My favorite recipes
Knock off of Scrhramms Fall bounty cyser.
I have no apple orchard and don't want to pay for fresh squeezins. I am sure real cider fresh from the press would elevate this mead.
I don't boil anything. I don't use cambden tablets ever. Many folks say use both. Your choice but I like easy if it works fine.
4 gallons apple cider or juice. Make sure it is preservative free--most are.
10 pounds your honey or a little more than three quarts. Wash the jars clean in the hot water you are going to add to cider.
2 tsp yeast energizer
1 tsp yeast nutrient Don't overdo these chemicals as those not used by the yeast can decompose into nasty smelling stuff. Measure!
half pound chopped dates
10 grams (two pkgs) lavlin D-47 per label on pkg
Fill brew bucket to six gallons total with your hot water and honey reclaimed from jars.
Do not add the yeast until after the hot water is not hot enough to hurt your yeasties.
Take a sanitized utensil to give the must (what is now in your bucket) what Paddy gave the drum! Your sanitized aquarium tubing and and a new air stone works nicely too.
Set your brew bucket in the dark in a cool 65 to 70 degree space. Set bucket lid loosely on top to keep out cooties and dust. Repeat vigorous aeration for three days, if your fermentation is not raging by now, areate another day or until it is.
IF it is still not raging, get fresh yeast and not the bread yeast that was in aunt betty's spice cabinent when she died last year. Bread yeast works but the yeast debris is really hard to get out of the mead when you are finishing it. I can't gift mead that has sludge in the bottom of the bottle and bread yeast can leave some bodacious stringy sludge.
After three days (normally) seal the lid and put in the air lock. You want no more oxygen going in your must until it is mead being poured in a glass!
I challenge you to NOT spend a wasted hour of your life watching the air lock madly bubbling! You have better things to do.
In ten days to two weeks or longer, your bubbles thru the air lock should be measured as being a minute apart. It is then time to RACK (new word) your must into the sanitized carboy. Lift your brew bucket carefully up on an elevated position so you can syphon the clear stuff off into your carboy. Don't be cheap! Get the 3/8" autosyphon.
Fill the carboy with the cleanest five gallons into your carboy and put an air lock on it for more aging. It is not safe to bottle! You will have some extra must in among the sludge. What I learned to do is put the remaining sludge and must in smaller containers of increasing nastylookingness and refrigerate them. The lees (new word) will settle to the bottom and you can salvage as much of the good stuff as you want to mess with. Since I am a barbarian, I drink the stuff not nice enough looking to serve to others.
After NO ACTIVITY at the airlock has been observed for months, you can bottle. Put at least one bottle in a plastic soda bottle. If it starts to pressurize, you may have to uncap or uncork your MEAD so you don't create BOTTLE BOMBS (new word). In lieu of these worries, you can add sulfites and sulfates to prevent the yeast cells in your bottled product from coming back to life. I now bulk age in carboys for literally years so I don't worry about it. I have had some bottles blow! Caution required!
Base mead for melomels. fruit meads.
five gallons hot water in brew bucket.
Add honey, about 14 pounds until SG on your hydrometer in must cooled to 70F reads 1.100, close counts but no massive overdoing of SG!
2 oz yeast energizer
1 oz yeast nutrient
add a half pound of pollen if you have it and delete the two above ingredients
KIV-1116When liquid has cooled to about 100F put your yeast in. Sometimes I just dump it in, sometimes I follow directions on pkg. If your brew space is between 70 and 75, it will be largely fermented in three or four days. Areate daily for first three days with lid loosely on top.
After three days of vigorous fermentation, I syphon off two gallons of the must
Then I add the fruit of my choice,wild plums, peaches, pie cherries, chokecherries in a brewing bag. one made out of nylon tricot or some loosely woven fabric is fine. or buy one from your supplier. I pit the peaches and plums and sometimes the pie cherries. Lots of fruit is better than less fruit. Ten pounds or stay home!
After ten days the yeasties have taken what they can from the fruit and it is time to get it out before other inhabitants of the brew find it tasty and start making it into an untasty mess! Carefully pull your fruit bag. I put my bag of fruit in the steamer section of my seafood steamer and let it drip over night. I give the pulp a gently squeeze to get the easiest of the juice to come out without getting too much pulp. Be as greedy as your conscience dictates prudent. Put the reclaimed liquid and all reserved must back in your brewing bucket and let it work sealed for another week or until almost all activity at the airlock has ceased.
Carefully elevate your brewing bucket and let it settle for a day before syphoning the clear liquid into your carboy. The reason you always make more than will fit in the carboy is that you want to ensure it is full to the top so no air is under the air lock. Again refrigerate to settle and salvage all you can. If you have extra, a gallon glass bottle or the hdpe plastic the cider may have come in with a large balloon over the mouth will allow you to finish the left overs.
I no longer worry about what to do with my melter honey. I use it for the above recipe and add wild chokecherries in the second step. I make sure I do not overdose this one with the dark honey or it may have too much perceived sweetness. The carmels in the darkened honey are not fermentable but they still taste sweet.
Variations are endless. with the hydrometer and an air lock and some common sense your options are wide. I think I have some recipes in this forum if you are good with the search--maybe I repeat myself.
My first mead was a mistake! I read the book but didn't pay attention. I was aiming for a semisweet mead that would finish quickly so I could taste my product soon! So I added honey (too much) and then with equal carelessness I went to the brew shop and forgot what yeast I wanted. Instead of 72b-1122 with an alcohol level around 13% I thought EC-1118 sounded right and I went home and started it working. While it bubbled, I sampled and it tasted nasty. It quit bubbling and still tasted nasty! Months go by and now it is really nasty! After 18 months I took a sample to a good brew shop owner and asked if I should pour it down the floor drain. He told me I did not want to do that and a year later I knew why. The label says Resident Evil 2011. It has a nice taste of honey and goes down so smoothly at just below room temperature with a minute to breath. And it will knock you down! It ended up over 20%ABV. I have Resident Evil 2014 lurking in the darkness now in,appropriately, a 6 1/2 gallon heavy glass carboy that originally brought Sulfuric Acid to the Anaconda Smelter. Es vird emmer besser !
Re: My favorite recipes
Will give it a try.
I also have a batch of "Resident Evil" EC-1118 over a year old. Good to know it needs more time.