Caramel Apple Mead

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summersolstice

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Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Lalvin K1v1116
Yeast Starter: yes
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.120
Final Gravity: 1.010
IBU: n/a
Steep Time (Minutes): 45
Color: golden brown
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 15 days at 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 35 days at 68F

4 Gallons apple juice
2 lbs DME
3 lbs 60L Crystal malt
7 lbs Orange blossom honey
2 lbs clover honey
2 lbs buckwheat honey


2 vanilla beans

Steep grains in 1.5 gallons of apple juice at 155F for 45 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the DME and honey. Rinse grain sack with 1/2 gallon apple juice. Add the remainder of the apple juice. Aerate by vigorous stirring for at least five minutes. Aerate some more. I now use oxygen with a diffuser stone to aerate (better). Pitch yeast starter (hydrated with Go Ferm per container instructions) directly into the primary (plastic pail fitted with an air lock).

At about 1.075 add 5g Fermaid K
At about 1.035 add 5g Fermaid K
(Dissolve your nutrients in water before adding them to your must. This helps to minimize foam.)

Within about two weeks this should ferment out to 1.012 or so. Rack to secondary and add vanilla beans. Allow to remain in the secondary for about a month.

Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey and 1/4t potassium metabisuphite or 5 campden tabs and 2 1/2t potassium sorbate to stabilize. Add Super Kleer to clarify. Bulk age for six months to a year before bottling.

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on gotmead.com. Mine is about 14 months old and tastes just like caramel apples. It's a medium sweet mead that's very drinkable. At about 13.75% alcohol and no alcohol bite one should exercise caution since it goes down so smoothly.
 

hightest

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After reading this recipe and the instructions, I have a few questions:
  • Apple juice is listed as an ingredient. Is it a commercially bottled juice (like Mott's) or is it sweet apple cider?
  • What grade of DME was used - light, dark, other?
  • The instructions say after steeping the grains to "Stir in the DME and honey". As written, I would take this to mean add all of the 3 types of honey listed at that time. Yet later, the instructions state, "Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey...". Did you initially add only 1 lb of buckwheat honey and reserve the other pound for the later step? Or should the ingredient list be revised to show that 3 lbs of buckwheat honey are required - 2 lbs up front, and another pound used later?
  • Did you split &/or scrape the vanilla beans, or cut them into pieces?

Thank you for clarifying these points...
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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After reading this recipe and the instructions, I have a few questions:
  • Apple juice is listed as an ingredient. Is it a commercially bottled juice (like Mott's) or is it sweet apple cider?


  • Regular commercial apple juice

    [*]What grade of DME was used - light, dark, other?
    Light


    [*]The instructions say after steeping the grains to "Stir in the DME and honey". As written, I would take this to mean add all of the 3 types of honey listed at that time. Yet later, the instructions state, "Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey...". Did you initially add only 1 lb of buckwheat honey and reserve the other pound for the later step? Or should the ingredient list be revised to show that 3 lbs of buckwheat honey are required - 2 lbs up front, and another pound used later?
    Yes, all three are added at once with the only exception being 1 pound of BW added initially with the other pound added in the later step.

    [*]Did you split &/or scrape the vanilla beans, or cut them into pieces?
I used the entire bean, though I understand some prefer them scraped.


Thank you for clarifying these points...
You're welcome.
 

ruger12pk

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Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Lalvin K1v1116
Yeast Starter: yes
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.120
Final Gravity: 1.010
IBU: n/a
Steep Time (Minutes): 45
Color: golden brown
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 15 days at 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 35 days at 68F

4 Gallons apple juice
2 lbs DME
3 lbs 60L Crystal malt
7 lbs Orange blossom honey
2 lbs clover honey
2 lbs buckwheat honey


2 vanilla beans

Steep grains in 1.5 gallons of apple juice at 155F for 45 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the DME and honey. Rinse grain sack with 1/2 gallon apple juice. Add the remainder of the apple juice. Aerate by vigorous stirring for at least five minutes. Aerate some more. I now use oxygen with a diffuser stone to aerate (better). Pitch yeast starter (hydrated with Go Ferm per container instructions) directly into the primary (plastic pail fitted with an air lock).

At about 1.075 add 5g Fermaid K
At about 1.035 add 5g Fermaid K
(Dissolve your nutrients in water before adding them to your must. This helps to minimize foam.)

Within about two weeks this should ferment out to 1.012 or so. Rack to secondary and add vanilla beans. Allow to remain in the secondary for about a month.

Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey and 1/4t potassium metabisuphite or 5 campden tabs and 2 1/2t potassium sorbate to stabilize. Add Super Kleer to clarify. Bulk age for six months to a year before bottling.

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on gotmead.com. Mine is about 14 months old and tastes just like caramel apples. It's a medium sweet mead that's very drinkable. At about 13.75% alcohol and no alcohol bite one should exercise caution since it goes down so smoothly.

I wouldnt attempt this at this stage of the game for myself..(too much a noob...lol) But Ill tell ya what....I damn sure would love to give this a sip!! WOW!

:drunk:
 

digdan

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Why did you use three separate types of honey? Can you diffrenciate the three flavors of honey in the final product? Could one use just orange, or just clover, or perhaps clover and buckwheat?
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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I don't really remember why used both OB and clover honey. I assume it's because I didn't have enough OB honey for the recipe. You could certainly use one or the other, or any combination. I wouldn't use an expensive light honey for this recipe due to the influence of the other flavors. The Buckwheat is definitely needed to add the much stronger aggressive honey flavor. A lot of mead makers add a little buckwheat to a recipe for complexity.
 

bubbachunk

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What would you guess the difference if any in the final product if I used the following honeys. (due to availability):
8# Clover
3# Mesquite
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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I've never had Mesquite honey but if it has an aggressive profile, it should work well. If it has a very aggressive profile, like buckwheat, you might want to cut back to 2 pounds though. Try it.
 

bubbachunk

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I've never had Mesquite honey but if it has an aggressive profile, it should work well. If it has a very aggressive profile, like buckwheat, you might want to cut back to 2 pounds though. Try it.
Could you try to explain what you mean by aggressive profile?
 

bubbachunk

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Ok so I accidently got Lavin D-47 instead of the K1. Should I just wait another day (no big deal) and get the K1 or will I get the same results from the D-47?
 

KatoBaggins

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How is it now after almost another year of aging?

This sounds like a really great recipe. I think I'll need to buy another carboy!
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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I really like the caramelly taste the crystal malt adds to the cyser. I only have 6-8 bottles left so I'm not drinking it very often right now.
 

bubbachunk

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Bought the correct yeast and am going to start this now!

Thanks yet again for help along the way I will take pics and update.
 

bubbachunk

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OK got my batch going and hit my sg of 1.120, my hopefully last question is how often should i check my gravity for hitting my nutrient spots and do you stir when adding?

phew thanks!
 

wibrew

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I'm trying this as my first mead. New to wine making and am learning fast. I'm about to rack off of the vinilla beans and add the bw honey. Sg tells me I'm at about 14% alcohol and it smells great. I'll let you all know how it turns out! Thanks for posting the recipies and steps for us newbees, all the info helps!
 

jadedsoul

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ok so I'm getting ready to try my first mead with a friend who has been brewing beer for a few years now. We settled on this recipe, but I have a question before I get started. What are the changes needed to make this into a 6 gallon batch(tried the math and just not sure I'm coming out right on it) and what do you think about adding some cinnamon sticks in with the vanilla bean??
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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My math's no good either, but this isn't an exact science. Start by bumping the clover honey by a quart and a half and water by three quarts and then add other ingredients in increments of 1/6th. If you like cinnamon, go for it.
 

bubbachunk

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That is two weeks later, only slight concern is the gravity is at abou 1.018 or so not the desired 1.012 ish.
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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Bubba, do you have a smaller carboy? If so, rack it so the carboy is topped up and let it bulk age. I always make my primary larger than the secondary so I can be sure to keep the secondary topped for bulk aging.
 

bubbachunk

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Bubba, do you have a smaller carboy? If so, rack it so the carboy is topped up and let it bulk age. I always make my primary larger than the secondary so I can be sure to keep the secondary topped for bulk aging.
Nope that is a 5 gal and I had used a plastic bucket for primary. I didnt think that little bit of headspace was a big deal?
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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It isn't right now but it will be if you plan to bulk age. It needs to be 2-3 inches below the stopper and well into the neck.
 

The Govna

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Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey
I have a question about this. I assume I'm just adding 1 lb of Buckwheat honey to the carboy when I rack the mead. However, the recipe calls for a total of 2 lbs buckwheat honey. So, is this 1 lb, I quoted above, in addition to the 2 lbs listed?
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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I have a question about this. I assume I'm just adding 1 lb of Buckwheat honey to the carboy when I rack the mead. However, the recipe calls for a total of 2 lbs buckwheat honey. So, is this 1 lb, I quoted above, in addition to the 2 lbs listed?
Yes, that's correct.
 

digdan

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SummerSolstice (which was yesterday right?)

Would using Carmel coffee flavoring syrup after secondary/aging work? I know that it has fermentalble sugars, but it also has preservatives.
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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SummerSolstice (which was yesterday right?)

Would using Carmel coffee flavoring syrup after secondary/aging work? I know that it has fermentalble sugars, but it also has preservatives.
Yes, it was.

It might work but I'm philosophically opposed to putting any flavorings or extracts in most mead. This mead has such a caramelly flavor that I don't feel its necessary.
 

toastermm

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Wow this is great. I just brewed this today- I tasted it before the yeasties did and it was delicious. It tasted just like a melted down caramel-apple pop. I can't wait for the yeasties to tone down the sugars and make some alcohol out of it.

Thanks summersolstice!!!
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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Wow this is great. I just brewed this today- I tasted it before the yeasties did and it was delicious. It tasted just like a melted down caramel-apple pop. I can't wait for the yeasties to tone down the sugars and make some alcohol out of it.

Thanks summersolstice!!!
Sláinte Mhath!
 

jaeg1

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Did you warm the Buckwheat honey before racking on it? Seems the BW honey would be too thick to mix without helping it somehow.

Thanks
 

bubbachunk

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Ok so I tested this yesterday about 5 and a half months in and all I can say is amazing. Now the caramel flavor comes through great and it is exactly like a caramel apple with absolutely no alcohol bite. This is a dangerous drink for sure.
 

flyweed

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Summersolstice, you are gonna put me in the poorhouse! I just ordered all the stuff to make this carmel apple mead, and then I just saw your cherry mead recipe,and NOW I gotta make that. Sounds really good!!!

Dan
 
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summersolstice

summersolstice

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lol! Welcome to the club! Fortunately I have a very understanding missus. It helps that she usually doesn't know when or how much I spend! Good luck - I'm sure you'll enjoy both. I just received my 2nd place ribbon from the NE State Fair for the year-old cherry mead.
 

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