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Spiced Mead - Looking for a good recipe

Discussion in ''Non Beer' Brewing' started by Jason78, 5/12/13.

 

  1. Jason78

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    Posted 5/12/13
    I am looking to attempt to make a good spiced mead, I have a recipe for 'honey wine' (below) that was given to me and while I know it is not a conventional Mead recipe I was wondering what peoples thoughts were and if you could also let me know of any good spiced mead recipes.

    I have access to 30kg of honey so I would like to put down a rather large batch and sit back and wait for it to be ready to drink.

    [SIZE=12pt]This is a "quick brew recipe".
    Ferment was done in a plastic wash setup NOT glass, if you get the same gas I did it will blow up glass!


    5-8kg of honey
    roughly equal parts sugar (I used brown as I wanted a more rustic flavour)
    TURBO yeast
    fill up the rest with water. (I used hot water at first to dissolve sugar and honey, then cold).
    Recommend keeping outside, I had mine in the kitchen and the gas was just too much! I ended up needing to plumb a hose from the grommet down into a 15lt bucket of water in order to deal with the gas!
    After roughly 3 days the ferment was burnt out and what was left was honey flavoured but very tart.
    Add roughly another 3-5kg of honey (possibly you can try to taste) Stir through vigorously. Leave for as long as you can. I found that it did not start fermenting again.
    Now at this stage I used A LOT of finnings as I needed to bottle and take to a festival. It clarified well but was a little sulphurous, so we would decant it and let it breath and it came good very quickly.
    If however you have time, you could choose to let it settle naturally. (I have 15 litres here that has sat for 2 years and is looking pretty good!)
    However the bulk of this recipe was drunk within 2 weeks of laying down the brew!
    [/SIZE]

    Anyway any advice would be appreciated
     
  2. OzPaleAle

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    Posted 5/12/13
  3. barls

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    Posted 5/12/13
    Mate, I would of used a different yeast, the turbos are all made for distilling with little else in mind. Try ether d47 or sn9 both will ferment really quickly but won't have sulfur notes
    Secondly unless I'm blind I see not spice additions to it. It's basically a high alcohol ferment with nothing else going for it. Have a look at gotmead.com for better recipes


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. boonchu

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    Posted 5/12/13
    I'm not a fan of Joam (joes ancient orange mead), but for a first timer wanting to specifically do a spiced mead its probably the easiest and the best for you.

    what you have there is just a high alcohol back sweetened spirit wash with no finess and a bucket load of yeast read sulpur smell left over.

    I admit thats a harsh phrase but not one should ever call that a mead recipe
     
  5. Jason78

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    Posted 5/12/13
    I haven't actually used this recipe yet, I have looked at the JOAM but I was wanting something a little more in depth.
     
  6. Airgead

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    Posted 5/12/13
    For a mead, the recipe is the easy part.

    For a 25l batch you want about 5-7kg of honey depending on how strong you want it. Disolve in water, add yeast nutrient and a good wine yeast (I use 71b but EC1118, DV10 and D47 work well).

    Ferment it out then rack to a secondary. Once its in the secondary you can start playing around. You might want to add some oak, either chips or dominoes. You would also add spice at this stage. Cinnamon works nicely as do cloves. vanilla is good as well. Ginger is great but be careful - ginger is riddled with lacto bacteria and it can turn your mead really sour.

    Add a little whole spice and taste often. Pull it out (or rack the mead) when its a little under the strength you want. it may intensify with aging. If it doesn't its easy to add more. If you go too far its hard to take the flavor out.

    If you want it sweet, you can stabilise with sorbistat once the mead is clear and off its yeast cake.then sweeten or do it the hard way and set your OG to just higher then the alcohol capacity of the yeast so it finishes sweet.

    Cheers
    Dave

    Edit: And yeah... that recipe you have is awful. Throw it out. Turbo yeast. Yech. Will give you nasty tasting rocked fuel.
     
  7. Jason78

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    Posted 5/12/13
    Mate it looks like you know your stuff when it comes to mead,

    Any chnace you may have a recipe that you would be willing to share (and the method in which you put it all together).

    I know it may be rude to ask but there is no harm in trying?

    If possible could you PM me a recipe if you are OK with it.

    Cheers
     
  8. TimT

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    Posted 5/12/13
    People often recommend champagne yeast or just wine yeast for general mead making and I find it works pretty well - it's a strong yeast that will get going quickly and keep fermenting for a long time. For honey especially a strong yeast like that is important because honey is a complex sugar that will not completely ferment for a long time. (I've heard it said that meads take at least a year to mature fully). Some sugars in honey will ferment quickly, but others (the fructose) take several weeks to be consumed.

    The recipe seems strange. Why use brown sugar? Honey is a rich enough ingredient on its own and I wouldn't want to compromise this quality in a mead.

    Digby has plenty of interesting mead recipes, and you could browse around there for recipe ideas.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16441/16441-h/16441-h.htm
    This was written at a time when spicey wines and alcohols and foods were much more popular than they are today, so you should find plenty of inspiration.
     
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  9. Jason78

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    Posted 6/12/13
    I have had a quick look around at the links that have been posted which have been helpful, however I would like to get a proven recipe from someone here other than JOAM.

    Any help would be great.
     
  10. Airgead

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    Posted 6/12/13
    Been brewing meed for 20 years....

    I'll put something together over the weekend.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  11. barls

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    Posted 6/12/13
    Can vouch for Dave's mead.still have a bottle in the fridge somewhere from him.
    My last one was 9.5 kegs honey topped up to 23L, nutrient added then pitched d47 fermented 17 degrees then had Hungarian oak added at two weeks and aged 3 months before bottling.
    Took the highest score at castle hill this year.



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  12. Not For Horses

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    Posted 6/12/13
    Good read TimT! Thanks for that. I love reading Olde English recipes.
    Can't imagine what strawberry leaves bring to the table though.
     
  13. TimT

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    Posted 6/12/13
    There are some herbs named in there that I still have no idea about. Strawberry leaves though? Probably tannins, and some bitterness.

    I like the many uses of eggs in traditional mead making.
     
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  14. Not For Horses

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    Posted 6/12/13
    Pretty rudimentary hydrometer hey!
    I like the idea of rosemary in there though.
     
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  15. Airgead

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    Posted 8/12/13
    I love digbey. I have tried some of the recipes though and to a modern palate they taste like ass. Super sweet and massively over spiced. Unless you happen to like that sort of thing.Like I said earlier, the recipe is probably the least important part of brewing a mead. All it is is honey and water. Like a wine - grapes and yeast. Its what you do once its fermented and how you run the fermentation that’s important.

    Anyway... this is what I do for my standard base mead -
    1.2kg honey
    add water to 4.5l ( scale as you wish).
    Yeast nutrient (as directed)
    Yeast (I use 71B)

    Ferment that out. It will be dry. You now have a base mead that you can do stuff with.

    • You can add fruit - add half a kilo of pureed frozen (and thawed) berries. Let it sit on the pulp for 5-7 days then rack to a secondary and let clear.
    • You can rack to secondary and add some oak (chips or dominos). Add some and leave for a month or two, taste and bottle when ready.
    • You can rack to secondary and add spices. Add half a cinnamon stick or one clove (yes one.. they are strong). Taste every couple of days and remove when its enough.
    • You can add ginger. Be careful. Ginger is riddled with lactic bacteria and it can make your mead go very nasty. Chuck in a couple of knobs of fresh ginger or some dried ginger (chunks not powder...powder is too hard to remove later) I've done it a few times and either ended up with something great or a foul, stinking mess.
    • Or vanilla. Half a vanilla pod and taste every day or two.
    • Herbs can be nice.
    • You can let it settle then rack it to secondary. Stabilise with sorbistat (potasium sorbate) and back sweeten.

    Or any combination of the above.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  16. surly

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    Posted 8/12/13
    Interesting read.
    Might have another go at the this mead business. What ferment temp do you go for Dave? assuming you are using 71B.
     
  17. TimT

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    Posted 8/12/13
    Yeah some of the ingredients in Digby probably tend to cancel one another out - for instance, egg white is used to clarify mead (still is used by many winemakers apparently) but I'm told it also tends to take away bitterness.... so all those recipes that recommend bittering herbs AND egg white can be counter productive.

    I think Digby probably compiled his book uncritically - didn't test all the recipes or ask about particular ingredients, just took notes from friends and put them all together. So recipe quality probably varies a lot in there - but lots of good ideas about old time wine and beer making.
     
  18. Airgead

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    Posted 8/12/13
    I generally ferment meads at ambient temp. Wine yeasts seem to be less temp sensitive than beer yeasts.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  19. Jason78

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    Posted 8/12/13
    Thanks Dave,

    I will be putting one of these down next week.

    If you or anyone else has any more ideas please let me know, my interest has been sparked and wish to delve into the world of mead.

    Thanks again.
     

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