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Old 10-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
igliashon
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Feb 2012
Oakland, CA
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I'm gonna brew this tomorrow unless someone here stops me!

3 gallon recipe:

Ingredients:
6 lbs wildflower honey
0.25 oz Millenium hops (pellet, 17.4% AA) at 60 min
1 oz Simcoe hops (pellet, 13% AA) at 15 min
1 oz Simcoe hops at 1 min
1 oz Czech Saaz hops (whole-leaf, 4.5% AA), dry hop
8 oz maltodextrin
Buckwheat honey, to taste
2 tsp yeast nutrient

US-05 dry yeast

Boil:
Do a 60-minute boil with water, maltodextrin, and Simcoe hops. While boiling water, burn/caramelize 1 lb of the wildflower honey. Strain hops from water, add yeast nutrient, and pour hop-water over burnt honey, then add remaining 5 lbs of wildflower honey. Cool to 74F, pitch US-05, ferment completely. Rack to secondary and add dry hops for 2 weeks before bottling (i.e., after mead has cleared).

Then, the hard part:
Back-sweeten/prime with buckwheat honey to taste, then bottle in 22-oz bottles. Reserve enough to fill 2 plastic soda bottles (use first and last runnings from the bucket). When the soda bottles first begin to feel tight, open the first one to check carbonation. If adequately carbonated, pasteurize (on the stove) all the remaining glass bottles to kill the yeast. If not, give another day or two and then check the second one, and then pasteurize if satisfied. Refrigerate and enjoy some sparkling, slightly-sweet, IPA mead!

Now, I'm not even sure if back-sweetening will be necessary; I predict an OG somewhere around 1.080, but I have no idea what level of attenuation to expect out of the US-05. I know it can go to 12% ABV before pooping out, so it may make this bone-dry. It also might take forever to fully attenuate and clear. So I may just bottle it when it hits a SG of 1.018 or so, with some priming sugar, and pasteurize it when it's fully carbed. I dunno. It's an adventure!

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:46 PM   #2
ChasidicCalvinist
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Feb 2012
Hookstown, PA
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I've made mead using S-04 and S-05. I don't have a hydrometer or use any sites so I can't give good hard facts but all of my meads (and ciders for that matter) using those two yeasts have turned out fine. The yeasts have never pooped out on me. One thing I would caution is you probably won't need to back sweeten your mead. You certainly can, but 4lbs of honey plus 1lb burned is a lot. In addition, I haven't made a bochet yet but from what I have read when you boil the honey some (not all though!) of it becomes "non-fermentable" and residual sweetness automatically remains. So you'll have some additional sugars from that too.

One more thing--be careful stove top pasteurizing. I've done it 3 times and never had a good experience. I follow the directions to the tee but bottles always explode. I tried it yesterday actually and ended up just putting the whole case of cider in the fridge after 2 bottles went ka-blewie. No one else seems to have issues though so it must be user error.

I'm excited to hear how this turns out. This is something I really want to try to make too!
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
muench1
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Jan 2012
Santa Cruz, CA
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I'd backsweeten with unfermentables. I really like the results, it's less work and most importantly fewer chances to mess up.

Assuming your honey is packaged and already sanitary, I wouldn't add it to the hot water because you'll lose aromatics. I'd add honey with the yeast at 74. I've given up on priming with honey. It's romantic and sounds like a good idea, but it seems to create more sediment without really adding anything.

I wouldn't heat bottles of carbonated liquid, unless perhaps you were going to pressurize them somehow, perhaps by using a very deep stock pot? The CO2 isn't going to be very soluble at higher temps which will really up the pressure inside, but if you could equalize or mitigate that pressure some you might be OK. I know people supposedly do it, but I haven't and wouldn't.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:27 AM   #4
igliashon
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Feb 2012
Oakland, CA
Posts: 936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasidicCalvinist View Post
One more thing--be careful stove top pasteurizing. I've done it 3 times and never had a good experience. I follow the directions to the tee but bottles always explode. I tried it yesterday actually and ended up just putting the whole case of cider in the fridge after 2 bottles went ka-blewie. No one else seems to have issues though so it must be user error.

I'm excited to hear how this turns out. This is something I really want to try to make too!
Hmm...hadn't thought about the problems of pasteurizing carbonated bottles. Well, if what you say is true and I can expect a sweet finish without back-sweetening, then I can just ferment to completion and then prime as normal, expecting carbonation to proceed normally.

My main concern was that at 2 lbs honey per gallon water, this would come out drier than the sweet meads I usually make (which use 3 lbs honey per gallon of water), and too dry to balance the hops. So I figured I'd have to back-sweeten, which would also prime the mead for carbonation, but then that would risk having the yeast eat up all the back-sweetening honey and over-carbing the mead (and also drying it out). So I figured pasteurization is the only way to reliably stop the fermentation.

But maybe it would be better to ferment out completely, back-sweeten with a non-fermentable if necessary (what should I use? Lactose?) AND add some corn sugar to carb? That way no risk of exploding bottles on the stove!

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:59 AM   #5
muench1
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Jan 2012
Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 142
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Lactose, sucralose and sorbitol are the ones in my pantry.
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Secondary: Perry, Plum Wine, Peach Wine, Mystery White Blend Wine
Bottled/Kegged: GF Graff, Accidentily Imperial Stout, Apricot Wine, Cider, All-Juice Apple Wine, All-Juice Strong Cider, Sparkling Plum Wine, Experimental Honey Steam
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:09 AM   #6
igliashon
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Feb 2012
Oakland, CA
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Yuck...sucralose? The last thing I want is a mead that tastes like diet soda. Not as bad as aspartame I suppose, but still...maybe some licorice root or stevia extract would be better, though I guess lactose is the best bet. How much lactose would you add to a really dry, bitter mead?

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:25 AM   #7
thanantos
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Apr 2011
, MICHIGAN
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Can't you use sulfite to stop fermentation? Or are you against using those?

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:12 AM   #8
igliashon
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Feb 2012
Oakland, CA
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The thing is, I'd have to stop fermentation AFTER bottling, because I want it to be sparkling. I can't exactly open up the bottles when the desired level of carbonation is reached and add sulfites!

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
muench1
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Jan 2012
Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 142
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To my girlfriend and me, sucralose tastes like sugar. Soda also tastes like sugar. We don't notice a difference in flavor between sugar and sucralose. As far as sorbitol, we actually did a double blind test with the two of us. We could both detect 100% sorbitol-based fake honey, but when we mixed half real honey and half sorbitol honey we could not tell the difference from 100% real honey. The fake honey is a great backsweetener that I've used a fair bit. It tastes mostly like honey but has none of the smell of honey, but the simcoe is going to cover any honey smell anyways.
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Secondary: Perry, Plum Wine, Peach Wine, Mystery White Blend Wine
Bottled/Kegged: GF Graff, Accidentily Imperial Stout, Apricot Wine, Cider, All-Juice Apple Wine, All-Juice Strong Cider, Sparkling Plum Wine, Experimental Honey Steam
Coming soon:, Blackberry Wine, GF Pale, GF Braggot

 
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
thanantos
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Apr 2011
, MICHIGAN
Posts: 283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igliashon
The thing is, I'd have to stop fermentation AFTER bottling, because I want it to be sparkling. I can't exactly open up the bottles when the desired level of carbonation is reached and add sulfites!
Ah yes, silly me. Carry on!

 
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