Peach Melomel (mead) and an Apple and Blackcurrant cyser

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knot_gillty

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Just laid a demijohn of each down today. Quite happy with both initial tastings. These are my 4th and 5th attempts at mead and I reckon they’ll be my best. Recipes are pretty straight forward.

Peach Melomel:
1.5kg orange blossom honey
500g (clean) of blanched, skinned and de-stoned peaches
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Water to 4.5L
1 teaspoon of shitty bakers yeast
1/2 teaspoon of nutrient in starter.

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Apple & Blackcurrant Cyser:
4L Apple & Blackcurrant juice
1kg yellow box honey
Warm water to dissolve honey and take to 4.5L
1 teaspoon same shitty bakers yeast
1 teaspoon of nutrient.

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So now on the go I have 3 meads. These 2 and a Joes Ancient Orange I did the other day. Hopefully the JAO will be ready by Christmas!! Actually, I hope they all will be but I highly doubt it. The peach one will take some clearing, so will the Apple/Blackcurrant.

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All are bubbling away nicely in the bottom of the pantry. I get pretty high tech around here....
 

knot_gillty

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Well the juice one is literally exploding with action!!! I’m working nightshift at the moment and got a message off the missus last night about it overflowing. Today I cleaned the mess, went back an hour later and she’s partying again... not the missus, the mead. Perhaps next time I don’t use 1tsp of nutrient??

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Still hanging out to try this!!!
 

Digga

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I have found that nutrient boosts fermentation expedentially so not surprised!
 

knot_gillty

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Racked the peach last night. In hind sight I should’ve racked at least a week ago, perhaps even 10-12 days. Gravity reading last night was 1.000 giving it an ABV of 17.4%.... my strength of drink! However, the taste is quite strong of a tangy/alcohol/metho type flavour.

The colour is quite nice. Very happy with how the honey and peach colours have combined to make a bright golden yellow type colour. I’ll get a pic of it tonight as I didn’t take one last night.

Question to anyone who might know: if I were to back sweeten how much honey/water combo or either do I use and how much will it effect the ABV? I’ve never delved into back sweetening before.

I’ll probably rack the juice one tonight.
 

mtb

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1.000 FG? Damn, that's a good effort considering you used baker's yeast. Mine conked out at 1015.. must've been the nutrient addition.
Can't help you on backsweetening, I've never done it either, but this resource looks useful - http://gotmead.com/blog/the-mead-calculator/
 

Airgead

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Racked the peach last night. In hind sight I should’ve racked at least a week ago, perhaps even 10-12 days. Gravity reading last night was 1.000 giving it an ABV of 17.4%.... my strength of drink! However, the taste is quite strong of a tangy/alcohol/metho type flavour.

The colour is quite nice. Very happy with how the honey and peach colours have combined to make a bright golden yellow type colour. I’ll get a pic of it tonight as I didn’t take one last night.

Question to anyone who might know: if I were to back sweeten how much honey/water combo or either do I use and how much will it effect the ABV? I’ve never delved into back sweetening before.

I’ll probably rack the juice one tonight.

Right... Yes. At 17odd% and done with baker's yeast (srsly? some dry wine yeast is only a couple of bucks... Just because you can doesn't mean you should) it will taste a bit metho. That should age out somewhat eventually but will take some time. Years. In my opinion, even a really clean mead takes at least a year to get drinkable. I know people say their methods gets them ready faster but I don't believe them. Mead is a patient man's drink. I'd say you are looking at 3-5 years.

Back sweetening... Easy to do Just add some sort of sugar till it's sweet enough. Dissolve some honey in a little hot water to make it easy to add and mix through. Add small amounts. Taste, repeat till it's right.

The trick of course is to keep it at that sweetness. What will happen of course is that the yeast will kick off again and ferment it back down to 1.000 again. Possibly exploding your bottles at the same time.

You have a few tricks you can play with -

Make it so strong that the alcohol kills the yeast. That's my normal method for a sweet mead. But I'm using a wine yeast with a known tolerance and I pick a strain that gets knocked out before I make rocket fuel. Your bread yeast is an unknown quantity. it's already survived to 17%.Who knows how much higher it will go.

Keep the bottles cold. Keep em cold and the yeast won't ferment. Easy, except that you have to keep all the bottles in the fridge all the time. And it will age very slowly at fridge temps. I'm guessing you want something drinkable in under a decade so that might be a problem.

The chemical solution. Use sulphites to kill off most of the yeast then treat with sorbate to inhibit any remaining yeast from reproducing. If you get the dose right you will get a stable, sweet wine. Of course if you get the dose wrong, you end up with exploding bottles.

I'd go the chemical route if I were you.

Cheers
Dave
 

knot_gillty

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Cheers Dave, appreciate the info and feedback! Next time, I’ll definitely be getting some decent yeast!!!! I want to chase up some D47 and 71b but can’t for the life of me find any. Looks like I’ll be chucking this on the shelves for a couple of years then, I’m happy to do that. I fly fish and bow hunt and I’m married with kids so have I have plenty of patience.....

I’ve done a couple of meads with this same bakers yeast and they weren’t too bad and I did one with the Mangrove Jacks mead yeast and it tasted shithouse so thought I’d try the bakers yeast again.

Either this or I’ll just say bugger it and drink the shit when I’m already pissed... hahaha.
 

GregMeady

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I've read some people back sweeten in the glass as they go. I haven't done it, but maybe an option, make a mixture & use a nip pourer to make it consistant? dunno ...anyway just a thought.
 

knot_gillty

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Not a bad idea either. I’ll give it 6 months, see what it’s like and go from there in 6 month blocks. Unless it still tastes like arse, then I’ll give it 12 months between sampling. Unless it tastes like something else and I drink it all that night.....
 

Airgead

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You can get 71b from ibrew. I think they do d47 as well.

I'm pretty sure I have a bunch of d47 kicking around at the back of the fridge. If you want some, shoot me a pm with your address. I think I have some dv10 and cru005 as well.

I just use71b for all my meads and ciders now so don't need the others.

Cheers
Dave
 

knot_gillty

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Racked the Apple and Blackcurrant just now. FG 1.005 makes it a 13.2% ABV brew. Smell is reminiscent of the juice, tastes ok. It would be a good secondary drink if you’re having a beer or something with this to sip on. Perhaps treat as a port or something (in no port drinker. Stems from a port and milk concoction as a 13y old....).

I think it’s a drinkable drink at the moment but I’ll let it bulk age for 6-12 months or so. That is if I can wait that long.
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Airgead

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Oak helps as well. 2-3 oak dominos in secondary for 3 months or so...
 

Airgead

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Chips are ok. Just use sparingly and taste regularly to make sure it's not overdone.
 

Airgead

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The oak does a few things. It adds some tannins which helps structure and it adds some flavours (vanilla, toast.... Depending on the type of cube and how dark they are).

I have read that the oak tannins help the wine age by binding to other compounds to form large particles that then drop out of solution. I do feel that a mead aged with oak will age faster and better then one without but that could just be because I like the oak flavours.

Using the dominoes is really simple. I add 2-3 to a 5l batch while bulk aging and I leave them there for a few months. Take the occasional taste test to see how string the flavours ate. Take them out when it's enough.

Cheers
dave
 

SKBugs

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The oak does a few things. It adds some tannins which helps structure and it adds some flavours (vanilla, toast.... Depending on the type of cube and how dark they are).

I have read that the oak tannins help the wine age by binding to other compounds to form large particles that then drop out of solution. I do feel that a mead aged with oak will age faster and better then one without but that could just be because I like the oak flavours.

Using the dominoes is really simple. I add 2-3 to a 5l batch while bulk aging and I leave them there for a few months. Take the occasional taste test to see how string the flavours ate. Take them out when it's enough.

Cheers
dave

Sounds good to me. Much appreciated.

Steve
 

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