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Old 02-26-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default Beautiful Kraeusen/Krausen on mead but why?

This is my third batch of mead (3.5 gal).


The main one has:
Approximately 10lbs of raw, local, wildflower unfiltered, unpasteurized honey.
2 cups of strong Barry's Irish breakfast tea
A quantity of Barry's Gold blend loose tea (unsure how much).
1 1g dissolved vitamin C tablet.
1 packet of Montrachet red-star wine yeast
Water enough to make up the difference.

His little friend ( an experiment) has all the above plus:
3 bay leaves
some powdered ginger
1 cinnamon stick
some allspice berries
4 capsules of cranberry extract (gel cap removed)
a splash of organic vanilla extract
a splash of almond extract
Oil of 3 capsules of black-currant-oil

I know currant leaves were used in the past for nutrients and since my currant bush has no leaves being winter and all I tried using the oil from some gel caps.

My first mead was exactly the same as the main one except for the 1g of dissolved vitamin C tablet. It was my favorite so far. At first I was gonna throw it out because it tasted so horrible but I let it age for 8 months and WOW what a difference. The tannins from the tea aged out and man it was yummy, there was so much tannins it tasted like whiskey before it mellowed.

The second was JAOM but instead of bread yeast I used muttons ale yeast. It was good but astringent probably should have let it age longer and the clove about knocked me over. But oh well.

//Now to the questions

First Question:
As I said this is my 3rd mead, but the other two did not have such a krausen, what would be causing it?

Second Question:
Also, I would prefer to not use any artificial chemical additives in my brewing/vinting ( I feel bad about using the vitamin C as it is).

So, what are good food / naturally occurring things that I might be able to add to my future meads in place of "nutrients" or would my current strategy of honey,water,yeast,tea be sufficient?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Epimortum

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Old 02-26-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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I can answer your second question since i don't like adding artificial things to my mead either. I use lemons. I was told you can use oranges too the flavor will be different though.

for a 5 gallon batch i use 3 lemons. I cut them in half and juice them, then add the juice and the lemons themselves to the must when i cook it.
Yes i cook my must i don't boil i just cook it.

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Old 02-26-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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I wonder if it's just the tea leaves providing more detritus for the carbon dioxide to vent out of solution. The term for that escapes me at the moment. Cata-something?

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Old 02-26-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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I would pull those bay leaves. They have an overwhelming flavor if left in sauces, let alone months in a mead.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:42 PM   #5
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I have a rose hip and hibiscus tea mead that is doing the same thing.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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Vitamin C is just asorbic acid. I don't add acid to mead, but I do for cider. to add tannins/acid I use english/irish breafast tea, and limes. Limes contain the most acid by weight of any fruit, and I find it leaving much less other flavors than when I've used lemons in the past. My usual addition for cider is the juice from 1/2 key lime per gallon.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Blow Leprechaun View Post
I wonder if it's just the tea leaves providing more detritus for the carbon dioxide to vent out of solution. The term for that escapes me at the moment. Cata-something?
Condensation nucleii perhaps?
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBF View Post
I have a rose hip and hibiscus tea mead that is doing the same thing.
I love Jamaica //hibiscus tea and was always wondering how it might taste as a mead or wine. Its a bit tart like cranberries but ohh so yummy, I'd be VERY interested in seeing how yours turns out.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon O View Post
I would pull those bay leaves. They have an overwhelming flavor if left in sauces, let alone months in a mead.
Good thing to know, thanks. I love them in soups/stews and don't mind their flavour one bit. But you're probably right I'll probably rack the wee one once primary slows to a crawl. I wouldn't let it in to age for sure.
I think the idea of using bay leaves came from a Kenelm Digby recipe but can't remember.

The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Condensation nucleii perhaps?
I don't think so mainly because the first mead had a bunch of loose tea leaves as well and no such kraeusen was formed.

OH Well as long as it tastes good I don't care. I have a thermometer and a hydrometer but I never use them, is that bad?
I guess for me (at least for now) half the fun is in getting a feel for it. Heck for my first mead I used an egg as a hydrometer cuz I didn't have one at the time.
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