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Old 12-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
Atek
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Default Home for the Holidays Mead

Ok, so I started this on 11/27/10

4lbs wildflower honey
2 cups red grapes
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coffee
5 whole cloves
1 oz vanilla extract
Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast
1/2 gal tap water
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp yeast energizer
Methods/steps
1. Heat water slowly to 150 and stir in 3lbs honey.
2. Add crushed grapes and all other ingredients EXCEPT the cloves.
3. Hold at 150 for 20 minutes to pasteurize. Kept lid on pot.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 100 degrees.
5. Added to fermenter (with strainer funnel) and pitched previously started yeast.
6. Added water for one gallon.
7. SG 1.07
8. Set for 3 weeks and added 4th lb of honey when SG reached 0.998
9. When primary ferment stopped, racked to gallon glass container and added cloves.
10. Racked again one month later and added dissolved Campden tablet.
11. Wait one week and added Sparylloid.
12. Aged for one month and racked again.
Another month later and it's very clear, smooth and yummy. Will warm your chest with a small sip. The final SG is right at 1.000.
I want to bottle for cooler weather but doubt it will last that long.

So far it tasts pretty good, a little hot but that will age out. I don't plan on drinking this until next christmas. My question is about the cloves. This is a 1gal recipe calling for 5 cloves, that seems like a lot to me. I like clove but I know how strong they are as well. Should I really add that many coves and if so how long should I let the cloves sit?

My other question is if I should wait until the mead clears before I add the cloves? fermentation is still going a little. My last SG was 1.010 on 12/07/10 I forgot to take an OG. :-(

Thanks guys!

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Old 12-20-2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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Personally I don't like things with heavy clove, so 5 cloves in a gallon would probably be more than I'd want. You can start with 1 and you can always add more through the aging process if you want more (you've got a year).

Medsen

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Old 12-20-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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I just made two different meads a couple weeks ago. Batch #1 I used 1/2 oz. dehydrated Ginger, 2 whole nutmegs, and 6 cinnamon sticks. The other I used 1 star anise, 8 whole allspice, 6 cinnamon sticks and 4 whole cloves. Both batches were 2.5 gallons. The one with the cloves is fairly strong, but not overpowering. I will probably drop it down to 3 next time.

Cloves are very powerful. I have read many threads on its use. 1 to 2 per gallon seems to be the consensus with many people. Just remember, once its in there, you can't remove it. I'd say go small, you can always add more later.

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Old 12-24-2010, 12:49 AM   #4
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Alright so this is ready to stabilize, I'm gonna go ahead and add 1 campden tablet as its just 1 gal, but I was wondering how much sorbate do I add with that?

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Old 12-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #5
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About 1 gram should leave you with approximately 200 ppm sorbate.

If I understand, you started with a gravity of 1.070, and then step-fed it another pound of honey so your ABV is probably a bit above 14%. You might be able to go with 25% less potassium sorbate, but I would consider adding a total of 1.5 Campden tablets because the honey binds a lot of SO2 and Champagne yeast can be tenacious.

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Old 12-24-2010, 04:14 PM   #6
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So if I understand correctly I should be using 1.5 Campari tablets along with 1gram sorbate to stabilize 1gal residual sugar meads when using champagne yeast?

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Old 12-26-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombo80 View Post
I just made two different meads a couple weeks ago. Batch #1 I used 1/2 oz. dehydrated Ginger, 2 whole nutmegs, and 6 cinnamon sticks. The other I used 1 star anise, 8 whole allspice, 6 cinnamon sticks and 4 whole cloves. Both batches were 2.5 gallons. The one with the cloves is fairly strong, but not overpowering. I will probably drop it down to 3 next time.

Cloves are very powerful. I have read many threads on its use. 1 to 2 per gallon seems to be the consensus with many people. Just remember, once its in there, you can't remove it. I'd say go small, you can always add more later.
Damn! that's heavy spicing in 2.5 gallon batches.....

I'd have thought it better to keep spices down to start with, as it's easier to add more, but it's a total b*****d to remove too much.....

Still, they're your batches. So if you're happy with them then that's great. I'd hope for a full evaluation of them as I'm very interested in how higher levels of flavourings like spices affect meads (yes, I've made a hideous one with too much clove.....)

regards

fatbloke
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