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JoeM
01-05-2004, 02:10 AM
I have this basic recipe that i work with a lot. I use it as a base for almost all of my meads (with a few exceptions). Sometimes i leave it plain, sometimes i add fruit, sometimes spice, sometimes i carbonate and sometimes i leave it still. But usually no matter what I'm making i use this as my base and then add or subtract from it. I've experimented with other formulas and usually just always end up coming back to this. So i figured since i use the formula a lot, i would ask all of you your opinions on it in the hopes that maybe someone could offer some way to improve upon it and make my wonderful meads even better! Here it is:

Ingredients:
15 lbs clover honey
4 lbs pink grapes (mashed in blender)
Juice of six lemons
Red star Montrachet Yeast
5 Gallons bottled spring water
1.5 oz dextrose per gallon must to prime if carbonation is desired

I put it all in my brew kettle and pasteurize at 170 degrees F for 5-10 minutes then cool and pitch with a strong yeast starter made the day before. I then primary ferment in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy. I like to rack (to 5 gallon glass carboys) 2, maybe 3 times before bottling somewhere around the 6 month mark. I then age for 4-6 months before cracking it open. If i add fruit i will put 1-2 lbs of fresh or frozen fruit in the pot to pasteurize with everything else, and strain it out of the first racking.

Heck while I'm at it check out this Braggot recipe I've been working on for a few years...its funny, it tends to be a big hit with both the mead and the beer crouds, sometimes bigger than my mead OR beer!

Ingredients:
5 lbs clover honey
5 lbs light DME
¼ oz Cascade hops
8 oz 40 L crystal malt
Your favorite ale yeast (i have had great success with Wyeast London Ale and American Ale yeasts)
Bottled spring water to 5 gallons final volume
5 oz dextrose to prime

I crack the crystal and steep it at 170 for 20 minutes. I then remove the grain and bring the must/wort to a boil and add the hops and malt, boil for an hour, remove from heat and dissolve the honey (You could add aroma hops at this point but i choose not to in order to preserve the aroma of the honey) I then cool, pitch, rack, bottle, and age as usual. It really is a beautiful thing, not quite mead and not quite beer, the best qualities of both and then some!

So I'm very interested to know what all of you think about these recipes, any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I'm always looking to improve both my product and my advice for others. Thank you in advance.
JoeM

JamesB
01-14-2004, 02:45 AM
My comment on the first recipe is that I would use maybe one lemon, maximum. The pink grapes ought to provide plenty of citric acid. I'm surprised your mead doesn't come out too sour. Also, I'd actually use a couple of pounds less honey. The thickness/thinness is really a matter of taste. I've found that lighter meads (ie. orange blossom) are better thin, whereas darker meads (ie. blueberry) are better thick.

As to the second recipe, I've never done a 50-50 mix of honey and malted barley. A mead with hops added didn't go over too well. I followed a recipe a few years ago for blueberry mead which called for hops, but people didn't like it. The same recipe without the hops got great reviews.

PS. What's the purpose of dextrose?

JoeM
01-14-2004, 04:18 AM
Dextrose is added at bottling and provides fermentable sugar to create carbonation. I've tried to use honey for this purpose many times with the result of either too much or too little carbonation. Using dextrose gives a much more consistent and predictable product.

kace069
03-21-2004, 07:02 AM
i already posted a question about a braggot today and just found this posting of yours. i just made my first one it is still fermenting. i read your recipie and there must be a typo i don't under stand the line about the hops.. how much did you use. the ken schram recipie with a slight variation, i used 2/3 honey to 1/3 malt. i used 2oz of cascade and 1oz saaz for flavor. and 1lb crystal malt. i am very excited about this since i have never had braggot before and i figured this woul be my only chance. if i comes out well it could very well be and annual recipie