Cinnamon stick help

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JJack887

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I'm planning a 3gal. batch of spiced baked apple mead for my new carboy, but I have no experience in using spices. I think I'll just use cinnamon sticks, and maybe nutmeg. But how many sticks and for how long in secondary? Thank you.
 

DungMonster

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It depends on stick size and girth... size matters lol. When I used to buy sticks I would use 2 sticks in ferment and then 3 in secondary, 5 gal batch. I would break them up as they expand and crack which occasionally makes it hard to get out of the jugs. The simple suggestion is to try 1- 2 sticks and if you want my or less adjust on your next batch because what I like and what you like will vary. Generally for time I let it sit for about a month until racking or once enough mud built up on the bottom to make me want to rack it.
 

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Have only tried cinnamon sticks in one mead, a cyser, so far.......when bottled, it tasted pretty darned good, but as the bottles aged even further, the "cinnamonyness" faded over time to a more woody/earthy flavor ... not bad, but not quite the cinnamon flavor I was looking for.....possibly because the so-called cinnamon sticks i bought were likely actually cassia, not "true" cinnamon, dunno....I think I threw a couple in primary (possibly a waste of time/sticks) and perhaps 3 to 5 more in secondary for 5 gallons......maybe cinnamon flavor is like hop flavor and diminishes over time, dunno that either. I have a gallon of oaked bochet cyser that has FINALLY cleared (used supposedly fresh pressed cider from a local farmer's market, was cloudy forever), am contemplating doing some sticks, but may ramp it up to a higher amount and hopefully it'll be flavorful for the long haul.....stiill contemplating this addition, as I was underwhelmed by my first try after a year in bottles....tastes fine (my future son in law loves it, but he wishes it was sparkling....heh), but....I want more cinnamon flavor!!!
 

gratus fermentatio

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I'm planning a 3gal. batch of spiced baked apple mead for my new carboy, but I have no experience in using spices. I think I'll just use cinnamon sticks, and maybe nutmeg. But how many sticks and for how long in secondary? Thank you.
Four inch cinnamon sticks are probably the most common size available, though there are plenty of larger sizes available too. The more spice you add, usually the quicker you reach your desired flavor profile. The less spice you add, the longer it takes to reach that same flavor profile. You might start with 1 or 2 four inch cinnamon sticks in 3 gallons. If you use nutmeg, you might start with 1/2 a nut, nutmeg (and clove) can get pretty strong pretty quickly. You can always add more if it's not enough for your taste.

Use whole, cracked or sliced spices instead of powdered. Once added, powdered spices tend to make a mess (especially cinnamon) and are difficult to remove without filtration. They will continue to add spice flavor & will likely add too much. You can contain your spices in a hop sack & weigh it down with a couple sanitized marbles if you want it completely submerged.

Taste your mead periodically to see when your desired flavor profile has been reached, when it has, remove the spices. You can tie a sanitized string to the weighted sack of spices & suspend it in your mead if you like, the bung will hold it in place & it makes it really easy to remove the sack.
Hope that helps.
Regards, GF.
 
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JJack887

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Thanks for the replies. One more question: Would baking the apples pretty much sterilize them for mead use? I want to make sure there's no bacteria in the cores.
 

DungMonster

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It would and also add a different flavor profile. Honestly though, there is absolutely no need to cook them other than for flavor unless you are super concerned about sterilization. You really just need to wash them off well, much like you would anyways. Wash them prior to cutting and if you wish rinse prior to adding to your mead. Don't fret too much about it. ;)
 

gratus fermentatio

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Yes, baking would sterilize, and it would give your mead a "baked" apple flavor, which might be exactly what you're going for. The flavor from the apples might be lost though, unless you use a lot of them. You might be better off making a version of cyser instead. Cyser is just apple juice (no added water), honey & yeast, and of course yeast nutrient & DAP.

You'll get much more apple flavor that way & you can tweak it with those baked apples & spices. You might also consider adding a split vanilla bean to help round out the spice profile & blend it with the honey & apple flavors. Not sure if you're also wanting to include a "crust" type of flavor or not, but if so, you might steep some Victory and/or Biscuit malt. You could steep the grain in water & then add FAJC to turn that steeping water into juice.
Regards, GF.
 
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JJack887

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I made it last night and went with half the must being apple juice because it's going to be fruit bombed. I used fresh apples in primary and I'll be using the baked in secondary (yes, lots of apples...) I might add the vanilla since you mentioned it. I'm pretty excited to finally see it in my carboy for the first time. I think I'll go with two cinnamon sticks and half a nutmeg in secondary for maybe a few weeks.
 

gratus fermentatio

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If you didn't sulfite the must before yeast pitch, you might want to do so at your 1st racking. Also, since you're adding fruit, you might want to give it a dose of pectic enzyme to help break down the pectins.
Regards, GF.
 
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JJack887

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Should I add pectin enzyme during secondary since I already have some apples in primary? Thanks!
 

gratus fermentatio

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I always add pectic enzyme to primary, that way it's already in there for secondary. I suppose adding it to secondary would work too, especially if you plan on adding more fruit to secondary. FYI: Adding sulfites & pectic enzyme at the same time will decrease the efficacy of both. If sulfiting, enzyme should be added 12-24 hrs after sufiting.
Regards, GF.
 

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