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Old 01-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Mead Reciepe(s) help

So I started my first mead about 3 months ago. My plan is to split it once it has finished into 5 or 6 1 gallon jugs and when I rack, move it on "flavor" items.

My thought was this way I could try a lot of different meads off the work of 1 carboy and have small samples.

I'm thinking of doing some fruit - blueberry either berry's or juice - recomendatoins?

I also want to do an orange spice one - orange zest and clove?

bottle some as it comes out.

A chocolate mead...

And I'm not sure what else. Because I'm adding fruit, I could do some strawberries also... but that will take my 5 gal and add volume.

What I'm after is about how much fruit -2lb/gallon? How much chocolate and for the orange spiced one how much zesting and clove (or suggest another spice) Any ideas?

I'm really at this point trying to experiement with my base and see what I'd like and then make more of that later.

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Not a bad idea. The only thing is, after racking out of the 5-6 one gallon jugs, you'll only get around 3/4 of a gallon for each due to racking losses.

Now, as to your numbers, a good average for most fruit is more like 3-4 lbs of fruit per gallon. This will give you a medium fruit character after some time in secondary. I'd personally leave the fruit out, because unless you're really careful about cap management (ie punching the fruit down twice per day), then my bet is there will be an explosion of fruit out the top. So personally, I'd add juice for the blueberries. As for the strawberries, you'd probably want the real things, unless you can also juice them.

The orange spiced one sounds delicious. I think 1 orange should be fine. If you want, you could even stick some slices in there. My only word of advice is to avoid the white pith when you're zesting/slicing. It tends to be very bitter in the final product. Also, I'd smack the whole cloves (1-2, depending on how much you like cloves), and maybe consider a nutmeg or allspice, also smacked into chunks. If you powder these, it might get a little overwhelming...plus I'm not sure on amounts in the powdered form.

For chocolate, stay away from powdered cocoa! I can't stress this enough. It makes a mess, could erupt out the top, and isn't the best source for chocolate flavor. I'd try to find either cacao nibs or chocolate extract. The nibs give you a bitterness and mouthfeel that reminds you of chocolate, where as the extract...well...tastes like chocolate. For the nibs, I'd use ~1-2 oz per gallon. I haven't used extract yet, but my spicy chocolate mead will use it whenever I remake that recipe. You should also consider throwing a split and scraped Bourbon vanilla bean in there. The flavors really blend well with chocolate.

All in all, this is a nice way to become familiar with different flavors without making a new 5 gallon batch every time. Like I said though, you'll probably be wishing you had more of one or more of them, because you'll end up with ~3/4 gallon for each. As for other ideas, it would help to know what kind of honey you used and the SG and FG. This gives us a sense of where the mead is currently, and what might go well with that base flavor profile.

Keep up the meading!

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Old 01-29-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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Well I'm in a 2ndary now, so most of the loss has been taken care off, butgoing for 6 containers gives the possiblity of adding bulky stuff, like fruit. So 3/4-1 gallon is fine.

My SG was I think a 1.080. The receipe is Midwests 'sweet mead' which came with 1 gal/12lb of Minisota clove honey, some adatives and Wyeasts 4148 (sweet mead) activator. The honey from the start tasted a bit off to me like it had picked up some plastic type flavor, it tastes abit better now that there is some Alcohol's changing the flavor. Last I checked the gravity was in the 1.000-1.010 range I've mostly left it alone for the last 2months since I racked. I find it semi dry, not sweat at all.

I've got some 100% juice Blueberry juice (blueberry, apple, +grape) So it sounds like I should use a quart of that and 3/4 gal of my mead base.

With the orange spice, just quarter or 8th the oranges and dump them in whole? freeze them first to get the juice out better? As for spices, you suggest nutmeg and all spice but as chunks not power, I don't think I've seen them as chucks. So are they sold that way in the spice isle or am I going to a specialty store. And 'smack some clove' so like take a clove and grind it up or mash with 'hammer' (morter/pestil?)

Chocolate nibs, these are just little bits of chocolate right? I could take a Chocolate bar and grind it for some? I'm thinking of a Dark Chocolate bar for grating. I Like the vanilla idea, and now have to find some bean Do you put in the whole bean after scraping? or just the part you scraped?

I'm thinking of stablizing before bottling and making still meads.

This is my first mead, but I've made several Beers and Wines, and now have glassware to commit things to ferment for months and still make other stuff on the side.

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Old 01-30-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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Hum? Well if you used the sweet mead yeast and have got it down to about 1.010 you've actually done well.

From memory, it's got quite a low tolerance of about 11% ABV so without checking the numbers it entirely possible that you reached that.

As for flavouring it ? Well I'd suggest that you use whole fruit and not juice. Juice will have too higher water content and will reduce the ABV greatly. Using fruit will allow you to experiment with the depth of flavour.

Oh and at about 1.010 it'd be classes as sweet. You should be thinking about the clearing process as well as de-gassing which is likely to affect the flavour, as is some ageing time (minimum 6 months).

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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A mortar and pestle work great on whole nutmeg, allspice, cloves, almost everything. Just get a whole whatever, and give it a smack in the bowl. Then collect and use the pieces. No worries if you can't find whole, they just tendto be fresher than ground up versions.

As for the nibs, cacao is a bit different from chocolate in that cacao is the raw material used to make chocolate. So yes, you could get chocolate flavor how you describe, the nibs are just a different flavor profile.

As for the orange, do whatever to get the slices in, just remove the peel first.

For the vanilla, personally I like to add the bean after scraping it...because, why not?

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Old 03-13-2011, 06:07 AM   #6
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Well FGis .999 The mead is semi sweat (or semi dry) and has a plasticy taste that the honey had at the start. which leads to a question -Any one know why aflavor that tastes good and you want to keep - like fruit - is destroyed in fermentation, but bad flavors come through?

Current split is
1 gal Orange/Allspice (zest 1 orange +some of the juice + ~3/8th tsp all spice powder)
3/4 gal Cinomon/Clove/Nutmeg ~1/4tsp each
1 gal Chocolate/vanilla bean ~2 oz nibs with scrapings of 1 vanilla bean
1 gal 50/50 Blueberry Juice/Mead (I kept making test tasting till I could taste the bluebery juice - not happy with how much I used - again plasticy honey flavor) this has a gravity of 1.024 which when you think about it means that the juice is about 1.050 which isn't great for wine, but pretty good for a beer.
2/5 gallon (2 750ml bottles) has gone as is.
the remaining gallon has been stablized (meta bisulfate + preservative) and had about 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup honey added in to give it some more sweetness - did I mention I like sweet things? I've 5 bottles at 750 that I can age and 1 bottle of 500ml that I have to drink soon - end of the bucket and I got a little air in it...

So far I've learned 1 - get honey local and taste first!
2 - planning a head for when you want mead is a must - I mean if the cinomon/nutmeg/clove tastes like christmas and I want some for then, I won't be able to have any really made for this year - given aging at 6+months is better than less thanthat.

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