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Milk-Mead (a spin on koumiss) instruction, recipe & info

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Jnco_hippie

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Koumiss is a fermented dairy beverage made in central Asia. Its origins go back thousands of years. Normally a low alcohol drink, I have found and modified a recipe to boost the alcohol content while adding a twist to tradition. Normally made with mare's milk, we are instead using what is commercially available.

As we all know, cow's milk is largly unfermentable, therefore we start there.
You have two basic options:
1. Convert the lactose in organic milk to galactose & glucose

2. Use lacose free milk that has already been converted

For now we will be using the lactose free skim milk option. If anyone takes interest in this thread we will discuss the other in detail later. Skim milk is used for two reasons: it is closer to mare's milk in makeup and consistancy and it will reduce the ammount of fats and oils, thus reducing the size of the curd.


1 Gallon Recipe

What you will need:

2 quarts lactose free skim milk

1 Lb honey

2 Qts water

1 pkt champagne or dry mead yeast

1 pinch Yeast nutrient

Make a starter culture from your chosen yeast 24 hours in advance. You really only need 1/2 of what your dry yeast packet will produce, so I recommend brewing a small batch of grape or fruit wine the same day, so as to maximize the useage of your yeast.

Set the milk out, covered with foil or a paper towel and rubber band. Allow to come up to room temperature. This takes about 4 hours, so plan ahead.

So, we have available sugar alread in the lactose free milk. If we just fermented the milk by itself, we would end up with a very thin, fizzy yogurt-like drink with 2% alcohol or less. By adding the honey, we can boost our final alcohol percentage to five to seven percent ABV.

Boil 2 Qts water then pour off 1 Qt into a sterilized vessel and cool for use later to top off the primary fermentation vessel.

Dissolve 1 lb honey in the remaining quart of boiled water. (FYI, if you would like higher alcohol content, two lbs of honey can get near ten percent ABV.) If using unpasturized honey, boiling will kill any wild bugs you may have. However, don't worry if a few slip past, as this particular drink is quite forgiving and could possibly even benefit from many of them. Remove from heat and immersion chill down to 80 degrees F.

Pour your room temperature milk into the chilled container you boiled your honey and water in. Aerate the mixture vigorously for 60 seconds.

Pour your aerated must into the primary fermenter, pour in half of your 24 hour starter, then fill to the gallon mark with the boiled and chilled water that you set aside prior to making the honey must.

Due to the nature of our product it can handle some oddly high temperatures, as the galactose and remaining lactose prevents the formation of fusel alcohols.

7 day primary fermentation at 70-80 degrees F

Cap with foil for first 24 hours before fitting with an airlock and stopper. The forming of the curd (which is the first stage of fermentation) could plug up an airlock if it rises up on day one.

Agitate the vessel on day one and two.

Days 3-7 you will see the formation of the curd on top, your standard yeast sediment on the bottom, and a layer of golden "Milkmead" in the middle.

On the final day, carefully insert your racking device through the curd and siphon off the mead into a secondary vessel, leaving behind the curd cap and yeast sediment.

You can chill and eat the curd if you like. It is quite sweet and, as a bonus, is still loaded with alcohol!

Let set in secondary 5-7 more days, or until hydrometer readings are stable.

Despite what you started out with, you will now have a completely clear liquid!

You can bottle and degass as a normal mead, or you can carbonate it by adding 3 tablespoons of honey.

The end product is a semi-sweet to sweet mead that is quite different and very enjoyable. It will have the floral character and alcohol content of your standard mead, an extremely smooth sweetness from the unconverted lactose in the milk, and a distant nut character or whisp of fine cheese.

Serve it cold or warm, but be advised, it does need to be consumed within two years (I reccomend 6-18 months) and should likely be refrigerated after opening.


Will post photos later if this thread generates any interest.


Thanks for reading!

--recipe and information adapted from Lars D. H. Hedbor--
 

fatbloke

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Top marks for the post my friend......

Milk is one of those items that would've normally have made me think "WTF ?" but hey, why not eh !

There's a lot of things that we can read about people using for making different styles of meads - hell I've got one on the go at the moment.......British "Christmas" pudding. The bucket still has a hideous layer of fat from the crimbo puds used, but that's because I haven't strained the solids out yet......

I'm hoping it will at least "look" a lot more normal once I do...

Again, excellent post.....
 

saramc

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I made a milk liqueur by combining full fat milk with vodka and citrus, even melted a quality chocolate in another. Awesome stuff, even the strained cheese was used. Just google milk liqueur and there you are.

ForumRunner_20130113_064701.png



ForumRunner_20130113_064731.jpg
 
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Jnco_hippie

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image-2818113074.jpg

24 hours in. I didn't follow my own advice on the airlock.

It already tastes wonderful.

Because of the smoothness imparted by the milk, you can drink this mead within weeks or months of bottling.
 
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Jnco_hippie

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7 days into fermentation:

image-233084062.jpg

It has already begun to separate and clarify. The airlock is still bubbling about twice a minute.

I can't wait to get at that top layer of cheese. We're going to press it just a bit to remove a small amount of moisture, then wrap it in thin dried pork, let it set about a week and have it with ritz crackers!
 

wabber

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Jnco_hippie said:
7 days into fermentation:

It has already begun to separate and clarify. The airlock is still bubbling about twice a minute.

I can't wait to get at that top layer of cheese. We're going to press it just a bit to remove a small amount of moisture, then wrap it in thin dried pork, let it set about a week and have it with ritz crackers!
Alright what is it that you are making exactly?
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Alright what is it that you are making exactly?
I call it "MilkMead" But it is just a combination of two totally unrelated recipes for alcoholic drinks from different millenia and different cultures.

Mead, we all know it's history and origins. I combine that, with Koumiss, a 2000+ year old fermented dairy beverage from central asia. the two recipes are totally combined and fermented together.

It's really smooth. and has a wonderful flavor. it is hard to describe it exactly, so i would suggest just making a small batch and finding out for yourself. it's easy, cheap, and doesn't take long at all. It ferments to completion (primary and secondary) in less than 18 days. and can be drunk within days of bottling if desired.

It has all the wonderful attributes of mead, fairly high alcohol content, and is much more smooth in about 1/8 the time! :mug:
 

maltzanc

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Great post Jnco! I'm excited to try this one.

Just out of curiousity, how did you manage to get the top curd layer out of the gallon bottle without mixing it back into the final product or in with the yeast?
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Before racking to secondary:
image-1535509780.jpg



After transfer:
image-1446129783.jpg

Photos taken about 30 min apart.


Did not have such great luck on the curd. No biggie, as it tasted a bit strange anyway. Strained all yeast and bottom curd through cheesecloth. It tasted better than top curd. We'll see what happens after adding season, spice and meat wrap. Maybe good, maybe bad... A cheese maker I am not.

Mead is good though. I will secondary for a week or so, then cold crash for about 5 days.

After that, it's bottle and wait....
 

brewingmeister

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So gross looking but I have to say it is interesting. I don't care for milk so making this isn't necessarily in my future. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through the pics of this gross looking but interesting mead.
 

kevinstan

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Ok now I'm interested. I think I have to try this now. I want to see some final pictures and to hear honestly how it taste but I think I am going to do this next. Love the pics - keep them and the updates coming. What do expect your final ABV to be ?
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Ok now I'm interested. I think I have to try this now. I want to see some final pictures and to hear honestly how it taste but I think I am going to do this next. Love the pics - keep them and the updates coming. What do expect your final ABV to be ?
According to the recipe i used, my ABV should be 9-10%

i don't really have any way to tell though, as i don't think that any gravity reading taken from the must would lead to an accurate final gravity as the milk would seem to throw it all off, since all the whey and curds fall out and don't contribute to alcohol.... i think?
 

saramc

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Should consider adding 4 thinly sliced oranges plus 2 thinly sliced lemon per gallon. Adds a bit of citrus appeal. Can also make a chocolate milk wine by adding 4 sliced lemons per gallon along with 6-8 ounces of a high cacoa content dark chocolate bar--you can melt it and stir it into the milk or grate it. I prefer to melt it. The chocolate version reminds me of a malted milk ball. I had initially made Milk Liqueur from this blog - http://m.gizmodo.com/5869688/how-to-make-milk-thatll-get-you-hammered/gallery/1 - and adapted the wine recipe you shared with bits from the liqueur recipe.

...Sara
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Having trouble getting this one to clarify. It transfered to secondary 6 days ago, 4 days ago i added 1/8 tsp gelatin finings. last night i put it in the fridge. any suggestions?
 

saramc

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Having trouble getting this one to clarify. It transfered to secondary 6 days ago, 4 days ago i added 1/8 tsp gelatin finings. last night i put it in the fridge. any suggestions?
Did you rack off just the clear liquid that typically forms in the middle? Or did you even have a clear layer?
 

gayleygoo

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this looks both disgusting and amazing all at the same time, I may have to try it! if only I could have had it ready for Game of Thrones starting in March...

is it possible that lactose free semi skimmed milk would work? it seems to be all I can get here. there'd probably be more wastage from cheesy stuff wouldn't there?

those pics are fantastic, I love the glow in the dark mead :)
 

saramc

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is it possible that lactose free semi skimmed milk would work? it seems to be all I can get here. there'd probably be more wastage from cheesy stuff wouldn't there?
Yes, you can use that. You can also use lactose laden milk and if you can locate lactase (enzyme) add approximately 48000u per gallon of milk. Allow to rest for 12 hours before starting recipe. Though for many, sourcing commercial lactose free milk is simpler.
 
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Jnco_hippie

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I was unable to find lactose free milk on the day I prepped for this batch. Walmart was out, only had low fat lactose free. That is what I used. So using semi skimmed, you would get less whey than I did.
 
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Jnco_hippie

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To anyone trying this recipe....

Double the honey! I am very pleased with my product, but am going to brew it again with 48 oz honey. The drink is wonderful, but lacks bold honey flavor.

Almost out of it. Gonna have to brew two batches this go around.
 

numr17

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So I made a batch of this and and went to bottle it and it smells absolutely foul. Like a mix between rotten eggs and honey. I went ahead and bottled it, tossed em in the frig hoping after it chilled a bit the smell might go away. Anybody have any similar issues?
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Sounds like SO2 gas. I have not yet encountered that on any of my brews.

I would try degassing several times to see if it dissipates.

We drank a whole bottle of ours yesterday. It was wonderful!
 

LBussy

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You know, I get tired of "inventing" something only to find it's been done. I suppose if it's fermentable, someone has done it. :)

I was reading The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible and within that "interesting" book is a story about a priest in Alaska who made milk wine. The description was vague but kept me thinking about making it. Then I got the bright idea of "milk and honey" wine. I think I told my friend about it a couple weeks ago but we'd not yet made it.

My plan was to go with dried skim milk to avoid any fat, and to use lactase to convert the sugars. I was also going to go with some rennin to separate out the solids. The thinking was that starting out with less solids up front would promote a clear product. Using those products is also probably less expensive than buying that special milk. Use of dried milk will also allow me to use a more concentrated product, where with milk what you get is what you get.

Interesting post, thanks for sharing.
 
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Sharkman20

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Odd but interesting... I'd definitely like to see the finished product. So what does it taste like?
 
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Jnco_hippie

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It taste like a light mead, with an unusual sweetness. Not high sweetness, just an unusual silky sweet.

The one I put in the fridge is clear as a bell. Very light gold.

Great stuff. No need to wait months to drink it. Its good to go days after bottling.
 

HopHeaven

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Picked up the supplies for this today. 2 wits of water is currently boiling. Got 2 qts of organic lactose free skim milk. A little nervous about it being ultra pasteurized as I know this doesn't work for the cheese I make but I think it should be fine. Also using Montrachet yeast and some energizer. Will post pics and progress along the way

Edit: also used 1.5 lbs of honey to boost the abv a bit
 
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Jnco_hippie

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Great to hear someone else is gonna give this "odd one" a shot. I assure you when it turns out right, it's a lovely mead, with some very new flavors. As i have said several times in this thread, i love that this one can be enjoyed so soon after it has been finished.

I do hope that the montrachet yeast does not cause any issues. I had a friend use it in a cherry mead he made about 16 months ago. it fermented with a profuse ammount of sulfur smell. even at bottling it was an overpowering rotten egg smell.

I use champagne yeast in mine.

Keep us posted!

thanks!
 

HopHeaven

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Yeah the mon. Yeast can do that when its stressed or doesn't have all the right nutrients so I added some yeast energizer as well as nutrient and will probably do a 2nd nutrient addition on the 3rd day.

image-3584022003.jpg

This is what it's looking like after 24 hours after some agitation. I put the foil on for the first 24 hours but the curds didnt come up. Smells like honey right now with a hint of alcohol and milk. Airlock is bubbling away. My roommates are a bit grossed out but I told them to be patient. In order to stop any roommate squabbles, I have since moved this into a closet haha
 

HopHeaven

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LBussy said:
I have my lactase and need to get the rennet (plan to drop the curd out before fermenting). I'll get to it Real Soon Now™. :)
I think I may try that next time, I have like 20 tablets sitting around for cheese making
 

HopHeaven

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I really wish I could post a video of this fermentation into this thread. It's like volcanic eruptions of curds!
 

HopHeaven

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After a couple days, fermentation has slowed down quite a bit. However, my curds seem to be acting different than OP. all my curds are sitting at the bottom. Not sure what could have caused this difference. Will be racking into secondary by the end of the weekend to let clear.
 

HopHeaven

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After 5 days this is what we have. Unlike OP, all of my curds minus a few are at the bottom. The color is highlighter yellow, smells very strong and green but slightly sweet. I'll be racking it tonight off the curds

Edit: forgot the picture


image-2225834253.jpg
 

LBussy

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That looks great.

I'm hoping that pre-curdling the ... must? ... will be benefficial in some way. At least it will definitely allow me to more accurately judge the sugars.

You say you make cheese ... any feel for how that curd went, how it's firmed up ... yadda yadda?
 

saramc

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The dropping/not dropping of the curds will not have an impact on the milk mead.
Ok, so will using rennet to drop the curd out before hand impact this? Clueless. But I love explanations.

This gave me an idea, someone in cider section posted about an apple custard cider, or something like that. I am imagining adding fresh pressed cider/juice when the wine is clear, perhaps some vanilla bean and cinnamon.
 

nitack

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We're going to need a new forum for mead-curd cheese making recipes...
 
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