"Craft Mead" (Sparkling Hydromel)

Discussion in 'Coffee, Kombucha & Mead Forum' started by Zephyr259, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Dec 4, 2016 #1

    Zephyr259

    Zephyr259

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    The following meads are based on recipes from Groennfell Meadery, http://www.groennfell.com the owner Ricky is awesome and will discuss his recipes with anyone who asks (Facebook is the simplest way).

    My version of their Valkyrie''s choice mead was 850g of tesco finest orange blossom honey which I pasteurised in 1L of water, mixed with cold water to the shoulder of the demijohn, added 1 tsp nutrient (Tronozymol) and pitched half a pack of Lalvin D47. When it was done fermenting I racked off the yeast onto 42g honey which I'd boiled in some water and topped up to the neck of the demijohn, then bottled. It tasted great at this stage and should only improve with carbonation.

    To make the autumn spice version you blend 3 parts of the above mead with 1 part spice tea. As I was doing a small test batch I made 4.5L mead as above then after priming and topping up I siphoned off 1.5L and added 0.5L tea.

    500 ml tea: 10g chamomile, 10g cinnamon sticks, 5g nutmeg, 4g star anise. I steeped it in boiled water for a bit, think it was while I did the racking and priming, then added the primed mead on top and bottled.

    Spiced mead needs a month in the bottle for the flavours to blend but i'll be tasting the plain one next weekend.
     
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  2. Dec 5, 2016 #2

    Tau

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    Quite a bit of nutmeg in there, you'll be fast asleep after a glass or two :)
     
  3. Dec 6, 2016 #3

    Zephyr259

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    Is nutmeg a sedative? Or just that an 8% brew will cause sleepiness?
     
  4. Dec 6, 2016 #4

    Tau

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    Bit more than that. Here's wiki extract:

    Psychoactivity and toxicity

    Effects

    In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects.[16][unreliable medical source?] In its freshly ground form (from whole nutmegs), nutmeg contains myristicin, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and psychoactive substance.[17] Myristicin poisoning can induce convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain.[18] For these reasons, whole or ground nutmeg cannot be imported into Saudi Arabia except in spice mixtures where it comprises less than 20%.[19][20] It is also reputed to be a strong deliriant.
    Fatal myristicin poisonings in humans are very rare, but three have been reported, including one in an 8-year-old child[21] and another in a 55-year-old adult, with the latter case attributed to a combination with flunitrazepam.[22]
    In case reports, raw nutmeg produced anticholinergic-like symptoms, attributed to myristicin and elemicin.[21][23][24]
    Intoxications with nutmeg had effects that varied from person to person, but were often reported to be an excited and confused state with headaches, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, and memory disturbances. Nutmeg was also reported to induce hallucinogenic effects, such as visual distortions and paranoid ideation. Intoxication took several hours before the maximum effect was reached. Effects and aftereffects lasted up to several days.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2016 #5

    Zephyr259

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    Nice, 5g was about a nutmeg and a quarter. And it's a commercial recipe so prolly safe enough. Wouldn't dose a session brew like that though.
     
  6. Dec 16, 2016 #6

    Tau

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    I have had the poisoning effect of nutmeg, it's a killer, lasted all week, I'll never put it in a brew again. About the same amount as you but drank all. I've never seen pupils like it before, mine were rippling for days and minor halucinting and pain allover muscles, took a skinfull of cider to clear it :)
     
  7. Dec 16, 2016 #7

    Zephyr259

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    What do you mean by this? You also put ~5g per gallon but drank a lot of it at once? Chances are I'll be splitting a 500 ml bottle between 2 when we drink it.

    One website suggests that 0.2 oz (or just over 5g) is enough to induce convulsions were 0.3 oz brings on the hallucinations. Myristicin is insoluble in water but soluble in ethanol, this means I should be fine as i steeped my spices in water then strained the tea and added it. Definitely won't be adding nutmeg to a fermenter in future, my wife added some to her spiced cider but only a small bit, I've added more to rice pudding.

    Thanks for the warning.
     
  8. Mar 21, 2017 #8

    Global33

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    Maybe add some wormwood in there for added entertainment?
     
  9. Mar 21, 2017 #9

    Zephyr259

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    The blend of spices combined with no carbonation made the spiced mead taste fairly weird. Not overly to my taste so glad there's only 3 bottles. I think the issue was the star anise, it also wrecked a batch of turbo cider.
     
  10. May 29, 2017 #10

    Zephyr259

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    Just cracked the last bottle of the straight sparkling mead and it's actually really fizzy now, similar to the other brews I've done to 2.5 vols according to GH''s book. To be honest, it was probably nicer with the gentle sparkle rather than the full on fizz it has now, but still tasty and very drinkable. Just checked my notes and it's been in the bottle 6 months yesterday. Not sure when I had my last bottle as I've just started taking detailed tasting note with the dates added.

    The wife has asked me to make another batch as an alternative to the endless beer. :lol: She hasn't been buying cider since I started brewing.
     
  11. Jul 8, 2017 #11

    Zephyr259

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    Just adding this on here since it''s such a similar mead. "Brew" day was 31st of May.

    6 jars of tesco orange blossom honey (2040g) made up to 10 L, 2 tsp tannin, 3 tsp tronozymol. Fermented with S-04.

    Fermented for 10 days then stabilised at 1.007, might have been 1.004 but can't remember where I noted it down. Wanted it off-dry since I wasn't planning on carbonation this time. Racked it to clear then bottled. First taste today after about 5 weeks and it's very tasty. Mild orange blossom flavours with sweet honey in the background, father-in-law thought he could pick up an almond flavour before I told him it was orange blossom.

    Having had success with 2 of these lower strength meads I'm going to try a full on wine strength mead of 12-14% to see how they compare.
     
  12. Jul 9, 2017 #12

    jthomas

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    all this what You done is very new to me, but it sounds interesting, never done sparkling mead, coz we percieve this as fault, and never in such diluted honey concentation, BUT it sound interesting like i have mention, like honey-cider type drink for hot days, which is cool, how did You make them carbonated? any sugar added? I may do some trial ones but more flavoured version like orange + lemon, or elderflower mead, around 4-5% alcohol and sparkling for shure, but want to make it slightly sweet so thinking about use bit of stevia or sucralose.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2017 #13

    Zephyr259

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    Cider is a good comparison, the inspiration came from Groenfell Meadery over in the states, if you look up "ask the meadmaker" on YouTube you'll get Ricky's videos. He also did a guest appearance on the basic brewing radio podcast. http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=basic-brewing-radio-2016 September 8th 2016.

    The idea is for a lower strength carbonated drink so it's more refreshing and takes less time to mature. However, they are still 7 - 8% abv probably because this requires 0.85 - 1kg of honey per gallon (4.5L), I've not tested it but I think going for much lower would make the honey flavour too weak; as is, the orange blossom flavour is delicate but definitely there. I did a comparison to your figures and 2kg on honey is almost 1.5 litres, which makes my 10L batch a 1:6 ratio, so much weaker than your tradional ones.

    The sparkling one was carbonated by fermenting dry with a white wine yeast then adding enough honey to give 2.5 volumes of CO2. Due to my house being pretty cold and the yeast having settled extremely clear it didn't seem to carbonate very much, a bit of a sparkle on pouring and light carbonation on drinking but it was nice, probably some residual sweetness from the unfermented honey. After 6 months and a bit of warmer weather my final batch was very fizzy and not as nice so in future I'd probably aim for a low carbonation, 1.5 vol as a starting test.

    Fizzy and sweet is difficult (without risking exploding bottles), options are ferment dry then carbonate as above with an artificial sweetener as you suggest or ferment a sweet mead, going to be be strong unless you stabilise early. The force carbonate in a keg. I don't have kegging equipment and the wife and I are both quite sensitive to artifical sweeteners so probably won't try for a sweet and fizzy mead since the dry ones are so nice. The remaining honey flavour at low abv Leaves an apparent sweetness behind anyway, or orange blossom does, going to experiment with other honeys soon.

    Let me know how you get on with some experiments of your own.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2017 #14

    jthomas

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    Zephyr259 thanks for infos and links, will watch, listen & learn :) never too much knowledge, is endless.....

    Luckly I have some honey left and my new source can provide me much, much much more honey that I will EVER need in 7-8 different types (also sells honey in 200litre barells !!! hehe) so will definitely try some, i actually have some coool ideas:

    - roasted & smoked fresh apple + honey wildflower + cinnamon + maple syrup
    - honey + pear juice + fresh ginger (very nice one as wine)
    - smoked prune + vanilla + medium roast oak chips

    So one of them - or all three - will be done soon (i just finished 3 different banana wines :)), will post when I start, but also want to try Braggot coz I have heard many nice opinions
     
  15. Jul 9, 2017 #15

    Zephyr259

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  16. Jul 9, 2017 #16

    jthomas

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    Right, just briefly saying, all my home-brew friends are in Poland, but I live in UK so far away, they make sh*t tons of home-brewed drinks, meads, wines, beer, honey-beers, braggots and all other sorts regular and weird stuff.
    They made braggot, which acording to them, and people who tried (over 30 pax) was excellent drink, bit weird in taste but nice and refreshing, they send me recipe, as we all sharing recipe between us if something we do, i cannot share exact recipe, but rough idea, so they used a large amount of light malt extract, liquid, a tiny bit of crystal malt, a lot of honey and hops just a bit for aroma only, and belgian ale yeast liquid version, from scratch to fermenting under 2 hrs.

    I read Your post from above, its bt different and looks like took much more effort, do You still have it? how would You describe flavor, aroma, color, clearness/cloudyness?
     
  17. Jul 9, 2017 #17

    Zephyr259

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    I still have over 20 bottles of it since it''s not something you drink every day and a bottle split between 2 people does nicely.

    My recipe is all grain rather than extract based so that adds a fair bit of extra effort. People say it's totally worth it but I have to take their opinion on that since I never brewed with extract. The braggot is almost crystal clear as long as you manage to leave the sediment in the bottle, it's a pale gold colour. Smell and flavour are hard to describe unfortunately, everything seems very well blended and forest honey doesn't taste like other honeys so you don't drink it and think of honey but it's not like most beers either. It's very got a strong Belgian character about it, spicy and estery with toasted, biscuity malt coming through towards the end. It has a similar character to a Belgian triple but more complex due to the toasted malt and I assume the honey. Carbonated to 2.5 volumes so it's really quite fizzy but not as much as a true Belgian ale. Finishes fairly sweet due to the low hop rate and a mix of biscuit and honey richness.

    When I brew another i'll avoid the forest honey, try something floral like clover and see if that comes through better. I'm also planning on experimenting with darker honeys like Mexican and chestnut with a darker base beer and an English yeast.
     
  18. Jul 9, 2017 #18

    jthomas

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    ok. sounds interesting, if You want experiment and make it darker You could use dark malts, or dark liquid malt extract, maybe touch of vanilla pod and I reccomend Buckwheat honey for that one it has very strong honey flavor

    I did not decided what sort of braggot I will made, i am not shure should I use liquid extract or mash myself, what honey use etc. At the moment i am just about to start Witbier (my first beer ever) so that takes most of my little spare time, and anytime now I will have my first baby boy as well so I am very busy and excited about loads things going on around me :)

    I recommend do some read about braggot, there is not much out there but if spend some time will find lots of usefull ideas, think what You would like this brew to be, what flavor coming thru first, what spices/aromas etc, then draw Your own recipe based on what You want to archieve, I do that way all the time, in most ocassions i archive 99% what i planned, if I had more time I would spend hours if not days experimenting with all those nice brews :)

    all the best and enjoy with experimentations
     
  19. Jul 9, 2017 #19

    Zephyr259

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    Congrats on the soon to arrive Son, they do change the way your spare time is used but are great.

    I wasn't aware you could get buckwheat honey over here, thought it was an American thing. The honeys I can get up north are limited to blossom and heather and most are way to expemsive to use for mead. I plan to buy online from Paynes as they do a decent selection at a good price.

    Good luck to you too.
     
  20. Jul 9, 2017 #20

    jthomas

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    thanks :)

    If You go to polish shop which I am shure it is somewhere in Your nearer or bit further neighbourhood and check shelf You should fine 3-5 different types of raw honeys, buckwheat should be one of them as its very popular in entire eastern europe block, its very healthy from simple cold to kidney stones :) it is strong honey, by itself i do not like it ie. on toast or similar, but in brews it shine, especially in dark ones, coz honey is brown in color so it will discolor light drinks like wines etc. but it may work excellent on stouts/porters, dark meads, dark wines etc.
     
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