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Old 12-03-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
Brewer_Chad
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Default First batch of mead what do y'all think?

Just made my first batch of mead. I had 2lbs of honey from Oklahoma sitting in the cabinet. I brought a half gallon of water to boil put in the honey, 3tbs of pure vanilla extract, and 1tbs of cinnamon, and about one cup of crushed black berries. I put it in a gallon carboy cooled it in the sink then filled the carboy the rest of the way with water to bring the volume up to one gallon. I made a yeast starter with about an ounce of mead and lalvin EC-1118 yeast. The yeast said it was for wine and cider. Pitched the yeast 15min after making the starter. The OG was 1.091. Is this going to turn out good? How long should I let it sit in the primary? How long till it can be drank? Should I carbonate or not?

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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well...put it some place out of the way and basically let it ferment until everything drops out and the liquid becomes clear. You know fermentation is finished or very close when that happens. I'd watch and see if the fruit drops out of the must, and when that happens rack it off into a secondary..otherwise you can just let it go. The 1118 will take this down pretty dry, to around 1.000 or less. You'll just have to wait and taste it at that point. it will most likely be "hot" as in strong alcohol taste, and you'll need to let it just sit and age...this is best for all meads anyway.

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info; that gives me an idea of whats next.

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Old 12-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
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A tablespoon of ground cinnamon in 1 gallon? That's a LOT! Whole/cracked spices are best, as they're easier to use & much less messy. FYI: ground cinnamon makes a nasty looking slimy mess. I've used one 4 inch stick of cinnamon in 6 gallons & left it in there for a week & it was too much cinnamon. The only saving grace for that batch was the fact that I was able to remove it & allow the cinnamon present in the cyser to mellow over time. You can't remove ground cinnamon, so it's going to continue adding cinnamon flavour the entire time it's in the mix. Good luck, GF.

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Old 12-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
A tablespoon of ground cinnamon in 1 gallon? That's a LOT! Whole/cracked spices are best, as they're easier to use & much less messy. FYI: ground cinnamon makes a nasty looking slimy mess. I've used one 4 inch stick of cinnamon in 6 gallons & left it in there for a week & it was too much cinnamon. The only saving grace for that batch was the fact that I was able to remove it & allow the cinnamon present in the cyser to mellow over time. You can't remove ground cinnamon, so it's going to continue adding cinnamon flavour the entire time it's in the mix. Good luck, GF.
Funny how taste buds differ. I typically drop four or five cinnamon sticks in 5 gallon batches and I can't even taste the cinnamon. Maybe my tongue has suffered too much alcohol damage over the years!
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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a couple good comments above. I too agree with Gratus....NO GROUND SPICES! They are too hard to control AND remove when you want. Use whole spices. And I also agree with Bacchus..I can use 2-3 full sticks in a 5 gallon batch and can faintly faintly taste a hint of cinnamon.

Dan

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Old 12-04-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Default Cinnamon sticks

I used 5 sticks of cinnamon in a 5 gallon batch. @ 1.050 the cinnamon taste was similar to apple pie. I did rack the cyser off the cinnamon sticks at that point. OG was 1.14 so it still has a ways to go. Will the cinnamon become more pronounced as it dries out? Ideally I would like to stop it at the 1.010 mark.

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Old 12-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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The cinnamon will become much more pronounced as the batch gets drier. If it goes too dry for your taste, you can always backsweeten it later (after stabilizing with some sulfite and sorbate first).

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Old 12-04-2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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Well next time I will use whole spice thanks for the help. What about carbonation I have read you can go either flat or with carbonation what is standard, and what is best?

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Old 12-04-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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it is common to keep it still...I prefer mine with some bubbles however.

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