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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > 2nd mead - wanting to try ginger
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
DaleGC
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Default 2nd mead - wanting to try ginger

Hi everyone,

I made my 1st mead (following the JAOM recipe) a few months ago with moderate success but I would really have liked a more varied flavour.

After thinking about this for a few months I have decided I would really like to try a mead with a fiery ginger kick to it. From the posts I have read, the below recipe seems like a safe idea for a gallon but there are a few factors stopping me from starting:

3lb honey (originally thinking clover honey but very open to suggestions and advice on where to find this for reasonable prices in the UK)
2lb raw ginger
One sachet of yeast (I have Lalvin D47 and have heard good reviews but once again would change this if advised)
1 Orange/Orange Juice
1 Lemon
Raisins as a nutrient. They seemed to work well in the JAOM.
1 stick of Cinnamon.
1 clove.

I realise as part of this I haven't added an energiser or Campden tablets but if they are not necessary, I would not be worries about missing these out.

I was looking to originally make a 'tea' using the ginger and adding this as part of the primary. I was also planning on adding the spices and fruit at this stage and leaving it there for the full length it's in the primary.

If the notes are anything to go by, I will generally be racking anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks (once gravity drops to about 1.010) and possibly adding additional ginger/orange/lemon at this stage.

I'm not in a massive rush to finish this so a 6-9 month mead would suit me nicely. I also would prefer a final alcohol level of about 14% and would rather keep this sweeter than dryer.

Any help/advice/opinions would be massively appreciated and I'll make sure I keep you all posted throughout.

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Old 02-15-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
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Simmer your sliced ginger in a half gallon of water for 20 min, dump in the raisans after you take it off the heat. 2 lbs is going to give you a good kick, the other spices you wont even taste.WVMJ

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:09 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.....

There's a few of us this side of the pond, but as you know places can be poles apart even if not actually that distant, hence it depends where you are.

The US contingent here are a good bunch but they also have access to a much larger market, so stuff like finding good varietal honey is easier for them. We have to make do a fair amount.

It's not impossible though. There's a few equivalents for some materials etc.

As for the ginger thing ? I'm also intending to try WVMJ's extraction method next time too as using just grated/sliced or whatever ginger can make for a lot of sediment thats hard to work with.

Don't worry about mega accuracy either, honey and yeast have a habit of unpredictability. There's plenty of info kicking around so you can work out whats going on and you can use real time measurements to know where you're at.

Apparently the hottest part of the ginger roots are just below the skin so I'd suggest just scrubbing any dirt off and the using the rest sliced or grated for the "ginger tea" extract.

For "energiser" tronozymol is an easy equivalent and for nutrient, youngs yeast nutrient is only 2 components, both are, as I understand, inorganic nitrogen sources hence it can be used vice pure DAP/di-ammonium phosphate.

Keep this updated though, it'd be interesting to read of what you settle on finally.

Oh and I prefer K1v1116 or D21 for meads (harder to find/get D21).

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Old 02-15-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both very much, especially in such a short time.

I did notice our honey/yeast market was a bit behind the US market but with the info you've given me I can at least narrow my search down a bit.

The ginger is the only definite I have so far so keeping as wide of a view as possible. If I can get my hand on one of those yeasts that will be my next 'confirmed' ingredient. I've got a day of trawling round the local European shops (Lidl, aldi etc) and will keep you posted on any honey decisions.

Also, thanks for the input about the spices, in your opinion, would increasing the volumes be the answer or just accepting the ginger as the source of flavour. Would this be the same got the orange and lemon?

Once again, thank you very much for the responses.

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Old 02-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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The citrus is an old timers way of adding acid, very little flavor will come from them, you could just as well substitute acid blend. Absolutely DO NOT peel the ginger use skin and all. WVMJ

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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Ah right. I see what you mean. I've ordered D1v116 and tronozymol now and won't be adding the acid but using the orange and/or lemon in its place. I'm still searching for a good, reasonably priced honey but I'm hoping to solve that problem today. I was hoping to keep it quite sweet so 3-3.5lb is my target for that.

I was still unsure about increasing the cinnamon to complement the ginger but as they aren't complete contrasts I don't know whether to leave this out.

I am really looking forward to setting this up. The researching and reading these forums is one of my favourite parts of the process and the help I've received already has made me feel much more confident.

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Old 02-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleGC View Post
Ah right. I see what you mean. I've ordered D1v116 and tronozymol now and won't be adding the acid but using the orange and/or lemon in its place. I'm still searching for a good, reasonably priced honey but I'm hoping to solve that problem today. I was hoping to keep it quite sweet so 3-3.5lb is my target for that.
Just remember that if you are hoping for residual sugar (RS) you need to consider the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you choose. For example, K1V-1116 is listed at 18%, and you can almost always exceed that ACV-by how much is hit/miss, and K1 will typically ferment 3-3.5#/gallon dry. (ex:OG of 1.140 fermented at 68F should easily yield ACV of 18.5%). You could feed a bit more honey, perhaps enough to raise the SG by another 0.010-0.015 once the SG has dropped by 0.030 or so...this way the yeast is not so stressed and you hope the yeast reach alcohol toxicity and die off. Less risky way is to ferment dry and backsweeten after clear/stabilized.

Fatbloke...morewinemaking almost always has D21 in stock. $1.95 for 8 grams...I have not tried that in mead, will have to try that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip! A high percentage mead would definitely be a boost which is one if the reasons why I went for the K1v.

I have purchased 3.5lb forest honey and look to use the following

2lb ginger
1 orange
1 lemon
Tronozymol
D1v1116
Possibly cinnamon and/or cloves.

In regards to adding the extra honey, I really like this idea and enjoy the honey flavour to be clear in the mead. Would you recommend this as soon as the SG drops or wait until the transfer to secondary?

Thanks again fir the advice, it's greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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What is forest honey, is that the european honey made from honeydew the bees collect from aphids and leafhoppers? WVMJ

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:32 AM   #10
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It's made by the New Zealand honey company. Quite a strong smell and looks really good. After visiting 4 supermarkets I finally found a raw honey.

I'm very jealous of the selection I see on the American sites but hopefully I can make do with this.

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