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Old 06-08-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
Lookin4space
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Default Freeze Concentrating (Fortifying) Mead

Okay Guys, I'm a bit of an experimenter when it comes to mead. I've made good batches and BAD batches, but this is a little new for me:

I started a batch of mead in December flavored with Korean barley tea, hops, lemon, molasses, and a few other things. The idea was to make a strong honey ale of sorts. Well, six months and a few rackings later, I've decided to rack it into a bottling bucket and put it in the freezer this morning. I'll check on it tonight and start skimming off ice crystals as they form until it stops producing them. Then I think I might tke it out and age it for a few months with oak chips, then a little longer to create a fortified mead (honey jack).

Any thoughts?

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Old 06-09-2012, 05:10 AM   #2
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Of sounds awful! I'd suggest bottling it all up and send it to me...I'll disposition of it for you. lol

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Old 06-09-2012, 06:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookin4space
Okay Guys, I'm a bit of an experimenter when it comes to mead. I've made good batches and BAD batches, but this is a little new for me:

I started a batch of mead in December flavored with Korean barley tea, hops, lemon, molasses, and a few other things. The idea was to make a strong honey ale of sorts. Well, six months and a few rackings later, I've decided to rack it into a bottling bucket and put it in the freezer this morning. I'll check on it tonight and start skimming off ice crystals as they form until it stops producing them. Then I think I might tke it out and age it for a few months with oak chips, then a little longer to create a fortified mead (honey jack).

Any thoughts?
Very interesting, I would lie to hear how this turns out... I like to experiment as well, always wanted to use the freeze method... What abv percentage are you looking for? I believe you can only get so much With the freeze method, but than again I have never done it..
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:19 AM   #4
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I've done this.

I had a spiced mead with an OG of 1.129 at a volume of 18 litres. It was flavoured with oranges, ginger, vanilla, coriander and a couple of other things. I left it to ferment for six months before adding another ~400g of honey to try to carbonate. Unfortunately the yeast had obviously given up somewhere before finishing the job and it's still very sweet and n ever fizzed up.

BUT - at bottling I used 650ml bottles, so I took aside five times this much for a couple of experiments. By the freezing and scooping method I made a double and a triple honeyjack to get two and three volumes of mead (respectively) down to about one.

Both came out really delicious, but particularly the triple. It's smooth, delicious and full of flavour. Somewhere along the line it also seemed to lose some of the 'kick' that the unconcentrated mead had when it was young.

Well worth a try if it's legal in your area... and you have mead to spare. In fact it's so much nicer than the base mead that I'm thinking of cracking another three bottles and giving it another go.

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Last edited by Gothnet; 06-10-2012 at 06:22 AM. Reason: edit - said sugar for carbonation, meant honey.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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Oh, and just as an assurance that it was actually good, my friends didn't say "erm, yes, quite nice" like they do with the dodgy batches, they drank it. All of it!

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Old 06-11-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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Well, I tried it. I took 5 gallons of mead and concentrated it down to 1. This batch had a pretty high alcohol content before I started (used the old fashioned method to test ABV), now it's considerably higher.
Kind of rich and sweet now; reminds me of a port. Much darker too. I took the batch out of the bottling bucket and into a 1 gallon jug with an airlock after warming it up to room temperature. It took all day! Water gets to 32 degrees, freezes, and doesn't get much colder, but other things just keep getting colder, including alcohol. I'm putting it into my cellar for a while then I'll try it again.

Note: I plan to do this again with an elderberry melomel I plan to make when they ripen in late July-early August. I made a 1 gallon batch last year and it was incredible even young (and quickly consumed). HOWEVER, I think I would be better off doing this around December to February when we often get daytime highs below freezing so that I can do this outside, the way they probably did it in the olden days. I think if you want the strongest brew possible, white meads are probably the best. freeze-concentrating concentrates whatever is tinting your brew as well, so a dark mead will become even darker and might require further clarifying.

BTW: This is freeze-concentrating, not distilling... not illegal. HOWEVER, I live in the Ozarks (backwoods), and there's plenty of moonshiners around here that brew for family, friends, and even for a "small donation." The local po-po is much more interested in pot and meth and leaves them alone. The law is a little arbitrary around here, and that's the way we like it.

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Old 08-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Friends finally tried the stuff- All of them liked it and said it reminds them of port (though it is dark brown)

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Old 08-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #8
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I've never heard of this before. Do you mind going a little more in-depth as to what this does?

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguinetti
I've never heard of this before. Do you mind going a little more in-depth as to what this does?

I believe their is a forum some where on here here that goes into depth on it.

In a nut shell u freeze the beer and the alcohol won't freeze, u just scoop out beer.. Bam what's let is a higher avb.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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cool. I'll have to try this.

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