"Cuties" orange mead
Just going to cut and paste the recipe from the blog entry I just wrote about it!
Homemade “Cuties” Orange Mead Recipe
This is the first mead that we ever made, and it turned out so amazing… everything else has pretty much paled in comparison. Definitely one of our top 3 favorite homemade wine recipes!
If you’re going to make a batch of this, act fast – we used peels from “Cuties” oranges, which are only in season for a few months each year. Love them… I can snarf a crate by myself, in a sitting, if left to my own devices. Yum. Anyway, I think their season end is coming up, so stock up! This start out incredibly fragrant – almost like a delicious, fruity tea – but don’t drink much of it before fermenting! The finished product is even better!
Another nice thing about this wine is that it is very good when fairly “young”, compared to many meads – At only 6 months old, this tasted amazing. Age it if you like – we haven’t been able to keep any long enough to see how it ages. Our first 5 gallon batch was almost all gone LONG before the next Cuties season had started!
The ABV on this came out to about 8%. If you haven’t read our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here.
Homemade Cuties Mead Recipe
4 gallons spring water
15 lbs honey
2-3 oz fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 vanilla beans, sliced in half lengthwise
Peels and juice from about 12 Cuties oranges
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
5-6 whole cloves
1 tsp acid blend
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet White Labs “WLP 720 Sweet Mead” yeast
Heat 3 gallons of the water to a simmer. Add honey, stir until dissolved.
Add ginger, vanilla beans (scraping seeds into the mixture before adding the pods), peels, juice, rosemary, and spices. Bring mixture back up to a simmer and keep it there – just simmering, not boiling – for about 45 minutes.
Strain mixture into a sanitized bucket, removing herbs, spices, and fruit. Cover bucket with sanitized lid, allow to cool to room temperature.
Using a sanitized funnel, transfer cooled mixture to a sanitized 5 gallon carboy, topping up with remaining water until carboy is almost full. Swirl to combine.
Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading. It should be in around the 1.088 area. Keep track of the number!
Sprinkle yeast into carboy, cover with sanitized air lock. Let sit, undisturbed, overnight.
Within 24 hours, you should notice fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the wine must. This means you’re good to go! Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month.
Using sanitized equipment, rack the clarified wine off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized 5 gallon carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.
Repeat racking process. Leave wine alone for a month or two. By 6 months in, your mead should be very clear, and VERY tasty!
Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading, then rack the mead into clean, sanitized bottles. Cork. (We like to use these for corking our homemade wine. Easy to use – no special equipment needed! – easy to uncork, and – should you have any wine left in your bottle after serving (pfft!), the “cork” is easily replaced for temporary storage!)
Enjoy.. and start planning for next year’s batch(es)!
Forgot to add a pic :)
This looks pretty interesting... good color... none of what I assume are supposed to be links work though...
Whoops! Yeah, they were links in the blog entry... nothing really necessary here though, I'd written some info on getting started, as mine us Just a food blog - readers don't necessarily know anything about home brewing.
I made a batch of this recently for my wife for Christmas. It's hidden in a cardboard box in the back closet of the spare bedroom she never goes into. She said she really wants a Christmasy spiced drink come Christmas time, and she loves Mead, so this fits the bill. But man, I discovered making wine/mead is a much bigger pain in the ass by yourself, when you're used to having a spare set of hands. :) I'll bulk age it over the summer, and probably bottle in November so it's over the 'bottle-shock' so it's ready to drink Christmas day. She's going to be stunned, I can't wait. :)
In a couple weeks, when we have a spare primary again, I'm going to make up a batch of your Mango Pulp wine, NerdyMarie. It looks fantastic!
Mine's just moved to secondary and the taste as I was transferring is promising and tasty, if a bit hot at this point.
We've recently put on 2 5 gallon batches of this, as the first batch went WAY too quickly.
One batch was per the recipe, the other was using peel and juice of 4 lbs "Tropicana" oranges. Can't wait!
Next challenge is to come up with a faux lingonberry wine. Our actually lingonberry wine is the most amazing thing I've ever made... but the lingonberries are very seasonal, hard to get, and kind of expensive.
Hey, Marie. Was digging for more mead recipes and suddenly recognized your recipe. :)
I started a batch of this back in April, as a Christmas present for my wife. Completely in secret, I bottled it the other day and hid it all back in the closet. I drank the 8 oz or so that were leftover and OMG it's amazing. It finished sweet, about 1.018, yet still about 15% abv (I didn't exactly know what I was doing then, so my OG was way too high). Man, it's going to kill me having to wait until Xmas to have more :-)
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