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Old 05-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default Caramel (malt) Mead

Hi guys!

The problem with mead is that it's good when it's sweet but it's 100% fermentable sugars... so it's always a puzzle to aim for a certain ABV at a certain sweetness point. One idea I had is this one... tell me if it's good or not.

Let's say I aim for 12%, so I put enough honey to get a fully fermented dry mead at 12%, but I had an infusion of Cara/Crystal malts for dextrins/unfermentable sugars to give back body and sweetness to the mead.

Crystal 60 to 120 could give a nice Caramel Mead?
Carapils could give a nice neutral sweetness?
What about Honey malt, Special B, etc?


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Old 05-27-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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If you want staight mead at a set strength, then either a yeast that will die off at a certain strength or use the set amount of honey for the desired strength, fermented dry, then stabilised and back sweetened...

Malt or extract would likely be very nice but whether it would give a sweetness or at least a perception of sweetness I don't know....


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Old 05-27-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
If you want staight mead at a set strength, then either a yeast that will die off at a certain strength or use the set amount of honey for the desired strength, fermented dry, then stabilised and back sweetened...

Malt or extract would likely be very nice but whether it would give a sweetness or at least a perception of sweetness I don't know....

Yhea of course... but yeast tolerance ain't a really precise science... And backsweeting, yes, but I search a way to avoid it. First to keep it natural (no chemical stabilizers) and to avoid more manipulations.

Malt or extract would ferment and leave no real sweetness.. but here i'm talking about crystal malts, chich gives dextrins, unfermentable sugars.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
Yhea of course... but yeast tolerance ain't a really precise science... And backsweeting, yes, but I search a way to avoid it. First to keep it natural (no chemical stabilizers) and to avoid more manipulations.

Malt or extract would ferment and leave no real sweetness.. but here i'm talking about crystal malts, chich gives dextrins, unfermentable sugars.
Of course, I follow your idea, but I'm just thinking of how much actual sweetness you get from any beers full stop.

There's a few that have a perception of sweetness, but not really what you'd call sweet when compared to a "proper" sweetener.

It's sort of similar to Braggots and the argument of when is a brew a braggot and when is it a honey beer ? The consensus being, that when the fermentables in the brew are more than 51% honey, it's braggot, less than that, or maybe 51% malts or other "beer fermentables" and it would be a honey beer.

The only brews that I've tasted that have any level of actual sweetness, have been the Belgian fruit brews. I don't know how they achieve that, so couldn't say.

Your idea has merit, and is definitely worth a try, but I don't think you'll get much actual sweetness, you'd end up with a brew that has beer like qualities, if anything.

Hell, even "milk stout", is basically a dark irish type stout that's been "sweetened" with lactose (well basically). That's a smooth tasting drink but couldn't be called sweet.

I suppose it depends on the definition of "sweet". Sweet like candy or just not as bitter as a beer.......

Give it a go, but post the recipe and results. I'm sure that plenty of others would like to try it.....
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #5
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I like the idea, keep us posted if you attempt it...
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:49 PM   #6
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Make a bochet. Caramelizing some of the honey makes it unfermentable.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
...Caramel (malt) Mead...
I guess it could be done
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Professor View Post
I was thinking about a cold steep as well, thanks for the info.


I'm thinking not really more than 1lb for a 5 gallon batch. I understand what fatbloke said; a high FG doesn't really mean sweet, dextrins, unless they are unfermentables, aren't percieved as sweet as unfermented simple sugar (like fructose, ie). But after.. is it really sweetness i'm looking for? Or is it body and flavors? Maybe what i'm looking for is just a non-dryness.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #9
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Don't forget, it maybe that the "non-dryness" you mention might be achieved with acid and/or tannin addition after ferment.

Whatever you end up going for, please post the eventual recipe, methods and results if possible.

It's got me intrigued........
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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What about some honey malt,

Say 2-3 lbs honey
.25-.5 lbs honey malt, steeped.

For a 1 gallon batch


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