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-   -   Vanilla Mead (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/vanilla-mead-31698/)

Redhawke 06-13-2007 03:49 AM

Vanilla Mead
This is a recipe passed on to us by our friend and tutor here on the brew board Nurse Nan. This was her generous gift to us and is shared here with her permission.

15 Lbs. Fireweed Honey
6 Vanilla beans, split
6 bags Earl Grey Tea
Lavlin EC-1118 yeast
Nutrient & Energizer
8OZ bottle Pure Vanilla Extract

Make a starter with 1qt. warm water, 1/4 cup honey, nutrient, energizer and yeast. Let this work until time to pitch.

Bring 1 gallon water to a bare boil, add vanilla beans and take off the heat. Add tea bags, let steep for 15 minutes, remove tea bags. Add honey, stir to dissolve. Add 1 gallon cool water, stir well then add to primary. Add water to bring to 5 gallon mark. Add vanilla extract, stir well, add starter.

Rack to secondary after 7-10 days straining out vanilla beans.
Rack after another 3 weeks, should be still in another 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again Nurse Nan we couldnt of made it without you.
Redhawke & Red:tank:

Footnote: The gravities stated here are a bit skewed because I messed up a simple recipe, explanation in forum.

Judson Adair 09-09-2007 03:35 PM

This may sound like a stupid question but I am new to brewing and I do not understand some of the terminology. What exactly does racking mean?

Cheesefood 09-09-2007 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by Judson Adair
This may sound like a stupid question but I am new to brewing and I do not understand some of the terminology. What exactly does racking mean?

Transfering from one vessel to the other via siphoning.


TerapinChef 02-22-2008 01:21 AM

This sounds great, anyone have word on how it turned out?

Revvy 02-22-2008 01:28 AM

Wow this sounds great...Will not having 15 Lbs. Fireweed Honey (whatever that is) affect the balance of everything else?

The Earl grey sounds like an interesting addition!

socalamcor 10-15-2008 04:58 AM

would love to hear if anyone tried this recipe out and how it turned out

homebrewer_99 10-15-2008 12:36 PM

Check out another thread on Leap Year Mead. A bunch of us made a vanilla one last February. ;)

blacksmith 06-26-2011 02:08 PM

brewed in 08
I set out to brew this in late 08', and at the time had never heard of fireweed honey. So for those like me who don't know what it is, here is a C/P from a site that sells it. By the way, they are currently sold out.

The champagne of honeys.

"I first heard about fireweed honey when an old-time beekeeper told me that, of all the honeys he'd had in his nearly fifty years of apiary activity, fireweed was his favorite. "It's the champagne of honeys," he said.

A fascinating plant, fireweed is one of the first signs of life to appear after a forest has burned off. Thin stalks shoot up out of the blackened soil. By the end of that summer or next they've carpeted the charred land with a bouquet of red-purple flowers. Beekeepers set their hives among them to help them pollinate.We get to enjoy the productódelicate, delicious honey.

The flavor of this honey, harvested in the shadows of Washington's Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood, lives up to its romantic associations. It has a light, delicate nose and a fine, spreadable crystalline texture that reminds me of champagne bubbles. The flavor is like a sweet summer pear: light, luscious, mouthwatering."

At the time I brewed this, I had access to a batch of bulk purchased wildflower honey so thats what I went with. The beans I bought from Madagascar, the extract from Mexico.
This was planned to be ready in time for my sisters wedding, and was a huge hit. It finished completely clear, with the vanilla and honey flavors coming through without one or the other being overpowering.
Having been bottled for two years now, it has mellowed into something absolutely amazing. The few bottles I have left will be jealously guarded and replaced with a new crop as soon as time will allow.

Dubliner 07-01-2011 08:14 PM

It is very interesting receipt. I will tray, but I will do 9 kg honey + 20 vanilla beans + 10 bags Earl Gray Tea = and make full tank 30 liters.

Penguinetti 01-10-2012 04:09 PM

This. Sounds. Amazing for a wedding (or other large celebration).

How easy is it to get a hold of fireweed honey?

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