Lemon-Ginger Mead and Lime-Ginger Mead
Made some mead today based on Mr. Nice Guy's recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/check-out-my-lemon-ginger-mead-recipe-100638/). I did two 1-gallon batches, one using lemon and one substituting lime for lemon. I did the tea a little differently, essentially preparing a normal cup of tea with the addition of zest and ginger (put zest and ginger into a mug, add boiling water, add tea bag). This steeped for quite awhile while I continued sanitizing and preparing the other components, but eventually I dropped the temp to about 105°F, removed the tea bag, and hydrated the yeast in the tea. I had warmed the honey (~110°F) to make it flow. I sliced 30 raisins and placed them in the carboy followed by boiling water. To this, I added 3 lbs of honey and the lemon (or lime) juice (2 Tbsp), and shook vigorously to aerate. I cooled this to 90-100°F, and pitched the yeast-tea concoction, then topped to the shoulder of the bottle using ~95°F water (was a bit concerned about it being especially lively in the first few hours). I shook the carboys vigorously again, then measured the OG. Then lemon batch was 1.118 and the lime batch was 1.119 at 92°F. According to Dave's Dreaded Actual Specific Gravity Calculator (http://dd26943.com/davesdreaded/tools/convert.htm), this comes out to 1.123 and 1.124, respectively, and gives a potential of up to 16-17% ABV.
I omitted the yeast nutrient mostly because I don't have any handy, but also because I have a weakness for doing things old-school. Also, discussion later in that thread made it sound like the nutrient was optional anyway.
I had to run off to work, so I'll check on the batch when I get home, and plan on topping it the rest of the way up when the initial violence settles down (tonight or tomorrow morning, I expect). When I rack to the secondary, I'll likely add ginger (seems like this was recommended in the referenced thread), but we'll see how it tastes at that point. I also took many pics throughout the process than I plan on uploading soon and linking in this thread.
Any comments/questions/concerns are welcome!
- Zest of one lemon
- About 1.5" x 1" ginger, sliced
- Mug of boiling water
- 1 tsp black tea (used for steeping only -- not added to must)
- 6 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice (that's how much I got out of the lemon)
- 3 lb local honey
- 30 raisins, sliced
- 2.5 g Red Star Montrachet yeast
- Water to bring up to 1 gallon
- Combine lemon zest, ginger in mug of boiling water
- Add tea in strainer or filter to mug
- Place raisins, honey, and lemon juice in carboy
- Shake carboy vigorously to aerate
- When done steeping tea, remove tea leaves
- Cool tea to 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit and hydrate yeast in it
- Bring must to 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit and pitch yeast-tea (incl. yeast, ginger, and zest)
- Top with warm water (90-100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Same as above, but replace each occurence of "lemon" with "lime"
Yeast is definitely doing it's job, but it's being calm about it. Went ahead and topped, then took a sample for hydrometer:
- Lemon-ginger: 1.104 sp.gr. (1.100 @ 86ºF)
- Lime-ginger: 1.106 sp.gr. (1.104 @ 77ºF)
Wondering if I can estimate ABV based on the info I've got and FG when I get it. I probably should've taken a reading prior to topping today and then again after topping. Thoughts?
Working on uploading pics today.
My first thought is that if you can, try to cool them both down. If you can get them below 70 degrees it'd be best. If not they're gonna take a ton of aging to be drinkable.
Do you have any way of measuring PH? It's possible that it's a little off causing the yeast to slow down. If it's low (below 3.2 I believe) you could add a little Calcium Carbonate to bring it back up. The raisins should provide enough nutrients to keep things going, but if you're not opposed to it you could always add a little DAP.
Other than that it looks like you have a pretty good process.
Oh, I use this calculator for my meads.
They're in a cabinet at ~75ºF right now. Temperature control is a difficult thing here in the RV, but I'm working on it. May throw a bag of ice in the cabinet with them or something. <70ºF, you say, eh? I'll see what I can make happen...
And thanks for the calculator link, looks like a good one!
Sounds good. On a side note how much honey did you use in Apfelwein-mead (substitute honey)? I've been thinking about doing one also
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