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Old 09-18-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default Tea does what?

Ive seen people using teabags or loose tea....
What affect does that have? If I steep tea too long it takes a chalky texture to it.
So I cant imagine what days/weeks/monthes would do to a mead.


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Old 09-18-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by taishojojo View Post
Ive seen people using teabags or loose tea....
What affect does that have? If I steep tea too long it takes a chalky texture to it.
So I cant imagine what days/weeks/monthes would do to a mead.
It's a source of tannins mainly.....


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Old 09-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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I add black tea for the tannins. I've heard some people say a mead won't develop it's full potential taste without tannins. Others like just straight unadulterated honey.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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I guess my next question is what do tannins do?
Some articles I read, make em sound like a good thing... some sound bad.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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I have added Chinese green tea leaves to both of my first primary ferments and I can say that so far: tea = happy yeast.

I mainly used it because I did not use a pre made nutrient complex, just fruit and tea (and honey of course) to give the yeasties what they need.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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I add black tea for the tannins. I've heard some people say a mead won't develop it's full potential taste without tannins. Others like just straight unadulterated honey.
You can also just add tannin powder, gives you more control...
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:18 AM   #7
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Tannin is a bittering agent. It's to red wine what hops are to beer. Hmm, I might get flamed for that... The bitter flavor helps balance the flavor of the alcohol. Tannin generally starts very sharply bitter. Over time, and in the presence of alcohol, it changes to a more mellow pleasant bitter flavor. The caffeine in the tea also helps the yeast out. Since mead tends to ferment slowly, that's a nice side effect.

Powdered tannin is more controllable. Coffee has more caffeine, and nitrogen. Coffee has a flavor that is generally considered undesirable in mead though. Powdered caffeine is harder to find, and slightly dangerous to handle. Tea is cheap, readily available, and usually comes in a handy bag for extraction.

Everyone brews a bit differently. There is nothing wrong with adding tannin powder, tea, or no bittering agent, to mead.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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What about the caffeine pills? Grind a couple up, toss them in the carboy, and get your yeasty minions wired...
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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What about the caffeine pills? Grind a couple up, toss them in the carboy, and get your yeasty minions wired...
You could do that, but you really need to crush them rather then grind. That way the contents powder instead of breaking into clumps. Then either sift out the pill coating from the powder, or fish it out of the brew. The coatings don't usually dissolve, and they usually float instead of sinking.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #10
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Tannin is a bittering agent. It's to red wine what hops are to beer. Hmm, I might get flamed for that... The bitter flavor helps balance the flavor of the alcohol. Tannin generally starts very sharply bitter. Over time, and in the presence of alcohol, it changes to a more mellow pleasant bitter flavor. The caffeine in the tea also helps the yeast out. Since mead tends to ferment slowly, that's a nice side effect.

Powdered tannin is more controllable. Coffee has more caffeine, and nitrogen. Coffee has a flavor that is generally considered undesirable in mead though. Powdered caffeine is harder to find, and slightly dangerous to handle. Tea is cheap, readily available, and usually comes in a handy bag for extraction.

Everyone brews a bit differently. There is nothing wrong with adding tannin powder, tea, or no bittering agent, to mead.
Thank-you for the responses... bear with me here.
I'm only working my second batch.
My first batch of mead I used an acid blend and wlp720 (sweet mead yeast alcohol tolerance ~15%)
I took a sip when I racked it (about 5weeks in the primary). There wasn't any alcohol hotness. Now... I know, like spices, different flavours work differently and do different things when combined.
Im not a afan of bitter. (why I dont drink beer and use fresh roast coffee).
How does the tannin/bitter balance out alcohol/hotness?
I know thats a tough question to answer.

My current batch uses Red Star Cotes du Blanc(tolerance <14%)... Since I'm using low alcohol tolerant yeast (to get a sweeter beverage) do I even need to worry about using tannins?


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