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Old 06-27-2009, 01:18 AM   #1
thatnewguy
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Default Winter Warmer Mead? Anyone else tried this?

Well having started making my own mead with a few other people 3 weeks ago....started with the Cinnamon and Orange "classic" recipe and I start a new batch or mead/cider every week....I have an ambitious goal. A Winter Warmer Mead.
My favorite beer has always been a solid Winter Warmer. Orange Peel, Vanilla, Cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and maybe a light chocolate. Maybe a touch of molasses. But how do I attain the taste I am looking for without overpowering the other flavours? Has anyone tried anything similiar or had any success using the listed ingredients?

So far I started a "show" mead composed of
Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Energizer
3 Pounds(maybe a bit much) Blackberry honey
Water
Lalvin 71b-1122

i don't have my notes next to me with the amount of yeast used or my SG

My understanding is that "most" flavours don't transfer from the primary to the secondary so waiting to add my ingredients isn't necessarily a bad thing

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Old 06-27-2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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My first question is how big of a batch are you making?

The other concern, is that while you have great ambitions, getting the flavours in concert is a bit of a juggling act. Start light with all the ingredients, and use the strongest (cinnamon, I would think) very sparingly. The spices are going to heavily flavour your mead, and you cannot get them back. Orange peel is a moderate flavour, and vanilla is relatively light.

If it were my mead (and I like sack meads or very dry meads), I'd start with a sprinkle (much less than 1/8 tsp) of the cinnamon, and then add similar amounts of the rest of the spices. Go from there, but do not be afraid to add more mead to dilute the flavours.

Again... be sparing in your spicing, and then be careful... you do not want rocket fuel that tastes like alcohol

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Old 06-27-2009, 06:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vuarra View Post
My first question is how big of a batch are you making?
That's a great question, and one I should have addressed. My 1st batch is only 1 gallon. For some reason I feel hesitant to do more than 1 gallon unless it is a show mead that I will split into 1 gallons to try as many different types that I can. Once I find one I really enjoy....I will remake it, I write down all my ingredients and what not, and wait a few more months/however long I need to. Not the best of ways I am sure, but eh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vuarra View Post
The other concern, is that while you have great ambitions, getting the flavours in concert is a bit of a juggling act. Start light with all the ingredients, and use the strongest (cinnamon, I would think) very sparingly. The spices are going to heavily flavour your mead, and you cannot get them back. Orange peel is a moderate flavour, and vanilla is relatively light.

If it were my mead (and I like sack meads or very dry meads), I'd start with a sprinkle (much less than 1/8 tsp) of the cinnamon, and then add similar amounts of the rest of the spices. Go from there, but do not be afraid to add more mead to dilute the flavours.
That is what my thoughts were as well. Start with very little spices, especially the Cinnamon, until I get the right balance down. I know it is going to take some time to balance the spices JUST RIGHT, and I really need to make sure that I write down EXACTLY how much I use.
I would really hate to get it down and have no clue how I did it
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Originally Posted by Vuarra View Post
Again... be sparing in your spicing, and then be careful... you do not want rocket fuel that tastes like alcohol
Thanks again for the advice, I really appreciate it. Cheers
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:43 AM   #4
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I'd use whole spices, powdered spices (especially cinnamon) can make quite a nasty looking mess. Also, if you use molasses use it sparingly, it can easily overpower other flavours. Regards, GF.

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Old 06-28-2009, 03:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
I'd use whole spices, powdered spices (especially cinnamon) can make quite a nasty looking mess. Also, if you use molasses use it sparingly, it can easily overpower other flavours. Regards, GF.
+1 I always use whole spices. I break off as much of a cinnamon stick as I want when making gallons and lightly bruise or crush the others. I'm reluctant to ever use molasses in a mead because, as gratus said, it'll overpower all but the strongest flavored honeys. Other spices that may work well for your purposes are blade mace, cardamom, and cloves. I'd think that cloves, especially, would be essential in a winter warmer.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies again, I will use this as a running Diary to track my progress. Molasses can very easily overpower other flavours as my friend learned by adding something like 1/2 cup to a 1 gallon recipe. Suffice it to say....it didn't go over to well.

Whole Spices is my goal and luckily for me I work at a large grocery store and we have plenty of fresh whole spices. I just picked up some Fresh Mint to add to a mead/cider, different topic for a different thread, and also some more Cloves/Cinnamon sticks to play with. This is really going to be a test in patients for me because I know I will really have to be careful with this one to hit the right balance in flavour.

Now currently I plan to start adding spices once I rack my show mead into the secondary, so here's hoping I am not missing to much by doing that. I guess time will tell.

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