The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > High ABV Alert! Need advice on mellowing!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-11-2008, 06:05 PM   #1
shunoshi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
shunoshi's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hopkins, MN
Posts: 434
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default High ABV Alert! Need advice on mellowing!

I posted this at GotMead.com as well, but figured I'd shoot a copy to my HBT buddies who dabble in meadmaking:

On a whim I decided to make a 1 gallon cyser using 3 lbs. of grocery store bought clover honey and filling the remainder with pure apple juice. I warmed the honey slighty just to get it out of the jar, added apple juice to fill the 1 gallon jug, tossed in a cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, and a 1/4 tsp of Fermaid-K, GoFerm, and DAP. I shook the hell outta the bugger and took an initial gravity reading.....1.137. It hadn't really occured to me at the time that adding apple juice to honey with no dilution would make for a serious high gravity beverage.

I determined that my rehydrated Lalvin D-47 wasn't going to cut it anymore and pitched a rehydrated Red Star Montrachet yeast instead. I figured if it's good enough for EdWort's Apfelwein it's good enough for my cyser and I knew the alcohol tolerance of Montrachet was relatively high. I proceded to shake up the carboy for the next couple days to keep it aerated and then left it to do it's business.

It's now 5 weeks later. I took a gravity reading and we're sitting at 1.008. I took a sip of my sample and it was sweet, had an apple aftertaste and went down my throat like a shot of Blue 100. Wow, napalm. I plugged the numbers into an ABV calculator and I'm looking at roughly 17.1% ABV.

Sorry about the long and involved post, but I wanted to set the stage. On to my main question. Am I going to need to try and backsweeten this in order to get something palatable or will this mellow out with a little conditioning time (and by little I mean a lot)? I know from experience that big beers require some extended conditioning time. Is this going to be the same case? I suppose I should just take it one day at a time, but a 1 gallon batch can only handle so many samples.

Also, I was considering if oaking would help smooth out some of the heavy alcohol....

Oskaar, from GotMead.com suggested oaking with some French Medium Roast. Being new to meadmaking and having never messed with oak before I am clueless on oaking time/amounts. Can anyone clue me in?

Also any other suggestions on how to make this drinkable in the end would be appreciated.

Thanks!

__________________
8-Bit Brewing
Brewing: On Temporary Hiatus
shunoshi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 06:12 PM   #2
sTango
Dunwich Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sTango's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Nashville, Tn
Posts: 202
Default

+1 thats cool. i am also interested in hearing what happens with it.

__________________

Its not the beer that gets ya!.

Primary 1: air
Primary 2: Apfelwine #1- 6 gal (9-10)
Primary 3: Hodgepodge Wine (13)
Secondary: Innsmouth Pale Ale (BB IPA)(12)
Secondary 2: Benischewitz (w1) (home grown concord wine)
Kegged/Bottled: Leaky Tap Braggot (8) Kegged/ Miskatonic Chronic (BB Holiday Ale)(11) Bottled/Providence Stout (7) Bottled/Honey Brown Ale (6) Bottled

Wines (Bottled)
Chianti (w2)(kit),Reisling (w3)(kit),


Next Up: Newcastle, Hobgoblin, Old Speckled Hen

sTango is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
clayof2day
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
clayof2day's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 567
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I'm far from a mead expert, but 5 weeks is no where near enough time. Leave it for 6 months or a year and see how it tastes then! You can always back sweet at that point or at oak if you're bulk aging it.

__________________

I'm too lazy (and too busy) to keep up a signature.

clayof2day is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 08:44 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,040
Liked 4197 Times on 3055 Posts
Likes Given: 778

Default

I was just going to say that you have the makings here of an outstanding mead! I would NOT oak it, at least not now, because mead is so delicate flavored that oak can overpower it. The alcohol will mellow greatly with age. But, you must be patient! I think in 3 years this mead may be drinkable, and in 5-7, I think it'll be very good, maybe even great. Also, oaking takes a while to mellow, too, so you may want to go ahead and oak half of it, just to see what happens. But, don't think that oak will smooth the alcohol- if anything, you'd have harsh oaked flavored rocket fuel for the first two years.

Right now it's rocket fuel. But trust me, once it mellows, it will be wonderful!

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
shunoshi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
shunoshi's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hopkins, MN
Posts: 434
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default

3 years?!

I'd still like to try a little oak. It was suggested that I use a mere 1/4" oz. of medium roast French cubes and taste weekly for up to 4 weeks. I'll have to ponder this.

In the meanwhile, I guess I better start up a 5 gallon batch of some mead (and actually monitor my starting gravity so as to not need a half decade to age ).

__________________
8-Bit Brewing
Brewing: On Temporary Hiatus
shunoshi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
malkore
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

even with a lower SG, you still gotta age mead.

if you think making beer takes a lot of patience and is hard to wait....mead is 10 times worse.

but the payoff is 100 times better. I have bottles of mead from 1998.

__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #7
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,648
Liked 131 Times on 124 Posts

Default

Here's a few quick meads: http://www.greydragon.org/library/basic_mead.html The key to all of them is lower ABVs. A quick mead will use 2-2.5 pounds of honey per gallon and be under 8%.

For a real quickie, Master Robyyan's recipe:

Add one. pound of honey to 5 quarts of water, bring the mixture to a simmer and skim the foam as it rises, until there is no more foam, approximately 30 minutes. Add approx. 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger, the juice of one lemon, and 8 cloves, stuck into the lemon peel for easy removal. Boil for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm. Place the wort in a jug, straining the ginger and lemon pieces out. Add 1/4 tsp. ale yeast, and fit a fermentation lock.

After 48 hours, bottle and store at room temperature. After 48 hours in the bottle, refrigerate.

__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2008, 11:43 PM   #8
shunoshi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
shunoshi's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hopkins, MN
Posts: 434
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Yeah, I knew mead takes aging along the lines of grape wine. I just totally blew off calculating what my OG was going to be and now I'm paying the price. I'll just start up a new batch and try to forget that this one exists. I'll bottle up this wee one gallon batch sometime this spring and forget about it again. Maybe it'll make a good Xmas present for myself.

__________________
8-Bit Brewing
Brewing: On Temporary Hiatus
shunoshi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-12-2008, 02:46 AM   #9
NurseNan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 249
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I wouldn't even worry about bottling it this spring. You will need to rack it to another jug first. Just tuck the whole gallon jug in a cool dark place, and forget about it. Check it every few months to make sure your airlock has not dried out. Next September, taste it. If you want it a little more apple flavor or sweetness, try adding a can of frozen apple juice concentrate. Let it sit a bit more. Bottle near the end of November. Voila, a fabulous Xmas beverage!

__________________
the Nurse wants to know

Primary
nothing
Secondary
Date Mead, Oatmeal Cookie Braggot, Fox in Sox Gruit
Aging
Hard lemonade, Cyser, Golden Plum Mead
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,
Sauvignon Blanc, white merlot, Elderberry Mead, Vanilla Mead
NurseNan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
Chriso
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chriso's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,714
Liked 72 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 125

Default

My brother-in-law helped produce a single batch of cyser on the orchard in Oregon where he worked. It's barely drinkable after 2 years, and is VERY hot to the taste. He recommends opening more after 5 total years of aging too. His is also 16-17% like youre talking about.

__________________
BROKEN ROBOT BREWING CO.

Chriso || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
About to brew my first high grav - IIPA. Any last advice? josiahcox Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 09-23-2009 07:34 PM
*ALERT--dyi-ers Cold_Steel DIY Projects 8 05-06-2009 01:03 AM
General advice for brewing high-gravity Belgian styles RBlagojevich Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 23 04-07-2009 01:40 PM
mellowing the oak flavor kcinpdx General Techniques 12 03-03-2009 01:55 AM
Anybody chomping at the bit for Red Alert 3? Medo General Chit Chat 8 11-11-2008 02:02 PM