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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > T'ej Honey mead/beer
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
Paininmyale
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Default T'ej Honey mead/beer

I have a recipe that is based on an Ethiopian honey wine called T'ej. It was converted into a beer/mead but it does not say the fermentation length in the recipe. I was interested to see if anyone could figure it out, im moving in 2 months and if its more then that, its going to have to wait till after.

6 gal water
3.3 pounds lme
8 pounds honey
Dry or sweet mead yeast
9.6 ounces Gesho (its used to substitute out the hops, its from ethiopia)
Starting gravity 1.080
Final gravity 1.014
ABV 9.5-10%

I was told it could take to 8 months for it to ferment out, wanted to run this by someone with more experience and get a couple opinions before i go for it. Thanks

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Old 06-14-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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I have a couple friends from ethiopia I will ask them next time I see them

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #3
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I have not made T'ej befor but have read a lot about it and here is a really good site that talks a lot about T'ej

http://ethiopianfood.wordpress.com/2...ej-in-the-raw/

I think it takes 8 months to ferment out when you dont add any yeast. The Gesho has natural yeasts that grow on it and that is what is originally used. This is similar to old school home made hard Ciders where you take fresh picked apples, peel & core them then poor the juice onto the peels since you get some natural yeasts on the peels to do the fermenting. Since you are adding a commercial yeast it should ferment like normal. Acording to the above site you should have a drinkable beverage within a month.

My only suggestion is not to use the mead yeast and go for Lalvin D-47 instead.

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
I have not made T'ej befor but have read a lot about it and here is a really good site that talks a lot about T'ej

http://ethiopianfood.wordpress.com/2...ej-in-the-raw/

I think it takes 8 months to ferment out when you dont add any yeast. The Gesho has natural yeasts that grow on it and that is what is originally used. This is similar to old school home made hard Ciders where you take fresh picked apples, peel & core them then poor the juice onto the peels since you get some natural yeasts on the peels to do the fermenting. Since you are adding a commercial yeast it should ferment like normal. Acording to the above site you should have a drinkable beverage within a month.

My only suggestion is not to use the mead yeast and go for Lalvin D-47 instead.
When you say you would suggest a different yeast, for what reason?
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:32 AM   #5
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mead yeast can be extremely finicky and a huge pain in the a** to maintain

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofynewfie View Post
mead yeast can be extremely finicky and a huge pain in the a** to maintain
what he said
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:20 AM   #7
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This is the recipe I used, and the timeline was dead-on. My friends said the T'ej reminded them of juicy fruit gum. I need to make more.

T'ej Recipe
Gesho and Leaves from: Brundo Spices and Herbs (Brundo.com)

*1 gallon recipe*32 oz of honey* (measure by liquid volume for this recipe)
up to 8 oz of ground gesho leaves (I prefer to use 2 level tbsp per gallon)
4 oz of gesho sticks
96 oz water

DIRECTIONS
Heat the water and add the honey, stir well. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, transfer to open top container that will eventually have an airtight lid (and/or airlock...think fermenting bucket). Allow this to stand, lightly covered, at room temperature for at least 24 hours (allows settling of wax/pollen if any).

Take about 6 cups of the honey-water and bring to a boil, adding the leaves (called hopps or kitel) and gesho sticks (called inchet). Break the sticks if necessary to fit in container.

Simmer on LOW for 15 minutes. Let cool and return to container, seal tightly. Stir every 7 days.
Remove the gesho wood/leaves after at least 2 weeks of fermentation. Allow to ferment for 3 more weeks...total ferment time approx 5 weeks. (Can transfer to carboy and apply airlock if so inclined).

When ferment complete, if too dry add a cup of honey and leave over night. If too sweet, add more gesho wood directly into the mixture and let it ferment for a few more days--taste it daily until satisfied. Strain and serve cold.

**I also found out that including the leaves in the fermentation will improve the quality of the t'ej, though I would recommend keeping them in a straining bag or large stainless steel immersion strainer ball. Also, once you have a batch brewed you should keep back about 1/4 cup per gallon for your next batch, it will speed up the fermentation process much like using a slurry for Skeeter Pee. I had NO issue with this wine starting to ferment without the addition of a traditional wine yeast. I found it amazing that it is NORMAL for fuzz to actually develop on the wood during fermentation--that was so strange to me and I had to stop myself from tossing the entire batch. I also kept all bottles in refrigerator.

This website provides a great history, a T'ej making video and another recipe: http://www.pitt.edu/~kloman/tej.html#making

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Old 06-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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Much appreciated, 5 weeks is traditional to an average brew so it shouldn't be that bad. From what ive read the fuzz has scared a lot of people so im prepared for that.

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