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Old 05-07-2014, 02:24 AM   #1
Zuljin
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Default Nuts in Mead

I've used nuts in beer. Best result was pecans in a stout. Thanks, Ginger. I've never used them in mead. Was thinking macadamia or Brazil nuts.

Thoughts?

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Old 05-07-2014, 03:36 AM   #2
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Yes. There's a bit of info/guidance out there but it can take some finding......

The biggest issue seems how to extract flavour from nuts without seperating out the nut oil.

Then how much of the flavour is not actually associated with the oil etc.

Preventing the nut oil from going rancid while the nut flavour is being extracted etc.

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Old 05-07-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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I've tried both pecans and walnuts, and the jury is still out on the success of both.

For both meads, I made an extract. I chopped up the nuts, but them in a jar and filled to just over the top of the chopped nuts with vodka, and let this sit for at least 2 months in the fridge (shaking occasionally). The vodka dissolves the oils over time, and is neutral in flavor. Grain alcohol might work better.

I'm hoping, as these age, the flavor of the pecans or walnuts will come forward. Right now the pecan is at at 1 year, and it's still very light. The walnut is at 5 months and I can barely taste it over the honey. (certainly, a milder honey might be better to use as well)

I have read that walnuts can be brewed into a wine without an extract as it has relatively low amounts of oil (I think Jack Keller has a recipe on his site somewhere...). Macadamia and Brazil nuts, on the other hand, are very high in fat and oil, so I think an extract is the way to go. Both Macadamia and Brazil nuts are very mild in flavor, too, so you may need a lot of extract, and a very mild honey for these flavors to come forward. But that's just a guess....I suppose we won't know until someone tries it, right?

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Old 05-07-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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I have made almond extract and hazelnut extract. I like to use cheap white rum.

I use the same method as Zaffo but I didn't find it neccessary to put it in the fridge. It is best to do a total of 2 pounds of nuts, make the extract and if you wish to reduce the alcohol you can put the liquid in a wide sauce pan on low for an hour or so. This reduces the volume by about 1/2. Let the liquid cool and put back in a clean jar. Then use it when you need it.

I like to put it through a coffee grinder on rough grind and then put it in the alcohol. Keep in mind that the nuts will absorb up the liquid so check the level the first week and make sure that all of it is submerged.

The Almond isn't very strong, compaired to comercial almond extract. That is because you are using, most likely, sweet almonds and not bitter almonds. Bitter almonds are not availibe in the US due to the cyanide content, thank the FDA. But the flavor componds are about 50% of what is in bitter. The Hazelnut worked out better. I just toast them before hand and remove the red papery skin prior to the grind. My wife says that the hazelnuts freshly roasted smells like pie and makes her crave pie.

But so far the Vanilla Hazelnut that I have brewing should be very good.

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Old 05-07-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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Does the nut oil really matter in mead? I mean, I'd use whole nuts I chop myself, not something creamed with added oil. Head retention doesn't matter. Mead is higher abv than beer.

What if I roast them first?

I've read about people using peanut powder in beer instead of peanut butter. It means not having to separate out the oil. Would a powered nut product work here?

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Old 05-08-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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Well, when making the extracts you are actually breaking down the oils so they don't seperate out. I would stay away from adding oil. Never heard of peanut butter in beer. Beings that Peanut butter is crushed peanuts with oil and sugar added for consistency, it makes sense that they need to seperate it. If you are using peanuts then it is best to use unsalted. Possibly even unroasted.

Roasting Hazelnuts is a must in my mind. But when I toasted Almonds, it leant a bitter flavor in the mead. So be careful, keep in mind when you roast you ARE adding carbon or smoke. When that goes into the alcohol it is emphansized. But some nuts will need a bit of roasting, just not the type that blackens or darkens up the nut by too much.

To answer your question, I think that making an extract with a powdered nut will work but directly in the mead, I would advise against it. Mainly due to the fact that it will NEED to be filtered out and that's hard.

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Old 05-09-2014, 02:44 PM   #7
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For my port wine experiment, I boiled 1 pound of raw, sliced almonds and 2 pounds of chopped raisins in water for an hour. Strained the water and used that. It had a pleasant, nutty taste. Not sure how much will come through in the end though.

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