Made some mead today based on Mr. Nice Guy's recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/chec...recipe-100638/
). I did two 1-gallon batches, one using lemon and one substituting lime for lemon. I did the tea a little differently, essentially preparing a normal cup of tea with the addition of zest and ginger (put zest and ginger into a mug, add boiling water, add tea bag). This steeped for quite awhile while I continued sanitizing and preparing the other components, but eventually I dropped the temp to about 105°F, removed the tea bag, and hydrated the yeast in the tea. I had warmed the honey (~110°F) to make it flow. I sliced 30 raisins and placed them in the carboy followed by boiling water. To this, I added 3 lbs of honey and the lemon (or lime) juice (2 Tbsp), and shook vigorously to aerate. I cooled this to 90-100°F, and pitched the yeast-tea concoction, then topped to the shoulder of the bottle using ~95°F water (was a bit concerned about it being especially lively in the first few hours). I shook the carboys vigorously again, then measured the OG. Then lemon batch was 1.118 and the lime batch was 1.119 at 92°F. According to Dave's Dreaded Actual Specific Gravity Calculator (http://dd26943.com/davesdreaded/tools/convert.htm
), this comes out to 1.123 and 1.124, respectively, and gives a potential of up to 16-17% ABV.
I omitted the yeast nutrient mostly because I don't have any handy, but also because I have a weakness for doing things old-school. Also, discussion later in that thread made it sound like the nutrient was optional anyway.
I had to run off to work, so I'll check on the batch when I get home, and plan on topping it the rest of the way up when the initial violence settles down (tonight or tomorrow morning, I expect). When I rack to the secondary, I'll likely add ginger (seems like this was recommended in the referenced thread), but we'll see how it tastes at that point. I also took many pics throughout the process than I plan on uploading soon and linking in this thread.
Any comments/questions/concerns are welcome!
- Zest of one lemon
- About 1.5" x 1" ginger, sliced
- Mug of boiling water
- 1 tsp black tea (used for steeping only -- not added to must)
- 6 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice (that's how much I got out of the lemon)
- 3 lb local honey
- 30 raisins, sliced
- 2.5 g Red Star Montrachet yeast
- Water to bring up to 1 gallon
- Combine lemon zest, ginger in mug of boiling water
- Add tea in strainer or filter to mug
- Place raisins, honey, and lemon juice in carboy
- Shake carboy vigorously to aerate
- When done steeping tea, remove tea leaves
- Cool tea to 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit and hydrate yeast in it
- Bring must to 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit and pitch yeast-tea (incl. yeast, ginger, and zest)
- Top with warm water (90-100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Same as above, but replace each occurence of "lemon" with "lime"