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Thread: Interesting recipie

  1. #1
    Andy H Gotmead Visitor

    Default Interesting recipie

    Well,

    after confering with the gods(or brew masters) that be in my neck of the woods, i was given an idea for a recipie for the mead maker on a strict budget.

    this is more of a spiced honey-beer(no malt or hops though) than true mead.

    what it does is effectively cuts the ammount of honey that you use, but i'm posing here for the sake of other newbies strapped for cash

    the ammount of honey required for a 'traditional' mead in my area, at discount from a bee keeper i've been buying honey from for years(believe me, i get it for 2.25 canadian per lb, and it's as low as it gets)

    but i digress.


    The idea is to cut a very rich honey(which is what i get all the time) with common dextrose and/or sweet fruits.

    i know i'll be getting cries of 'Blasphemey' or 'how dare you degrade this art' at about this point, but please, follow along.

    Items required.

    5-7lbs of honey
    1tsp Irish Moss Powder
    enough pureed fruit, or Dextrose (corn sugar) to bring alchohol potential up to 7-9%
    1 5gal+ glass carboy
    1 5gal food grade pail (with lid if possible)
    1 racking cane w. tube
    cheesecloth (only if fruit is used)
    1 hydrometer (can't stress this one enough, eggs won't work for this recipie)
    1 small galss gar with lid
    1 packet of lager yeast (you want a nice, slow fermentation but not too slow)
    1 funnel (always helpful)
    1 packet of pectin-reducing enzyme(if using fruit)

    here i go, forgive me if i miss somthing.


    5-7 lbs of honey are boiled briefly with 1 gallon of water (to eliminate excess protien) with 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of Irish Moss powder (archaic, but effective). Note, add fruit, if to be used, when the mixture is no more than 80 degrees C in a cheesecloth bag to the hot mixture, try to keep it around 72 degrees C for at least 5 minuites. put hot bag of fruit mush into the sterile pail and cover.

    next skim scum from the surface, liquid should be finnished boiling by now. and started cooling.

    like with a wort, add the hot honey-water to a sterile carboy with 4-6" of water in the bottom retain about 1 pint of liquid mixture.

    fill carboy until the 4.5 gallon mark is reached

    add yeast nutrient to the remianing pint,(i prefer a mixed mineral and amino acid nutrient)(add enzyme for fruit at this point, if it is to be used.

    pour 2 ounces from the pint into a small galss jar, fill until 2/3 full and wait (this acts as your yeast primer, so add the little critters when it gets to be a little below body temperature)


    add the primed yeast and remianing liquid in the pot to your carboy, mix well.

    now comes the fun part;

    after 2 or so hours, rack the liquid off from the carboy to the sterile pail. make sure you get some air mixed into your must.
    if fruit is being used, it should be in the pail already.

    now check the reading of your hydrometer, if the alchohol potential is less than 7% rack about 1/4 gallon of the must into a pot, heat (i know you're killing some yeast but you have to )
    add about 1/6 lb of dextrose per 1.4% increase needed

    when cool, mix back into the must, take another reading, repeat above step no more than once more.

    if using fruit, leave in pail, if not, transfer back to carboy.

    once the yeast seems to be done it's thing, check the specific gravity/ alchohol potential to make absolutely sure it's done.

    rack to carboy or secondary container

    add finings or wait for it to settle, wichever you prefer, it took mine almost 2 weeks to settle to a clairity i wanted using isengalss finings (i didn't use enough though, i found out later )

    rack to now clean first container

    make a very strong tea or tincture of the spices you want (or none if using fruit whatever you prefer.) also at this stage, make a priming solution using 2 cups of sterile water and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dextrose. note:Only make priming solution if you intend to carbonate your finnished product

    add to bottles and wait 4-6 weeks, although it tastes better with age, do not let sit for more than 1 1/2 years though, although i doubt it will last that long.


    my first recipie turned out well, i used acid blend, which made it nice and smooth (and got you faced right quick if you don't watch out)

    it's not traditional, it's not the 'full flavor' that you are used to, cinnimon, ginger and cloves with a touch of rosemary worked well with my first batch, half carbonated (yum, summertime) and half not (just as good, better for fall though IMHO)

    the smaller quantity of alchohol made for somthing you could drink like a nice wine or heavy beer, and you could have a few glasses before calling it quits.

    the honey is a very nice background, next time it's strawberries or melon though.


    this could be called cheap man's mead, but i just call it good.

    although mine turend out great, i would like some others to try it to see if it works for everyone (and it's cheap enough for most tor try too )

  2. #2
    Andy H Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Um, yeah, reading on my original post,

    i didn't describe the process too well but, maybe one of the gods of mead out there can help.

    i know gravity should be measured before the yeast is added, but i just ook a sample before the little critters had any chance to really act on the sugar in the mead.

    forgive my poor instructions...please.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    wow, confusing! You sound like a brewer, Why not just figure out the alcohol you want and add your fermentables accordingly? Then there is less handling to reduce possible infections.
    2nd thought.. Why heat your must at all?
    3rd thought... I don't compensate for any fermentable sugars from fruit. I add the fruit for flavor. Any sugar conversion from fruit is a bonus!!!
    I would just aim for an alcohol content, Add the honey i could afford, and make up the rest with the dextrose. Believe me i have thought of cutting my honey with cane sugar before. I have read that it works but i haven't tried it before.
    And where in canada do you live?
    I am in michigan and right now i can get honey for 1.25/lb from a beekeeper.
    Luckily i took up beekeeping myself and next year i will make mead for the cost of bottles, corks,and yeast! If you have the space... which dosen't take much.... and you really love making mead... I would suggest beekeeping to you it is very rewarding... and i am not talking about the honey(mead) you will get from it. I have about $350 into beekeeping and i am looking at about 100lbs of honey next year... and well you can do the math...

  4. Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Another Michigan beekeeper and meadmaker - welcome! Where are you located?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    marlette how about you?

  6. Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Clarksville. I've got three hives, and I'm enjoying my first harvest right now. I'm amazed at how much better the honey is, even compared to good raw stuff straight from the beekeeper. Mmmmmm....

  7. #7
    Andy H Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    I do brew a bit, i've been helping my father since i was 5 years old. I consider myslef a bit of a newbie because this was the third batch (of mead) for me.

    as for soudning like a brewer, it's amazing what you learn about in the canadian highschool system.

    i'm 18 (legal age for consumption of alchohol in ontario is 19, so i don't even taste my own stuff, and rely on the tastebuds of my parental units+friends.) and all my batches are scheduled to age perfectly for my birthday in 8 months.


    and mead is a perfect way to buy favors from friends in the SCA.



    one question, mainly to you purists. I've always thought that adding extra sugar to a mead is not a 'good' thing. in fact, i've been told that it kills flavour.

    do you find that this is true?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    1,200

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    one question, mainly to you purists. I've always thought that adding extra sugar to a mead is not a 'good' thing. in fact, i've been told that it kills flavour.

    do you find that this is true?
    Plain sugar has no flavor. It does little for mead except if used as a cheap source of sugar to create more alcohol in which case the additional alcohol sometimes overpowers the delicate honey flavor and serves to dilute the taste. If added after the mead is stabilized, It does not add to the flavor though it can make the honey more noticeable with some sweetness. A better choice is sweetening with honey either before or after fermentation. It adds nose and flavor and in the case of after fermentaion is complete, honey flavored sweetness.
    Joe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Saying what Joe said differently . . .

    One impact of using sugar rather than honey, is that the mead becomes "thinner". You have reduced the amount of honey flavour.

    If you sweeten your mead with honey after the fermentation is finished, then the mead will (may?) develop a "honeyed" texture or mouthfeel, which will counteract the "thinness".

    If you want a dry mead, then the reduction in honey flavour will be most noticeable.

    If you have an overly strong-flavoured honey, then substituting sugar for honey may be desirable however, blending with a mild flavoured honey would be better (but more expensive).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    well i got one hive and a late start so no harvest this year. But i plan on buying at least 1 more if not 2 hives for next year.
    I think every serious meadmaker should take up beekeeping. It makes experimenting with new recipies a lot easier to do, knowing that if it turns out bad. It didn't cost alot.... Between my meads and a new favorite drink (braggot) and my girlfriends candle making. I have a lot of plans for my bees.

    To bad you live so far away. I only know one other brewer personally and he makes no mead and a lot less beer then me. It would be nice to taste someone elses recipies.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    I personally would love to! However, my wife and my mother who lives with us are both allergic to bees and put a serious kaibosh on that idea! However, it just so happens that my bug man wants to start his own hives for his own personal research of bee poison as an anti-arthritic treatment. I am planning on making a deal with him so that I buy everything he needs for the hives, including the bees, and he gets all the equipment he needs to process what he needs to process and handle the bees. After that, one hive of honey, pollen and propolis would be all his. Two hives would be all mine... That's hopefully starting next year after I get my tax return and it's hopefully large enough for what is required.

    Talon.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    What sort of recipe do you use for your braggot if you dont mind me asking? I've been making braggot for years and me and my brew partner absolutly love it, but at the same time we've been pretty much experimenting with variations on the ame recipe. I've been trying to get an idea of what other people are doing but braggot brewers are so sparse its kind of hard to get a handle on it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    1,200

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Hello JoeM,
    Here is my recipe for braggot 1 gallon size

    http://gotmead.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB...um=10933939222

    Also can be made very simply and quickly English style 1 gallon size:
    1 lb buckwheat honey
    1 lb malt extract
    1 1/2t acid blend or citric acid
    Ale yeast or Muntons premium Gold yeast
    hard water

    If you boil then add Fermax, otherwise forget it.
    Regards, Joe

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interesting recipie

    Well I am currently on my 2nd braggot as of now. I mostly followed ken schramms recipie but expanded a little. here it goes
    4# light dme
    9# wildflower honey
    1# 10l crystal malt
    2oz cascade (bittering)
    1oz saaz (flavoring)
    irish moss
    nutrient and energizer
    Icv-d47

    I also prime my braggot at bottling. My 2nd batch is still conditioning but i did have a bottle last sunday and it is almost ready. I realy like the d47, I think it is one of my favorite mead yeast also. I seem to be consistently hitting about 10.5%. And i even used 1# less honey in my new batch. I know i usually have trouble getting d47 to get much more then 12% anyways.
    I,d love to see on of your recipies too.
    I am thinking their should be a Braggot forum all its own here at gotmead.

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