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Boil or sulfite?

chuckwm

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 20, 2003
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He's not joking -- I've tried it! Very hot for the non-chile head, but quite nice. I found it goes well with chinese cuisine. The flavor combination may sound surprising at first glance, but everything works well together.

I think capsimels are a largely unexplored area in meadmaking. Good heat is essential, but very subjective. I like a heat level that is in the background, so as not to overpower the flavor, but my idea of a good heat level may be too much for other people. Chuck can munch raw habaneros without a quiver, so his capsimels are especially powerful.
-- Dan M.
The really funny thing is, I tried an earlier version that had just a few Jalapenos and it was just as hot as the megamead.

Chuck
 

ThistyViking

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 15, 2003
529
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AHHH you guys are killing me :)

I'm Very interested in the Honey blending.

So I guess my questions are

What is your batch size for blended Mead using 2# of buckweat?

How much total honey per batch?

What ending SG are you targeting?

hehe or maybe one of chucks winning recipes could be submitted :)

Forgive me I'm still pretty new to the hobby and have only made about a half dozen batches. I've enjoyed what I've made so far, even my screwdriver-mead from the batch I shared with Vicky when she was in Nashville/Murfreesboro last month.

John D.

P.S. I think Blended-Honey meads might be worth thier own topic. I have started a Honey Blends Topic under ingredients.
 

MeadMkr

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 9, 2003
13
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0
www.oxbowmanor.com
Neither (normally).... I start a basic must with 4 gallons of
carbon-filtered water (lots of clorine/chloramides here in northern VA water) with the honey, let it ferment down, rousing the yeast as needed. If I use fresh fruit I'll clean and rinse well, sometimes soaking it with a little SO2 overnight. Then add it to the must. From canned purees I don't bother but added it to the fermenting must.

I will add a little SO2 with each racking once fermentation has stopped and there is little CO2 outgassing from the mead.

Trask
 

ThistyViking

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 15, 2003
529
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0
Hmmmm, boil, heat, sulfite, hmmmmm.

Why?

Hmmmm, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, lemon juice, acid blend, hmmmmm.

Why?

...

Why add yeast nutrients and energizers? If you are using a water-white honey you will have very little of the nutrients to nourish yeasts. Then you MIGHT want to add a very small amount of nutrient (but then, how much is enough, AND how much is too much?). I prefer to just substitute a couple of pounds of darker honey (like buckwheat or fall wildflower) which have all the natural nutrients necessary without adding an unknown and unknowable excess of chemicals.

Sighhhhh. I make a lot of mead. It is ready to drink within 3 weeks or 4 at most (of course faster with fruit). That doesn't mean that it is by any means clear (although some is), but it is drinkable and doesn't have listerine-like flavors. I don't add anything but honey, water and yeast and maybe some grape tannin to aid in clearing.
...
Following chucks advice I have made mead substituting
some buckwheat for nutirents. Both the Maple Syrup mead and the small mead seem to be well in rout for a 3-4 week fermentation cycle with this method. Currently at the 2 week mark and SG has dropped about 45% in both batches using D-47 yeast. No off flavors yet.
 

Jmattioli

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Been also following Chucks advice. With great inputs from Chuck and Dan I am now on my 17th batch and find NO need to BOIL or SULFITE or use ACID in fermentation. I use only minimal nutrients when out of buckwheat which I usually add in as 10 % of my honey. I Use good sanitary practices and have no infected batches. I always use tannin for my straight meads. Mead typically finishes up in 4 weeks and taste good when I bottle at 2 months at which time I usually add acid to taste. Gets better after that but this is an improvement over my first few batches made from other peoples recipes with acids, nutrients, boiling, sulfites among other things that I wouldn't drink sooner than 6 months. Many thanks to Chuck and Dan, Kens Schramm's Book and all the other wonderful mead lovers who contribute on this forum. If you do boil or sulfite and use lots of nutrients, well thats okay with me. Whatever seems to work for you. But preadventure you are open to newer or different methods, you might give them a try as the art of mead goes forward. Heck, even after saying all of this I still made one of my ancient orange, clove, and cinnamon meads using Bakers yeast without racking off the lees and had a glass the other day and it was darn good. 8)
Joe
 
M

Meadiac

Guest
Guest
Ok, no doubt you guys & gals know what you're talking about. I'm not questioning that, at all. I'm just trying to learn here and have a question, that not only myself but others may need clarified.

You really have me interested in the no-boil approach. It makes sense. End of statement.

Now, in most everything us newbies have read, it states to skim off the foam while simmering/boling, whatever. I've read that this foam is the impurities and is actually the "morning-after head throb" Get rid of all the foam and you get rid of the headache, so to speak.

Now, having said that, my next batch will be no-simmer, no skimming. What is all that stuff I'm leaving in my must? Will I be able to raise my head from the pillow come morning?
 

ThistyViking

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 15, 2003
529
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0
Hmmm ... never heard that it was the hangover they were skimming out.

It is impurities, Bee Parts, pollen, whatever. Anything of enough size to see will wind up in the sediment eventually. IIRC there maybe some protiens that are removed (preventing some Haze).

Everything with the possible exception of protien haze is removed by the application of time or other fining agents.

In reguards to hangovers, start drinking 4-5 8 oz glasses of water a day. Bottle in 375ML splits. Never Drink more than 1 split in any 12 hour periode :)
 
M

Meadiac

Guest
Guest
;D Haven't had any problem with a "head" in the mornings, yet. Just wanting to keep from it.

I'm not sure where I read that, about skimming the headache off. But, it stuck with me and I've been careful to get every little bit I reasonably can. This is usually accomplished within 20-30 of simmer, which would certainly pasteurize, if that was wanted.

hmmm.... too many things to try, not enough jugs, air-locks, etc...
 

JoeM

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 9, 2004
665
1
0
39
I've tried almost every method of preparation you could imagine: Boil and skim, dump and stir, heat pasteurize, sulfite pasteurize...you name it. I started out Boiling for the very reason you did, everything i read said to do it! I would boil for an HOUR standing there the entire time skimming every last bubble of foam that i could get at. I got tired of doing that one day and decided to go the other extream...i made a few small batches where all i did was dump everything into a carboy and stir it up that was it! I was quite impressed with the improvement of the quality of the final product but i was still way to chicken to try it with a 6 gallon batch. So i decided that i needed a middle ground between boiling and doing nothing at all...so i alternated between sulfites and heat pasteurization for the next few batches and have been of the heat pasteurization camp ever since. Boiling destroys a lot of the nutrients and volitile flavor and aroma components of the honey. I find that a mead that has been boiled loses a lot of depth in flavor and is far weaker in aroma and moth feel...more one dimensional. Some will argue that if you don't boil your mead it will never clear properly and in my experience this is just not so. YES sometimes after a few months a sediment will form in the bottle; but the fluid itself is still crystal clear and i feel that this is a small price to pay for the incredible bouquet, theres really nothing else like it!

As far as the "skum" causing hangovers...to my knowledge the foam that rises contains pollen, bee parts, wax, enzymes and other proteins from the bees gut, and other misc, junk from the hive/flowers. The pollen in honey, however small the amount, is an excellent source of nutrients for both you and the yeast. Hangovers on the other hand are mostly caused by the effects of alcohol including, diuresis and thiamine deficiency, and can be worsened by our good old friends the SULFITES!