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Old 06-02-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
TeufelHundenM198
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Default For my Marine friend returning home: Viking Blood Mead!!!

My good friend is in Europe somewhere right now on his last deployment. We became friends about midway through my career, and deployed together to Iraq in 2006. For his triumphant return in a few months, I figured what better than mead?!




Pitched the yeast about 5 minutes before this pic.

I used Waldmeister's recipe here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/viking-blood-meat-280382/

12 Liter Cherry Juice
4 Liter good Water
1 Kilo Cherrys
2 Kilo Sugar
2 Kilo Woodhoney
20ml Antigel Enzym
8 gr.yeastnutrisal
1 Päk. Burgund Yeast

I managed to get some Forest Honey on Amazon... it's fairly dark and has a very interesting flavor.. very unlike the usual honey varieties I use for mead. I made a few changes to the recipe besides dividing it down for a 1 gallon batch. I used all cherry juice and no water, I used a little extra honey and a little less sugar (500g honey, 300g sugar, instead of equal parts), and I left the cherries for the secondary... though I'm not sure if Waldmeister intended them to be in the primary or what. OG was ~1.120

The yeast I used was Lalvin RC 212.. the first time I've used this type, and the first time I've used a Burgundy yeast at all. I'm anxious to see how this stuff turns out.

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:26 AM   #2
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You're a good friend!

Hopefully this will be ready by time he gets back. Be sure to feed nutrients incrementally during the early fermentation, and give it a good swirl a couple times a day to degas it during primary (be careful, as it can bubble up through the airlock if you're too vigorous...one of the reasons I use a blow off tube rather than an airlock....) This will maximize the chances of it being ready quickly. You have potential to go completely dry with that yeast and OG, so if you find that it's a bit harsh dry, consider stabilizing with metabisulfate and sorbate and lightly backsweetening. Even a small amount of background sweetness can really temper that "newness." Wish I could have a glass with you both when he gets back stateside!

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
You're a good friend!

Hopefully this will be ready by time he gets back. Be sure to feed nutrients incrementally during the early fermentation, and give it a good swirl a couple times a day to degas it during primary (be careful, as it can bubble up through the airlock if you're too vigorous...one of the reasons I use a blow off tube rather than an airlock....) This will maximize the chances of it being ready quickly. You have potential to go completely dry with that yeast and OG, so if you find that it's a bit harsh dry, consider stabilizing with metabisulfate and sorbate and lightly backsweetening. Even a small amount of background sweetness can really temper that "newness." Wish I could have a glass with you both when he gets back stateside!
Thanks for the tips. I do usually follow the staggered nutrient addition method, also thanks for the heads up on the dryness. Neither of us are fans of overly dry meads, so I'll keep my eye on it. It'll still be a bit young by the time he gets here, but he won't mind letting it age to perfection as far as that goes.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:33 AM   #4
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5 days in, coming along nicely. Haven't taken a gravity reading yet. I'll see about it tomorrow.



Hopefully it's a bit of a deeper red once it clears and all that. If not, as long as it's delicious I'm happy.

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Old 06-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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I've had some color loss from additions of juice/fruit in primary. You can recover some color by adding a little more juice to top off when you rack it. You will probably kick up a small bit of fermentation again, but it shouldn't be too vigorous, and the color will carry through better to the glass...

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:25 AM   #6
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A belated update for anyone curious:

Here's a pic after I racked it off of the cherries and back sweetened a bit. I used more of the original forest honey, because it has a really interesting bold flavor.




This stuff smells EXACTLY like cherry Pez. I was too lazy to dig up the notes on it, so I can't remember the final gravity, I'll post it up next time I take a reading.

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Old 08-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #7
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I let it bulk age since the last update of this thread. Bottled it today and set some aside for myself.

It fermented all the way down to the .995 range, then I back sweetened it to about 1.010. A touch sweeter than I wanted, but it still ended up very nice. It still smells a bit like cherry pez. The cherry flavor is blended nicely with the bold forest honey, but is on the verge of being masked by it. If I make this again, I'll probably use a different back sweetening honey, and bring the sweetness down to about 1.005. Not perfect, but still very very drinkable.

He only gets 4 bottles... I needed one for myself.




This ended up being transitioned from welcome home mead to a wedding present for the same guy.

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Old 08-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Bugger, already bottled.......

Was gonna suggest you steeped some hibiscus flowers in it while aging to improve colour, as well as wrapping the jug in aluminium foil to preclude light and bottling in green glass for the same reason.

We're all a little stupid in the English speaking west, and "eat" with our eyes too much. Hence if you can make it look as good as it likely tastes, you have a real winner on your hands.....

Either way, glad to read it tastes excellent......

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Old 08-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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Except for the couple of pictures I took, it was aged in near complete darkness. A light bulb was on for a minute or so maybe once a month or less. If I could find those bottles in green, I definitely would bottle them that way, but those bottles only exist in clear. The bottling and the label were the important factors for me.

I'll try the hibiscus flowers next time.. generally I don't mess around with the appearance of my wines too much, but seems like it would be fun for this one since it's going for the blood theme.

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Old 08-18-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeufelHundenM198 View Post
Except for the couple of pictures I took, it was aged in near complete darkness. A light bulb was on for a minute or so maybe once a month or less. If I could find those bottles in green, I definitely would bottle them that way, but those bottles only exist in clear. The bottling and the label were the important factors for me.

I'll try the hibiscus flowers next time.. generally I don't mess around with the appearance of my wines too much, but seems like it would be fun for this one since it's going for the blood theme.
Ok. I was just wondering. Theres a nice hue to it in the jug, but it looks like a darker more brownish hue in the bottle so it seemed more like light damage and I presumed it was more likely a clear glass thing.....

As I say, its just a cosmetic issue but its also a hell of a nice gesture for your friend....
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