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Old 02-15-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
Snuffalupagus
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Default Kumquats!!! making my first mead with em'

While I was eating my sunday morning bagel and drinking a cup of Joe at the neighborhood cafe with SWMBO. a crazy lady wandered by (Maui is full of weirdos) who insisted i try a kumquat -as she was carrying a a butt ton of the things in a box (had to have been 30 pounds...)
she was intent on leaving this box of kumquats at the cafe so that folks could help themseves to them - after eating one... i was struck with a brilliant idea. This could be the caytlyst to making my first mead (which I have been contemplating) so I took 10 pounds of them home (all but a pound went into the deep freeze for later -should this recipe actually work I may make a 5 gallon batch later.
I stoped at the store and obtained a gallon of distilled water, a 2.5 pound jar of clover honey, a 1 pound jar of local Ohi'a Lihua blossom honey (lol... dare you to find THAT on the mainland)

and set about making a brew -
probably did this ALL wrong but the activity at the airlock 2 hours later says I'm getting fermentation - so if i made mistakes they were minor. and the power of the yeastie beasties rules all.

I ran out of camden tabs - since a new supply would be a week out (and I rarely use them anyway... in favor of a a bleach solution soak and a hot filtered water rinse for my equipment (which wouldn't work on fruit) since I mainly work with sealed pastureized juices and frozen fruits, I figgured I'd need to do something to treat the fresh fruit - so I boiled some filtered water and dunked them in that (briefly... not long enough to actually cook them - only long enough to - hopefully - kill anything on the skins)
meanwhile I heated up 1/2 a gallon of distilled water to 140 -50 and dumped in 3 pounds of honey, 2 pounds of the clover and the 1 pound of Lihua I set this aside to cool, Added 1 tbs yeast nutrient to my 1 gallon glass jug, squished and added 14 kumquats, added the honey/water solution when it had hit 100 degrees topped the it off to 1 gallon with the distilled water, then shook the hell out of it. to this I pitched one of my two remaining Lavlin EC-1118 packets, which seems to be quite happy in there as while I'm typing this 2 hours later - it's actually already bubbling 3+ times a minute.
I still down't own a Hydrometer - so no gravity readings... one of these days. the outfit I order online from for supplies won't ship glass via USPS priority mail (which is the only cheap + relitively quick way to get stuff to Hawaii)
is there such a thing as a plastic Hydrometer?!

so Mead misters... How bad did I screw this up? what did I forget? and dispite whatever mistakes I made... will this stuff actually be drinkable someday?

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Old 02-15-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
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Looks great the only thing you made need is some pectic enzyme since you boiled the fruit even for a few seconds it could still be a pain to get it to clear. I wouldnt worry about campden at least till you rack it. Wild yeast have a hard time dealing with honey and any that could the lavlin would beat out.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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Well, as you said, you didn't do anything too far wrong. You've got an active fermentation!

Two things I'd do -- first get some pectic enzyme ASAP and add it to the must. The sooner the better, since ethanol interferes with the action of the enzymes so you'll want it in there to reduce the chances of a pectic haze right away.

Second, get some more yeast nutrient (like Fermaid-K) and add it over the course of the first 1/3 of fermentation or so. I don't know what nutrient you added up front, but even that designed specifically for wine will often not supply enough nitrogen for a clean mead fermentation. Nitrogen starvation of the yeast could result in lots of H2S production. You don't want this otherwise excellent recipe to start smelling like rotten eggs -- or even worse, like spoiled cabbage once the sulfide starts to turn to mercaptans. Nutrients will prevent that from happening. If you need more quantitative info, read Hightest's sticky in the mead forum, and go to his website and read his FAQs.

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Old 02-19-2009, 02:04 AM   #4
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this stuff is still going like a bat out of hell and SMELLS like a nectar of the gods....
I'm going to have to risk a pectin Haze (I don't care if it's not crystal clear - don't have any pectic enzime and it'll be a week before I could get some -and with the speed that EC-1118 goes - the real fermentation will be over)
besides - only the seeds contain pectin (which did not get brought to boiling when I sterilized the peels)

I did add an additional teaspoon Of yeast nutrient yesterday.

we shall see how it continues to go... if the smell is any indication - I'm gonna love this stuff...

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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Snuffalupagus - That sounds like it will be a tasty mead, just remember to give it a good amount of time to ferment, then mellow.
A friend of mine runs the homebrew shop on Oahu, if you ever come over you can check out what he has. Basically everything you would need except he only has pellet hops.
Best of luck, I don't know if I have ever had a kumquat, think I need to try one.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #6
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sounds yummy.
Will be hitting my produce vendor for kumquats next week.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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if you want to you can improvise some pectic enzyme from the inner peal of a papaya, or so I'm told. Maybe someone else knows some specifics.

Sounds like a great mead.

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Old 02-21-2009, 01:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
Snuffalupagus - That sounds like it will be a tasty mead, just remember to give it a good amount of time to ferment, then mellow.
A friend of mine runs the homebrew shop on Oahu, if you ever come over you can check out what he has. Basically everything you would need except he only has pellet hops.
Best of luck, I don't know if I have ever had a kumquat, think I need to try one.
a Kumquat tastes kinda like a sour orange inside - the SKIN is where the sweetness is - it's the best part. There is a Kumquat tree across the street from me... I'm thinking of doing a "midnight raid" on it next time it fruits. Also... I noticed a prickly pear cactus that had fruit on it a few blocks away... might raid that somtime soon too.

got a phone # for this Hombrew buddy of yours? maybe I get him to sell me a Hydrometer over the phone and send it in a small USPS flatrate box...

Maholo!

on another note - you ever try making anything interesting with Pineapple?
I'm thinking of making a "civilized" Pineapple Swipe
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In primary: Earl Gray hard cider,
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Bottled: "All apple" Apfelwein, Mixed berry country wine, Kick yer' butt Hard Cider, "All apple" Achtung!Apfelwein, Kumquat mead, "All apple" hard cider.
Drinking: "All Apple" Apfelwein, Mixed Berry Country wine, Blueberry Belgian White ale.

comming to a carboy near you...
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:23 PM   #9
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Homebrew in Paradise
2646B Kilihau Street.
Honolulu, HI 96819
808-834-2739
You might want to buy 2, and grab some yeast nutrients, peptic enzyme, etc to make the UPS cost worth while.
I just bought a backup hydrometer last time I picked up a recipe, I tend to break them often.

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
Homebrew in Paradise
2646B Kilihau Street.
Honolulu, HI 96819
808-834-2739
You might want to buy 2, and grab some yeast nutrients, peptic enzyme, etc to make the UPS cost worth while.
I just bought a backup hydrometer last time I picked up a recipe, I tend to break them often.

THX...

If you ever get to the south side of maui - let me know I'll toss a pint of Apfelwein in the freezer and get it cold for for ya' it'll knock you on your Okole!
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In primary: Earl Gray hard cider,
In secondary: Blueberry apple Monster
Bottled: "All apple" Apfelwein, Mixed berry country wine, Kick yer' butt Hard Cider, "All apple" Achtung!Apfelwein, Kumquat mead, "All apple" hard cider.
Drinking: "All Apple" Apfelwein, Mixed Berry Country wine, Blueberry Belgian White ale.

comming to a carboy near you...
Redhook ESB clone
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