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Old 01-11-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
jscholtes
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Default New Recipe Opinions: Hibiscus Blueberry Ginger Mead

15 lb mesquite honey (from Trader Joes)
.5 lb hibiscus flowers
zest from 1 orange
zest from 1 lemon
6oz ginger root, chopped
2 lb blueberry
64 oz blueberry juice (no preservatives or additive from Trader Joes)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (homemade with a whole bunch of vanilla beans and good neutral vodka)
yeast nutrient
yeast energizer
Champagne yeast (dry)

This should be for a 5 gallon batch.

My plan is to steep the hibiscus flowers, lemon and orange zest, for about an hour in about 2 gallons of 160 degree water. Mix the honey and let that sit in about a gallon of 160 degree water for an hour along with the chopped ginger root. Then defrost and mash the 2 lb of blueberries and put them in the bottom of a brewing bucket along with the 64oz of blueberry juice. I'll separate the hibiscus flowers from the water and add the tea to the brewing bucket. Then I'll add the honey water and steeped ginger to the bucket along with the vanilla extract. I'll top off the bucket to make 5 gallons.

I plan on using Champagne yeast with a regimen of yeast energizer and nutrient over the coarse of three days.

I'll rack off of the blueberries after 2 weeks.

Does it sound like I'm on the right track to make a pretty kickass mead?

Also, I have a question on terminology. Since this is more than just blueberry and honey, it's not a melomel. Since this is more than just spices/herbs and honey, it's not a methyglin. What is it?

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Old 01-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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Can't help you with the terminology question... but I have used mesquite honey just recently and it comes across with a strong "spicey" character. Of course since your using hibiscus and ginger they both will add evening more "spice" to the recipe. It looks like you have a great recipe for a spicey mead. My only concern is since you are using bluberries as well that their taste may be over powered by the honey, ginger, and hibiscus. If I were making this recipe I would either consider pulling back on the spices used, use only 1/2 as much mesquite honey, or remove the blueberries all together.

Best of luck.

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Old 01-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGenBrewer View Post
If I were making this recipe I would either consider pulling back on the spices used, use only 1/2 as much mesquite honey, or remove the blueberries all together.

Best of luck.
I think may take your advice. I'm hoping for a few more opinions before I make a final decision.

Might this mead be possible with a honey other than Mesquite?
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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The term melometh is sometimes used for combination fruit/spice meads.

Your plan sounds like it has good potential though it does have a lot of stuff added in. I'd consider holding off on the ginger until secondary and add it a little at a time to make sure you don't over so it. I also wouldn't heat that honey as I wouldn't want to lose any of the volatile aromatics from nice varietal honey. Making the hibiscus tea is fine, and if you want to add the honey in while the tea is still warm that probably won't hurt, but to leave it simmering for an hour is something I just wouldn't do.

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Old 01-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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6 oz of ginger sounds like a lot to me. I made a 5 gallon batch of mead with 3 1/2 oz of chopped ginger root. I bottled it after 16 months and the ginger was overpowering. After another 8 months it mellowed nicely into a really nice mead.

I haven't used hibiscus enough to comment. Is 1/2 lb typical? It sounds like a lot to me.

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Old 01-12-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGenBrewer View Post
I haven't used hibiscus enough to comment. Is 1/2 lb typical? It sounds like a lot to me.
I found a few recipes online that said 1/2 lb was the amount to use. I guess we'll see if what they said was right in a few months.

I haven't added the ginger yet so I am thinking I should cut it down to around 3 or 4 oz. If it is too overpowering at the point, I guess I'll just have to wait a really long time for it to be good.But delayed gratification is something we're probably all used to.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:23 PM   #7
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12 lb mesquite honey (from Trader Joes)
.5 lb hibiscus flowers
zest from 2 orange
juice from 1 orange
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
3 oz ginger root, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (homemade with a whole bunch of vanilla beans and good neutral vodka)
yeast nutrient
yeast energizer
Red Star Champagne yeast (dry)

This is a 5 gallon batch.

I steeped the hibiscus flowers, lemon and orange zest, for about a half hour in about 2 gallons of 160 degree water, mix the honey with another 2 gallons of cool water and let that sit as the water came up to about 160 degrees. I then put it all in a brewing bucket along with the 3 oz of ginger, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange, the vanilla extract, and enough water to bring to total to a tad more than 5 gallons.

I am using Red Star Champagne yeast with a regimen of yeast energizer and nutrient over the coarse of three days.

I plan to rack off of the hibiscus flowers, ginger, etc in 2 weeks. Then I'll rack again when I get 1/4" or more lees, and do so again at least once. Then I'll hit it with some campden (sp?), wait a few days and backsweeten if I think it needs it. I'll give it a week or two more then bottle and wait.

I hope I done good.

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Old 01-12-2011, 11:46 PM   #8
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Nice... Your adjustments sound like they will work great. Again, the mesquite honey, ginger, and hibiscus will mix great to make a complex taste and mild heat. The vanilla is a great addition as well. I've done a vanilla metheglyn using mesquite and the flavors mix great. You'll have to keep us posted on your results!

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Old 01-13-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscholtes View Post
Then I'll hit it with some campden (sp?), wait a few days and backsweeten if I think it needs it. I'll give it a week or two more then bottle and wait.
It sounds like you'll get something good.

When you get ready to backsweeten you'll need sorbate (or benzoate) along with the Campden tablets. The sulfite in the campden tablets is not adequate to stabilize mead by itself. After backsweetening you'll probably want to let it age under airlock for more than 2 weeks before bottling because:

a) The campden/sorbate may fail and it may take a couple of months to see that the gravity has dropped.
b) The honey that you backsweeten with will cause some haze that may take weeks to months to clear (unless you fine it) otherwise you'll get some sediment in your bottles.

Medsen
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
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Here's a photo of the three meads I currently have in primary.

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Primary: (empty) | Secondary: Pomegranate Melomel, Hibiscus Ginger Methyglin | Bottled: Red Chai Methyglin, Hard Cider, JAOM (modified), Blueberry Melomel, Blood Orange Hefeweizen, Perry, Ames Artisanal Honey Show Mead, Agave Cyser | Kegged: (empty)


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