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Old 09-15-2011, 03:45 PM   #1
neohistory
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Hello, I'm new to the forums and have been studying the making of mead for the past few weeks. There is quite a bit of information to sort through, and I'm an amateur which makes it even harder. I have no brewing experience, so I'm heavily dependent on the experiences of others.

I'm a student of history, undergraduate with a double major in History and Education. I will attempt a first mead and the way I'm going to do it is just take what I really like and try to infuse it into a mead.

I have a first question and want to see if there are any experiences with what i'm using for yeast nutrition. I want to grind up tea leaves into a powder, and use that in place of yeast nutrition. I'm assuming, if a simple mead recipe for starters calls for "raisins" as the nutrition for the yeast, and with reading I've done, tea leaves can also be used (and I'm an avid tea drinker.) Is this advisable for a first mead?? I'm planning on a small 1 gallon batch to test my knowledge so far. Thanks!

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Old 09-16-2011, 03:22 AM   #2
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Hi, welcome to the forums. I just started brewing this year myself. Good luck, brewing is a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, I don't know if green tea works well for nutrients, but it should have nitrogen as a biomass. Instead of grinding tea leaves, might I suggest you try matcha? It's powdered tea and you can mix it pretty easy. I'd put the tea in 160F water for 15 minutes just in case too as I don't know how free from the nasties it would be. It also makes what ever your drinking sewage green. Delicious!

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Old 09-16-2011, 03:31 AM   #3
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Greetings, Neo!

To answer your question (provided, I don't know the fine print on tea leave nutrients) I don't think that it will work, I myself am an avid tea drinker and I can not think of any tea that would substitute for raisins, or actual Yeast Nutrient and Energizer. If you are making a batch of JAO (Joe's Ancient Orange) then sticking with the raisins and not the nutrient powder is the way to go. If not, then just follow the directions on the label, or take a look at HighTest's Scheduled Nutrient Additions. I have tried many SNA's for various brews and have found HighTest's to be the superior method. Different Meads, and brews, that have additional ingredients in them will sometimes not need as much nutrient as others, and you will learn to compensate for different variables as you gain experience in this art form. The best thing to do is to just pick the brains of the highly experienced and, most importantly, be very observant of all the various sights, sounds, feels and (very importantly,) of the smells. I have become very accomplished in my brewing in a very short time and I believe the reason for that is patience and observance. Whenever I brew up something new I sit and watch it ferment at different stages, I will slow my breathing and heart rate, remove the lid of the fermenter and pull up a seat, watching it for an hour or more taking in the scents, sight and sounds of the fermentation. This may seem odd, but by being able to sit and let your brain process the information coming in over a period of time it will be able to organize and compile the info. efficiently, allowing you to draw upon it anytime you need it.

Going back up to the top, if you like tea as much as I do and really want to incorporate it into your Meads, the absolute best way to do this is to make yourself a cup of tea and sip it, deciding whether you want the flavor of your tea in the Mead to be as strong as the cup in your hand, or less so, and then fine tune the taste by adding one cup or so at a time until you hit your happy medium.
A mixture of Oolong tea, and Earl Grey tea makes for a very good traditional and also adds a few tannins that raw honey is lacking, helping to balance, and round the Mead out.

Jonas

Jonas

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Old 09-16-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Actually, it willl work. I have used teas on quite few of my meads, and on my maple wines. Just add in enough to make a gallon of tea. Let's say you were using teabags, each teabag is to be used with 8 oz of water, just add in 16 bags per gallon and you'll be set. Same applies with loose tea.

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Old 09-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
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Jonas, just wanted to say I enjoy the passion you described!! While I don't have a lab set to actually test the nutrition/chemical composition of the tea I use, I found this website with a specific measurement for the "tea powder" (he suggest blending it into a powder.) http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com/CA...e_to_mead.html (ctrl+f and tea leaves.) So I went ahead and sanitized my stuff, mixed, rehydrated, and added the tea as per his directions. I understand this might not be correct since the 1/8 doesn't refer to a specific tea/tea blend, so I have no idea what nutrients really are available.

I can take a video of it, but I have it sitting in the bottle and checked it this morning which was about 6 1/2 hours after finishing and placing it for fermentation. It is bubbling quite nicely from what I can tell, and seems to be on its way (however, this doesn't guarantee anything!) So we shall see if what I did translates to a decent mead.

The specific tea I used happens to be one I really enjoy, and it is this http://www.amazon.com/Twinings-Afric.../dp/B001MNAOPU

That's all I got for now.

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Old 09-17-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neohistory View Post
The specific tea I used happens to be one I really enjoy, and it is this http://www.amazon.com/Twinings-Afric.../dp/B001MNAOPU

That's all I got for now.

Oh. My. God. I didn't even know that tea existed... I'm ordering three boxes, Immediately!

I will be doing some research into the provided links, and I have a tea that I may try to use as you are in my next traditional. I have some interesting Ideas. Thank you for the link, and Happy Mazing!

Jonas
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:28 PM   #7
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As a novice meadmaker myself (just starting my second batch), I'm keeping it simple. I made a raspberry melomel, but it had a medicinal, alcoholy flavor that has only dissipated some in over a year. Using my example, there are a lot of variables - did I start with too high a OG? were my temps too high? should I have backsweetened? And then there's all the possibilities related to the fruit.

So, I'm sticking with straighforward show or semi-dry meads, until I sort things out and am confident that I can make a good mead.

Have you seen the book The Compleat Meadmaker? http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadm...6276925&sr=8-1

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Old 09-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Pappers_;3265118]As a novice meadmaker myself (just starting my second batch), I'm keeping it simple. I made a raspberry melomel, but it had a medicinal, alcoholy flavor that has only dissipated some in over a year. Using my example, there are a lot of variables - did I start with too high a OG? were my temps too high? should I have backsweetened? And then there's all the possibilities related to the fruit.

QUOTE]

i had one do that too, but it was because i fermented d-47 too warm. now i use k1-v1116 and it's never happened again.

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Old 09-17-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jguy898 View Post
Oh. My. God. I didn't even know that tea existed... I'm ordering three boxes, Immediately!

I will be doing some research into the provided links, and I have a tea that I may try to use as you are in my next traditional. I have some interesting Ideas. Thank you for the link, and Happy Mazing!

Jonas
Jonas, It is a DELICIOUS tea, and I felt it had a perfect taste that I wanted to incorporate into the mead. I did powder it though, and I'm using it as a "nutrient", so I didn't actually create a batch of tea as liquid per say, but the steps I used were this:

I warmed up the honey, I did not boil it, near boiled water, stirred in honey.
I powderized about.....15 packets of tea so I have extra, that was more than 2 Tbsp. I mixed in most of it into the mead right after the honey, so it actually had time to "brew" per say, and not all leaves were powderized. I hope that a successful racking will eliminate any tea leaves left. The must sat first outside on a glass table (It's finally cooling off here, feels great!) covered, and then I brought it inside eventually to the fridge, and after a temp reading put it in the freezer real fast covered so not to shock them hopefully, and got it down to 90 degrees F. So all in all, the must probably had contact with the tea, from the time I started (around 9:45) straight through to the pitching of the yeast at about 1am, this is where I need to log better.

I went to the brew shop today and picked up some more things (hydrometer for one) and hopefully will have more data for another batch as I prefer to have data to analyze along with just "gut feelings." That tea is so good just brewed and with sweetener I felt it would be perfect to use for a first time. Twinnings has great teas just to enjoy themselves, so we shall see how this goes. I'm about to place an air lock today (as I'm using a poked balloon since I was eager to start. About to head to the house to check on it for day 2 (36 hours now in fermentation) So yes, sorry for the long post.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
Have you seen the book The Compleat Meadmaker? http://www.amazon.com/Compleat-Meadm...6276925&sr=8-1
Yes sir! That is the book I'm using right now along with some supplemental materials I've located on the web. Great book so far and does provide a lot of useful information.
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