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Old 12-07-2008, 12:51 AM   #1
thorsr
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Default redberries mead

Hey guys,
I have some new questions.

First, what do you think of this recipe I tried.

1Kg mixed berries (raspberry, strawberry and blackberry)-1/4 crushed, the rest in pieces.
6,5kg mostly wildflower honey.(very good quality).
15 raisins
Peel of one orange
2 tbs. of bee polen
Juice of 2 lemons and 1 lime.
OG 1150.

I admit I did it kind of spontaneously, and wasn´t very precise, but it´s hard to screw up red berries right? It seems to be going great (day 2, bubbling mad, the whole room smeels like heaven).

Now, the questions.
-Do you think adding one or two straws (?) of vanilla in such a big must would do anything. And would vanilla even taste (or match) in such a strong flavoured mead?

-The room I´m using it´s still being conditioned as a brewing room. I sealed almost the whole window but some sun still gets in. It doesn´t hit the must directly, but the room gets pretty sunny. Is that a big problem?

-Temperatures very quite a bit here in the day-night cycle. Is that a big problem?

-I have a cat at home, and of course it doesn´t get near the brewing room, but still, lots of fur in the house. Should I take any sanitizing special care?

Thanks

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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Two vanilla beans would not add a ton of flavor, but vanilla can really add good flavor if left on the beans for a while. With only two beans, you would probably need to have your mead on the beans for at least two months, but that's just a guess. Personally, I think vanilla should be used more, it is often used in cooking and in oils and scents in combination with fruits. I think it would balance quite nicely with the fruits you are using, but that is up to you.

You can just toss a blanket, towel, or box over your fermenter and forget about it, no worries there. Though I do like the idea of a brewing room, wish I could kick my roommate out and take over his room.

Temperatures should be kept as consistent as possible, how much do they vary? You certainly wouldn't want it to dip out of the yeast's happy range, which usually is somewhere between 58-72 depending on the yeast.

Well, make sure no hair actually gets into the fermenter. If it is airlocked, covered, and in another room, I doubt you have much to worry about.

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:37 AM   #3
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So, should I add the beans in the secondary? I´m not expecting it to be the main flavour, just an extra scent.

Temperatures here can definetly get higher. Maybe I shouldn´t brew in the summer (I´m glad we´re having one of the coldest ever). But temperature here might sometimes reach 86 (for one or two days). How disruptive would that be?

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:19 AM   #4
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I would wait for another brewer's opinion on the temperature range. I never worry about it with the ac/heating kept in the high 60's and low 70's, but I'm not sure how bad 85 would be, if at all really.

I would definitely wait till secondary. For one, you might like it so much already you might forget about the vanilla. Or you could split the batch to add vanilla to half or less. Plus if you rack to secondary with only vanilla beans being the new addition, then as you taste test it in secondary, you will know exactly when you have the amount of vanilla taste you want.

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:26 AM   #5
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most wine yeast plays well at high temps. What yeast did you use?

I think that 2 vanilla beans would be great in this. It will not be "Vanilla Flavor" but will go miles toward rounding the flavor. lots of cooks say if you taste the vanilla, you've used too much. I think this may be such a case.

Take special care to keep cat hair out of your brew!

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:36 AM   #6
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with the vanilla beans, your mead will have vanilla flavor while young. If you read ken schramms book the compleat meadmaker he says the vanilla will mellow out leaving accented middle tones. So dont think it will stay but it will make the berries "pop" with age, resulting in deliciousness.

Im assuming you made 5gallons of must, honestly I didnt read everything. If my peach and spice meads I used 3 beans apiece, after about 4months the vanilla had faded remarkably but the other flavors were more prominent.

Just my ramblings hope they help

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooomanycolors View Post
honestly I didnt read everything.
DUDE! You just made the quote thread!

Been drinking haven't you!
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:04 AM   #8
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nope just lazy

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:43 AM   #9
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Thorsr: You might want to add some yeast nutrient and/or yeast energizer to your must, they'll help to avoid stress on the yeast & prevent off flavours. Just my 2 cents worth. Regards, GF.

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Old 12-10-2008, 12:49 AM   #10
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Hey guys,
Berries melomel surprised me a bit when it went from lots of big bubbles to a slower fermentation kind of suddenly. No sign of contamination though, and it´s still alive.

I´ll also post some update pictures here. The big bucket is 4 gallons of the berries melomel, and the small glass carboy is the orange cinnamon clove, my first try. It is now on secondary and it has cleared very well. Could pass for a white wine. Lots of sediments, and tasting well too. (SG 1045). The glass is ambar so the colours aren´t perfect in the pic, but here it´s possible to see the other side, and all the orange pieces.



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