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Old 08-20-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
Halbrust
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Default Banana short mead

I'll be starting a one-gallon batch of banana short mead this week. I'm using this thread as log notes, and to get any input readers may feel is appropriate.

I've done a fair amount of research on banana beers, both traditional and commercial. Therefore, I'm thinking a banana short mead will be OK. I know a banana wine, or long mead, would need years to age. However, traditional banana beers are drunk almost immediately.

Recipe:
2 pounds raw honey
4 pounds frozen bananas
1/2 cup orange juice
Spring water to make 1 gallon
WLP565 Saison Ale Yeast

Boil 2 pounds of bananas (in grain bag) in 1 gallon of water for 40 minutes to extracts sugars. Allow water to cool then combine honey, "banana water", and orange juice in 1-gallon carboy. Shake vigorously to combine. Add remaining 2 pounds of frozen (now thawed) bananas to carboy and top with spring water. Pitch yeast and add air lock.

I plan to let this ferment for no more than 10 days. At that time, I will rack it, filtering it through a cotton cloth and refrigerate. Bulk age in refrigerated setting for 4-5 weeks. Rack, filter, and bottle, then allow to bottle age for 1-2 weeks.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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I'm trying this tonight!

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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This sounds neat, let us know how it goes.

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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this sounds neat, let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Here's some thoughts:

1: you are not going to get much fermentation. You may end up with 3% at most.

2: you won't get too much flavor out of the bannana. The amount seems fine but the oils in the bannana wont have time to break down.

3: Your mead will taste "Hot" due to the fact that it is such a quick fermentation and more importantly the mead does not have time to age. True with less alcohol content there will be less aging needed but it shouldn't be signifigant. I have seen bannana wine and bannana mead take up to 2 years to age and for the flavor to really come out. Most meads will need to have at least 6 months. JAOM being the exception.

4: The mead will be cloudy. Filtering even through fine cheese cloth will be good but it won't get all the yeast and particles out of it that time and the normal settling process will do. I predict that you will have a nearly opaque mead. If you used a pump filter process that they use with wine at professional wineries then you may have a clearer product.

Now aside from those conserns, go for it. I would be interested in the results and to see if I am correct in my assumptions.

Happy mead making
Matrix

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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A couple questions:
Could I just mash bananas instead of freezing them?
Could I use orange concentrate instead of oj?

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luda007 View Post
A couple questions:
Could I just mash bananas instead of freezing them?
Could I use orange concentrate instead of oj?
Freezing will help break down the cell walls on a small level. It has been reported that it is not neccessary with bannana, though personally I am not sure. For ease of slicing, I would. Also many recipies I have seen use the skins of the bannana, just chop off the tops and the little bit at the end and discard those. Then just slice into 1/4 inch coins with the skin. Then put in your mesh bag and then into the boil. For the secondary, I would still do a boil and not put the bannana directly in but it could work either way.

The secondary, I would do a boil and then reduce the water some by taking the mesh bag of bannanas out and then boil for a bit longer, then just let the water cool, toss in some pectic enzyme and let sit for an hour and then rack onto it. That would be what I would do given what I have read on the internet.

Concentrate instead of juice: You can but check to make sure that it is organic and has no phophates or sorbates. Only Juice concentrate. From doing a Orange Vanilla with concentrate Expect it to settle the pulp out almost imediately. Also if you use concentrate it will be harder to just add a little. I still would go with the oranges or you may end up with more of a Orange Bannana rather than a Bannana with a bit of orange. A little zest will also help the flavor too. So in this circumstance one or two oranges with their zest would be ideal.

Matrix
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
Here's some thoughts:

1: you are not going to get much fermentation. You may end up with 3% at most.
Was hoping for 5%, so I'll be OK with 3%. It's a short mead... comparable to a beer, not a wine.
2: you won't get too much flavor out of the bannana. The amount seems fine but the oils in the bannana wont have time to break down.
I was thinking the 2 lbs boiled would offer lots of flavor because the flavor won't be fermented away. The two lbs unboiled is for mouth feel and color as much as flavor.
3: Your mead will taste "Hot" due to the fact that it is such a quick fermentation and more importantly the mead does not have time to age. True with less alcohol content there will be less aging needed but it shouldn't be signifigant. I have seen bannana wine and bannana mead take up to 2 years to age and for the flavor to really come out. Most meads will need to have at least 6 months. JAOM being the exception.
Why will the mead be hot? Not saying it won't, I'm still learning. But some beers are fermented this quick and don't age much more.
4: The mead will be cloudy. Filtering even through fine cheese cloth will be good but it won't get all the yeast and particles out of it that time and the normal settling process will do. I predict that you will have a nearly opaque mead. If you used a pump filter process that they use with wine at professional wineries then you may have a clearer product.
I want cloudy, that is the purpose of using the bananas and not just the juice. Hope we're both right.
Now aside from those conserns, go for it. I would be interested in the results and to see if I am correct in my assumptions.
Buying the yeast and starting the process tomorrow night (bananas are already in the freezer)
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks!

I went ahead and mashed 4lbs of peeled bananas. I boiled for 20 minutes in 3/4 gallon of water.
I also had raw honey so I boiled it along with the bananas.

I then added the orange juice to the Carboy, poured my boiled (but cooled) liquid in, added half if the boiled bananas and barely had to top off with water. I thought I plenty of head space....
I pitched in my yeast. I used d-47 because that's what ive been using.
I plan to let it ferment for a month then rack it.

My airlock was filled to the top with overflow when I woke up!

My OG was 1.074

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