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Forest honey mead/metheglin - ideas

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jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
Hello. I wanted to have some fun and try to make a gallon batch of "forest spirit" mead:).

I went into the forest and picked some branches of juniper, birch and pine shoots.

So I got ingredients like:
Wood: branches of fresh juniper and birch, fresh pine shoots, dried American heavy toast oaks.
Spices: juniper berries, thyme, rosemary, and other common pie/cake spices like vanilla, cinnamon, etc and many more ...
Barley malt: smoked malt(maybe beech smoked ), black malt, pilsner malt, light dried malt extract.
Hops:saaz(3.5%), chinook(11.6%), bramlings cross(4.9%)
Honey: dark forest honeydew honey, lighter clover'ish honies, bee propolis(unspecified source)
Yeast: fermentis safale US-05(maybe start with this), lalvin: ec1118, k1v-1116

If somebody got any experiences or ideas that would be great. Things like quantities, toasting honey toasting branches etc, make tea of or add dry or boil and add etc.

I've been looking forward to brew this for some time. I just tasted the dark forest honeydew honey and it tasted sort of like buckwheat very strong.
 
Last edited:

fatbloke

good egg/snappy dresser.....
GotMead Patron
Well if you used half of those ingredients, it'd make one strange beast. You've got ingredients for a number of different types.

Maybe check out the glossary of terms/names as that might give you better direction.

For example, I've seen quite dark honey at the occasional French markets here, just called "Forest" honey, yet I was cautious about buying enough for a gallon/5ltr batch, as there was distinct pine tones to it. Nice to eat, but as with Australian Eucalyptus honey, which didn't taste of Eucalyptus, yet when made into mead, the taste was there. So I figured it would be better to use the money on different honey.

So perhaps, you could try a small-ish batch of traditional with the honey, see how it tastes once fermented, then maybe steep some of the juniper ?
The malt will be crying out for a braggot. Whether you make a normal mead and then flavour with some malt, or whether you go for a recipe more like a honey beer ?

Just remember, that some ingredients are not used as the give medicinal or earthy or other flavours that aren't enjoyable. Good luck with it though, as you seem to have enough different choices to come up with something.......
 

jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
:)Thanks.
Well if you used half of those ingredients, it'd make one strange beast. You've got ingredients for a number of different types.
...
I just listed the ingredients I have that might give a forest hint. Not decided the final recipe yet.

I made a total overkill on an "infused forest vodka" and a total overkill with use of heavy toast American oak, so I would like some comments about quantity at least if I'm going to add wood.

...Nice to eat, but as with Australian Eucalyptus honey, which didn't taste of Eucalyptus, yet when made into mead, the taste was there. So I figured it would be better to use the money on different honey.
...
I've already got the honey, but thanks for pointing out that the flavour might be different when the sugar is removed.
...So perhaps, you could try a small-ish batch of traditional with the honey, see how it tastes once fermented, then maybe steep some of the juniper ?
...
Thats an good idea. Anyway I dont have access to nutrients like fermaid k so I quess I should add some extra natural nutrient like malt, DME, tea extracts, handfull of raisins etc. Where do you buy your nutrients like fermaid k?

The malt will be crying out for a braggot. Whether you make a normal mead and then flavour with some malt, or whether you go for a recipe more like a honey beer ?
...
You got any experience with braggots?
 

Loadnabox

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 17, 2011
849
2
0
Ohio
I know pine sap is used to make turpentine, so I've been very afraid to use it in a mead.
 

jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
I know pine sap is used to make turpentine, so I've been very afraid to use it in a mead.
They probably do a lot distillation with the sap to make turpentine. The chemists can probably distill turpentine like substances out of mead to if they want to.

I think I have read that the early settlers in alsaka used pines instead of hops to bitter and flavour their beer, but dont know for sure.
Here is an example of a commercial beer http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/429/1768 I dont know if they use real pine or just some essence or chemical flavouring.

From the book "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers" p.257 Authur Buhner says through quoting somebody that pine chips is recommended for keeping ales from souring and also "...pine was sacred to dianysus because its resin was used for flavoring and preserving wine".
He also gives a recipe for a 5 gallon: where he boiles 7 gallon water and main ingredients(including 1/2 lbs pine tops) until the liquid is reduces into 5 gallon.
So I guess tea from max 1/10 lbs pine tops in an 1 gallon batch.
 

Bugleman

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 23, 2011
69
1
0
Aloha, Oregon
fir bow mead

Wow you have me inspired with your vision.

I am thinking a mead made with a lighter honey flavored with a light douglas fir bow tea and a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and some lemon juice and zest.
 

jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
Isn't pine sap what the bees use to make propolis?
I think so. I acctually just saw that on a tv nature program a couple of days ago that its very antimicrobial(good for the tree I guess) and a lot of different insects(at least ants) collect the sap from pine/spruce and isolates their hives with it. Its very effective because of its isolation capasity and anti microbial chemistry(maybe turpentine like substances).

From the book "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers" p.47: "Its gathered from trees as aspen, poplar, birch, elm, alder, horse chestnut, willow,pine and fir ... However, bees who have hives where there is insufficient tree growth will resort to other substances, such as paint, rubber compounds, and asphalt"
 

jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
I went for the recipe:
total 5.5 Liter( 1.45 US Gallon)
Honey: 3 lbs dark forest honeydew honey
Base tea boiled for 90 min: tea of 33 g(1.16 oz) fresh juniper branches
later steeped in the base tea for 30 min, I did not take the steeping temp(maybe60C, 140F+-): 50 g whole smoked malt(uncracked), 3 g fresh pine shoots(0.1 oz), 5 g(0.18 oz) dried cracked juniper berries
added to primary just pasteurized: 5 g(0.18 oz) dried cracked juniper berries, 10 g(0.36 oz) saaz hops(for good luck).
Nutrients:50 g chopped raisins, 50 g light dried malt extract, the tea, (pluss the honey was very dark and tasting almost like buckwheat)
Yeast: fermentis safale US-05 ale yeast, going to finish it with (k1v-1116?) if needed.

Notes:
-The honey tasted much stronger than I expected.
-The base tea tasted almost nothing.
-after steeping it had a little smokey smell. It smelled almost like a forest cabin.
-the gravity(1.055) was lower than I expected. I might dissolve some more honey later.

How long would I need to age this(sg:1.055) if I fermented it dry with just the ale yeast and not adding any of the stronger yeasts?

Jens
 

jens183

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 22, 2012
63
0
0
Europe
Thanks.:)
AToE tried this last year with spruce, although I don't recall the results.
I see DaleP in that thread(#15) actually used a "shocking" 0.2 gallon spruce tips/ gallon in the mash for at 154F(60C) for 1h.

That might explain why the "base tea" I made (surprisingly)tasted almost nothing. All the hash bitter flavours might bee alcohol solvents. The infused vodka I once made with spruce tips and needles was undrinkable.

I might toss in some small quantity spruce/pine/juniper shoots dry(just pasteurized) in the secondary fermenter after tasting.

-In my next beer I'm going to try using pine/spruce shoots and juniper brances in large quantities as a false bottom or do a steeping with much more pine/spruce shoots and juniper brances. Thats sounds interesting.
 
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