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Old 02-16-2010, 03:49 AM   #1
machinelf
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Default Stark Raven Mead (burnt honey mead attempt)

So the wife and I have really gotten into brewing over the past year, with several batches of stovetop partial mashes of varying quality undertaken so far. The thread on Burnt Honey Mead really caught our attention, and we finally decided to to try it out this past weekend. This is our first mead. SWMBO is the smart one, and she loves her Beersmith, so here is a copypasta of the recipe so far:

----------------------------
Recipe: Stark Raven Mead
Brewer: Two Rooks Brewery
Style: Bochet

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.126 SG
Estimated Color: 20.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: - %
Boil Time: 180 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item
18lbs Carmelized Honey
2.5 tsp Cream of Tartar in boil
1.00 oz Black tellicherry "Extra Bold" (Secondary 3.0 days)
1.00 oz Cardamom (Secondary 3.0 days)
1.00 oz Ginger Root (Secondary 3.0 days)
1 Pkgs Lalvin EC-1118 (Lallemand - Lalvin #EC-111Yeast-Wine

----------------------------


Notes:
------
We used local wildflower honey. Boiled three hours until caramelized; black honey hard at room temperature. Stirred constantly. Let cool until it sank down, and then gradually added one gallon warm spring water, stirring after each addition. Then added three more gallons cold spring water to chill. Finished cooling to pitching temp. Racked to primary and pitched.

Water to top up to 5 gallons. (No water needed in this batch.)

28 Brix measured (~1.120); 15 Brix target

Yeast nutrient schedule:
-1.5 tsp Superfood or Ferm-K at pitching (we used FermK)
-1 tsp after 24 hrs;
-0.5 tsp pre fermentation midpoint (OG+TG/2)=1.073 or 22 Brix (so 23 Brix is the target)

-Spices to be used to taste in secondary, est. two to three days or until bochet is fragrant.

-8 weeks before bottling: 3 tsp sparkolloid finings in 3/4c water--mix into boiling water and boil an additional 5 - 10 minutes; then add HOT water to fermenter.
----------------------------

Ok, onto the pics!

1.5 gallons of honey doesn't look like much in a 7.5 gallon pot...


First signs of life...


Whoa! Kill the flames, quick!


After turning the flames down, we stirred the pot continuously in shifts. Here's a few shots showing how the color changed... the smell was wonderful throughout...






Have I mentioned how brilliant my wife is? She had the foresight to keep this little drip log of the color changes...


Here's what it looked like after we had added the 4 gallons of spring water...


Continued in next post...

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:50 AM   #2
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No pics, but to speed cooling we wrapped a wet shirt around the (lidded) pot and turned a fan onto it... kept spraying it down...

The colony prepares for its journey...


The siphon enters the depths...


Such a beautiful, dark color...



The finished product after a good shake...


It's now bubbling away nicely. Thanks for reading! Thoughts and questions welcome!

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:13 PM   #3
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Nice journal of your mead project! The drip record was a nice touch. The burnt honey thing definitely is more time consuming than a standard no-boil mead, but looks interesting.

As your foam calms down you'll probably want to top off your carboy with boiled & cooled water so there's very little headspace left in the end. Mead can be very sensitive to oxidation!

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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Thanks! I had planned to rack onto some spices in a smaller carboy after fermentation had finished, but from what I'm reading that can take awhile. Maybe I'll rack in a couple of weeks regardless and make sure my headspace is reduced. I appreciate the advice!


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Originally Posted by Jaymo View Post
Nice journal of your mead project! The drip record was a nice touch. The burnt honey thing definitely is more time consuming than a standard no-boil mead, but looks interesting.

As your foam calms down you'll probably want to top off your carboy with boiled & cooled water so there's very little headspace left in the end. Mead can be very sensitive to oxidation!
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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Nice photo sequence!

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:29 PM   #6
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Looks great. Really looking forward to reading your review of how this tastes in a couple months/years

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops myself. I'll definitely update as things progress.

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Old 02-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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Great pictures. You inspired me to try this myself. I made a one-gallon burnt mead last weekend and am watching it bubble along.

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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Awesome! Let us know how it goes. How dark did you take it?

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Great pictures. You inspired me to try this myself. I made a one-gallon burnt mead last weekend and am watching it bubble along.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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Whoa, thanks for the drip pictures. I have been using caramelized honey in a few different meads and braggots along with some raw honey, but kind of just randomly burning it to where I wanted without timing it. It's good to have an idea what amount of time it takes to get a specific colour.

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