Mead Lover’s Digest #190 Wed 11 August 1993

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator

Carboy with ridges (Peter Michael Wolanin)
Me Made Mead (mpl)

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Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1993 11:09:29 -0400
From: Peter Michael Wolanin <pwolanin@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Carboy with ridges

I bought a 3 gal. carboy a few monthes ago and started a ginger mead in it.
This is still pretty cloudy after about 5 monthes, while using a similar
receipe in a 1 gal. batch cleared in less than three monthes. The carboy
I’m using has ridges on the outside that create corresponding grooves
on the inside. These grooves seem to have accumulated sediment in them, so
I’m wondering if this is preventing the mead from clearing. Has anyone
had a similar experience?


Date: Tue, 10 Aug 93 11:56:10 EDT
Subject: Me Made Mead

Well, I finally took the plunge. On Saturday I made an apricot melomel, my
first attempt at a mead (although I’ve made beer before). I basically used
Papazian’s "Barkshack Ginger Mead" recipe, with some variations:

9 lbs. wildflower honey
4 oz. grated ginger root
1 1/2 t. gypsum
1 t. citric acid
1 T. yeast nutrient
1/2 t. irish moss
3 lbs. apricots
2 pkgs. Red Star Pasteur champagne yeast
5+ gal. Poland Springs bottled water (my tap water tastes AWFUL)

Heated 2.5 gal. of water, added all ingredients up to the fruit. Brought
slowly to 210 degrees F., skimming off the foam (and much of the ginger).

Washed, pitted, and "juiced" the aprocits to produce 1 1/2 quarts of
delicious juice – added to hot must and turned off the heat for about 1/2
hour. Temperature was 190 degrees after adding fruit – dropped to about 180
degrees. Ran the must through my (new counterflow) wort chiller – in 15
minutes brought the temperature down to 80 degrees – and into 7 gallon glass
carboy. Pitched yeast and fit the carboy with a fermentation lock.

O.G. 1.052

The must looks like raw apple cider at this point – cloudy and orangy/brown.
I drank the must used for the gravity sample, and had a hard time stopping
myself from sampling more – it was sweet, with a strong tartness of ripe
apricots and undercurrents of ginger complimenting it nicely – tastes much
better than beer wort! I was worried about too little fruit or too much
ginger, but it seems very well balanced at this point – I hope the finished
product keeps the same blend of tastes.

Next morning vigorous fermentation (3-5 bubbles/second) and about 1/2 inch
of "kreusen" on the must. The smell is heavenly – like concentrated
apricots, a little bit yeaste. I plan on racking to a secondary after a
week, at which time I’ll take another sample for gravity and tasting.

I’d heard that a counterflow wort chiller was a good investment, and I must
agree at this point. It saved me many hours of waiting, and relieved much
of my worries of infection during cooling. It is truly amazing to see
steaming hot water coming out of the top of the chiller, as the almost room
temperature must comes out the other end. If you are debating getting a
chiller, go for it. If you are debating immersion versus counterflow, I’d
recommend the counterflow – it is much faster, does not expose the must
or wort as much, and uses less water.

For those who’ve never seen one, a counterflow wort chiller looks like a
coil of hose, with garden hose fittings coming off at right angles at each
end,and a copper tube protruding through each end. The wort or must flows
downward through the inner copper tube by gravity, while tap water flows
upward through the outer rubber tube by its own pressure. The water gets
hotter as it travels up, picking up heat from the wort or must through the
walls of the copper tube. It comes out the top very hot (140-160 degrees)
and the wort or must comes out the bottom very cool (80-90 degrees). In the
time it takes to siphon the wort or must from the kettle through it into the
carboy (about 15 minutes), you’re ready to pitch the yeast!

Mike Lindner

End of Mead Lover’s Digest