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Thread: Seemingly strange flavour combinations ?

  1. #1
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    Default Seemingly strange flavour combinations ?

    I seem to recall another thread relating to this.

    Anyway, I understand that what might seem like a strange mix of flavours to me, would seem normal to someone else, particularly if there's a cultural or regional difference.

    Either way, I'm usually happy to try anything once.

    Yesterday, I caught a programme on TV called "Mexican Food made easy". Of course, there's outlets, both restraunt and takeaway type places that produce Mexican or "TexMex" influenced food (the programme presenter runs about half a dozen places in London doing just that).

    Now I don't normally enjoy flavours that have used flowers as part of the flavour/aroma elements in them, but the recipe that caught my attention was "Plums, poached in rose and vanilla".

    For reasons I don't quite understand, I'm finding the idea of the combination of the rose/rose water and vanilla with some fruit appealing.

    Dunno why, or whether I'll get round to trying this dish......

    But do you have any, less than intuitive flavour combinations that taste good and perhpas either a recipe or an example of where that combination might be used ?
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  2. #2
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    There was a tincture I was taking for a time that included a bunch of different things (oddly enough, it's to counter yeast), and it tasted good and had some beneficial effects so I copied as much of it as I could based on the ingredients list and what was available to me, orange peel, clove, cinnamon and oregano. I made a pot of this as tea and one of my housemates said it smelled amazing, and it does taste pretty good as long as you don't let the cloves take over (something in that group of ingredients is extremely tannic after a long steep). So seeing as how that's basically the spicing for a JAO, I'm wondering what would happen if I chucked in some oregano the next time I made it... it really makes a nice tea.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

  3. #3
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    I suppose the two most unusual flavors I have made were:

    Peach Spearmint: I went light on the spearmint. The spearmint cut the fuzzy peach flavor beautifully and helped put some zing into it.

    Raspberry Thyme: I went a little light on the Thyme. The thyme complemented the raspberry wonderfully and it was evident in the smell of raspberry AND the smell of thyme permiated this very sweet batch.

    I do plan on replicating my Raspberry Thyme on request with a hint of Cinnamon but that's about 4-6 months off. About 8 months until the fruit.

    I did a Pear Nutmeg once too but that didn't seam to me to be all that unusual. I do have plans for a Lime Vanilla Mint but that seems to me to be not very unusual.

    I was thinking for a high end mead to try some dragonfruit. Maybe a Dragonfruit Strawberry Mango with a hint of lime. Hmm, not sure. Haven't really tasted dragonfruit so I don't know.

    Matrix

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
    I was thinking for a high end mead to try some dragonfruit. Maybe a Dragonfruit Strawberry Mango with a hint of lime. Hmm, not sure. Haven't really tasted dragonfruit so I don't know.
    I don't find dragonfruit have that much of a taste... I have a few frozen that I'm going to chuck in my next weirdomel... but then, those are never really about the taste

    And raspberry thyme sounds good, I made an apple-thyme jelly one year that was just soooo tasty.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I don't find dragonfruit have that much of a taste... I have a few frozen that I'm going to chuck in my next weirdomel... but then, those are never really about the taste

    And raspberry thyme sounds good, I made an apple-thyme jelly one year that was just soooo tasty.
    Oh, Yes. The Raspberry Thyme is very good. In July it will be aged a full year. I don't have much of it because it was for someone else. They wanted a mead making lesson and to compensate me for my materials for it. If you know what I mean. But I did try a few bottles. It turned out very sweet and very smooth. I used like 10 pounds of Raspberries for a 6 gal batch. I am not sure if I processed the thyme correctly. I bought some thyme and striped off the leaves and bruised them up a bit, ended up with about a tablespoon's worth of thyme leaves from about 4-5 branches of it.. So not dried. The leaves are very tiny. I didn't expect that. It turned out like a dark red wine color.

    Looking forward to tasting this again.

    Matrix

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    I'm not all that keen on most herbs beyond minute amounts. I'm a super-taster and everything is in your face to me and a little goes a long way. I also don't much like-usually-weird combos. Fruit is great, but mixing it with non-sweet (to my palate) herbs sounds ick.

    But I'd try it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
    Raspberry Thyme: I went a little light on the Thyme. The thyme complemented the raspberry wonderfully and it was evident in the smell of raspberry AND the smell of thyme permiated this very sweet batch.
    Matrix
    I have done a Rhubarb/Rosemary that turned out good (not great, but Im tweaking it this year). It was pretty tart so I had to backsweeten to 1.020. I love the idea of Raspberry Thyme though. Im going to try that with this years harvest of raspberries, thanks for a wonderful idea! I happen to love the combo of fruit and herbs when making jam or jelly so that is right in the sweet spot if you will pardon the pun. Ive got a lot of basil, rosemary, thyme, and even tarragon that I need to start thinking about using. More fun!
    The Key of Joy is disobedience

  8. #8

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    Rosemary Tangerine is an awesome combo. So many people loved that mead when I made it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triarchy View Post
    I have done a Rhubarb/Rosemary that turned out good (not great, but Im tweaking it this year). It was pretty tart so I had to backsweeten to 1.020. I love the idea of Raspberry Thyme though. Im going to try that with this years harvest of raspberries, thanks for a wonderful idea! I happen to love the combo of fruit and herbs when making jam or jelly so that is right in the sweet spot if you will pardon the pun. Ive got a lot of basil, rosemary, thyme, and even tarragon that I need to start thinking about using. More fun!
    Hey no problem. It was a wonderful process. For some reason raspberries made the yeast very happy, even in the secondary. It went very dry and I needed to stabalized, wait a week, then backsweeten. Expect to backsweeten it. And I recomend you go light on the thyme. I used about 1 tablespoon of just the leaves, bruised, and in a mesh bag, for 3 weeks in the secondary. It still turned out at a level you could taste and at a level that you could smell. The scent of the raspberry AND the thyme was a powerful and heady one. I made a 6 gal batch with 10 pounds of raspberries, frozen, thawed, seeds removed afte blenderizing and running the pulp through a screen with a rubber spatula to stir it. The resulting substance was a thick, mostly juice pulp that I put in the secondary after I used some pectin enzyme in it (put in with it in the blender to mix it)

    Ok, this also gave lots of sediment with the pulp.

    Good luck with yours. I plan on recreating it soon, adding a touch of cinnamon, possibly just a stick or two in the secondary.

    Matrix

  10. #10
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    A comment on using raspberries, you can just mash them by hand (or potato masher) and use a mesh bag, as long as you don't break the seeds open they don't seem to cause bitterness or anything and it keeps the fluffy crap and associated volume losses to a minimum...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

  11. #11

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    Good to know on the raspberries.

    I have 12 types of basil growing along with rosemary, thyme and oregano in my garden.

    I was thinking about using some basil in a recipe, but not regular basil. I have lemon, lime, cinnamon and tutti frutti basil that tastes like juicy fruit bubble gum.

    I was thinking tutti frutti mead. Would the best bet be to soak it in vodka or just ferment with the leaves in the carboy. Would primary or secondary be better?

    Still a rookie, only made 2x JAOM and 2x grape pyment so far. Possibly thinking tutti frutti one gallon batch and some 3 gallon berry mead next.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
    Hey no problem. It was a wonderful process. For some reason raspberries made the yeast very happy, even in the secondary. It went very dry and I needed to stabalized, wait a week, then backsweeten. Expect to backsweeten it. And I recomend you go light on the thyme. I used about 1 tablespoon of just the leaves, bruised, and in a mesh bag, for 3 weeks in the secondary. It still turned out at a level you could taste and at a level that you could smell. The scent of the raspberry AND the thyme was a powerful and heady one. I made a 6 gal batch with 10 pounds of raspberries, frozen, thawed, seeds removed afte blenderizing and running the pulp through a screen with a rubber spatula to stir it. The resulting substance was a thick, mostly juice pulp that I put in the secondary after I used some pectin enzyme in it (put in with it in the blender to mix it)

    Ok, this also gave lots of sediment with the pulp.

    Good luck with yours. I plan on recreating it soon, adding a touch of cinnamon, possibly just a stick or two in the secondary.

    Matrix
    I want to make this... So you put the raspberries in secondary only? How much honey did you use and what was the OG? If you don't mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    A comment on using raspberries, you can just mash them by hand (or potato masher) and use a mesh bag, as long as you don't break the seeds open they don't seem to cause bitterness or anything and it keeps the fluffy crap and associated volume losses to a minimum...
    Do you also use Pectic enzyme or no? If so, do you just mix it in with the mashed raspberries before putting it in the bag?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideincircles View Post
    Good to know on the raspberries.

    I have 12 types of basil growing along with rosemary, thyme and oregano in my garden.

    I was thinking about using some basil in a recipe, but not regular basil. I have lemon, lime, cinnamon and tutti frutti basil that tastes like juicy fruit bubble gum.

    I was thinking tutti frutti mead. Would the best bet be to soak it in vodka or just ferment with the leaves in the carboy. Would primary or secondary be better?

    Still a rookie, only made 2x JAOM and 2x grape pyment so far. Possibly thinking tutti frutti one gallon batch and some 3 gallon berry mead next.

    My fiancÚ won a gold at the Mazer Cup with a lime basil mead. We made a tea from the leaves, cooled it, added honey and fermented it.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guinlilly View Post
    My fiancÚ won a gold at the Mazer Cup with a lime basil mead. We made a tea from the leaves, cooled it, added honey and fermented it.
    I Love the taste of lime and basil!!!! I think my brew list is now + 2 because of this thread! How did you add the lime? Just the peels in secondary?

    Young

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngmeadman View Post
    I Love the taste of lime and basil!!!! I think my brew list is now + 2 because of this thread! How did you add the lime? Just the peels in secondary?

    Young
    It was a variety of basil flavored like lime - lime basil. It was made into a tea and a bit of lime zest was added all in the primary. He tends to do just about everything in the primary, prefers the flavor that way. The smell was intense and lovely with the flavor being herbal and slightly citrusy. I'm not entirely certain what we did with the score sheets from that one. I'll try and find them. The recipe is actually in Sam Caligone's rereleased Deluxe Edition of Extreme Brewing. It's called Basilisk, however the publishing company screwed up the ingredients and gravity.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngmeadman View Post
    I want to make this... So you put the raspberries in secondary only? How much honey did you use and what was the OG? If you don't mind



    Do you also use Pectic enzyme or no? If so, do you just mix it in with the mashed raspberries before putting it in the bag?
    I did use pectic enzyme on the raspbery pulp. My process was to blenderize with the pectic enzyme and run through a screen. The metal screen is enough to get the seeds out leaving just pulp that fit through the screen and yes I did get a bunch of loss. I used 108 oz of raspberries in secondary only.

    Primary was 12 lbs of honey. Secondary was about 8 pounds of honey all told.

    I used about 1/4 oz of fresh thyme leaves (damn they are small leaves) in a hops bag striping the stalks of the leaves and bruising them up a bit.

    Matrix

  17. #17

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    Thanks! Now on my to do list!

    Young

  18. #18

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    Vanilla Sarsaparilla Oak- really tasty, and it tastes like a pudding cake or ice cream depending on who you ask. The trick is using vanilla beans.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
    Hey no problem. It was a wonderful process. For some reason raspberries made the yeast very happy, even in the secondary. It went very dry and I needed to stabalized, wait a week, then backsweeten. Expect to backsweeten it. And I recomend you go light on the thyme. I used about 1 tablespoon of just the leaves, bruised, and in a mesh bag, for 3 weeks in the secondary. It still turned out at a level you could taste and at a level that you could smell. The scent of the raspberry AND the thyme was a powerful and heady one. I made a 6 gal batch with 10 pounds of raspberries, frozen, thawed, seeds removed afte blenderizing and running the pulp through a screen with a rubber spatula to stir it. The resulting substance was a thick, mostly juice pulp that I put in the secondary after I used some pectin enzyme in it (put in with it in the blender to mix it)

    Ok, this also gave lots of sediment with the pulp.

    Good luck with yours. I plan on recreating it soon, adding a touch of cinnamon, possibly just a stick or two in the secondary.

    Matrix
    Thanks for the recipe for that! I ended up getting about 12 lbs of raspberries this year, some from the garden and some wild. I might even get a bit more if the frost holds off. So, Ill end up with a bit more raspberry and Ill kick the thyme addition up a bit too, to match.
    The Key of Joy is disobedience

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngmeadman View Post
    Do you also use Pectic enzyme or no? If so, do you just mix it in with the mashed raspberries before putting it in the bag?
    I use pectic enzyme pretty much any time I use fruit. I mix 1/2 tsp per gallon into the must and give it 24 hours before pitching.

    Edit: I suppose if I were doing fruit in secondary I'd mix the same intended amount into the fruit mush and let it sit for a bit, pectic enzyme works better without alcohol and doesn't work well during active fermentation.
    Last edited by Chevette Girl; 10-01-2012 at 02:27 PM.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014

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