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Old 11-29-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Pina Colada Melomel

I decided to try my hand at mead, so I now have a couple empty fermenters ready to go. SWMBO wants me to make a pineapple/coconut mead for her, and I'm having a bit of trouble formulating the recipe. I've searched around the forum and pineapple juice is used regularly and seems to work well, but I was just wondering if anyone had used fresh crushed/cubed pineapple. I also don't have a clue how much coconut to add. I'm planning to make a 3 gallon batch with 7-10 pounds of wildflower or orange blossom honey and sweet mead yeast. Can anybody offer advice? Should I be using any special nutrient, or will DAP work fine?

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Old 11-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Coconuts are oily, I'm not sure how this will affect things, but I thought I would mention it! I think I read somewhere that oil when brewing isn't usually a good thing. Might try coconut water, I believe there is less oil in that then coconut jelly or coconut milk.

But I am more experienced with coconuts then I am with brewing...

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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Coconuts are oily, I'm not sure how this will affect things, but I thought I would mention it! I think I read somewhere that oil when brewing isn't usually a good thing. Might try coconut water, I believe there is less oil in that then coconut jelly or coconut milk.

But I am more experienced with coconuts then I am with brewing...
I see that people generally toast coconut flakes, maybe that gets rid of some of the oils. I had never thought of coconut water, I'll check that out!
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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Yeah, I just came across the toasted coconut flakes idea myself. I actually think this would be the better way to go as coconut water doesn't tent to have a very noticible taste and it might still have too much oil (a lot less than the milk, but still some).

I was actually about to post a link to another thread talking abut this! I'd say forget about the coconut water and go with the toasted coconut flakes/shreddings. Best to stay with the tried and test rout on something like that I think. Plus you are more likely to get the kind of flavours you are wanting and it'll cost less.

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Old 11-29-2011, 09:19 PM   #5
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I have the following recipe aging. I put it together back in July and the last sample I had it was good but needs more pineapple taste. When I bottle I plan to backsweeten with pineapple juice.

Sorry I have no advice on the coconut other than a coconut rum perhaps?

Pineapple Vanilla Rum Mead
1 gallon

OG 1.116
FG 1.008 – Medium – Ideal FG (may need to back sweeten)

2.5 lbs. (40 oz) clover honey
1 raw pineapple (flesh and core grilled, skins simmered in 2 qts of waters for 30 mins)
4 oz. brown sugar
1 packet Lalvin 71B yeast
water to 1 gal
1/4 tsp DAP



Secondary
2 Vanilla pods
¼ cup coconut rum with 2 oak cubes soaked for 8 weeks

Cut pineapple and add skin to 2 qts of water and simmer for ½ hour. Grilled pineapple, allowed it to cool and added it to the primary along with clover honey (2.5 lbs). Added the water used to simmer the skin once chilled water and additional water to make 1 gallon of liquid total. Add 1/4 tsp DAP and prepare yeast and then pitch. Follow with ¼ tsp of DAP two days in. Aerate daily for first 3 days.

6 weeks or so
Transfer to 2ndary on top of rum and add vanilla pods.

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Old 11-30-2011, 12:55 AM   #6
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I see that people generally toast coconut flakes, maybe that gets rid of some of the oils. I had never thought of coconut water, I'll check that out!
Toasting coconut does *not* get rid of the oils, but does reduce them somewhat. Honestly though, I think that the oils are less of an issue with mead.

From my experience brewing a coconut porter, in a beer, the oils led to an "odd" mouthfeel, and there was zero head retention. It did taste good though! I used 14 ounces of unsweetened shredded coconut that I hand toasted to medium brown in a frying pan, then dry blotted as much of the oil out of as possible. This was added for 14 days in secondary (in a muslin bag, to contain the mess), and gave a nice nutty flavor. This may give you some ideas for a starting point...(it was a 5 gallon batch of beer).

Also, having brewed a cocoa mead (and, as it turns out, drinking some now...), I've dealt with oils in mead. I suspect that if you made a coconut mead, it would come out fantastically, but would share some of the physical properties of cocoa mead; ie, it would take an excessively long time to clear, and would need to be aged a very long time to get the flavors to properly incorporate.

I'd plan on doing a bulk aging in secondary of at least a year...you may also want to plan on using some fining agents eventually to get it to fully clear...I fined my cocoa mead twice before it was really clear. Also, this flavor combo strikes me as something that would possibly taste better with a slight residual sweetness, so eventually stabilizing and back-sweetening may be a needed step too.

One last thing to look into that I've heard/read is a potential solution to the concept of adding oily things to homebrew, and that is doing an alcohol extraction. Occasionally I've heard of this technique actually called "fat washing." I've not tried it, but it is one of the techniques I've researched in preparation for possibly making a bacon stout. Essentially you take vodka, everclear, or some other neutral spirit and soak the bacon/coconut/whatever in it for a period of time, then filter out the organic material. You can also make extracts of spices this way so that you can add spices to taste in a controlled fashion at bottling.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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One last thing to look into that I've heard/read is a potential solution to the concept of adding oily things to homebrew, and that is doing an alcohol extraction. Occasionally I've heard of this technique actually called "fat washing." I've not tried it, but it is one of the techniques I've researched in preparation for possibly making a bacon stout. Essentially you take vodka, everclear, or some other neutral spirit and soak the bacon/coconut/whatever in it for a period of time, then filter out the organic material. You can also make extracts of spices this way so that you can add spices to taste in a controlled fashion at bottling.
Thanks for all the info, this sounds very promising. I may try to make a coconut extract in this manner that way I can add flavor a little at a time until I feel like I have the proper balance (plus it makes less of a mess in secondary).
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:45 PM   #8
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Furthermore, toasting coconut changes the flavor of the coconut.

Why not just ferment some pinapple mead using pineapple juice, and add pure coconut extract?

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:11 PM   #9
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Furthermore, toasting coconut changes the flavor of the coconut.

Why not just ferment some pinapple mead using pineapple juice, and add pure coconut extract?

The more I'm thinking about it, this may be the way to go. I would essentially be making coconut extract anyhow (although probably not as good as the store bought stuff).
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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I have made a few extracts now. Lemon from lemon zest, Mint from a Chocolate Mint variety, Orange from the zest of oranges and a hazelnut from chopped toasted nuts. Currently I am doing a Almond extract from sliced almonds. And ofcourse a Vanilla Extract from vanilla beans.

I have noticed that most of the extracts are a little weak. I wound up with the orange and lemon puting it onto the stove in a pan on low for a couple of hours to reduce it. 40% ABV white Rum is what I used. So I ended up reducing the volume by about 1/3 of what I started out with. Now to be clear, you don't want to boil the extract but just have it hot enough for alcohol to evaporate. Bubbling a little is fine, but not boiling. So on my stove this turned out to be just above Low on my knob. The reduced extract was much more potent.

I was thinking on making a coconut extract. What I would do is take a few coconuts and cut it into cubes, the meat that is, then fill loosly a jar with it and put the Rum up to fill up the extra spaces only up to where the rum covers the coconut. Shake it every day for the first week or so. Then let it sit for 2-3 months. And then run that though a screen put the coconut inbetween two coffee filters and squeeze the juice out of it, fruit press would work great if you have it. Then run that liquid through a fine screen and reduce it using the pan menthod above. I prob would do a couple of peanut butter sized jars worth. Then add this in the final racking during the oaking stage.

That's what I would do for the coconut. The oils shouldn't really matter, it'll age out and settle out. Just age for a full year.

Now for the Pineapple, I would go heavy on that. I did a pineapple batch and used fresh real pineapples. I used 1 juice of pineapple per gallon. Didn't get much flavor, so I plan on doubling it next time I go for a pineapple flavor. All in the secondary after the primary fermentation has settled out. Oh, and I would pectic enzyme the pineapple juice prior to putting it in the must.

That would be my plan. Let us know how yours turns out though.

Matrix

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