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Thread: Spiced mead recommendations?

  1. Default Spiced mead recommendations?

    Hello fellow brewers,

    I am very new to homebrewing and was rather overwhelmed by the numerous recipes out there. I was wondering what some good mild/sweet starter recipes are that are easy to produce?

    For my first mead that I will make, I decided to go with the recipe for a one-gallon (~4 liter) batch of "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead", but for my next batch I would like to try some others as well, perhaps even several at the same time. For the time being, however, let's assume that I only have access to fleishmann's active dry bread yeast... Home-Brewing isn't all that popular (or legal) here in Japan, so sourcing it is rather hard - not to mention the language barrier I face.

    Thanks for your time!

    -Dae

  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome, Daedalus. I'm not an expert so I will wait for some more knowledgeable people to comment. I've made two batches of Joe's Ancient Orange with the bread yeast and they turned out great, but since then I've moved on to wine yeast. I won't be able to help you with more bread yeast recipes. Hopefully someone else on here can help you out. If not, you may just have to experiment. Cheers!
    Raisins are NOT nutrients for yeast... but french fries ARE!

  3. #3
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    Try doing a search, in gotmead, for: "jaom variants". If you use the " " you'll get several results and if you do it with out the " " you'll get around 24 results.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hi Daedalus - and welcome. For what it's worth here's my take. The very best recipe for any mead maker is honey, water, yeast and nutrient. That's it. You decide the alcohol level you want: could be 5% or 15% ABV - that tells you how much honey you need and how much water. You pick a yeast: the labs have spec sheets that tell you the characteristics of their yeasts and the kinds of flavors they enhance or produce. You use the best water you can find - not distilled , not RO - water with mineral content. And nutrients. Honey has none that the yeast need. Everything else is smoke and mirrors and will mask (or highlight) any flaws in your mead making. But that's like driving on the state throughway like a drunken idiot hoping that all others on the road will take enough precautions to allow you to arrive safely.

    Ninety-five percent of self published recipes are for the most part garbage and the other 4.9 percent are irrelevant. If you want to (learn to) make a good mead, you pick a variety of honey you like or that interests you, you mix it with good spring water, you pitch a yeast you like because of the way it plays with the flavors in the honey and you add nutrients. When you can make a mead made with those four ingredients taste like ambrosia then you have mastered mead making - AND you have no need for "recipes".

    What you may want to know (and that is where the 0.1% comes in) is how much of an ingredient one might typically use if one was highlighting that ingredient, using the ingredient to complement another ingredient, or simply using the ingredient to add a note of complexity to the flavor. But that is what you do when you can make a mead. First, make a mead - then make that mead good. Then you can add color and tone.
    Good luck!

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    Hi Daedalus - and welcome. For what it's worth here's my take. The very best recipe for any mead maker is honey, water, yeast and nutrient. That's it....
    Thank you very much for your insight. I have a few ideas for some mixes and playful ideas I would like to try with making mead.

    What's your take on making a base-batch of mead with some simple nutrients for the yeast, then splitting it into micro-batches after a month (or so) of fermenting and adding different types of flavors to each set? Any advice on this to avoid spoiling the batch?

    Also, what's your opinion on using powdered ingredients rather than whole (i.e. powdered cinnamon or powdered ginger, etc)?

    thanks!

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    Try doing a search, in gotmead, for: "jaom variants". If you use the " " you'll get several results and if you do it with out the " " you'll get around 24 results.
    will do! thanks for the advice.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2016
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    Fresh spices are best. I don't know many mead makers who would recommend powdered spices, but you have to use what you have. I would make a plain mead, measure out a cup of it and add the powdered spice that you are interested in and see how it tastes.

    For ginger, how about using ginger that's been dried/candied?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    The thing about powdered ingredients is that they can take forever - and then some - to clear. You want to always use the very best and freshest ingredients you can find. Your idea of adding spices or herbs to the secondary, is, IMO, really good. The alcohol in the secondary will help extract flavors and the flavors extracted in the secondary tend to taste 'brighter' than the flavors that are extracted during primary fermentation.

  9. Default

    Hi Dae,
    first time brewer here, so mainly here for the advice.

    On top of finding spices you can consider how to add this spice. Need not be physical. You can make an extract in water or neutral alcohol. I think this is a good approach for a beginner, and will also reduce any issues with clearing of powder or fresh spice.

    Kaspar
    2nd season beekeeper, 1st season mead brewer.
    feel free to check my website on beekeeping and associated interests at http://biavler.nu/biavl/ (in Danish)

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    The thing about powdered ingredients is that they can take forever - and then some - to clear. You want to always use the very best and freshest ingredients you can find. Your idea of adding spices or herbs to the secondary, is, IMO, really good. The alcohol in the secondary will help extract flavors and the flavors extracted in the secondary tend to taste 'brighter' than the flavors that are extracted during primary fermentation.
    Thanks,

    Yes, my fear with adding the spices from the beginning of the fermentation period is that the yeast may "eat" some of the flavors as a type of nutrient perhaps... I have no idea if this would happen or not - however for my first batch I'll try adding the spices at the very start. My second batch later down the line I'll try this other method, then compare the two.

    A few ideas I had were:
    • Apple + Mint
    • rosehip + thyme + nutmeg + clove
    • mint + ginger
    • coconut + hibiscus
    • lavender + sage + chamomile + basil


    Many of these are not only for flavor, but also for aromatics. Not sure which of these will work well, but i'm curious to test it out! (yes, many of these are herbal tea blends - but I think that Mead has the right properties to possibly make it work... I'll let you know later)

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