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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Ginger Mead Recipe... Is This Totally Insane?

View Poll Results: What do you think?
Sounds great, give it a go! 7 77.78%
Sounds aweful, what are you thinking? 0 0%
Sounds great but it could use some more ginger. 2 22.22%
Sounds good, but add some hot peppers and it'll sounds even better! 0 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
Devo9
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Default Ginger Mead Recipe... Is This A Good Idea? Should I try this?

OK, so here is the plan. It might be absolutely horrible, or it might be totally awesome...

I am basing the recipe off of this one by Gamrchick:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/ginger-mead-274070/

But instead of going for a "A Medium Sweet Ginger Metheglin", I'll be going for a sweet very strong and spicy ginger metheglin. I'm going to call it "At Worlds End Ginger Mead"! I want about 19% alcohol, a serious bite, but still quite sweet. I am not sure why I want to try this, but it sounds pretty awesome to me now. I plan on force carbonating this when I am done.

6 Gallon Recipe:

23-25 lbs Clover Honey
8 Cups pulverized ginger
1 Lemon juiced and zested
1 pack of EC-1118 Yeast
Natural spring water to 6 gallon mark (should be about 4 gallons)
Yeast Nuetrience as needed

I was thinking It would be best to step feed this guy, start with 7 pounds of honey and 2 a cup of ginger, once that is 1/2 done fermenting I'll add another 7 pounds of honey and another 2 cup of ginger. Then when this is almost done I'll add another 8 pounds of honey. This amount of honey should bring the ABV to the yeasts maximum tolerance (even if it goes over 20% ABV). Once the SG stablizes I will add honey until SG is about 1.015.

I will then move the mead into the secondary once the extra honey has disolved and everything has settled. I will add the remaining 4 cups of ginger, the lemon juice, and the lemon zest in the secondary. This will get a CO2 blanket and will be left to age for a couple years before force carbonating and bottling. 1 gallon will be kept still because my keg only holds 5 gallons and it'll be interesting to compair.

How does that sounds? Too simple? Too much? I'd really appreciate some feedback!

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Last edited by Devo9; 12-03-2012 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Minor updates in procedure and recipe.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Sounds great. I like lower ABV drinks personally but to each his own. When getting your ginger make sure to get fresh ginger sliced up & do not skin it. You will get the most spice flavor that way. Step feeding will be good here because with the honey you want to add you would have an OG of around 1.172. To get the gravity down to 1.02 which I consider a sweet mead your must will reach just over 19%ABV and that is difficult to get some times. I would normally say go with K1-V1116 yeast over the ec-1118 but at your ABV levels you may need the extra fighting force of 1118.

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Old 12-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Thanks Arpolis, I appreciate the advice.

I'll be sure to keep the ginger skin. I was already planning on step feeding, I probably couldn't do this otherwise. I might try adding honey slowly at the end to be sure that I don't over sweeten. Last thing I want is to end up with the yeast pooping out while it is way too sweet.

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Old 12-02-2012, 04:36 AM   #4
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Sounds great to me. Probably won't be drinkable within the next couple years but it sounds like a good long term project. EC-1118 is a tank.

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Old 12-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #5
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Well, I don't think it's a bad idea, but I'd likely go about it differently.

This isn't a beer, so there's no point in trying to put all the fermentables in up front, that's just likely to stress the yeast (irrespective of which one you use).

Now 18% (fractionally over) is a 133 gravity point drop, so I'd just make the brew initially so that it's gonna be somewhere between 12 and 14% ABV, but once it gets to the half way mark, I'd step feed it some.

Whether it would be better to then just step feed it so it ferments dry or whether it's likely to be better to step feed enough to leave it at about the 1.020 area (which might still need further honey to get it tasting right) is your choice.

As to the addition of the ginger, I'd just go with what you're currently aiming for, but I'd just scrub it well and rinse it, then rinse it in sulphite solution, but then just put the whole lot through a food processor to grate/shred it, skin and all. Half would be used in primary and the other half frozen until the batch is finished and then put the frozen part in secondary.

Fermented or "dry" (as in not sweet) ginger flavour is a bit weird and quite mild tasting. I suspect you'll be surprised just how much ginger you need to get a strong/hot ginger flavour. Also, how sweet it needs to be to bring out the ginger flavour, hell you might even need to add a little capsaicin just to get it nice and hot......

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Old 12-02-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
Sharkman20, I do expect this project to take quite some time to finish. But if it turns out how I hope it will, then it'll be worth it.

fatbloke, actually I planned on doing it very similar to what you suggested. I was planning on breaking up the step feeding into 4 steps instead of two, in hopes that it will keep the yeast from getting too stressed. I was also going to add the ginger a little bit at a time too. Add about 1/3 in the primary and 2/3 in the secondary. Adding hot peppers also occurred to me, but I'm hoping that i can taste and judge the need for it after it has finished fermenting.

My plan was to ferment dry and backsweeten until the sweetness is where i want it and it doesn't ferment further.

I appreciate all the feedback. Sounds like i might be on the right track for what I'm looking for. It is great to have you guys here to lend your knowledge and brewing wisdom to my crazy ideas.

I am thinking of starting this brew on December 21, 2012 and have it as an end of the word brew, brewed entirely on "borrowed time".

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:09 AM   #7
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Darn, turns out i have to work two jobs tomorrow... and then I'm busy until January... I guess this will have to be a 2013 Mead... Unless i can find some time on Sunday... So much for End Of The World Mead... :-(

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:00 AM   #8
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Well from what I have read you can push your yeast 1-2% higher then its life by adding half up front half when fermentation slows so instead of adding honey 3 times might be better to just do half at beginning then rest at 1/3 brake. If you do it three it might be super dry. Not sure.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottv View Post
Well from what I have read you can push your yeast 1-2% higher then its life by adding half up front half when fermentation slows so instead of adding honey 3 times might be better to just do half at beginning then rest at 1/3 brake. If you do it three it might be super dry. Not sure.
The point of this process is to ferment it to is highest possible ABV. I will be fermenting dry and backsweetening. (although, with the process I am using, it may never actually go dry).

This it supposed to be a VERY strong drink, both in flavor and in alcohol content. I am going to have to think up a new name for it. End of the World Ginger Mead only worked if I was able to start it on Dec.21, which I was unable to do.

I am also thinking of adding peppercorns to this. I was browsing some ginger threads and pepper corns were supposed to go nicely with the ginger. It should also add some spice/heat to the mead. Anyone have any feedback on this idea? I will be starting this batch next week when my honey is delivered.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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So you havent started this yet? Good. If you want a strong ginger taste go to 1 pound of fresh ginger root for each gallon, chop up the root and simmer 20 minutes, cool, strain out the ginger, and add your honey to a OG of 1.100 then step feed at 1.01 with about 2 cups of honey to raise the gravity by about .01 each time until it stops. If you were planning on using dried ginger powder I think this would give a much better ginger taste, if you want really strong, like taking a shot of ginger, increase it to 2 pounds gallon, that is what we use to make our cooking ginger wine, but that is not for beginners. WVMJ

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