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Old 08-21-2012, 05:34 PM   #11
samqwi
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Default A twist on this mead recipe

Also being a fan of the Viking Blod, I decided to try your recipe and change it a bit (mostly by default since I'd never made mead before). I made this in a 2007 44gal white wine (not sure what type) oak barrel from Southern California.

125 lbs yellow clover honey
3oz nugget hops
6oz golding hops
40g Lalvin D-47
2lbs hibiscus flower
OG- 1.754 (it was a little extreme)
FG- 1.008

I boiled the honey mixed with water in several pots for 30 min at a slight rolling boil. Once all the honey was boiled and added to barrel, I topped it off with water (with room for about two more gallons). I then added the activated yeast. I kept the barrel at about 65 degrees. After six weeks I took the hibiscus flowers and boiled them down and added the water to the barrel. I then kept the mead in the barrel for 11 months. At this point I bottled the mead because there appeared to be no more off gassing.

The mead turned out very good, though extremely heavy on the hibiscus. The color was a bright red and the drink turned out to be more of a sparkling wine. not what I was shooting for, but very enjoyable. There was a strong honey flavor to the mead, but the more the mead was left to flatten out in the glass the heavier the honey flavor. Then about six months later, the bottles began to pop. I think when I bottled it, it started to mix up the sediment and reactivate the yeast.

I'm going to retry the recipe in the same barrel without any additional hibiscus except whats left in the oak. Any thoughts on why this went down the way it did or some ideas for the next one?

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reezle View Post
I thought 25lbs of honey in a 5gal batch was a bit much, and it turned out that it was...
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25lbs is very heavy in 5 gallon
Why does everyone keep saying five gallons? The recipe clearly states it is a 6 gal batch size.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
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Subscribed!
ditto!

I'm curious; how did you steep the hibiscus flowers? Did you bring it to a boil and then let them sit for 20-30 mins? I am about to embark on a hibiscus/cranberry creation and I dont want either flavor to outshine the other.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:47 AM   #14
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Hmmm been a while, but I recall putting the dried hibiscus in at flame-out and letting them do their thing until the wort was at fermentation temperature. The mead picked up a lovely red hue which faded to light pink over time.
I had a chance to run the final product past a group of wine enthusiasts (work in the business and/or professional critics). They were impressed by its originality. I worried they were being polite, but was pleasantly surprised to see all the glasses get emptied rather quickly.
I broke open the first bottle this spring and am somehow down from almost 10 gallons to about 5 bottles left. It was a lovely evening drink... Perhaps time to try again with a better starting ratio of honey to water.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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Very nice Reezle. So since you had to split your batch and top off with water to get it to ferment more. Do you think getting the original honey addition down to about 22 lb would be appropriate?. Probably start fermenting with Lalvin D47 or 71B & finish with a nice starter of Lalvin ec-1118? I am very interested in this recipe/vikings blood because I have some family that his totally into the viking tradition stuff.

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Old 10-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #16
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Honestly, I think closer to 18-19lbs is where I would go next time, but I think I'd run it through a 'mead calculator' of some sort if there is such a thing. (I'm guessing my 18-19lbs on the batch split, then the backsweetening that was done)

Any good mead calculators out there? I kinda doubt brewpal is going to do the job.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:00 PM   #17
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Gotmead.com has the best calculator in the world! I use it for everything.

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #18
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My one recommendation for this mead would be not to boil the honey. When you boil honey you can lose a lot of delicate aromatics.

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Old 10-31-2012, 02:50 AM   #19
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My one recommendation for this mead would be not to boil the honey. When you boil honey you can lose a lot of delicate aromatics.
You have to boil at least some of it to isomerize the hop acids.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #20
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You have to boil at least some of it to isomerize the hop acids.
Could you not just boil the hops by themselves and then add the honey post boil?
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