I'm a beginner with mostly JAOMs under my belt, and am trying to make a 1 gallon vanilla-based mead on a budget: That is to say I'm interested to see if I can start with a cheap, no-thrills but drinkable recipe which I can refine in the future. I'm not experienced at mead so I'm not worried about the subtleties as long as I start with something pleasant enough to drink.
I've started off with:
- 3lb of honey
- 2 tsp citric acid (final pH with honey was about 4)
- 100g raisins boiled, then strained
- a tea bag - steeped for a few minutes then removed
- Gervin universal wine yeast
The above left me with an S.G. of 1.090, I'm aiming for about 12% ABV with a little back-sweetening. The raisins and tea were to add a little body, but I expect to end up with something fairly light and a bit crisp/acidic (like a white wine) which I imagine would complement the vanilla, especially with a little sweetening.
(I was originally going to use white grape extract but thought I'd start with raisins and acid to fit in with the 'budget' starting point).
After fermentation is over I'm planning on adding
- 1 tsp of madagascan vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean (chopped)
- Possibly ginger or cinnamon if the taste is still lacking?
Does this look like I'll end up with something drinkable? Does it need anything else to add depth?
Also, can anyone suggest an ingredient that would impart a sort of 'creaminess' to the mead? I understand lactose wouldn't work as well as it does in stouts.
Final question: Would nylon/muslin strain vanilla seeds successfully? I hear they have a lot of the flavour and would prefer not to remove them from the bean.
Thanks a lot for your help and patience! Cheers