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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > What wood you do?
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
pirate504
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Default What wood you do?

Me and the neighbor made a few batches of mead back in October and it has developed very nicely judging by the sample bottle he drew out yesterday.

He is very much a noob when it comes to brewing in general and I am fairly new to mead making in general, but anyway he was asking about adding some wood into some of his mead ...possibility setting aside a gallon or two and adding some alder wood cubes since he likes smoking a lot with alder and he thought that alder would make a nice note of flavor to mead.

Not having done any experimenting with oaking beers and such I came back here to do some homework. What are some thoughts about using other woods with aging mead specifically and brewing in general?

I cant think of any reason why not to do it, but at the same time i dont want to ruin several gallons of otherwise good mead.

BTw we have a straight mead, a mixed berry mead, an apple mead, and a cherry mead between the two of us totaling almost 30 gal. ( We were given almost an entire 5 gal bucket of honey from a local bee keeper in exchange for a few cases of finished mead.)

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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Buckthorn cubes? I have no idea if the wood is toxic to humans... I would search on that.

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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That is a big NO do NOT do this!!!

DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT:
All parts of the plant, especially the fruit. It has been reported and documented that goats will eat this plant voraciously with no immediate effects. It is also suggested that goats that do eat this plant in excess may develop unexplained illness and or death. Holistic methods involve using ripe Alder Buckthorn berries to produce a wormer for goats.

SIGNS:
In documented cases, there is a latency period of 5 to 20 days after which time, the poisoning becomes rapidly progressive.

TOXICITY RATING:
High to moderate. Severity of toxicity proportionate to amount of fruit ingested.

ANIMALS AFFECTED:
Documented cases pertain to cattle only. However, this plant is also poisonous to humans as well. May be toxic to goats. In one case of fatal poisoning, a cow ate large quantities of leaves, twigs, and berries of alder buckthorn. The animal quickly became ill and developed symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, slow pulse, cramps, and slight fever before death. Postmortem examination showed leaves of the plant in the stomach, with gastrointestinal inflammation (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

CLASS OF SIGNS:
Diarrhea, fever, vomiting and death. Animal disease called "Limberleg": Incoordination & Ataxia.

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Old 02-22-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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Buckthorn cubes? I have no idea if the wood is toxic to humans... I would search on that.
Uh, where did you get buckthorn cubes out of my post? I was asking about alder wood.

Anyway, I did a bunch more searching since posting and concluded alder is probably not the way to go ...generally speaking using softwoods isn't going to produce any sort of noteworthy characteristics the way most hardwoods like oak, cherry, maple, etc are going to.

here is a nice document I found that is worth a read on the subject.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:49 PM   #5
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Wow, did either of you even bother reading the OP's post? Wow

I'm not too sure of the flavor or aroma of Alder, but looks like its not the best from that article. Good find BTW, it was a great read.

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Old 02-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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Sorry the first page of my search was all Alder Buckthorn articles. Searching more I found some articles on it being used in grilling etc... I got busy and didn't have time to update.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:33 AM   #7
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I was thinking of adding some Foxglove, Datura and Death Angel Mushrooms to my mead for secondary. Is this going to be a problem?

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:38 AM   #8
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I was thinking of adding some Foxglove, Datura and Death Angel Mushrooms to my mead for secondary. Is this going to be a problem?
Not a problem if you add some Caster beans to the mix.
Disclaimer: Do Not Do Any Of The Above As It Can Cause Death.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:17 AM   #9
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I was thinking of adding some Foxglove, Datura and Death Angel Mushrooms to my mead for secondary. Is this going to be a problem?
Not if you have some of this on hand

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:20 AM   #10
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hahaha thats f in funny. anyway i think what you were after was any wood good for flavoring mead. I say you lucky SOB, some mead for 30# of honey, A FRIEND WITH MEAD IS A FRIEND IN DEED! sounds like you're the one in the position to find out and let the rest of us know, Good Luck. PS I would recommend fruit wood.

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