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Thread: Recipe Critique

  1. Default Recipe Critique

    Its been a while since I posted, I had to take a break from brewing to move. Now that I am settled in the new place, I need to start back up so I have a few ideas for brews that I would like yall to see and advise me on.

    Christmas Mead-A mead that would be ready to open on 12/25/14

    5lbs Clover Honey
    5 Lbs of cranberries
    1/2 Gall of apple juice- I am considering this
    10 Cinnamon sticks
    2 clove
    nutrients/pectic enzyme etc all added up front.
    Water to 2 Gallons

    Take 3lbs frozen cranberries, let unthaw, puree them into mush and put into brew bag. I know seeds will add bitterness to it. Blend the water and honey and pour on top. drop in 4 cinnamon sticks and let it sit for 2 weeks

    rack it out of bucket into a 2 gallon carboy or two 1 gallon carboys. Either way 1lb of crushed cranberries per gallon. 3 cinnamon sticks per gallon and a clove per gallon. Let brew for 3 weeks. If i were to add the apple juice this is where it would go in.

    Rack off liquid, stabilize and backsweeten. Let it age for 8 months then bottle.


  2. #2


    Generally I use a bit more honey per gallon but I like the higher alcohol(>12%ABV) meads.

    That seems a bit heavy on the cinnamon, that's OK if you like strong cinnamon flavor but it could have an effect on the fermentation, I've seen some discussion of this but don't remember the threads though.

  3. Default

    I am trying to get it to a higher alcohol content. I would like a 15-20%abv if possible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    UK - South Coast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cal View Post
    I am trying to get it to a higher alcohol content. I would like a 15-20%abv if possible.
    Fine, more honey then.

    If you don't want to induce bitterness and make it a PITA to get clear and racked etc, DO NOT puree the fruit.

    There's no reason to. The yeast will extract the colour and flavour just fine......

    And concur with the other comment about it being heavy on the cinnamon. Id suggest 2 sticks. You can add a bit more further on if need be.....
    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.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Anchorage, Alaska


    You're going to need to add more apple juice or honey to reach 15% ABV:

    1.014 from apple juice (~1.055 divided by 4)
    1.089 from honey..................
    1.103 est SG = 13.8% ABV

    Contribution from apple juice is minor, either eliminate or increase. (I would increase)

    Going to need quite a bit of back sweetening to balance the acid contribution from the cranberries.

    As with previous, way too much cinnamon. Consider using 2-3 sticks. Might bump cloves up to 3.

    All in all, sounds like it might be good!
    Last edited by Midnight Sun; 10-31-2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: clarification
    "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate." - Captain Zapp Brannigan

  6. #6


    If you want the apple to contribute a noticeable flavor in a heavily spiced mead, I recommend using just apple juice and honey with no water.

    I currently have an apple spice mead aging that is only two months old but already clear and quite delicious. I think I'm going to be "bad" and fill a few bottles for this Christmas.

    This was my recipe:

    Spiced Apple
    4.75 gallons fresh-pressed apple juice from home tree 1.049
    15 lbs mixed honey drained from wax cappings
    2.5 oz. fresh ginger
    10 allspice berries
    7 whole cloves
    2 whole nutmeg
    4 cardamom pods
    10 cinnamon sticks
    6 gallons
    SG 1.130

    Tasting notes: Was going for an "apple pie" flavor but the spices dominate the apple and have merged into a combined flavor that has notes of spruce or juniper. Still delicious and "Christmas-y" but for more pie-like flavor I might use just the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and go a bit lighter on the cinnamon. Also take this with a grain of salt as the flavor will probably change substantially by the time it is really ready to drink.


  7. Default

    Thank you all for the advice. I have changed it.

    8 lbs Clover Honey
    5 Lbs of cranberries-crush them instead of purée
    1 Gall of apple juice
    Balance cranberry juice to 2 gallons
    4 Cinnamon sticks

    I need to figure out how to use the mead calculator.

  8. #8


    Cal, you seem to be trying to make a spiced cyser, 4 gal of cider, some honey and some cranberries and spices for the holiday spirit, if you want apple flavor in there dont fool around with just adding some, add in in whereever possible. Did all your carboys make it ok during the move, when we moved they were the last thing I brought home, I had to make sure the place was perfect for them! WVMJ

  9. Default

    Thankfully the all survived. I used a box they came in plus a bottle box for added protection.

    I am not trying to make a cyser. I want to make a mead version of mulled wine.

    Kind of like this reciepe for a spiced cranberry drink.

    Except I want it to be based off cranberries with a cranberry and hint of apple flavor.

    Kind of like this
    3 cups cranberry juice cocktail
    3 cups water
    1-½ cups vodka, divided
    1 cup granulated sugar
    12 whole cloves
    4 cinnamon sticks
    1 star anise pod
    Last edited by Cal; 11-02-2013 at 08:32 PM.

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