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Grainfather Blog - Week 164: The Wonderful World of Mead - Part 3

By Sam Loader - Resident Brewer 30/08/2018 11:58 Comments

Mead_3

Makin' Mead

This week let's put together what we have learned about mead and brew a few recipes. Honey, while is high in fermentable sugars but is low in minerals and nutrients, coupled with the mild antiseptic properties makes honey solution tougher for the yeast to ferment than fruit juice and wort. Therefore, more work needed during the fermentation process to ensure the yeast is happy healthy to carry out fermentation.

 

Traditional Mead

When selecting honey for a traditional blended mead, a large portion of the honey used should be non-descript honey (liquid honey) which will keep the costs down to add complexity add a small portion of specialty honey (Bush, Manuka, orange blossom). The honey is this diluted with warm water to make the musk. There are many yeast strains available for mead, and these can be liquid or dry yeasts.  Liquid yeasts will require a starter and nutrients, and dry yeast will require rehydration and nutrients before pitching. Nutrients will also be needed during the fermentation to ensure healthy cell growth and fermentation. I use the TONSA 2.0 method for fermentation and nutrients for my meads the calculations for this can be found on the mead made right website. however, there are many other ways for adding nutrient to the ferment  

 

Dry Wild Flower Mead

Stats:

Volume 19L (5 Gal)

OG: ~1.069

FG: 1.000 +/-0.005

1/3 SG: 1.046

Est ABV: 9%

 

Equipment:

  • Fermenter 25-30L (6-8gal)
  • Sanitiser
  • Hydrometer
  • 250ml container
  • Larger container for water bath
  • Thermometer
  • Aluminium foil
  • Stainless steel or plastic mash paddle

 

Ingredients:

  • Liquid Honey 5kg (11lb)
  • Wildflower Honey 0.45kg (1lb)
  • Non-chlorinated water 20L (5.28gal)
  • Fermaid O 18.14g (0.65oz)
  • Mangrove Jacks M05 mead yeast 12g (0.42oz) two packets could be used
  • Go Ferm 15g (0.53oz)

 

Please note that when using honey the number of SG points added by an amount of honey will vary from honey to honey and season to season.

 

Process:

  1. Clean and sanitise all equipment
  2. Rehydrate yeast

a)     Allow the yeast to warm to room temperature

b)     In a sanitised container prepare a small amount (10ml/g of yeast) of sterile non-chlorinated water use a water bath of either boiled or cold water to get your yeast water to 30-400C

c)     Add 15g (0.53oz) Go Ferm stir until dissolved

d)     Sprinkle dry yeast over the top of the water trying to avoid any large dry clumps let sit for 15 mins loosely covered with aluminium foil to avoid foreign matter, and wild yeast falling in the yeast, then stir gently

e)     Gently stir again to form a cream then let sit for another five mins covered

f)      Ensure the temperature of the cream is within 80C of your Must

g)     Pitch the cream into the fermenter ideally as soon as possible

  1. Dilute honey into 10L (3 gal) of warm < 550C (1310F) water in the fermenter
  2. Fill fermenter with water to 19L (5gal) volume
  3. Pitch yeast and ferment in low 160C (620F)
  4. Follow TOSNA nutrient addition schedule 

a)     Add 4.54 g Fermaid O 24-hours after yeast pitch.

b)     At the 48 and 72 hour mark add 4.54 g Fermaid O.

c)     The final nutrient addition of 4.52 g Fermaid O is on the 7th day after yeast pitch or when fermentation has reached its 1/3 sugar break (SG = 1.046), whichever comes first.

  1. Degas twice a day by stirring the Musk gently until 1/3 sugar break to release CO2
  1. ​Once fermentation has ceased, rack to secondary
  2. Age until clear or add clarifying agent​
  3. Keg or bottle mead 

This recipe could be made semi-sweet or sweet by adding non-fermentable sugar at step 8.

 

Fruit Meads

Fruit and honey go together as well as, well fruit and honey. Melomels are they're name and deliciousness is their game, this week we’ll look at the basic description of these meads and a recipe.

Melomel

The blueberry apple Melomel or Cyser is a still mead with apple and blueberries giving the final mead a dessert wine character but with less body than a traditional dessert wine.

 

Blueberry Apple Melomel

Stats:

Volume 19L (5 Gal)

OG: ~1.081

FG: 1.000 +/-0.005

1/3 SG: 1.046

Est ABV: 11%

 

Equipment:

  • Fermenter 25-30L (6-8gal)
  • Sanitiser
  • Hydrometer
  • 250ml container
  • Larger container for water bath
  • Thermometer
  • Aluminium foil
  • Stainless steel or plastic mash paddle
  • Medium, fine mesh grain bag for fruit

 

Ingredients:

  • Liquid Honey 3kg (6.61lb)
  • Mangrove Jacks Apple Cider pouch  2.4kg (5.29lb)
  • Frozen Blueberries 1kg (2.2lb)
  • Non-chlorinated water 20L (5.28gal)
  • Fermaid O 10.6 (0.37oz)
  • Mangrove Jacks M05 mead yeast 12g (0.42oz) two packets could be used
  • Go Ferm 15g (0.53oz)

Please note that when using honey the number of SG points added by an amount of honey will vary from honey to honey and season to season.

 

Process:

  1. Clean and sanitise all equipment
  2. Allow the bag of blueberries to thaw
  3. Rehydrate yeast

a)     Allow the yeast to warm to room temperature

b)     In a sanitised container prepare a small amount (10ml/g of yeast) of sterile non-chlorinated water use a water bath of either boiled or cold water to get your yeast water to 30-400C

c)     Add 15g (0.53oz) Go Ferm stir until dissolved

d)     Sprinkle dry yeast over the top of the water trying to avoid any large dry clumps let sit for 15 mins loosely covered with aluminium foil to avoid foreign matter, and wild yeast falling in the yeast, then stir gently

e)     Gently stir again to form a cream then let sit for another five mins covered

f)      Ensure the temperature of the cream is within 80C of your Must

g)     Pitch the cream into the fermenter ideally as soon as possible

  1. Dilute honey and cider pouch into 10L (3 gal) of warm < 550C (1310F) water in the fermenter
  2. Gently break up the thawed bag of blueberries so that most of the berries are broken empty the bag over the fermenter into the sanitised grain bag, tie up the end and add to the fermenter.
  3. Fill fermenter with water to 19L (5gal) volume
  4. Pitch yeast and ferment in low 160C (620F)
  5. Follow TOSNA nutrient addition schedule 

a)     Add 2.6g Fermaid O 24-hours after yeast pitch.

b)     At the 48 and 72 hour mark add 2.6 g Fermaid O.

c)     The final nutrient addition of 2.65 g Fermaid O is on the 7th day after yeast pitch or when fermentation has reached its 1/3 sugar break (SG = 1.054), whichever comes first.

  1. Degas twice a day by stirring the Musk gently until 1/3 sugar break to release CO2
  1. ​Once fermentation has ceased, rack to secondary
  2. Age until clear or add clarifying agent​
  3. Bottle mead still in wine bottles

This recipe could be made semi-sweet or sweet by adding non-fermentable sugar at step 10.

 

Braggot

A Braggot is a mead made with malt, think of this as a beer mead hybrid. A harmonious blend of mead and beer, with the distinctive characteristics of both. A wide range of results is possible, depending on the base style of beer, the variety of honey and overall sweetness and strength. Beer flavours tend to mask somewhat typical honey flavours found in other meads.

Below is the recipe for a honey Helles in both extract and all grain recipe. A crisp and golden German Helles with a twist. Light and malty with hints of vanilla bean and red fruits, this has been dry hopped with two New Zealand varieties, Wakatu and Pacific Gem to give it a floral, zesty lime and spicy aroma. Which coupled with a wildflower honey will add slightly more dryness to the beer while added a soft floral taste and aroma complimenting the noble like hops.

 

Hey Honey Helles - Extract version

Stats:

Volume 23L (5 Gal)

OG: ~1.040

FG: 1.005 +/-0.005

Est ABV: 4.6%

 

Equipment:

  • Fermenter 25-30L (6-8gal)
  • Hydrometer
  • Sanitiser
  • 250ml container
  • Larger container for water bath
  • Thermometer
  • Aluminium foil
  • Stainless steel or plastic mash paddle

 

Ingredients:

  • Wild Flower Honey 0.2kg (0.44lb)
  • Mangrove Jacks Craft serries Helles pouch  1.8kg (4lb)
  • Non-chlorinated water 23L (6 gal)
  • 1.2 kg (2.6lb) Pure Liquid Malt Extract or 1 kg (2.2lb) Dextrose/Brew Enhancer

 

Process:

  1. Clean and sanitise your fermenter, airlock, lid and mixing paddle with Sanitiser.
  2. Remove the yeast (plus hop sachet and other dry additives if included) from the dry compartment of the pouch and set aside for now.
  3. Add 3 L (3 US qt) of boiling water to the fermenter, pour the liquid malt extract from the liquid compartment of your pouch into your sanitised fermenter and squeeze out remains. Add either 1.2 kg (2.6lb) Pure Liquid Malt Extract or 1 kg (2.2lb) Dextrose/Brew Enhancer. Add the Honey, then stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Top up with cold water to 23L (5gal) Stir well. Check liquid temperature is below 25°C (77°F), if not then stand the fermenter in a bath of icy water to cool it down.
  1. Rehydrate yeast

                                               i.     Allow the yeast to warm to room temperature

                                              ii.     In a sanitised container prepare a small amount (10ml/g of yeast) of sterile non-chlorinated water use a water bath of either boiled or cold water to get your yeast water to 30-400C

                                             iii.     Add 15g (0.53oz) Go Ferm stir until dissolved

                                             iv.     Sprinkle dry yeast over the top of the water trying to avoid any large dry clumps let sit for 15 mins loosely covered with aluminium foil to avoid foreign matter, and wild yeast falling in the yeast, then stir gently

                                              v.     Gently stir again to form a cream then let sit for another five mins covered

                                             vi.     Ensure the temperature of the cream is within 80C of your Must

                                           vii.     Pitch the cream into the fermenter ideally as soon as possible

 

  1. Fit an airlock and grommet or bung to fermenter lid, then secure the lid, making sure the seal is airtight. Half fill the airlock ‘U’ with boiled water that has cooled or sanitiser to protect the brew during fermentation.
  2. Leave to ferment at a constant temperature between 18–22°C (68–72°F) below 15°C (59°F) fermentation may stop altogether. Fermenting above the recommended temperature will reduce the quality of your beer.
  3. If you have dry hops: After seven days, check the Specific Gravity (SG) using a hydrometer. If the SG is 1.020 (for Dextrose) or 1.025 (for Pure Malt Enhancer), or below, add the hop pellet sachet but DO NOT STIR (the hops will break up and disperse naturally). If the SG is higher than 1.020 (for Dextrose) or 1.025 (for Pure Malt Enhancer), check again in 1 or 2 days until the SG is 1.020 (for Dextrose) or 1.025 (for Pure Malt Enhancer), or below before adding the hop pellets. Replace the lid and leave to continue fermenting with the hops. the
  4. Once the fermentation has finished, bottle or keg beer and enjoy.

 

Hey Honey Helles - All Grain Version

Stats:

Volume 23L (5 Gal)

OG: ~1.040

FG: 1.005 +/-0.005

Est ABV: 4.6%

Boil time: 60mins

Mash time: 60mins

Mash Temp: 640C

IBU: 43

 

Fermentables:

  • 4.0kg (8.2lb) Pilsner malt
  • 0.3kg (0.66lb) acidulated malt
  • Carahell or Carapills 0.22kg (0.49lb)
  • Wildflower honey 0.2kg (0.44lb)

Hops:

  • 6.00 Pacific Jade Pellet Boil 60 mins
  • 60.00 Pacifica Pellet Hop Stand 20mins
  • 60.00 Wakatu (Hallertau Aroma) Pellet Hop Stand 20mins

Yeast:

  • 2.0 packets Mangrove Jack's Bavarian Lager M76

 

Fermentation:

  • Fermentation 12-14 days 100C
  • Diacytel rest 2 days 160C
  • Lager 5 weeks at 40C

 

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