FINAL RECIPE:

6 gallon yield

Honey:
10 lbs Arizona Mountain Pecan honey
06 lbs Arizona Mesquite honey
04 lbs Meadowfoam honey

Spice:
04 whole Jamaican allspice (smacked lightly with a mallet once, add 2 to primary and 2 more to secondary if needed)
03 quills Ceylon cinnamon (bruised by hand, 1 in primary and 1 in secondary if needed)
02 whole Grenadian nutmeg (smacked lightly with a mallet and abraded lightly, add to primary in separate bag and monitor flavor addition after day 2 remove when flavor is correct)

Treatments:
02 oz Med Toast+ American Oak cubes in secondary
02 grams Tannin Galalcool in primary
.25 lb Dates soaked in Mexican Coca-Cola

Nutrients:
20 grams GoFerm rehydrated in 100 ml H20
02 grams DAP at end of lag phase
04 grams Fermaid K at end of lag phase
06 grams Fermaid K at 1/3 sugar break
04 grams Fermaid K at 2/3 sugar break

Yeast:
16 grams Lallemand ICV-D254

From the ICV regarding ICV-D254:

1. Yeast Presentation:
This Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast was isolated in 1988 in Gallician (Costières de Nîmes area, south of the Rhone Valley) by ICV. It is neutral to competition factor K2 phenotype. This enological yeast was selected to develop complex and mature aromatic and gustatory properties of red Mediterranean wines. It was selected from 620 different isolates of the Rhone Valley.

2. Main technical characteristics:
•Moderate fermentation speed during the active phase: extension of the fermentative phase for long macerations.
•Good resistance to difficult alcoholic fermentation conditions: low concentration of usable nitrogen, high alcohol content potential.
•High SO2 consumption during fermentation.
•Malolactic friendly
•Significant production of mannoproteins during fermentation and considerable release ("relargage") during the post-fermentative stage, resulting in a voluminous gustatory profile, both rich and long, and contributing to the stabilisation of the polyphenolic system.

3. Precautions:
•Sensitive to high temperatures (> 28°C), particularly at the beginning of fermentation.
•Apply carefully Mediterranean fermentation good practices with high maturity grapes.
•Requires numerous aerations during the active stage of fermentation, particularly for juices lacking in nutrients and very rich in sugar.

4. Present applications:
•Top range red Mediterranean wines to develop mature, smooth and concentrated aromas and to express richness on the palate with smooth tannins. Very good synergy when blended with wines made with ICV D80 and ICV D21 yeasts.
•Middle range red Mediterranean wines to coat vegetal sensations of imperfectly ripe grapes
•Top range white and rosé wines fermented in barrels: develops buttery aromatic and gustatory characteristics.

As of 07/2007

This is a robust mead with a big presence. I am actively adjusting the character of this mead as I write this. I have zested in some Tarocco Orange Peel, Plumello Peel, and Key Lime peel as well. I have also added some incredible dates from the Arabic Market (Super King) down the street from me. The owner flagged me down when I was buying some Halal lamb for dinner one day and told me he had some one of a kind dates. I tried them and for some reason on the way home I decided to stop off at my favorite Mexican Taqueria and get some soft tacos for dinner. Well they had the Made in Mexico Coca-Colas so I bought a couple of them and it seemed like the Coke and the Dates were made for each other. I've used this recently in brewing as well.

cheers,

Oskaar