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Old 01-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
esarkipato
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Default Concord Pyment.....with oak?

Hey fellow meaders.....I've got the following 6 gallon batch of mead finishing up right now:

-12 lbs (1 gallon) locally grown honey, unpasteurized
-5 cinnamon sticks
-zest & juice from 2 oranges
-3 gallons 100% pure Newman's Own concord grape juice (costco)
-Lalvin RC 212

the OG was 1.098 and it's finally nearing 1.000 or lower.

The tasting so far is good, but overpowering of concord grapes. Any orange or cinnamon is very must lost. Even the honey is only slightly present.

I don't wanna end up with grape juice wine, so I'm considering adding oak chips for a little something extra.

Is this commonly done in meadmaking? I've read very little of it.
Would this totally mask any honey aroma/flavor?
How much, what kind, when and how long would I add the oak? I've read it only takes a few days for oak chips to become fully "used up".
Is this recommended?


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Old 01-30-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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Oak chips would add tannin and thus spice if I'm mistaken. like with wine that's aged in oak barrels. Since things do even out over time from what I've gathered. You can possibly do absolutely nothign and just let it age in bottles and the flavors would develop more and become more complex. You can also back sweeten the mead with honey to give it more honey flavor.
I can't make any better suggestions from lack of experience.
I just racked a batch of green tea mead and i topped it off with more green tea just because i didn't feel the flavors were strong enough. I don't know if it's too late for you to add more to it or if it's even a way to go.


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Old 01-31-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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From what I have read ... no personal experience yet ... oak cubes slowly impart an oak flavor with tannins/vanilla flavors maybe also, depending on the type of cube you're using. Oak chips on the other hand appear to oak-up the wine/mead/beer very quickly but apparently that oakiness is very one-dimensional compared to the more complex oakiness imparted by the cubes.

Note all the caveats I used.

I, myself, have 4 gallons of Newman's own concord grape juice from costco, I plan on making 5.5 gallons of pyment with 6-9 lbs of honey. I'd like an ABV of about 12%.

I plan on adding a very small amount of medium toast cubes to ~2 gallons and aging for a few months to see what happens. Another gallon or so will be spiced, the rest will be drank as is... assuming I like the concord taste!

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Primaries: Old Ale, Barleywine, ESB, Scottish 80/.
Secondaries: Lime Wine, Strawberry-Banana Mead, Carmenere (from 144 lbs of grapes!), Engl. Barleywine, Modded JOAM, Concord Grape Pyment.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Cugel -- sounds like that's right up my alley. Do you plan on adding to the secondary/tertiary I assume?

I'm liking the taste so far....but it's a little like communion wine if you know what I mean. THe oak sounds like it might really add a lot, especially the cubes. Please keep the thread updated as you progress!
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Oak is great with mead!! It will add a lot of depth and character, and smooth out any harsh alcohol notes. I prefer oak cubes, toasted to a level of your choosing, instead of oak chips. They are easier to clean, come pre-toasted, and work better (in my opinion). You can get them from northernbrewer.com.

Regardless of what delivery system you use for your oak, be sure to check on the mead every month for the first two months or so, then weekly. Once you taste the level of oak you want, rack it off the oak.

A general rule of thumb in the wine-making biz is once you taste the oak, it's done. However, it will just need to be aged longer if there is most oak than you intended.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:53 PM   #6
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Just got my Hungarian oak cubes which have a "house toast", rather than a medium or medium plus. Apparently they're similar to a medium plus.

Anyone know how much I would add into a gallon of concord pyment? I will also add some into a gallon or so of JOAM.

Many thanks!
__________________
Relax, don't worry etc. and so on.

Primaries: Old Ale, Barleywine, ESB, Scottish 80/.
Secondaries: Lime Wine, Strawberry-Banana Mead, Carmenere (from 144 lbs of grapes!), Engl. Barleywine, Modded JOAM, Concord Grape Pyment.
Kegs: Choc/Coffee Stout, Saison, Dry Stout.
Bottles: Belgian Str. Dark, Dubbel, Cider X 2, Modded JOAM, RJS Pinot Noir, RJS Aussie Cab. Sauv.
Coming soon: Blueberry Mead.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cugel View Post
Just got my Hungarian oak cubes which have a "house toast", rather than a medium or medium plus. Apparently they're similar to a medium plus.

Anyone know how much I would add into a gallon of concord pyment? I will also add some into a gallon or so of JOAM.

Many thanks!
Generally oak cubes are added at a rate of 2-4 oz per 5-gallon batch, so divide accordingly. I would recommend the lower end, as it can always be aged longer to get more oak flavor.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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The northernbrewer website says that the oak cubes should be used at a rate of 2.5 - 3 oz per five gallons.

I'll go with 2 oz per 5 gallons or 0.4 oz per gallon to start off with and see how long I leave the mead sit on the cubes.

Thanks!
__________________
Relax, don't worry etc. and so on.

Primaries: Old Ale, Barleywine, ESB, Scottish 80/.
Secondaries: Lime Wine, Strawberry-Banana Mead, Carmenere (from 144 lbs of grapes!), Engl. Barleywine, Modded JOAM, Concord Grape Pyment.
Kegs: Choc/Coffee Stout, Saison, Dry Stout.
Bottles: Belgian Str. Dark, Dubbel, Cider X 2, Modded JOAM, RJS Pinot Noir, RJS Aussie Cab. Sauv.
Coming soon: Blueberry Mead.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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I just opened an 18month old concord pymet last night.
The grape flavors, especially the koolaid like fruity grape flavors, mellow with time. My pymet is aging into a pretty decent mead.

I don't think that oak would be a bad thing in this type of mead but I don't think it will solve your grape flavor problem short term and long term age will have more effect than oak.

Craig
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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Great discussion. CBBaron, that's excellent advice. My fermentation is just finishing up, so almost time for some cubes!


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