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Old 04-16-2007, 04:12 AM   #1
evenstill
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Default * Help . . . Spring Meadow Hive Mead *

I’m going to be making two 3 gallon batches of Spring Meadow Hive Mead (one sweet and one dry). My goal with these meads is to not only capture the pleasure of a Spring walk through a blossoming meadow but also to make a mead that is very nutritious/healthy/medicinal. Here is the basic recipe I’ve come up with so far:
10.5 lbs honey for the sweet mead and 7.5 lbs honey for the dry mead
Wyeast 4184 liquid yeast starter for the sweet mead and Wyeast 4632 liquid yeast starter for the dry mead
2oz Bee Pollen each
2oz Propolis each
2oz Royal Jelly each
3 vanilla beans each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Green Tea leaves each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Oolong Tea leaves each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Earl Grey Tea leaves each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried jasmine flowers each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried honeysuckle flowers each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried chamomile flowers each

Here are my questions:
Bee Products: I adapted this to an article I read where the person quite successfully replaced the yeast nutrient/energizer with about 5 Tbsp (2oz) of Bee Pollen per gallon of mead. This works out to about 6oz of Bee Pollen for each of my 3 gallon batches so I divided it into three equal parts Pollen, Propolis, & Royal Jelly (2oz of each). Any thoughts about the quantity? Do you think I should put it all in the initial fermentation or save half (or less?) of it to add after I rack it for the first time?

Tea: From what I’ve read about 1 teabag per gallon is suggested. Do I have enough (or too much)? Should I use different quantities for the sweet mead vs. the dry mead? In addition to adding the brewed tea I was also going to put the used tea leaves into a cotton muslin tea bag and let it soak in the fermenting mead as well. After racking the first time should I retrieve the bag of tea leaves and put it back into the mead? What would the pros and cons be of doing this?

Flowers: I’m not looking for an overpowering floral quality but something that will serve as a light counterbalance to the heavier earthy richness of the bee products and the ‘green’ bitter tang of the teas. Do I have enough (or too much)? Should I do them like the tea where I brew a tea out of them and then add the used blossoms to the mead in a tea bag? Should I add all of the flowers at the beginning or reserve half (or less?) of them to add after the first racking so that their flavors come to the foreground a little more?

Yeast: The yeasts I have (Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead & Wyeast 4632 Dry Mead) are what the manager of the brew shop suggested. Do you have any idea about how much alcohol content I can expect in each 3 gallon batch using these yeasts? I was thinking about finishing off the dry mead with a fermentation using Lalvin K1V-1116 to boost the alcohol content. What do you think? Any suggestions?

Bottling: I was thinking about bottling half of each batch as sparkling mead and the other half as still mead. Any thoughts?

Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Luck,
evenstill

P.S. I also posted this under "Wine".

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Old 04-16-2007, 04:52 PM   #2
NurseNan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evenstill
I’m going to be making two 3 gallon batches of Spring Meadow Hive Mead (one sweet and one dry). My goal with these meads is to not only capture the pleasure of a Spring walk through a blossoming meadow but also to make a mead that is very nutritious/healthy/medicinal. Here is the basic recipe I’ve come up with so far:
10.5 lbs honey for the sweet mead and 7.5 lbs honey for the dry mead
Wyeast 4184 liquid yeast starter for the sweet mead and Wyeast 4632 liquid yeast starter for the dry mead
2oz Bee Pollen each
2oz Propolis each
2oz Royal Jelly each
3 vanilla beans each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Green Tea leaves each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Oolong Tea leaves each
1 tsp (about 6 grams) dried Earl Grey Tea leaves each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried jasmine flowers each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried honeysuckle flowers each
1 Tbsp (about 18 grams) dried chamomile flowers each

Quote:
Here are my questions:
Bee Products: I adapted this to an article I read where the person quite successfully replaced the yeast nutrient/energizer with about 5 Tbsp (2oz) of Bee Pollen per gallon of mead. This works out to about 6oz of Bee Pollen for each of my 3 gallon batches so I divided it into three equal parts Pollen, Propolis, & Royal Jelly (2oz of each). Any thoughts about the quantity? Do you think I should put it all in the initial fermentation or save half (or less?) of it to add after I rack it for the first time?
This is an interesting concept. Can you link the article? I'd very much like to try this more historical way of making mead. Pollen, Propolis and Royal Jelly are all loaded with nutrients, you should have active fermentation.

Quote:
Tea: From what I’ve read about 1 teabag per gallon is suggested. Do I have enough (or too much)? Should I use different quantities for the sweet mead vs. the dry mead? In addition to adding the brewed tea I was also going to put the used tea leaves into a cotton muslin tea bag and let it soak in the fermenting mead as well. After racking the first time should I retrieve the bag of tea leaves and put it back into the mead? What would the pros and cons be of doing this?
.
The use of tea in meads is to impart tanins. It also gives subtle flavoring. I add tea (when I use it) when I heat the water to dissolve the honey...I make a tea. I have used as much as 6 teabags for a gallon, and as little as 6 teabags in 5 gallons.

Quote:
Yeast: The yeasts I have (Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead & Wyeast 4632 Dry Mead) are what the manager of the brew shop suggested. Do you have any idea about how much alcohol content I can expect in each 3 gallon batch using these yeasts? I was thinking about finishing off the dry mead with a fermentation using Lalvin K1V-1116 to boost the alcohol content. What do you think? Any suggestions?
Some people love the liquid mead yeasts, some hate them. I don't use them. I use champagne yeast for dry meads, and an ale yeast for sweeter meads. The ale yeast will of course produce less alcohol, but will leave a residual sweetness. Another option is to make them both with EC-1118, allow them to completely ferment to dry, then add KSorb and KMeta to ensure no further yeast activity. Back sweeten one of the batches with another pound of honey or two, then bottle.

Quote:
Bottling: I was thinking about bottling half of each batch as sparkling mead and the other half as still mead. Any thoughts?
Stabilizing with KMeta and KSorb will prevent making it a sparkling mead, unless you force carbonate. Splitting batch finishes can be done, but its more complicated. IF this is what you really want, you will need to bottle immediately after backsweetening, in pressure tolerant bottles.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:16 AM   #3
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A little off topic but.. NurseNan.. How much ABV do you find you get from ale yeasts? I want to do a low ABV Cranberry mead.. somthing light that you can have a few glasses of and was thinking of going this route but I have no idea what to expect.

EvenStill - how much mead making have you done before?? My guts say this might be your first or second (sorry if my guts are wrong.. they are all messed up due to my diet these days).. Alot of people (myself included) start with just a regular mead and then play with ingrediants from there.. my thoughts are that if you run too many variables (ingrediants, yeasts and such) then if it doesn't turn out like you want.. you may not know what caused the undesired effect.. I also saw some of your posts over on GotMead.Com.. Great website and there are a ton of people that really know there stuff there.. just a few suggestions.. 1 Read all the back logs.. there is a metric crapload of info in there.. and 2.. just courtsey wise.. some people frown on posting the same topic/question in 2 diffrent places.. just FWIW

Otherwise.. Good luck.. Definatly let us know how it turns out

SpamDog

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Old 04-17-2007, 07:52 AM   #4
NurseNan
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It depends what you mean by low ABV. Anything under 12 is low to me When I use ale yeast, I use Nottinghams, and I nurture and feed it just like wine yeast meads. You could do a low alcohol quick mead...light, tart and ready in a month, but it won't be clear or anything. Quick meads are usually cloudy and only about 5-8% ABV. You can make serial one gallon batches, and have a fridge full all the time. Quick meads don't store well, so small batches are better.

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Secondary
Date Mead, Oatmeal Cookie Braggot, Fox in Sox Gruit
Aging
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Ginger-Orange Mead,
Agave Mead, Chocolate/Cinnamon Mead, Heather mead,
Bottled/Drinking
Heather Ale, Emerald Honey Kolsch, Hobgoblin clone, Terror of the Ewes Oatmeal Stout,
Kilt liftin' Wee Heavy, Soggy Doggy English Brown Ale, Saaz/Perle Mead, Cinnamon Mead, Shiraz,
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:58 AM   #5
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yeah.. I was thinking something around 8%.. I want something you can have a few glasses of.. I was thinking maybe ferment it and then back sweeten with more of the juice I used for must to lower the abv and up the sweetnes

SpamDog

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:12 PM   #6
evenstill
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Default * Help . . . Spring Meadow Hive Mead *

Quote:
Originally Posted by NurseNan
This is an interesting concept. Can you link the article? I'd very much like to try this more historical way of making mead. Pollen, Propolis and Royal Jelly are all loaded with nutrients, you should have active fermentation.
NurseNan, The article I mentioned is A New Type of making MEAD by Robert Berthold and can be found at http://www.mainebee.com/tips/mead.php. Mr Berthold says:"A few years ago, however, a new concept in mead nutrients "dawned" upon me at a presentation by Dr. Fred Beam. He mentioned how the social structure in Kenya was deteriorating because the government passed new, stringent hunting laws. Men could no longer hunt, and so they spent their time at home. As a result, alcoholism became a serious problem. The primary alcoholic drink in Kenya is homemade mead. made by simply crushing combs containing honey, brood and pollen, and mixing this with water. The mixture is then allowed to ferment. After hearing Dr. Beam's comments, I wondered if we could make mead using pollen, rather than the it chemicals mentioned above for our nutrient source. Our first experiment seemed successful, but we wanted to put our product to the acid test. A potential problem with nutrients derived from pollen is that they vary appreciably, depending on source. However, we have made 30 different batches of mead, using pollen from a variety of sources, and we've found all to be quite acceptable. We have not experimented extensively with the quantity of pollen used in a batch but have used about five tablespoons per gallon each time."

Also, here's a recipe for Complete Hive Mead:
A Complete Hive Mead
6 lbs wildflower honey (I used Millers Clover)
1 oz propolis
1 oz bee pollen
1 oz royal jelly
3 gal H20
yeastBoil Honey and water for 30 min and skimm off foam.
During cooling add propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly - do not strain.
Cool to 70 degrees F. Pour into Fermenting vessel, making sure the undissoved solids from the propolis, jelly and pollen go into it.
Add yeast. Let ferment until complete (16-26 days)
Add 2/3t. honey to each bottle (if carbonated mead is desired), fill bottles, and cap. Ready to drink in two weeks to a year depending on how long you wish to store it - the longer the better.
From Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, Stephen Harrod Buhner, p. 58-59.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamDog
.. my thoughts are that if you run too many variables (ingrediants, yeasts and such) then if it doesn't turn out like you want.. you may not know what caused the undesired effect..
SpamDog, I've made a few batches of wine but these are my first batches of mead. I think you could be right about too many ingrediants . . . I have been leaning towards just using the bee products and maybe the vanilla beans. I can always add the tea/flowers later to taste anyway right?

Luck,
evenstill
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Reworked Recipes

Ok, so I reworked the recipes. I eliminated all the extra stuff and decided instead of using the same yeast for both batches (sweet/dry) and changing the amount of honey I’d just put the same amount of honey in both batches and use different yeasts. The Lalvin 1116 should eat up all the sugar leaving a dry mead while the Wyeast 4184 will die out around 14% alcohol leaving some residual sugar. Anyway, here are the recipes I’ve got so far. Any thoughts?

Hive Mead, Dry (Lalvin K1V-1116 dry yeast starter) - Makes 3 gallons:
Ingredients:
• 10lbs 14.25oz raw wildflower? honey
• 2 oz ground bee pollen
• 2oz Propolis powder
• 1oz freeze dried royal jelly powder
• Lalvin K1V-1116 Dry Yeast Starter
Directions:
1. 348g sugar per liter (2lbs 14oz per gal) should yield an alcohol potential of approximately 17.4% per volume. So for a three gallon batch this works out to 10lbs 14.25oz (4939.9643g) of raw honey, which if at 80% sugar by weight should contain approximately 8lbs 11oz (3951.9715g) sugar. Starting Gravity should be 1.130.
2. Dissolve the honey and ½ of the bee products into warm water (<104F)
3. Add water to 3 gallon glass carboy.
4. Rehydrate yeast according to package instructions.
5. Pitch yeast into your must.
6. Add other half of the bee products into the first racking.
7. Add 48g sugar into clean carboy and rack 4 liters onto it. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved then siphon into eight 750ml glass wine bottles designed to handle carbonation and cork securely. This should be just enough sugar to provide about 2 atmospheres of pressure (2 bar; 30 psi) while increasing the alcohol per volume by about 0.5% thereby reaching the yeasts maximum alcohol tolerance of 18%.
8. When this is completed add 180g sugar back into the clean carboy and rack remaining mead onto it. This should be just enough sugar to increase the alcohol by about 2%, thereby reaching the yeasts maximum alcohol tolerance and leaving just a little residual sugar.

Hive Mead, Sweet (Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead liquid yeast starter) - Makes 3 gallons:
Ingredients:
• 10lbs 14.25oz raw wildflower? honey
• 2 oz ground bee pollen
• 2oz Propolis powder
• 1oz freeze dried royal jelly powder
• Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead liquid yeast starter
Directions:
1. 348g sugar per liter (2lbs 14oz per gal) should yield an alcohol potential of approximately 17.4% per volume. So for a three gallon batch this works out to 10lbs 14.25oz (4939.9643g) of raw honey, which if at 80% sugar by weight should contain approximately 8lbs 11oz (3951.9715g) sugar. Starting Gravity should be 1.130.
2. Dissolve the honey and ½ of the bee products into warm water (<104F)
3. Add water to 3 gallon glass carboy.
4. Prepare yeast according to package instructions.
5. Pitch yeast into your must.
6. Add other half of the bee products into the first racking.
7. When fermentation is almost complete siphon 6 liters of mead into eight 750ml glass wine bottles designed to handle carbonation and cork securely.
8. Rack the remaining mead into a clean carboy and allow fermentation to finish. At this point you can choose whether to age in the carboy or bottle.

Luck,
evenstill

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Old 05-27-2007, 04:16 AM   #8
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I'm new to mead. I've been thinking about this idea of putting other bee products into mead.

How do bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly affect flavors?

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Old 05-29-2007, 07:00 PM   #9
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Default Nutrients Question

Maybe I am wrong here but from the sound of the bee hive method the Royal Jelly, ground bee pollen, and Propolis powder are actually used as nutrients for the yeast not as for a nutritional value in a finished mead.

I would like to see the end result for a true value of pollen. I would be more interested in the addition of these at the end of the process. Anyway that was excellent info.

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