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  1. #1

    Default This years agenda

    So it seems pretty slow around here so I thought I would try to stir up the must a little.

    Depending on where we are all at on our discovery process making mead. I'm certain many of you have intentions to learn this or that.

    So I'll kick it off.

    For me personally. I feel like most of the mead world is missing out on not embracing things wine makers have done for 100's of years. I'm talking about blending blends and using different yeast for the nuances each can contribute to the whole. An parable would be I have been painting one picture at a time with one color. And on occasion using 2 or 3 primary colors. I want to learn to use different colors. And to learn to use shade variations within the one color, to highlight and shade to make a picture pop, from a flat picture to one that has depth.

    Once one understands good fermentation management and can move beyond a recipe. Being able to balance all the different fractions that make up the whole becomes imperative to making good mead.

    These are the things I will continue to work on this year. I feel all of what I have already mastered has only now brought me to a place where I can really start to soar.

    Lastly I will be testing to become a certified mead judge in 2 months. That is a huge undertaking that is an everyday thing right now. I'm certain I will do this but it still takes an incredible amount of effort

    So. What's on your plate? Here is a great place for you lurkers to jump into the mix and make yourselves be know As well as you other guys. Without a doubt there are way more qualified people who excel in one area or another that hide in the shadows. Step up and say hi and let us know what's up in your world.

    Ryan
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  2. #2

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    In wine I've heard about blending different varieties such as sangiovese with low tannins and a merlot with high tannins. Cabarnet and Merlot, for example is a very common blend and we get blends throughout the commercial range. I think the primary reason wineries might blend is to get the best of more than one variety and get an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts.
    In the mead world we seem to almost always blend buckwheat, so this might be a fair comparison. I'm not sure blending for different yeast nuances is that common. Sounds logical and surely it has happened (or has it?), it's just that I have never heard about it as of yet
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Hazel Grove (Near Manchester)
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Me and a friend of mine first got into making mead as I always bought our group of friends bottles for our Christmas party. Last year 2 of us decided to try making our own as it was getting increasingly difficult to find decent quality commercial stuff (In Britain, anyway). Since then, I've got really into it and spent a lot of long evenings and weekends reading books, listening to podcasts and watching videos on how to improve my technique, and without blowing my own trumpet, I've gotten rather good at it. Everyone who's tried it has said it's really nice and that I should sell it.

    So, on our agenda for this year is to get to a point where we can sell mead so other people around here can enjoy it, and not just have to rely on the spiced honey water that is the commercial stuff to drink at Christmas. It'll probably be a lot of hard work and a fair bit of money, but Rome wasn't built in a day. If we don't do it now, we may never get to thanks to Brexit constantly shafting our economy.

  4. #4

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    I just hit the 1/3 sugar break in a tannin taste-test experiment I've got running. (Gonna post the results once it's finished.) I also want to run taste tests with other winemaking additives like Booster Blanc.

    This year I also want to keep up my work with funky ferments. My lambic meads are slowly improving but still not quite "there." I want to try making a Golden Coast-style sour mead. This weekend I'll be pitching a cyser I'm fermenting with 100% Brettanomyces.

    My fiancee wants me to try my masala chai mead again and make her a sweet mango mel.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by zpeckler View Post
    I just hit the 1/3 sugar break in a tannin taste-test experiment I've got running. (Gonna post the results once it's finished.) I also want to run taste tests with other winemaking additives like Booster Blanc.

    This year I also want to keep up my work with funky ferments. My lambic meads are slowly improving but still not quite "there." I want to try making a Golden Coast-style sour mead. This weekend I'll be pitching a cyser I'm fermenting with 100% Brettanomyces.

    My fiancee wants me to try my masala chai mead again and make her a sweet mango mel.
    IS your masala chai mead recipe a secret? I am interested in learning more about it

  6. #6

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    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I didn't state it in my original post but I too am looking into getting a liscense to become professional. In our country is is very hard and takes for ever jumping through red tape. That is if you can even get to that point.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    IS your masala chai mead recipe a secret? I am interested in learning more about it
    It's not a secret, it's just not very good yet. I based it off the recipe over at The Meadist.

  8. #8

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    I believe what you said about reds are correct. I have already been making blends by making large batches of must and then dividing it into different vessels. Then ferment them all at the same time and then blend them back together some how or another.

    I have also been using some of the adjuncts Zac spoke of in his reply as well as many of the others grouped with Booster blanc.

    I'm excited in as much as now when I open bottles of some of my earlier stuff I think it's pretty good. But I also taste it and can tell how to better make the same thing next time. This shows me I am getting better. It's exciting to contemplate where I will be 10-15 years from now.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    In wine I've heard about blending different varieties such as sangiovese with low tannins and a merlot with high tannins. Cabarnet and Merlot, for example is a very common blend and we get blends throughout the commercial range. I think the primary reason wineries might blend is to get the best of more than one variety and get an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts.
    In the mead world we seem to almost always blend buckwheat, so this might be a fair comparison. I'm not sure blending for different yeast nuances is that common. Sounds logical and surely it has happened (or has it?), it's just that I have never heard about it as of yet
    Damnit I was supposed to close the window this morning but instead I guess I pressed send. This comment has no point. Oh well
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    I have also been using some of the adjuncts Zac spoke of in his reply as well as many of the others grouped with Booster blanc.
    Yeah I've been using stuff like the Booster and FT Blanc, but haven't done side to side tests to see if it's doing my mead any good or if I'm just wasting money. A tannin taste test with FT in primary and Riche Extra in secondary is in progress. Booster will be put under the microscope next.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by zpeckler View Post
    Yeah I've been using stuff like the Booster and FT Blanc, but haven't done side to side tests to see if it's doing my mead any good or if I'm just wasting money. A tannin taste test with FT in primary and Riche Extra in secondary is in progress. Booster will be put under the microscope next.
    Nice. Please let us know your results .
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    725

    Default

    Well in my agenda there are 4 things at the moment.
    1- New styles of mead. The concept of the bochet really fascinates me and I will be trying this soon. A capiscumel is something i want to try too.
    2- Doing a dry traditional with a 4-varietals blend. I have beeng doing mostly monovarietal mead and my experiences with dry trads was bad at the start of the last year when i started making mead
    Now that i know more about fermentation management (altough I have some things to figure out, but they turn much better than at the start ) I have a hunch that I can achive better results by blending honeys in a dry traditional and this will probably make a very interesting mead with a different profile. I also want to try using a minimal amount of lemon juice and tea in trads to add acidity and tannins (I am unsure about oak, I dont have any and for now I dont want to use it, even if that might be a mistake).
    3- Designing a label! I have been working on this for a while and its nearly finished. I cant wait to stick em to the new and old batches.
    4- And most importantly of all, I might be moving out of my country soon and I want to keep doing mead very much but I dont know if it will be possible or not. So im actually trying to figure out how the hell can I do it.

    About what you said, squatchy, I read an article a couple days ago about grape varietal blending. But i dont know about the yeasts. You can use a killer sensitive strain to start a ferment and then add a starter of a killer strain. This would kill the other yeast and finish the ferment, yielding a different result. This would really be interesting (altough I might just be nuts).

    Also good luck to you Squatchy and Swn Gwyrdd!

  13. #13

    Default

    I expect you will find that using blends of honeys for the most part will make a better mead than a stand alone honey. That is unless you have a very nice honey that you want to showcase the varietal all by it's self. I just bought a good bit of Tupelo for the first time. Actually it's the first time I have ever been able to find some in bulk so I sold the grand kids off and bought some.

    I wouldn't want to blend it. Not even with moon dust at this point in time. But in general I find honey blends make for a better tasting mead. I would suggest to always taste your must any time you are putting a mead together. This way you will start to get a better idea of how that taste profile ends up after your fermentation process is over. I also taste everything I make during the entire process for the same reasons.

    BTW thanks for your imput on yeast pH over on the other thread. What kind of background do you have to know these things ?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    725

    Default

    Yes I expect at least the result will be different. The honeys are not that special, just OB (40%), wildflower (25%) (here in Spain its basically lavender/rosemary, white/yellow and sweet), chestnut (25%) and clover (10%). If it gets any good I might make a post or something.

    Also I'm finishing a degree in biology, want to go to other country to do a master degree (that's why I dunno if i will be able to keep doing mead). I am specializing in cell biology so I know some stuff because of that. Maybe less than others (see-loveofrose) but the scientific background sure its helpful for some stuff (altough in meadmaking, as in most things, I believe practice makes perfect).

    PD: For me the best honey is acacia honey hands down. I could just drink that. But I dont have access to tupelo here...

  15. #15

    Default

    I've made 2 fruit bomb meads, 1 is still clearing, but both of them have a very distinct taste that I'm not a fan of. Best I can describe it, is if you bite into a seed of a strawberry, you get that very dry ?sour? taste.

    Is that tannin?

    My first batch I tried clearing with gelatin as I hear that helps remove tannins, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

    To mask the taste I just back sweetened a bit, but I'd like to leave this current batch dryish.

    So this year's agenda is to make a dry fruit bomb mead that doesn't have that taste.... If it's even possible

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    725

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    What fruit is it? I once did a strawberry mead. Its great but you can't use puree made from whole strawberries because if the seeds break they give a bad flavour. This is masked in jam because it has so much sugar. Is that what happened to you? I read this on other post and I used whole strawberries and didnt have flavour problems (altough i had others because i didnt put them in a bag...newby mistake, ended up losing like 1/5 of the volume because I had to rack it an insane amount of times, then it refermented in the bottle... its a long story, my experiences with melos/cysers hasn't been the best)

    Edit: Some suggestions: as long as its not contaminated you might want to add some other fruits? different berries or maybe some pear or peach? orange juice to blend? depends on what you used initially. And you might want to let it age more first, just in case it dissapears with time. In my experience, just dont use anything too acidic
    Last edited by Dadux; 01-27-2017 at 06:13 PM.

  17. #17

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    Clear Blossom Honey: 5.4kg
    ICV-D47: 10g
    Tesco Frozen Edv Mixed Fruits (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants): 5kg
    Volume: 15L

    All in primary, fruit was whole

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

  18. #18

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    So Dadux about the racking losses.. I actually posted a thread about that a while back.
    Basically:
    1st ferment the strawberries only. After the majority of activity has subsided and you're approaching dryness...
    2nd rack off the strawberries and strain the remainder in a muslin cloth. Let it drip for a while. Press the hell out of it, get that sucker dry. Don't worry about oxidation because of the next step...
    3rd test the alcohol content of the strawberry wine. Should be around 4% I think. Calculate how much honey you need to get to 12%
    4th add honey to the strained strawberry wine and let the ferment restart. Any air will be pushed out of the must by the ferment. After the entire fermentation is ready you should have relatively minimal lees to rack off of.
    Full post on other thread is here: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...es-in-melomels
    Can you imagine not using this method when making prickly pear wine? It would actually be crazy to rack off the pulp.. I'd lose half the wine or more with all those seeds and pulp
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Spain, Europe
    Posts
    725

    Default

    Well if you used strawberries and it tastes like strawberries seeds...I guess something went wrong along the way. I left mine like 2 weeks and it was ok... and i used an unglorious ammount (2kg in to 5L). I'd go with cold crash if you can... If its any protein it might precipitate??
    And thanks for that post Stasis, (I cant see it yet because im no patron...yet. If i keep brewing past this September I'll get it for sure). Altough I made it a long while back and I dont see me trying any time soon with strawberries, and i added them in secondary (altough it refermented partially so...) I wanted to make a (normal, not prickly) pear bomb. I just love pears like so much. but I dont have pectinase at hand and im not sure how to approach it, plus my hands/buckets will be full with other things unfortunately... (Eucaliptus honey with pears...it sounds so damn delicious...you give me dark thoughts, Stasis)

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by djsxxx View Post
    I've made 2 fruit bomb meads, 1 is still clearing, but both of them have a very distinct taste that I'm not a fan of. Best I can describe it, is if you bite into a seed of a strawberry, you get that very dry ?sour? taste.

    Is that tannin?

    My first batch I tried clearing with gelatin as I hear that helps remove tannins, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

    To mask the taste I just back sweetened a bit, but I'd like to leave this current batch dryish.

    So this year's agenda is to make a dry fruit bomb mead that doesn't have that taste.... If it's even possible

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
    Maybe before you start your next attempt run it past the members here to make sure you have everything in place. Strawberries are pretty challenging for sure. You have to use truckloads of strawberries for one. And I generally am a fan of long stretches with the lees in the vessel. However, fruits can certainly shorten that amount of time. Especially if the temps are warmish.

    Do you have the same issue when making traditionals?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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