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Old 10-17-2012, 05:08 AM   #1
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Default Starthistle Honey Mead

10/18/2012 Starthistle Mead born.

Batch Size: 1gal
Honey Variety: Starthistle
S.G.: 1.125

Ingredients:
~2.9 lbs honey
water to gallon
Ec-1118 Yeast

Almost a month ago I made the batch, but according to my notes I had airlock activity relatively shortly after putting the airlock on (10-30mins iirc), suppose that's what re-hydrating your yeast does for you. For that whole first week or so the jug lived in my over sized cement sink, due to the fact that yeast made it up to the airlock and fermented up there even with a large space of air. Eventually they calmed down.

Nov.15th (As of this writing)

I racked the mead to a new jug, measured Gravity at 1.016 (Calculator says 14.31% abv?), then I topped it up with water so there was less airspace left in the jug. Should I have topped it with honey water or ?

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Last edited by zav3nd; 11-16-2012 at 02:10 AM. Reason: Updated to reflect what I intended, Nov15.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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Where are you in the world? Reason I ask is because wild yeast is very unpredictable. Over here in the states yeast can be good or make a rancid soup out of your expensive honey. Over the pond on the other side of the world there has been a much longer history of wine making. A common practice has been to take spent fruit skins after fermentation and spread them around the growing grapes, apples.... Which encouraged a specific strain of yeast to develope. If you are going set on collecting wild yeast my suggestion would be to go to an orchard or vineyard and take the skins from fresh picked fruit and try and cultivate a yeast colony from that.

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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What's a starthistle?

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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I brewed a 1 gallon batch of starthistle mead with EC-1118... best mead I've ever made. Good luck!

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
Where are you in the world? Reason I ask is because wild yeast is very unpredictable. Over here in the states yeast can be good or make a rancid soup out of your expensive honey. Over the pond on the other side of the world there has been a much longer history of wine making. A common practice has been to take spent fruit skins after fermentation and spread them around the growing grapes, apples.... Which encouraged a specific strain of yeast to develope. If you are going set on collecting wild yeast my suggestion would be to go to an orchard or vineyard and take the skins from fresh picked fruit and try and cultivate a yeast colony from that.
I live in NorCal, kinda out in the mountains. East of Redding 20miles.

I'm not set on a wild yeast, but I find it pretty interesting to be able to use all stuff I can get myself.

Today it smells kinda bready. And they were just bubbles, no mold.

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What's a starthistle?
An invasive weed over here. Specifically: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_solstitialis

Makes it nasty to wear shorts.

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I brewed a 1 gallon batch of starthistle mead with EC-1118... best mead I've ever made. Good luck!
What was your recipe?
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:45 AM   #6
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So I threw out the wild yeast today. Smelled Bready, somewhat apple-y, and some vinegar.

I also made up a batch of JAOM in a sanitized plastic orange juice container. Bought a carboy and two airlocks today, so I might make use of the carboy and start something else here pretty quick.

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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I just came across this thread trying to google a recipe for star thistle mead, and noticed your location. I grew up in Shingletown myself. Small world.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:03 AM   #8
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I just came across this thread trying to google a recipe for star thistle mead, and noticed your location. I grew up in Shingletown myself. Small world.
Indeed. Figure anything out on your star thistle mead? I couldn't hardly find a recipe that suited me so I wound up making a JAOM, and a straight starthistle mead.


Not sure if anybody will notice this but, on the JAOM it seems pretty clear, especially compared to the straight mead I made. The oranges at the top don't look all that great anymore and I'm extremely tempted to rack it into a new jug. Its only been a month, and the recipe calls for two months before touching it. Is racking an acceptable variation, or do I just pretend I can't see the oranges and stick it out?
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #9
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I'd let it sit another month still, bread yeast is very fine and will take a while to fully fall out of suspension. I racked my JAOM after 10 weeks and let it sit in secondary for another month or so before bottling to finish clearing. Others don't mind letting it sit for many months, in fact I think Chevette Girl has a couple JAOMs that are a year in primary at this point.

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Old 12-20-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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Bottled my JAOM last night, nice and clear just in time for Christmas.

jaom.jpg  
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