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Old 11-24-2012, 04:09 AM   #1
asterisk49
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Default Hibiscus /hops mead and some questions from a mead noob

hey all, first time poster.

i've made a couple meads before mostly just melomels with fruit juice. making them in gallon jugs in my small apartment, all of which have turned out waay better than expected.

now i'm thinking I want to get away from melomels and try something else, hence the hibiscus hops.

Any suggestions?

after some research, i'm thinking of going 2.5-2.75 lb of honey per gallon. 1Oz of hibiscus powder and hops per gallon.

Also, how do you guys usually supply nutrients to your mead? I'vejust been using oranges.

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:36 AM   #2
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For nutrients I've been using yeast energizer, nutrient [fermaid or fermax] and sometimes DAP. All depends on what I have on hand. More often, I'm NOT using DAP though (have very little of it)... I would suggest going over to the Got Mead? forums and asking about it there. You'll get answers from many people that have done what you want to do and better guidance. I went there to get my mead making knowledge (initially).

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Old 11-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #3
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I am with Golddiggie on the nutrients. If you do not have ready access to commercial yeast nutrients/energizer then another easy way to add nutrients is to take 1TBS per gallon of bakers yeast and boil in in 1 - 2 cups per gallon of water. Make sure to boil it from anywhere of 15 - 30 minutes to make sure the yeast is dead and broken down to be easly used as nutrient from the live yeast.

Also in meads yeast love tannins it seems. This can be added with 10 - 20 raisins per gallon or a cup per gallon of strong black tea.

You should not need that much hibiscus and hops per gallon. For good flavor you should only need .5oz hops and 2 - 3 oz hibiscus thrown in primary. I would leave primary alone untill mostly clear so 2 - 3 months minimum and when you rack to secondary give it a taste and if you want more hopps or hibiscus taste then add to secondary .5 - 1 oz at a time and waiting a month befor trying again.

Suggested recipe:

1gallon
2.5 lb honey
.5 oz cascade hops
2 oz red hibiscus dried flower/powder
1 cup of strong brewed Earl grey black tea
1tsp yeast nutrient or 1TBS boiled bakers yeast substitute
Water to 1 gallon
Yeast: Red star Cote Des Blanc / Lalvin K1v-1116 / Lalvin D47 all good choices.

After fermentation completed add in a crushed campden tablet, 1/2 tsp of potassium sorbate and back sweeten to a gravity of 1.016. Metheglins seem to be much better while sweet/semi-sweety rather than dry IMO.

This should be a good 12%ABV semi-sweet metheglin and again more herbs can be added to secondary if a more robust flavor is wanted but very little herbs go a long way with mead.

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Old 11-24-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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Never added any tannins to my mead batches and haven't had any issues with them doing as I wanted. There could be some in the nutrient blend I use. Not sure since I no longer have the original package for it (bought a pound bag of it )...

BTW, I would also be careful about formulating your must without knowing what yeast you'll be using. Unless you want it to finish VERY dry, formulating with a lower OG (such as what D47 would ferment to and not go arid) would leave you with a dust bowl if you use K1V or another high ABV yeast.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions all! Greatly appreciated!

Now, say I do actually want a higher ABV mead but I don't want it to be, a dust bowl, as golddiggie put it. I've had a 19%abv hibiscus hops mead that i'm trying to replicate. It was a very full, sweet, but spicy flavor. Could I just add more honey to the mix? I've been using D47 recently, graduated from bakers yeast.

Could I achieve this by say, copy and pasting arpolis's recipe, but using 3 to 3.5 lb of honey?

Also, this will be a 5, gallon batch, so i'm assuming i'd multiply all measurements by 5, yeah?

and do i still use 1 batch of yeast?

Thanks!

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Old 11-25-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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Use this calculator to get a better idea of how much honey to use (in the total volume size).

I would advise doing a simple test to see what the sugar content of the honey actually is. While the default 79.6% might be close enough to what you have, it could also be lower (or higher) than what you have for honey. Mixing up 1oz (by weight) of honey and adding water to reach 8oz total volume will give you the OG for 1# of honey in one gallon of must. You can then tweak the calculation parameters until it matches your measured OG and get the percentage for that batch of honey.

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跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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