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Old 09-13-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
gammonite
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Default Happy Trails Turbo Mead - The Story Thus Far

Happy Trails Turbo Mead – The Story thus Far

For a large variety of reasons and encouragement of a good friend, I decided to experiment with one of the so called ‘Turbo Yeasts’. I have always wanted to make mead so I decided that this would just the ticket. I have had mead that another one of the friends made in the past and it was just not good.

Since we have a lot of apples and crab apples growing here, I decided to use apple juice instead of water and make a cyser. The federal agricultural research station developed many varieties of apples. Many of these were never commercialized. One variety called Trail Apple-Crab was ready for harvesting when I got the itch.

I picked several large buckets of apples and put them through an ancient centrifugal juice extractor; seeds, peels and all. I boiled the juice (it WILL clear as this is how I make apple juice and when cleared it is as clear as the commercial apple juice you get in the store) and skimmed all the scum. I visited a local honey producer and bought a pail of honey.

Recipe:
7kg white honey
700ml white grape juice concentrate
1.5l white sugar
16.5l trail apple juice
1 pack of Liquor Quik turbo yeast

Note that no yeast nutrient was used. It is supposed to be in the packet. Also, I did not add bentonite.

August 21, 2011 - I gently heated some juice and added the honey and sugar. It was stirred until it was all dissolved. This was transferred to a primary fermenting vessel, added the grape concentrate and topped up with the rest of the apple juice. I measured the gravity and it was 1.150 with a potential 20% ABV. Very sweet and almost syrup like.

August 22, 2011 – Noticed a slight yeasty smell and some bubbles forming. The yeast appears to be waking up and smelling the sugar.

August 23 -> 28, 2011 – What I called near explosive fermentation was in action. The yeast packet said to stir the batch every day. When I did this, it foamed up like a warm root beer.

August 31, 2011 – Aggressive fermentation seems to have subsided. Tested the gravity and it was now 1.076 with a potential ABV of about 10%.

September 4, 2011 – Fermentation has slowed considerably. I measured gravity to be 1.068. So I figured, now is the time to rack into a carbouy. The taste was complex, very yeasty of course and sweet. As it stands now, it would make a damn fine winter drink. Heat it up with a clove, cinnamon stick, maybe an allspice berry and stiff shot of rum. Serve outside in your shorts when it is -35c.

September 13, 2011 – It is still slowly fermenting as evidenced by the air lock. The gravity is now 1.060. It is very cloudy. I am confident that I can get it to be crystal clear with some finings and mechanical filter but I am not worried about that or even bothered that it might not clear.

So, that is the story thus far. I am not sure how long I will let it ferment. At some point I will be happy to have a strong mead that is sweet. If it gets to 15% in a reasonable amount of time, I will stop it and go onto preparing it for bottling.

This is my first post to this forum which I stumbled upon just the other day. I will update this as time goes by.


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Old 09-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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I've not been impressed with turbo yeast when I've used them.

In this case it looks stuck. The one thing that is consistent about turbo yeast is that they are rapid. This is now more than 3 weeks old and still only at 12% ABV. I'll be surprised if it does much more.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen



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Old 09-15-2011, 01:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen
Wasn't that Chief Dan George talking to the Outlaw Josey Wales?
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
I've not been impressed with turbo yeast when I've used them.

In this case it looks stuck. The one thing that is consistent about turbo yeast is that they are rapid. This is now more than 3 weeks old and still only at 12% ABV. I'll be surprised if it does much more.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen
Thanks for the commeents.

This is the first time I have used the stuff so I have no idea what to expect. I am pretty sure the batch is still fermenting albeit slowly. There is still a lot of bubble activity in the airlock. I am not in a great hurry and my goal was never to produce a high alcohol drink. My plan is to leave it be for another couple of weeks and see what it look likes then. From my perspective, right now I currently have a pleasant sweet drink that can easily be augmented with other ingredients. Much more than I was expecting to be honest.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:30 AM   #5
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It sounds like it is still chugging along slowly. I would put it in a closet somewhere and check on it in a few months. You might be suprised how much the gravity might drop and also how clear it will get with time.

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Wasn't that Chief Dan George talking to the Outlaw Josey Wales?
Indeed so.

"We thought about it for a long time, 'Endeavor to persevere'. And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union."
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #7
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September 20, 2011 - The brew continues to slowly ferment. The bubbling in the air lock is quite regular. Gravity has dropped to 1.056. I drew a sample. As before it is very sweet but not cloyingly so. There is a strong honey-apple flvour to it. I can also taste the grape at the very end. I am really liking the idea of making it a hot drink as mentioned before. It is +8c very windy and wet here today. A nice warm mug would be welcome. I will continue waiting though.

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Old 09-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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I used the turbo yeast in a imperial IPA.
Didnt ever get what the packet said it would do....

I found with the beer it took like 7 weeks after fermentation was done before it cleared.
But after it cleared and it aged awhile...
Wow...The yeast brought out the flavor of all the malts...it became a very extreme malty ipa.

So, Yes i belive it is a overpriced yeast. Do i think in the end result does it produce good results....Yes....But time, it will take allot of it!

I know mead and beer are like apples and oranges...but i think the clarity and flavor compounds the yeast add would be relevant to mead...

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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Octobr 21, 2011 - Time to stabalize and start the clarification. The SG is 'stuck' at 1.050 although there is still indications of slow fermentation. The taste is definitely sweet as mentioned. But I am happy with it. There is a good flavour profile and a good kick of alcohol. I am debating on whether to add some spices to it before bottling or not. I think a small amount of clove, cinamon and nutmeg would add to it. Allspice or cardamom may be interesting as well. Probably will bottle it plain and experiment with the spices when drinking.

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:02 PM   #10
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October 31, 2011 - Happy Trails Turbo Mead v1.0 is in the bottle. I used a 2 part turbo clear and ran the mead through a fine filter. The result was a crystal clear product. With an SG of 1.05, it is sweet. Taste is of apple, honey, and grapes in that order. I am very pleased with it. It compares favourably with ice wine actually. I have certainly had ice wines that were a lot worse (to be fair, most ice wines were much better). So far it has received very favourable reviews from the tasters. This is a keeper.



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