Help me finish formulating my Mead recipe… Please..

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Paul_F

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I finished my very first batch of mead a month ago (a JOAM, with some added Ginger). It needs some more aging to know for sure how it turned out, but it's pretty promising (little "hot", and a little bitter, but It's aging in bottles).

Now that my 3 gallon Carboy is empty, I'm looking at starting a new batch.

I have 12lbs of Snowberry honey (haven't settled on how much is going in this batch yet…).

What I want to make is a fairly neutral (what I mean is, on the edge between dry and sweet - ideally, because I can't decide between dry and sweet...). I am also aiming for fairly subtle flavors rather than bold, strong, ones.

I have settled on K1V-1116 for a yeast.

I would like to include some mix or combination of the following ingredients;
Cinnamon (I'm guessing 2 or 3 sticks based on what I used for the JOAM)
Tea (Earl Grey) - no idea how much to use!
Mint Tea (I'm thinking EITHER Earl Grey, OR Mint… can't decide) - also no idea how much to use!
Orange Zest (wild guess, zest of two oranges? )

And the last part of the equation is I would like to Oak it with some medium toast oak chunks (that I just ordered along with some Fermaid, and Yeast Nutrient). Despite a lot of reading, I'm unsure of how much to use, or for how long.

I'm still thinking on quantity of honey, and yeast food (those stupid questions may come later… I've got a lot of reading to do first).

But I'd sure appreciate opinions on how much Cinnamon, Tea (or Mint Tea), and Orange zest equals a "subtle" flavor, and how long to Oak (in secondary?). I would also appreciate any criticisms of my choices (like "dude, orange and mint are AWEFUL together in Mead! Don't do it!" ).
Or, if there is already a proven recipe I've missed that's similar, a steer would be appreciated!

Many thanks!
 

Arpolis

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Here is what I might do. Go for a little lower ABV than JAOM to try it out. Probably 9%-10% ABV.

3 gallon batch

6lb honey
3TBS earl grey (1 tea bag is about 1 tsp so like 9 tea bags)
1 stick of cinnamon
orange zest of two oranges (zest of one in primary and the second in secondary)
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1.5 tsp energizer

Gravity should be at about 1.072ish. The tea is added to the primary dry. It will fall with the lees and the mead can be racked off it after the first 30 days and first racking happens.

Now JAOM is a spiced orange mead so I may suggest trying something a little different like swapping cinnamon for 3 vanilla beans split and placed in the mead. If you so that then add that to secondary and not in the primary. Just a thought.

After all is clear and you have racked a couple times. Add in 3 crushed Camden tablets & 1.5 tsp of Sorbate to stabilize the mead and wait at least 12 hours. Add in just under 1lb of honey after waiting and get the gravity to about 1.01ish. Should be much less sweet than JAOM but not really dry. The extra honey will make it cloudy again. Should clear in a couple weeks. If not then cold crashing helps.
 

Matrix4b

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For a 3 gal batch, I recomend that you save the oak until it is starting to clear and put 1 oz into a hops bag for easy removal. Leave in about 3 weeks.
 
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Paul_F

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Arpolis and Matrix4b;

Many thanks!
All sounds eminently reasonable (based on my newbie readings of a quarter million or so posts here... OK.. maybe a little under a thousand or so... I'm still wading through :)

Matrix4b;
Not having a hops bag (I can probably come up with something if necessary...), would it work to add the "naked" chunks to the mead, leaving to steep for that "about 3 weeks" then racking off the oak (and whatever lees are still present)? What would be the down-side to that?

Arpolis;
I'm liking the idea of Vanilla... but I may save that for a different batch. I ALSO have a gallon of Clover honey I'll need to use once this Snowberry is "dealt with".
Have to buy another 3 gallon carboy.

Fatbloke was right (in a post somewhere in the archives), this isn't a hobby, it's a damn disease! LOL!
 

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