Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1288, 10 November 2006
From: mead-request@talisman.com


Mead Lover's Digest #1288 Fri 10 November 2006

 

Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

 

Contents:

Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1287, 5 November 2006 (Arthur Torrey)
Re: Yeast question (Dick Adams)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1287, 5 November 2006 (Arthur Torrey)
2007 International Mead Festival Home Mead Maker Competition – (oskaar@ds…)
Re: lazy mans braggot ? ("Eric Wescott")
"Tennis shoe mead" ("Spencer W. Thomas")
Slow? start leads to volcano ("Spencer W. Thomas")
Racking: Rule of Thumb ("Daryl Fox")
Lazy Man's Braggot (Dick Adams)

 

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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1287, 5 November 2006
From: Arthur Torrey <arthur_torrey@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 18:33:14 -0500


What I've done a few times, and gotten good results was to get a "beer kit"
from my local brew supplier (New England Beer & Wine Hobby, Woburn, MA) which
contained 2 cans of malt syrup (about 1kg each) a bunch of grains, and the
hops and other flavorings. I used a kit for a "Chocolate Cherry Cream
Porter" but I suspect any other darkish beer kit would do as well. I'm not
sure about "see through" beers. (I don't do beer you can see through as you
can't tell how many horses got to drink those brews first…)

This is a fairly standard style of beer-making that doesn't use all the
sparging and other fun gear that the "all grain" beer people need. The
equipment requirements are about the same as that for boil / high heat mead
making. I basically followed the kit instructions except that I only used
one can of the malt syrup.

The basic process is to boil the crushed grains for a while, then remove the
grains, add the malt syrup then boil some more. At various points along the
way you add the hops and other ingredients. The smell isn't to bad, but
DON'T do it in an unscreened outside area (same applies to any mead making,
as you will attract honeybees that are anxious to reclaim their output…)

I then refilled the empty syrup can with honey (easiest way to measure it!)
and added that after the boil when I was pouring the must into my primary
fermenter. (I don't like boiling honey, other people might add it at the same
time they added the malt syrup…) This is based on the wild guess based on
comparative viscosity that the fermentable content of honey is about the same
as that of malt syrup.

Use the kit beer suggested yeast, or an appropriate White Labs "test-tube"
beer yeast, and the usual beer fermenting, priming and bottling process.

This may not be a perfect "purist approach" but I found it worked well for me
and the people I shared with liked the results.

ART

On Sunday 05 November 2006 14:57, mead-request@talisman.com wrote:

> Subject: lazy mans braggot ?
> From: "John P. Looney" <valen@tuatha.org>
> Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 15:21:48 +0000

 

>

> Hey, I got into mead because I loved mead making, and the equipment needs
> were lower than beer making (and the wife would kill me if I started
> boiling grain in the kitchen & made the place smell like James' Gate[0].

>

> I'd love to have a go at making a braggot, but I'm not quite sure how I
> can go about it, without making up a hopper and the like. Can I just add a
> pre-hopped "spraymalt" to the honey/water mixture ? Will that be most of
> the flavour of a braggot, without the effort ? I think that's what Dave
> mentions on the 'extra recipes' area of the Mead Made Easy booklet. If you
> think it'll be much poorer than something made with a hopper etc. I do know
> a guy who does it, so I might call down to him & see how he does it…

>

> john



Subject: Re: Yeast question
From: rdadams@smart.net (Dick Adams)
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 17:59:49 -0500 (EST)

> I'm a Mexican electronics engineer, interested in making wine and mead.
> I have done some experiments to get experience, and want to start
> "getting serious" in mead and winemaking.

>

> I read some time ago (maybe 6 months, although I could find the same
> page three months ago) a webpage in which someone rated several yeast
> strains with grades going from 0 to 5. I cannot find that page anymore.
> I remember that some Lalvin yeast were rated as good, namely K1-1116
> and D-47.

Omar, I would add to your list DV10 (which I have found hard
to get) and EC-1118 (my yeast of choice). There are two White
Labs yeast intended for Meads: WLP715 and WLP720. But I don't
use them because I ferment from 59F to 65F (15C to 18C) and
they are warmer fermenting yeasts: 70F to 75F (21C to 24C).

> Do you know where I can find that information? Besides the
> practical ratings, that page had many details about the
> fermentation characteristics of the yeast under evaluation.

Check out the following sites:
http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/refchart.html
http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/lalvin.html
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp

As far as I am concerned, Jack Keller is a high priest of
winemaking and I have that page bookmarked for immediate
access.

For meads, there are many very knowledge people on the newsgrroup
rec.crafts.meadmaking and Mike Faul of Rabbit's Foot Meadery in
California has always been helpful to me. His website is
http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com/about.html

I'm not qualified to answer you other questions which I have
snipped.

Dick


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1287, 5 November 2006
From: Arthur Torrey <arthur_torrey@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 18:33:14 -0500


What I've done a few times, and gotten good results was to get a "beer kit"
from my local brew supplier (New England Beer & Wine Hobby, Woburn, MA) which
contained 2 cans of malt syrup (about 1kg each) a bunch of grains, and the
hops and other flavorings. I used a kit for a "Chocolate Cherry Cream
Porter" but I suspect any other darkish beer kit would do as well. I'm not
sure about "see through" beers. (I don't do beer you can see through as you
can't tell how many horses got to drink those brews first…)

This is a fairly standard style of beer-making that doesn't use all the
sparging and other fun gear that the "all grain" beer people need. The
equipment requirements are about the same as that for boil / high heat mead
making. I basically followed the kit instructions except that I only used
one can of the malt syrup.

The basic process is to boil the crushed grains for a while, then remove the
grains, add the malt syrup then boil some more. At various points along the
way you add the hops and other ingredients. The smell isn't to bad, but
DON'T do it in an unscreened outside area (same applies to any mead making,
as you will attract honeybees that are anxious to reclaim their output…)

I then refilled the empty syrup can with honey (easiest way to measure it!)
and added that after the boil when I was pouring the must into my primary
fermenter. (I don't like boiling honey, other people might add it at the same
time they added the malt syrup…) This is based on the wild guess based on
comparative viscosity that the fermentable content of honey is about the same
as that of malt syrup.

Use the kit beer suggested yeast, or an appropriate White Labs "test-tube"
beer yeast, and the usual beer fermenting, priming and bottling process.

This may not be a perfect "purist approach" but I found it worked well for me
and the people I shared with liked the results.

ART

On Sunday 05 November 2006 14:57, mead-request@talisman.com wrote:

> Subject: lazy mans braggot ?
> From: "John P. Looney" <valen@tuatha.org>
> Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 15:21:48 +0000

 

>

> Hey, I got into mead because I loved mead making, and the equipment needs
> were lower than beer making (and the wife would kill me if I started
> boiling grain in the kitchen & made the place smell like James' Gate[0].

>

> I'd love to have a go at making a braggot, but I'm not quite sure how I
> can go about it, without making up a hopper and the like. Can I just add a
> pre-hopped "spraymalt" to the honey/water mixture ? Will that be most of
> the flavour of a braggot, without the effort ? I think that's what Dave
> mentions on the 'extra recipes' area of the Mead Made Easy booklet. If you
> think it'll be much poorer than something made with a hopper etc. I do know
> a guy who does it, so I might call down to him & see how he does it…

>

> john



Subject: 2007 International Mead Festival Home Mead Maker Competition -
From: oskaar@dslextreme.com
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 04:11:54 -0800 (PST)

CALL FOR ENTRIES

2007 International Mead Festival Home Mead Maker Competition

What:
The International Mead Festival is an event sponsored by The International
Mead Association and is the worlds' largest and most prestigious mead-only
competition and festival. This event hosts both a public tasting of
commercial meads and a private BJCP sanctioned judging of mead submitted
by Home Mead Makers from across the USA.

The Home Mead Maker Competition:
Last year the Home Mead Maker Competition had 212 entries which is more
than double any other mead only competition we know of. Bottle up your
best and compete against some of the great Home Mead Makers in the
country. To download the entry form, bottle ID forms, rules, regulations
and style guidelines please visit http://www.meadfest.com

This is the largest mead only competition and collection of international
mead, mead aficionados and mead makers that I know of! If you are a
hardcore mead junkie, this is the place to be, and if you only enter one
mead competition in 2007 make it the IMA Mead Festival Home Mead Maker
Competition. You won't be sorry.

Entry Deadline is December 15th, 2006. 1st Round Judging will be in
January, 2007.

Note:
The top three meads from each category will be advanced to the second
round. Second round judging will be performed by a collection of top
commercial meadmakers on premise at the International Mead Festival. All
winners, and medal presentations will will be announced on February 9,
2007 at the International Mead Festival. You will not need to ship
additional mead for the medal round!

The Festival:
Friday, February 9, 2007 – Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where:
We're very excited about our new location this year in Denver, Colorado.

Mead is 'the Drink of Love' so what better weekend for a mead festival
than Valentines weekend?!

For tickets and all other information please go to http://www.meadfest.Com

Pete "Oskaar" Bakulich,
Chairman, 2007 International Mead Festival Home Mead Maker Committee


Subject: Re: lazy mans braggot ?
From: "Eric Wescott" <eric.wescott@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 08:27:49 -0500

John P. Looney was asking about a lazy-man's braggot – using a
pre-hopped beer kit.

John, in short: Yes.

Add about 5# of honey to a typical kit beer and you'll have braggot.
Adds a nice floral/honey note on top of whatever beer you made.

Note: I've done this, and the high end alcohol overdoes the beer
characteristics. My braggots now get a little extra malto-dextrin
(easy to do in the lazy man method – just add powder) and also extra
hops. The body and extra bitters help the beverage stand up to being
a 10-12% ABV and not taste like a bad mixed drink with too much cheap
vodka in it.

 

  • –Eric Wescott, Stratford CT

 


Subject: "Tennis shoe mead"
From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd@spencerwthomas.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 09:36:37 -0500

Dutch Carpender writes:
> I think you will find that concerns on leaving your mead on the trub (guck
> on the bottom of carboys, yeast solids) is overstated it takes several years
> for autoalysis…
And then,
> My boss (you know she who must be obeyed) always called my Mythoglyn's
> tennis shoe mead during their youth.

If, by "tennis shoe", she's referring to a rubbery flavor, that is EXACTLY
one of the flavors that you will get from yeast autolysis. So, if I'm
reading you correctly, your second statement actually contradicts your
first statement.

There is a dichotomy between the beer community, who view autolysis as
uniformly bad, and the wine community, where leaving the wine "on the lees"
is responsible for flavors such as the "toastiness" of some champagnes.
I recall Ken Schramm having something to say about this, but I don't
remember the details now. It undoubtedly happened during conversation
over a glass or two (or so) of mead… Maybe the difference is in the aging.

I had a mead that I left on the yeast too long, and it developed a nasty
rubber (almost burnt rubber) flavor that took years to age out. Mostly,
I rack earlier, and find that my meads are drinkable almost immediately
after fermentation has ceased. Just my experience, YMMV.

=Spencer in Ann Arbor


Subject: Slow? start leads to volcano
From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd@spencerwthomas.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 09:42:05 -0500

Christy didn't see any activity from her yeast after a few hours and
concluded that it was dead. Actually, Christy, I would not expect to
see any activity in just a few hours. If nothing's happening 24 hours
later, then I might worry. You pitched a small amount of yeast,
relative to the amount of must, and it's going to spend the first few
hours reproducing — making more yeast cells. Once the yeast has enough
"company" it'll switch over to fermenting. And even then, the first few
hours or so of fermentation won't show up as bubbles because the CO2
that is produced will be immediately dissolved into the must. Not until
the must has been saturated with CO2 will you start to see significant
bubbling.

This period after pitching and before you see activity is the "lag
phase". It can last from a few hours to a few days (although that's not
generally a good sign) depending on the health of the yeast, the amount
of dissolved oxygen in the must, the amount of yeast you pitched, and
the temperature. (And probably other factors I forgot, but those are
the biggies.)

Of course, you found out the next day that both your batches of yeast
were plenty healthy and were just happily munching on the honey and
making lots of CO2!

Happy meading,

=Spencer in Ann Arbor


Subject: Racking: Rule of Thumb
From: "Daryl Fox" <flyingfox@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 20:31:21 -0800

Maybe I'm a little more relaxed about the whole thing, but my meads don't
usually follow a set schedule. I usually rack from primary a few weeks
after pitching. I wait until both the airlock bubbles and my life in
general have slowed down enough for an afternoon of mead work. This is
usually 2-3 weeks, but has been 2-3 months every now and then. Similarly
with each successive racking, if I don't have time, I don't sweat it. For
this reason, I really hate (*hate*) to have to make a batch to some schedule
(holidays and the like).

It's not unusual to have a batch sitting around for a few extra months
waiting for me to get around to it. I haven't noticed any bad taste from
sitting on the lees for extended periods of time. Despite being an engineer
by trade, I don't dwell on the science aspect of mead making. Then again, I
know some people focus on the technical side almost exclusively and make
really great meads.

 

  • -Daryl

 


Subject: Lazy Man's Braggot
From: rdadams@smart.net (Dick Adams)
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 02:02:48 -0500 (EST)


"John P. Looney" <valen@tuatha.org> wrote:

> Hey, I got into mead because I loved mead making, and the equipment
> needs were lower than beer making (and the wife would kill me if I
> started boiling grain in the kitchen & made the place smell like
> James' Gate[0].

I've never been to Dublin, but I too live in justified fear
of pissing off my wife. I'd rather she killed me so I would
not have to listen to a tirade. LoL

> I'd love to have a go at making a braggot, but I'm not quite sure
> how I can go about it, without making up a hopper and the like.
> Can I just add a pre-hopped "spraymalt" to the honey/water mixture?
> Will that be most of the flavour of a braggot, without the effort?
> I think that's what Dave mentions on the 'extra recipes' area of
> the Mead Made Easy booklet. If you think it'll be much poorer than
> something made with a hopper etc. I do know a guy who does it, so
> I might call down to him & see how he does it…

You are using words with which I am unfamiliar. I have no
idea what you mean by a hopper. I thought spraymalt was
dry malt extract (DME), but I have not seen pre-hopped DME.
So you probably are referring to liquid malt extract (LME).
Almost all beer kits from Coopers are pre-hopped LME which
means "no boiling" of the "must" (the Mead word for wort).

I have a Coopers IPA kit which is screaming "Make me, Make
me. So I am going to use it for a braggot and I'm going
to tell my childbride it was your idea.

ALSO: Do NOT boil honey. If you buy it from a beekeeper,
you should pasteurize it – no higher than 167F (75C) for 5
minutes and skim off the foam.

I'm going to use the Coopers IPA kit, 9 lbs of honey, and
Lalvin K1V-1116. Mead needs yeast nutrient. I have Fermax,
but I need to find out if that's ok for beer. Meads need a
longer primary fermentation time and aging time than do
beers. So expect three weeks or more in the primary,
another three weeks in the secondary, and another six months
in bulk aging. I suggest racking at least once while bulk
aging.

The expected OG is 1.08-1.09 with an FG of 1.01-1.02.
It should not ferment dry because (I believe) LME has
unfermentable sugars. The result should be a 9-10%
ABV braggot.

I am going to ask some more knowledgeable people about the
proper yeast nutrient as well as the advisability of K1V-1116
and of dry hopping (which may be overkill on an IPA Braggot.

E-mail me at MeadGuild@aol.com if you want a copy of the
final recipe and procedure.

Dick


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1288