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  1. Default Question about my spices

    Hello all,

    I am new to Got Mead. I would really like to get some veteran knowledge here. I am not new to fermenting, I have been making beer for about 6 months now. I would like to venture into Mead and Wine though. So I decided to start small in case I blow it.

    I took this 5 gallon recipe and altered it for 1 gal:

    Halfdan's Viking Mead---------------------------------------------------- My recipe:


    8-10 lbs pure raw honey--------------------------------------------------2 lbs pure honey (plus 1.5 lbs table sugar, I didn't have enough honey and I wanted a strong mead, I hope I didn't kill my mead doing this)
    (or) 12-13 " " " "
    (or) 15-16 " " " " ----------------------------------------------- 1 Gallon water
    4-5 gallons purified spring water
    3 tsp. yeast nutrient ----------------------------------------------- 1 TSP yeast nutrient
    1 tsp. acid blend------------------------------------------------------1/4 tsp acid blend
    5-7 oz. sliced fresh ginger root ----------------------------------------1/5th a finger of ginger
    1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary ----------------------------------------------- 1/8 tsp fresh rosemary
    5-6 whole cloves ---------------------------------------------------------3 cloves
    1-2 vanilla beans-------------------------------------------------------- 2 tsp vanilla extract
    cinnamon/nutmeg -------------------------------------------------- 1/2 cinnamon stick
    lime/orange peels--------------------------------------------------------1 orange worth of peels, (no white/rind I scraped it out.)
    crushed fruit ------------------------------------------------------------about a cup or 2 of fresh raspberries (steeped then strained)
    1 tsp. Irish Moss ----------------------------------------------------------1/2 tsp Irish moss
    1/2 tsp. clear gelatin-------------------------------------------------------- 0 gelatin
    1 spotted newt's tail --------------------------------------------------- 0 newts tail (LOL!)
    1 packet yeast ----------------------------------------------------------1 packet Red Star (Cotes de Blancs) yeast


    So my question is, It told me to strain the fruit, well I did, and I am pretty sure all my fresh ginger, rosemary and cinnamon got strained out too. I was able to put the orange peels back in before aerating and sealing my fermenter, but am I going to have a bland mead? I boiled the ingredients before steeping, and then allowed my mead to cool in an ice bath to about 60 F before straining and pitching. So I am sure some flavor was imparted but is it enough? When I rack to my secondary, should/can I add some more spices to my mead? Any experience or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated. My Original Gravity reading was about 1.118 by the way.

    Thank you all!

    Cheers!

    Logan

  2. Default

    Is there nobody who can help me out here?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    587

    Default

    What kind of yeast nutrient? 1 tsp is not enough for a whole ferment to run its course. Also, it's a bad practice to put acid blend up front these days since a low PH is detrimental to healthy fermentation (that's the recipe's fault, not yours). The recipe sounds good, but it could do with some adjusting to take modern meadmaking practices into account.

    The spices may be diminished if any of the flavor compounds are fermentable. The raspberries will change flavor for sure and become more wine-like. Unfortunately, you won't be able to tell by taste so soon after primary. My advice is to let primary finish, rack it into secondary, clear it for a month, and then have another taste. You can add more spice then if it needs it and let it bulk age for another month or so.

  4. #4

    Default

    Almost every spice I have used tends to fad some over time. It's a good thing you didn't use all the cloves in the recipe. You may find 3 is too many. It sure would be for my taste. You probably won't hardly notice the raspberry. That's not very much. I would freeze some (freezing breaks the cell wall allowing more extraction) and add them once you stabilize. Raspberry is very tart once the sugar gets fermented out.

    Your yeast can eat way more sugar than what you have given it. You could add more honey to run the yeast into the ground if you want to. I would continue to add a little at a time until the yeast croak. Cold crash and then stabilize. Let it clear some and add your final tweeks.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. #5

    Default

    I haven't read many protocols that involve steeping and discarding the spices prior to pitching. I'm wondering if you'll get as much spice character as you desire? There's a good chance that you'll end up steeping more I'm the mead once fermentation finishes.

  6. Default

    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I think I'll definitely have a taste when I rack to the secondary and before bottling. Might add spices to the bottle if need be. I am very surprised at the fermentation. Its still going pretty strong almost a week into the primary. I am hoping thats a good thing lol! Most of my beers I've made in the past go strong then fizzle out on like day 3. I can't wait til the airlock dies down and I can crack it open for a gravity check.

  7. Default

    It is diammonium phosphate. The instructions call for 1 tsp per gallon

  8. #8

    Default

    I don't think I would ever leave the spices in the bottle. I can't imagine it would end up how you want it if you age on spices. I never add mine in primary. Only in secondary. I used to wait until things were clear (or very close) before I would add spices. I have found they change some overtime as they integrate. Some have continued to change for 6 months or more after I took everything out.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    587

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ablemedic49 View Post
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I think I'll definitely have a taste when I rack to the secondary and before bottling. Might add spices to the bottle if need be. I am very surprised at the fermentation. Its still going pretty strong almost a week into the primary. I am hoping thats a good thing lol! Most of my beers I've made in the past go strong then fizzle out on like day 3. I can't wait til the airlock dies down and I can crack it open for a gravity check.
    You should be checking the gravity each day. Next time, go out and get a new turkey baster or wine thief and suck some mead out of your carboy with it each day during primary to do a gravity measurement. If you sanitized everything properly, you can dump the sample right back in.

    I agree with Squatchy that spices in the bottle are a bad idea. Just let secondary or bulk aging continue until you're satisfied with the spice infusion.

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