Going Green... Tea!

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SteveO820

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Unloading some notes and info and appreciate any help or tips! :D
Drinking an Arizona green tea I thought it would be awesome to make something that tasted similar that but with a little booze. I decided to put together a green tea mead recipe and see how it goes.

I have an available 3 gallon fermenter and I'm aiming for a light, dry to semi-sweet drink that's around 5% with notes of green tea and honey

-Hydrated a pack of EC-1118
-Started with 3.5lbs of tupelo honey and 1 gallon of water with some Fermaid K and DAP in there as well. Nabbed a OG of 1.12 and locked away to ferment at 60 degrees.
-After 3-4 days added another 1/4 tsp of DAP and Fermaid K and after 2 weeks of being in the primary reached a 1.004.
-Boiled 2 gallons of filtered water, took off heat, then steeped 40 bags of Japanese Sencha for a strong green tea with a 2 tablespoons of honey and an ounce of lemon juice and reracked the original mead into this tea. Also put 4 more bags of (I felt the tea flavor was light but ran out of Sencha so Oolong and jasmine green tea in the secondary).
- next day got worried and in my head about what kind of bacteria could be on the tea bags in the secondary (didn't sanitize them...), saw a few floaties which shocked me however they looked like creamy yeast rafts from the second, smaller, fermentation. Saw the airlock bubbling at around 1.5 minutes apart also helped knowing there is some protective blanket of CO2. Added a 1/4 tsp. potassium metabisulfite to help fight infections and keep my mind at rest a little lol. Continuing to watch for any fuzz and film.
- Brought the temp down to 55 degrees. Will cold crash soon for about a week then planning to back-sweeten with more tupelo dissolved in a concentrated green tea. Will try to add only another 8oz to keep it at 5%

First time playing with HG (normal OG to a lot of you lol) & dilution and with teas but figured they are probably like other spices and hops...lol I'm finding the tea is even more delicate and soft then I was imaging and hard to retain it's flavor and aroma. Even with adding 2 gallons of strong brewed tea to the secondary it's still very light in tea qualities. May play around with concentrating green tea and getting more flavors from less volume additions. Will definitely make a concentrated batch of tea for back-sweetening probably using 8x the amount of green tea (8tsp of green tea for 8oz of water compared to the 1.25tsp of tea per 8oz of water I used in the secondary).

Anyone with some tea experience please lmk what you did and how it turned out!
 

CKuhns

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Anyone with some tea experience please lmk what you did and how it turned out!

I have tried different teas in a number of meads (All more traditional at 13 - 15% ABV) I no longer use tea as i never really could get the flavor profile I was looking for and it doesn't retain the flavor too well for longer term aging. Tends to diminish over time.
Tried:
- Making a tincture similar to what you have done and adding to taste in secondary.
- Just dropping tea leaves in whole - Both primary and secondary and one or the other
- Making tea as part of the must in primary.

Teas I have used: (If added straight to the Mead then in mesh bags or tea bags)
- Orange Peko
- Black
- Spiced mixes - Good Earth - Worked pretty well in secondary but just adding whole spices works better.
- Hibiscus - This adds some nice flavor if paired with dark fruit or Bakers Honey and gives you a great color. (I may do hibiscus again with Plums or blueberries and Bakers Honey)
- Chai
 
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SteveO820

SteveO820

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Appreciate the reply and info! I may have to go to a tea bottling line and learn their secrets lol

I was thinking of doing a batch with hibiscus as spices like an alcoholic jamaica. hmm I'll post my adventure with that one too
 

Seamonkey84

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I’ve been thinking about a lapsang (smoked black tea) mead. From what I’ve gathered, it’s prob best to make it on the low abv side and add it as a strong tea in primarily and then add a bit more in secondary. For green tea, it’s not very strongly flavored to begin with, so it may just be drowned out by the alcohol and esters From your yeast if you go too high in abv. Then stabilize some and try it sweetened, and maybe cold vs room temp, or even warm it a bit.
 
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SteveO820

SteveO820

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Back sweetened and bottled today.
Was able to make a concentrate using another 1oz of lemon juice, 8oz of water, another 20 bags of Sencha, and 3oz of honey. It sweetened back to 1.008. Honestly came out with a strong honey sweet aroma but stayed fairly dry in taste. The green tea and lemon is more of an essence in the finish and not very bold. while the tupelo honey is strong throughout. After the last addition came out to 5.14%. Super light and refreshing which is how I like em :)
 

cloudyp

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Anyone with some tea experience please lmk what you did and how it turned out!

I have tried different teas in a number of meads (All more traditional at 13 - 15% ABV) I no longer use tea as i never really could get the flavor profile I was looking for and it doesn't retain the flavor too well for longer term aging. Tends to diminish over time.
Tried:
- Making a tincture similar to what you have done and adding to taste in secondary.
- Just dropping tea leaves in whole - Both primary and secondary and one or the other
- Making tea as part of the must in primary.

Teas I have used: (If added straight to the Mead then in mesh bags or tea bags)
- Orange Peko
- Black
- Spiced mixes - Good Earth - Worked pretty well in secondary but just adding whole spices works better.
- Hibiscus - This adds some nice flavor if paired with dark fruit or Bakers Honey and gives you a great color. (I may do hibiscus again with Plums or blueberries and Bakers Honey)
- Chai

Just out of curiosity how was the chai? i was just thinking last night a chai spiced mead could be good!
 

CKuhns

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I only did one Chai tea. Looking at my notes I did a quart of water and steeped 20 tea bags (Twining's Black Tea Chai blend) for 10 minutes. Made a strong tea flavor. I added that to a 5 gallon 15.5 ABV traditional Bakers Honey mead in secondary.

The Chai flavor / spice were there pretty predominant early on but didn't really balance well with the darker Bakers honey notes. (Kind of clashed) As this one aged - Now almost 2 years has lost the cinnamon and some of the other spices from the Chai but is allowing the honey to come through a bit better.

If you are looking for a more forward Chai flavor it might do better with a more neutral honey like clover or a mixed wildflower.
 
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