My recipe good or bad?

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Ok so I have been brewing for sometime now and wanted to try my hand at some mead. I came up with a recipe and make a one gallon batch. I never made mead so I want to know if my idea for this recipe a good one.
So here it is.

2 lbs of honey
3 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of raisins
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of Ginger
5 Cloves
1 whole vanilla Bean
Champagne yeast

Ok so what do y'all think?
 

WVMJ

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Drop the brown sugar, not needed in a mead, add more honey and some yeast nutrients. The ground up spices can be hard to get to settle, you can use whole pieces of cinnamon and crush up some fresh ginger, might want to start with like 2 cloves at first, they are strong, you can always add more in the secondary, you dont need to cook the honey. WVMJ
 

gratus fermentatio

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I'm guessing this is for a 1 gallon batch. I'd go with 3lbs honey, no need to heat it, just heat the water to get it to mix easier. Drop the brown sugar. Use yeast nutrient, yeast energizer & DAP (diammonium phosphate) for a good, healthy yeast population; just follow the directions on the packages.

Save those spices for secondary. Primary with champagne yeast will blow a lot of those flavours out. In a 1 gallon batch I'd use one 4 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 clove and a thumb sized piece of fresh (peeled) ginger. Avoid using powdered spices as they are messy and impossible to remove without filtration, unless you make a sort of teabag to contain them.

Adding the spice in secondary will give you more flavour from those spices & a more true flavour from them. You'll need to do taste tests periodically so you know when your desired level of flavour from the spices has been reached. Once it gets to where you want it, remove the spices. You can just put them in a hop sack weigh it down with a couple of sanitized marbles. If you tie a piece of fishing line to it & let the other end hang out the top with the bung holding it in place, it's really easy to pull it out later. Be sure to split the vanilla bean lengthwise before adding to the must, add the pulp from the inside too. You might want to go with 2 vanilla beans, as the vanilla flavour tends to fade over time. The longer the spices stay in the must, the more spice flavour will be imparted.
Regards, GF.
 
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Thank you so much for the info! Now looking back I kind of looked stupid using brown sugar.
 
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Thank you so much for all that info! I really like a the fishing line and hop bag for the spices. That would have helped me on a few previous ciders as well. Thank again!
 

Stinky-Beaver

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Drop the brown sugar, not needed in a mead, add more honey and some yeast nutrients. The ground up spices can be hard to get to settle, you can use whole pieces of cinnamon and crush up some fresh ginger, might want to start with like 2 cloves at first, they are strong, you can always add more in the secondary, you dont need to cook the honey. WVMJ
Keeping in mind Im still a bit new at this myself but if he has the raisins in the recipe than wouldn't they replace the need for yeast nutrients?

Outside of that from what I have been researching I would bump up the honey content another lb but I also prefer a sweeter mead than most anyways
 

RegarRenill

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Outside of that from what I have been researching I would bump up the honey content another lb but I also prefer a sweeter mead than most anyways

Well, using a champagne yeast, even at 3lbs of honey his mead will go dry. And the raisins can sub for nutrients, but using actual nutrient and energizer is more reliable. Some add raisins for "mouthfeel" but IMO it adds a wine-y note, if you use a light-tasting honey...
 

bernardsmith

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Keeping in mind Im still a bit new at this myself but if he has the raisins in the recipe than wouldn't they replace the need for yeast nutrients?

Outside of that from what I have been researching I would bump up the honey content another lb but I also prefer a sweeter mead than most anyways
If you have access to nutrients then IMO they are better to use than raisins since the raisins will provide nutrients but the nutrients are designed to provide precisely the nutrients the yeast needs.

Also not entirely sure why or how adding another pound of honey will result in a sweeter mead. Adding more honey will result in a stronger tasting mead but if the yeast can transform all the sugars in the honey to CO2 and alcohol it will. To make a sweeter honey you ferment out all the sugar, you stabilize the fermentation and then you ADD more honey after the yeast is out of the picture. Any other way of creating a sweet mead - IMO - leaves you with no control over the process and totally - totally - dependent on good luck and chance.
 

WVMJ

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No

keeping in mind im still a bit new at this myself but if he has the raisins in the recipe than wouldn't they replace the need for yeast nutrients?

Outside of that from what i have been researching i would bump up the honey content another lb but i also prefer a sweeter mead than most anyways
 

WVMJ

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Not really luck and chance if you know what you are doing and have a little experience, more like planning for it to happen instead of having it accidentally happen. Just ask a Polish meadmaker who starts out with 33% honey and a good plan to accomplish their ferment to the goal they want to achieve. WVMJ

Any other way of creating a sweet mead - IMO - leaves you with no control over the process and totally - totally - dependent on good luck and chance.
 
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I also used yeast energizers in it as well so that should help it ferment. I was just wondering if the brown sugar would make taste weird or would just be eaten up by the yeast and have no effect on the taste.
 

bernardsmith

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Not really luck and chance if you know what you are doing and have a little experience, more like planning for it to happen instead of having it accidentally happen. Just ask a Polish meadmaker who starts out with 33% honey and a good plan to accomplish their ferment to the goal they want to achieve. WVMJ
Trying to kill the yeast through alcohol poisoning in order to create a sweet mead at just the right level of sweetness that you prefer sounds to me like trying to stop your car on the throughway by smashing into a car on the other side of the median. Your car will stop - certainly - but pressing down on your own breaks will bring it to a stop in a far more controlled and gentle manner - and there won't be nearly as much mess to contend with
 

NZ-beekeeper

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We're getting a little off topic :off:

Basically, your recipe (minus the sugar) is fundamentally similar to any spiced mead, but most of us would use whole or lightly crushed spices (or the bag). Raisins...take them or leave them. I have found, as a beginner finds things out, that making a brew of black tea then adding all your other ing. to that makes for a good mead with a little tannin, but interestingly no tea flavour. It does darken the colour a little, but not much (less than you'd expect). Basically, use use the tea where you'd use water. Make it a strong brew - 6-8 teabags/gal. Otherwise, the prior suggestions regarding spice qtys are very sensible, esp with cloves. I find vanilla quite subtle and prefer it by itself.
 

gratus fermentatio

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I also used yeast energizers in it as well so that should help it ferment. I was just wondering if the brown sugar would make taste weird or would just be eaten up by the yeast and have no effect on the taste.
Brown sugar (in the USA) is just regular white table sugar with a bit of molasses mixed in. It will add a little flavour, but you'd have to use a lot more of it to taste the difference after fermentation. I'f you wanted to add that molasses flavour you'd be better off just adding molasses.

I've added molasses to cyser & while it was good, it wasn't the flavour I was expecting. After fermentation, it lends a flavour that I thought was sort of a "woody" flavour & hints of the molasses flavour I was expecting in the background. Kinda tough to describe.
Regards, GF.
 

natnov

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All Brown sugar is sugar and molasses. In the US they often refine the sugar to white granulated sugar and then add back the desired amount of molasses, but molasses is a by product of refining cane nice into white sugar...i.e. it's in the cane and companies just find it easier to get a consistent product by refining it all and blending back to the desired level of brownness.
 

WVMJ

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We have to advise you not to drink mead and drive! WVMJ

Trying to kill the yeast through alcohol poisoning in order to create a sweet mead at just the right level of sweetness that you prefer sounds to me like trying to stop your car on the throughway by smashing into a car on the other side of the median. Your car will stop - certainly - but pressing down on your own breaks will bring it to a stop in a far more controlled and gentle manner - and there won't be nearly as much mess to contend with
 

WVMJ

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If you really have a craving for some dark taste in this you could easily caremalize some of the honey and add it, like a third of your honey in a crock pot until its really really dark, that would give you a much better flavor profile than brown sugar. The cider guys have a popular recipe using brown sugar in their cider if that is more of the taste you are looking for. WVMJ

I also used yeast energizers in it as well so that should help it ferment. I was just wondering if the brown sugar would make taste weird or would just be eaten up by the yeast and have no effect on the taste.
 
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