its great but you can't use puree made from whole strawberries because if the seeds break they give a bad flavour. This is masked in jam because it has so much sugar. Is that what happened to you? I read this on other post and I used whole strawberries and didnt have flavour problems (altough i had others because i didnt put them in a bag...newby mistake, ended up losing like 1/5 of the volume because I had to rack it an insane amount of times, then it refermented in the bottle... its a long story, my experiences with melos/cysers hasn't been the best)

Edit: Some suggestions: as long as its not contaminated you might want to add some other fruits? different berries or maybe some pear or peach? orange juice to blend? depends on what you used initially. And you might want to let it age more first, just in case it dissapears with time. In my experience, just dont use anything too acidic ;)

djsxxx
01-27-2017, 06:15 PM
Clear Blossom Honey: 5.4kg
ICV-D47: 10g
Tesco Frozen Edv Mixed Fruits (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants): 5kg
Volume: 15L

All in primary, fruit was whole

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Stasis
01-27-2017, 06:18 PM
So Dadux about the racking losses.. I actually posted a thread about that a while back.
Basically:
1st ferment the strawberries only. After the majority of activity has subsided and you're approaching dryness...
2nd rack off the strawberries and strain the remainder in a muslin cloth. Let it drip for a while. Press the hell out of it, get that sucker dry. Don't worry about oxidation because of the next step...
3rd test the alcohol content of the strawberry wine. Should be around 4% I think. Calculate how much honey you need to get to 12%
4th add honey to the strained strawberry wine and let the ferment restart. Any air will be pushed out of the must by the ferment. After the entire fermentation is ready you should have relatively minimal lees to rack off of.
Full post on other thread is here: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/25164-Minimizing-racking-losses-in-melomels
Can you imagine not using this method when making prickly pear wine? It would actually be crazy to rack off the pulp.. I'd lose half the wine or more with all those seeds and pulp

Dadux
01-27-2017, 06:53 PM
Well if you used strawberries and it tastes like strawberries seeds...I guess something went wrong along the way. I left mine like 2 weeks and it was ok... and i used an unglorious ammount (2kg in to 5L). I'd go with cold crash if you can... If its any protein it might precipitate??
And thanks for that post Stasis, (I cant see it yet because im no patron...yet. If i keep brewing past this September I'll get it for sure). Altough I made it a long while back and I dont see me trying any time soon with strawberries, and i added them in secondary (altough it refermented partially so...;D) I wanted to make a (normal, not prickly) pear bomb. I just love pears like so much. but I dont have pectinase at hand and im not sure how to approach it, plus my hands/buckets will be full with other things unfortunately... (Eucaliptus honey with pears...it sounds so damn delicious...you give me dark thoughts, Stasis)

Squatchy
01-27-2017, 10:20 PM
I've made 2 fruit bomb meads, 1 is still clearing, but both of them have a very distinct taste that I'm not a fan of. Best I can describe it, is if you bite into a seed of a strawberry, you get that very dry ?sour? taste.

Is that tannin?

My first batch I tried clearing with gelatin as I hear that helps remove tannins, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

To mask the taste I just back sweetened a bit, but I'd like to leave this current batch dryish.

So this year's agenda is to make a dry fruit bomb mead that doesn't have that taste.... If it's even possible [emoji1]

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

Maybe before you start your next attempt run it past the members here to make sure you have everything in place. Strawberries are pretty challenging for sure. You have to use truckloads of strawberries for one. And I generally am a fan of long stretches with the lees in the vessel. However, fruits can certainly shorten that amount of time. Especially if the temps are warmish.

Do you have the same issue when making traditionals?

djsxxx
01-28-2017, 04:10 AM
Maybe before you start your next attempt run it past the members here to make sure you have everything in place. Strawberries are pretty challenging for sure. You have to use truckloads of strawberries for one. And I generally am a fan of long stretches with the lees in the vessel. However, fruits can certainly shorten that amount of time. Especially if the temps are warmish.

Do you have the same issue when making traditionals?
Trads are fine, it's very much a fruit thing.

Next attempt I'll ask in advanced. 🍓🍓

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caduseus
01-28-2017, 10:22 AM
For me: Bochet!
We have all these great methyglyns, melomels, cysers, and others. I want to explore this more- but with Bochets.
I really like mead but I must say (pun intended), I really love Bochet. Considering I like red wines more than whites, I guess this was to be expected.
I started 2 batches this year so far.

Swn Gwyrdd
01-30-2017, 08:05 AM
I'd really like to have a go at a bochet at some poiint too. Still experimenting with fruit and other things at the moment, got a Turkish Delight Mead penned "Aphrodizzyac" going right now. I'm not the biggest fan of Turkish Delight, but a couple of my friends asked me to make one for them so I thought I'd give it a go.

archaic
02-01-2017, 11:05 AM
Keen to see the difference that Yeasts and Wood bring to bare on otherwise identical batches.

For the Wood input, i have Acacia, Ash, Cherry, Apple and various toasts of Oak infused with Sherry, Malt Whisky and Bourbon.
For the Yeasts : Usual Lavlin suspects Kv116,D47, RC 212, 71b and QA23. ( regret not having CY3079 in that mix ) having read Squatchys experiences with it.

Batches : JAO , TRAD , and various fruit meads. The Sloe berry mead being the one with the full 5 different yeasts on the go.
The Sloe berry with all purpose wine yeast and sugar makes a good wine so that was an obvious one to try for me.

Having moved and blended various JAO Variants to solve headspace issues, i have seen a few of them become better than the original brew. As a relative newb, it will mean jack to a serious brewer but, as the imbiber, it means a lot. Wood notes and blending of: same brew different yeast meads, will be the order of play this year.

VikingBear
02-01-2017, 11:25 AM
My project for this year will be conducting an experiment to see if I can build a data table that will reliably help to determine the ABV of a finished mead based on flash point of the ethanol, taking into account SG, additional additives, etc. The hardest part will be accumulating enough mead of differing known ABV to test. Will it pan out? No idea, but it includes mead and fire, so should be fun!

Stasis
02-01-2017, 03:16 PM
My project for this year will be conducting an experiment to see if I can build a data table that will reliably help to determine the ABV of a finished mead based on flash point of the ethanol, taking into account SG, additional additives, etc. The hardest part will be accumulating enough mead of differing known ABV to test. Will it pan out? No idea, but it includes mead and fire, so should be fun!

So... you're planning on making a more accurate potential alcohol calculator? There already are plenty of potential alcohol calculators out there. I think it would be easier to simply use one which you find through experience gives the most accurate results. Personally, I like the gotmead batch calculator

Squatchy
02-01-2017, 05:55 PM
I think he's talking about shinning.

VikingBear
02-01-2017, 06:54 PM
I think he's talking about shinning.

The application would be more for a poor man's way of determining ABV of a mead if you forgot to take a SG reading, prior to fermentation. Based on flash point at a specific temp you can determine % ethanol in a water/ethanol solution. The idea is to see if a similar reference table can be created for a water/honey/ethanol solution. I know, lots of other variables in that solution. It's not perfect, but it's a start and hopefully when the data is plotted out then a pattern will emerge. If not, then I drink the whole damn experiment!

Stasis
02-01-2017, 09:00 PM
The application would be more for a poor man's way of determining ABV of a mead if you forgot to take a SG reading, prior to fermentation. Based on flash point at a specific temp you can determine % ethanol in a water/ethanol solution. The idea is to see if a similar reference table can be created for a water/honey/ethanol solution. I know, lots of other variables in that solution. It's not perfect, but it's a start and hopefully when the data is plotted out then a pattern will emerge. If not, then I drink the whole damn experiment!

In that case you can do a spirit indication test

VikingBear
02-01-2017, 09:26 PM
In that case you can do a spirit indication test

Exactly! This would be an alternative and faster method to the spirit indication test, assuming it works. Especially, if you have access to a flash point tester, which I do.

davidgoodfellow
02-01-2017, 09:45 PM
Sounds like a truly worthwhile endeavor! I have wished on many occasions that there were an easy method for determining ABV of a finished mead when I have failed to take appropriate measurements during the process. Besides that, any reason to make more mead is a good thing :)

bernardsmith
02-02-2017, 12:51 PM
My goal this year is to make a number of low ABV meads (short meads) using different yeasts and different varietals of honey.

Ken2029
02-10-2017, 12:57 PM
My goal is to step up from making JAO to more advanced protocols. I've got everything I need to make my first BOMM.