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Old 12-14-2008, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default Wild Yeast

Does anyone here have any experience making wild yeast mead? Have been experimenting for a while now, with great results according to fellow viking reenactors, but would love to learn more from other people with the same interest...

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Old 12-14-2008, 02:13 PM   #2
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Id like to know more about the wild yeast deal myself as I also do Norse Re enactment....you really cant do it with out a horn of mead!

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Old 12-14-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
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I have not had any experience with wild yeast in MEAD per say, but wild yeast in cider I have had quite a bit. My suggestion is to make a wild-yeast starter first: Get an organic fruit (stone fruits work best) from the local hippy market (whole foods/trader joes, etc. work, but from a garden is even better) and put it in a bag right away (try not to touch it as much as possible). Once you get the fruit home, skin it (do not wash it) and put the skin into a sterile container containing a honey mixture of 1.040 SG with some nutrient, place a clean cloth over the opening until the liquid is nice and foamy (make sure to stur and agitate the mixture often if you don't own a stir plate), once it is nice and foamy, transfer the liquid portion (not the skin) into another container with a bit more 1.040 liquid in it to step up the starter a bit. Let this part go untill a nice yeast cake forms at the bottom, use like you would a usual starter.

I have found that the first time through is a little "wilder" and "buggy" but if you run it through a full fermentation then wash the yeast cake and store in the fridge for a while, it's much more smooth and pleasant on the second/third/forth batch. YMMV.

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Old 12-14-2008, 08:42 PM   #4
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This is the recipie for my first experiment with wild yeast mead, and in my opinion one of the best I have made so far! It was made in 2002 and I have saved a few bottles to see how it turned out after some years; and it is delicious!

Everything that comes into contact with the ingredients or mead is cleaned carefully, with a detergent normally used by beer/ wine makers, before use!

VIKING MEAD WITH SLOE
For this I used all together 9 kilos of honey and 3 kilo berries from blackthorn. I picked the fruit in nature to ensure it was as clean as possible, then it was quickly rinsed in cold water and frozen.

2,5 kilos of honey was boiled with 5 litres of water for about 1/2 hour, all the foam on the surface was removed. When no more foam builded the honey water was left to cool to room temperature, poured into the 25 litre carboy and added the defrosted berries. Airlock on.

The bottle was stored in a warm place and shaken daily. After a week the fermenting had started. After a few more days it was much stronger.

25 days after starting the mead it was filtered into another carboy to remove the berries, and another 1,5 kilos of honey boiled with 3 litres of water was added when lukewarm.

6 weeks after start another 5 kilos of honey boiled with 6 litres of water was added when cooled. I added a little more boiled water to reach the 25 litre mark on the bottle.

After around 7 months, when the mead did not bubble any more when shaken, it was poured into a glass carboy and left to clear with a air tight lid on, in a colder place to speed up the process. After another month or so it was ready.

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Old 12-14-2008, 08:49 PM   #5
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It's too bad that landhoney has gone dormant....he has experimented with wild yeast a bit.

Run a search on posts/threads by "landhoney"

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Old 12-14-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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Thanks talleymonster! I will!

Other wild yeast meads I have made: apple/hib, sloe/plum, apple/thyme. The apple ones seem to be a little slower that the sloe ones. They all need much more time than any of the meads I have made with added yeast.

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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What is hib?

Also I had to look up sloe, is that a berry that was traditionally used?

Sounds very cool...

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Old 12-15-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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Oh sorry, not hib but hip! Rosehip, the fruit from wild roses. The sloe was widely available and used in households, if it was actually used for mead is hard to tell.

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Old 12-15-2008, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denmark View Post
Oh sorry, not hib but hip! Rosehip, the fruit from wild roses. The sloe was widely available and used in households, if it was actually used for mead is hard to tell.
Rosehip as well as rose petals have been a flavoring agent for thousands of year. Its one of the ingredients in Marzepam candies. It has dark ages roots...Im sure it has been added to meade sometime in its long history.
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