Black Lagoon Hydromel
Black Lagoon Hydromel
12 dried juniper berries
10 fresh bay leaves (cracked)
3 (small) sprigs of fresh rosemary
1.25-1.5 pounds honey
I made a tisane with herbs by boiling for about 10 minutes then letting it steep for about an hour and a quarter. At the beginning it was a nice, pale green, after steeping it was a beautiful cranberry red (strain herbs out here), and when I added the honey it turned grey.
Water to 1 gallon.
Pitched ½ tsp Nottingham brewers yeast.
1 Tbsp of Lemon juice added in Secondary.
It's best if you don't wait for it to clear completely before bottling--if you do the flavours are completely different, and more bland. This mead will change colours--and flavours--dramatically a number of times during the fermentation process.
I ordered the yeast for this recipe a few days ago. I can't wait to start brewing it! I'll post a brew log as I move forward/.
I have not decided which kind of honey to use yet. I found some Raw Manuka honey at a liquidator store for only $2.99 a pound, so I might use that. If not, I will purchase some raw wildflower honey, so the herbs can really shine through the end product.
I still have a couple bottles left--the flavour is complex, unusual--and still keeps changing somewhat.
Didn't say above, but I used only 1/2 tsp of the yeast--the rest of the packet got used for something else.
I'm interested to hear your results with my recipe.
I am glad to hear the update!
I found your recipe, and the ingredients and the name convinced me completely. I have a friend from Spain, and since he has been in the USA he has missed juniper berry mead. I thought this would be a great drink to have with him. :)
My yeast just shipped from Amazon, and it projected to arrive around March 12th. I still need to acquire fresh bay leaves, and, after that, I am ready.
Do you mind if I ask you a couple questions?
How much water did you use to make your tisane?
Did you use any yeast nutrients?
Did you pitch your yeast dry, or did you rehydrate it?
You should be able to use good quality dried leaves no problem if you can't find fresh ones. I happened to have a small bay laurel tree on hand.
I didn't note it down, however, a few cups would be my estimate. Somewhere between a pint and a quart.
Nope, no nutrients or chemicals. Other than the naturally occurring ones :D
I believe the yeast got pitched dry, but rehydrating would help it take off faster.
I started the batch today.
I used 1.5 pounds of raw wild flower honey I bought at Costco.
I added GoFerm rehydration mix to the yeast to restart it before I added it to the must.
I also started a staggered nutrition schedule using Hightest's *.pdf.
I mixed everything together, and calculated the OG at 1.060. It might be higher due to a little less water, and or more honey.
The must itself was delicious! I can't wait to taste how it changes during its fermentation!
Last night, it started producing gaseous carbon dioxide. It was very very slow, so I was hoping by this morning that fermentation would be in full swing (i.e. 1 airlock release/2 seconds).
That was not the case! Still, I added the second round of staggered nutrients. I reread the yeast package, and I realized that I rehydrated it at the wrong temperature. I was following Hightest's *.pdf on rehydration, but that recommended temp was 10 degrees too high.
So I downloaded the Danstar information sheet on this yeast from homebrewit.com, and repitched the yeast at the correct temperature.
When I got home an hour ago, the jug was bubbling away at a nice pace. I degassed and aerated it.
I am going to take another gravity reading tonight, as I read that this yeast could finish as quickly as 4 days.
Last night the gravity reading was 1.050.
This morning I checked on the mead, and found it bubbling quite quickly. A nice furious bubbling.
I checked the gravity: 1.039. Since I was not going to be home this afternoon, so I added the last addition of staggered nutrients, as I am close to the halfway mark.
Sounds like it's going well so far. What colour are you at?
Last night it was a darker grey-green than it was today. The first few days flavor was nicely balanced with the sweetness. Right now it is not as likable, but still pleasant.
Here are my latest gravity readings:
3/15/13 - 9:00 AM - 1.039
3/15/13 - 11:00 PM - 1.020
3/16/13 - 10:00 AM - 1.014
3/16/13 - 8:00 PM - 1.008
In two days, I should be ready to rack it into its secondary. How did you decide when to bottle it? When it almost completely settled? I am new to mead making, and this is my fourth mead. I am also a bit impatient, so I have been using fining agents to quickly send my stuff to its bulk aging tank.
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