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Old 05-17-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
bribo179
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Default Chocolate Mead Recipe - Comments and Tips needed

I am getting ready to start my first mead. Since I have never done one and this is a modified recipe let me know what you think.

3 Gallon Batch

12 lbs Local Wildflower Honey
10 oz Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Packages of Lalvin d-47 Yeast
4 tsp Yeast Nutrient - Divided
4 oz of pure Mexican Vanilla Extract
Spring water
Camden tablets


Day 1
Mix honey with warmed water to dissolve
Add remaining water to 3 gallon mark
Beat with a whisk for 5 minutes to aerate
Add 2 tsp yeast Nutrient and Chocolate during aeration
Pitch the 2 packets of yeast

Day 2
aerate while adding 2 more tsp of yeast nutrient

Day 3
aerate

Day 4-(24-30)
Allow to sit in primary fermenter

Day (24-30)
Rack to 3 gallon carboy and top off water to leave 1 inch of headspace in the carboy
Add vanilla extract to carboy

Let sit for 11 months

1 Day before racking the 2nd time - Add camden tablets

Rack to carboy 2
Backsweeten to approx 1.030

Let sit for an additional 12 months

Bottle

Idea from - http://www.noonelike.us/~rhys/chocolate%20mead.pdf

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Old 05-17-2011, 09:53 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good. Have you seen this thread?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/end-world-mead-recipes-mayan-inspired-223008/

The only real thing I've done different is use tea and raisins for yeast food and tannin, and a little acid because of the predicted bitterness of the chocolate.

Oh - the one significant thing I'd do different is rehydrate the yeast and gradually get it used to a high gravity before pitching (see the videos on the thread above). Using 12 pounds of honey to make 3 gallons... it seems to me that your SG would be around 1.140 - 1.160 (just guessing based on my experience). I use EC-1118, and I've never used d-47, but I don't think most yeast would do its best being directly thrown into a must that strong.

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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Check out this thread too for more info/ideas on chocolate mead:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/questions-my-liquid-sex-chocolate-mead-244388/

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Old 05-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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I'll give you a couple of thoughts.

1. Use a big bucket. Chocolate batches foam something fierce, and if you use a 5-gallon bucket, with 3 gallons in it, you may have a mess. Anti-foam drops will also help.

2. Don't seal it under airlock early (see #1) as chocolate foaming-up is great for causing a plug in an airlock allowing pressure to build resulting in an airlock flying through the air and a geyser of chocolate and honey coating your ceiling. (ask me how I know - )

3. 4 ounces of vanilla?? If that is fluid ounces that is something like 8 Tbsp. Even if you are a vanillaholic that is probably more than a 3-gallon batch will take. 2 Tbsp would be heavy handed IMO.

4. You probably won't need to backsweeten. Using 12 pounds in 3 gallons will give you a starting gravity high enough that you may end higher than 1.030.

5. You are going to lose a lot of volume to chocolate sediment. If you want 3 full-gallons at the end, you may want to start with at least 4 at the beginning. Chocolate batches are usually slow to clear when using cocoa powder so be prepared to age it longer or fine it.


Good luck with the batch!

Medsen

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Old 05-25-2011, 03:52 AM   #5
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I have a chocolate mead fermenting, and am hoping for a bit of a recommendation. This chocolate foam that keeps appearing on the top is super thick, and almost a crust. I have been stirring it back in, hoping it will reabsorb, but it doesn't seem to. It just clumps up, and then reappears after a day or so. Has anybody else run in to this? Do you just rack from under it? Or am I just being impatient, and should just wait for it to fold back in?

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Old 05-25-2011, 04:41 AM   #6
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What are you using for the chocolate? I used cocao powder, but it didn't foam up at all like Medsen's and only had a slight krausen for a the first few days.

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Old 05-25-2011, 04:53 AM   #7
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Sorry, yes, it is cocoa powder.

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Old 05-25-2011, 05:13 AM   #8
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If it is still there when it finishes, then yes, I would rack from under it. The problem sounds like it wasn't mixed thoroughly to begin with or you're not punching the cap often enough (even though there is no fruit), which lets it dry out and start to harden. I don't know what to say other than keep mixing it through until it reaches 1.020 or so and then ride it out and rack from under it. I'm sure it would settle out if it wasn't for all that dang CO2 in solution!

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Old 05-25-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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I'm sure it was mixed just fine...The problem is that it's not done fermenting! The cocoa will drop just like the yeast when it starts clearing. Almost all of the cocoa solids will be gone from the final mead....IF you give it a LONG time to clear (finings help). You might want to also consider degassing your primary once in a while...this can be as simple as giving the carboy a good solid swirl every time you walk by (what I call my "fly by technique" -- may not be optimal, but it's what I use b/c it's easy and simple. It helps to use a blow off tube otherwise you'll have all the liquid blowing out of your airlock every time) to having a special degassng wand.

BTW, oldmate...what do you mean by "punching the cap"...not familiar with that term?

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Old 05-25-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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Punching the cap down is a term used in wine making for describing the manual process of breaking up and re-submerging the fruit layer that is pushed to the surface by the CO2. It apples to mead making as well.

When I've used cocoa powder, it doesn't really dissolve in solution, and when the fermentation is finished, even after the CO2 is released, I find that some of the powder hasn't settled to the bottom. Perhaps it is some that has higher oil content, or perhaps it relates to particle size or some other factor. In any case, I rack the clear(er) mead underneath it and leave that layer behind with the lees. You usually have a lot of racking losses with cocoa powder.

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