Sunday, September 26, 2010

Austin's Medium Raspberry Melomel

1 packets of Lavlin EC-1118
Fermaid K
12 lbs of honey
3.5 gallons of water (approximately)
Clarification agent (not sure which yet).
Camden Tablets
Potassium Sorbate
Approximately 1 Gallon of Raspberries

Preparing the Raspberries
Treat in water with 2 Campden tablets for 24 hours

Rehydrating the Yeast
1. Raise 6 oz of water to 110 degrees F.
2. Add 4 tsp of Go-Ferm and stir.
3. When temp has decresed to 104 degrees F, add 5 grams yeast and stir.
4. After 15 minutes, add to must (must temp = 75-80 degrees F).
5. Aerate.

Making the Must
1. Put 12 lbs of honey in carboy
2. Add 3 gallons with distilled water
3. Power stir until there is no stratification of honey
4. Take SG reading
5. Add 1 Gallon of raspberries and stir
6. Top off with water
7. Rehydrate Yeast (see above)
8. Pitch yeast solution
9. Add 1 tsp of Fermaid K
10. Power stir / aerate
11. Add bung and airlock

9/26/2010 - 7:00pm
Started treating raspberries.

9/27/2010 - 10:00
Made Must, Pitched Yeast
OG = 1.085
Temp = 78 degrees
Note: Kind of messed up on OG. Forgot to measure it before adding fruit, so I measured it after. Nevertheless, 1.085 is pretty close, and it is acceptable for a dry-to-medium show mead. I'll keep it from getting too dry by adding a little more honey later if necessary. As it stands, if I finish it at 1.01, it will be a medium-ish mead that achieves about 10% ABV.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Refined Tommy's Twleve-and-a-Half

This batch is almost the same as the previous batch of Tommy's Twelve-and-a-Half, but it will eliminate some of the mistakes in that batch, namely...
  • I will appropriately use DAP instead of inappropriately using Fermaid K.
  • I will use campden tablets to precisely and definitively stop fermentation (instead of attempting to cold crash and inappropriately using Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulfite to stop fermentation0.
  • I will use the liquid, two-part clarifying agent *correctly* this time.
  • I will not bottle until the mead is perfectly clarified.
I am also thinking about drying it out a little more (and thus raising the ABV). If all works according to plan this time, I will have a base recipe that I can...
  • Use a higher-quality honey in
  • Use as a base recipe for future batches
2 packets of Lavlin EC-1118
Fermaid K
15 lbs of honey
4 gallons of water (approximately)
Clarification agent (not sure which yet).
Campden Tablets
Potassium Sorbate

Rehydrating the Yeast
1. Raise 6 oz of water to 110 degrees F.
2. Add 4 tsp of Go-Ferm and stir.
3. When temp has decresed to 104 degrees F, add 10 grams (2 pkt.) of yeast and stir.
4. After 15 minutes, add to must (must temp = 75-80 degrees F).
5. Aerate.

Making the Must
1. Put 15 lbs of honey in carboy
2. Top off to 5 gallons with distilled water
3. Power stir until there is no stratification of honey
4. Rehydrate Yeast (see above)
5. Pitch yeast solution
6. Add 1 tsp of Fermaid K
7. Power stir / aerate
8. Add bung and airlock

11-08-2009 @ 11PM
Made must, pitched yeast.
Must temp = 76 degrees F.
Yeast solution = 76 degrees F.
OG = 1.119
Maximum ABV = 15.88%

11-09-2009 @ 8PM
1 perk every 5 seconds.
Added 5 tsp of DAP (1 tsp per gallon)
Aerated (It fizzed over! I've *GOT* to remember to try to diffuse the CO2 before power-aerating!)

11-12-2009 @ 6:30AM
Aerated it. AND IT FIZZED OVER AGAIN -- DESPITE ME TAPPING ON THE CARBOY TO DIFFUSE THE CO2! (I've got to post on the forums for a solution to this! I've probably wasted a bottle of mead!)

11-12-2009 @ 9:00PM
Perking at 3 second intervals.
SG = 1.076
Temp = 76
ABV = 5.8%
This is right on track with the previous batch, except the ABV is slightly higher. I attribute this to using DAP instead of Fermaid K.

11-15-2009 @ 6PM
1 perk every 6 seconds.
SG = 1.068
Temp = 72
ABV = 6.95%
Added 5 tsp of DAP. Stirred. Aerated.
Put it in the sink to aerate. It *almost* fizzed over, but I just took it slowly.
Moved it upstairs where the temperature is about one or two degrees warmer.

Perk Interval: 3-4 seconds.

Perk Interval: 2 seconds.
The DAP really made a big change.
After the same amount of time on the last batch, I was at about 9-10% ABV. I'm estimating that this batch is outpacing the last one. I'll need to check it tonight to make sure it doesn't pass my target of 12-14%.
Temp = 80
SG = 1.056
ABV = 8.04%
It's not as far along as I thought it would be. But that's fine. It still has a good healthy fermentation going on.

11-19-2009 @9:30PM
1 Perk every 2-1/2 seconds
Temp = 78.5
SG = 1.043
ABV = 10.17

11-21-2009 @10:50AM
1 Perk every 2-1/2 seconds
Temp = 79.5
SG = 1.032
ABV = 11.6
Tasting Really Good.

11-22-2009 @10:30PM
1 Perk every 4 seconds
Temp = 79
SG = 1.026
ABV = 12.4%

11-23-2009 @6:15AM
Added 6 Campden tablets (to kill yeast)
Added 1.5 tsp of Potassium Sorbate (to stop further fermentation)

11-23-2009 @6:00PM
1 perk every two or three minutes.
Started cold crashing (dropping temp down to about 34 degrees)

11-26-2009 @7AM
Removed from fridge to let it return to room temperature.
@11:15AM Added packet 1 of 2-part liquid fining agent.
@12:45PM Added packet 2.

It has clarified noticeably, but it still has a way to go. The first packet specified waiting for an hour before adding the second packet. But the second packet didn't really specify how long clarification might take. There is a lot of sediment now in the bottom of the carboy. I think I'll wait another day or two to see how it does.

12-1-2009 @6:00AM
It has clarified quite a bit. I'll have to pour some into a wine glass when I get home from work to see just how clarified it is, but it's probably getting close to bottling time. I'd at least like to have a bottle by the 12th to bring to a brew party.
EDIT: My friends at the brew party thought it was good.

Crystal clear. Bottled it. Very delicious.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Onward and Upward (Tommy's Twelve-and-a-Half)

This mead will be an attempt at using higher quality ingredients (i.e. a quality yeast, yeast nutrient and yeast energizer); more specialized mead-making materials (i.e. a hydrometer and an air-lock); and more advanced techniques (like a more vigorous stirring with an electric drill to prevent the honey settling out on the bottom, to increase oxygenation, and to facilitate hydrometer readings; back-sweetening, stabilization, etc...). It will be a plain mead, and it will utilize yeast energizers and nutrients in place of the oranges and raisins I've been using. Hopefully, this will create a more consistent mead and reduce the volume wasted by the oranges and raisins. The Lavlin EC-1118 yeast is for 18+% alcohol, so I may end up having to feed it for a while, when fermentation starts to slow down, in order to keep it from being bone dry. I also intend to use a clarifying agent after about 1 month to finish off the batch.

2 packets of Lavlin EC-1118
Fermaid K
15 lbs of honey
4 gallons of water (approximately)
Clarification agent (not sure which yet).

Rehydrating the Yeast
1. Raise 6 oz of water to 110 degrees F.
2. Add 4 tsp of Go-Ferm and stir.
3. When temp has decresed to 104 degrees F, add 10 grams (2 pkt.) of yeast and stir.
4. After 15 minutes, add to must (must temp = 75-80 degrees F).
5. Areate.

Making the Must
1. Put 15 lbs of honey in carboy
2. Top off to 5 gallons with distilled water
3. Power stir until there is no stratification of honey
4. Rehydrate Yeast (see above)
5. Pitch yeast solution
6. Add 1 tsp of Fermaid K
7. Power stir / aerate
8. Add bung and airlock

07- 19-2009 @ 4PM
Made must, pitched yeast.
Must temp = 80 degrees F.
Yeast solution = 90 degrees F.
SG = 1.12 + .003 correction = 1.123
Noticed it was fermenting at about 10PM. Maybe 1 perk per 5 seconds.

07-20-2009 @ 5:30AM
Fermenting vigorously this morning. 1 perk per second or two.

07-21-2009 @ 8:30PM
Added two more teaspoons of Fermaid K. This definitely exceeds the recommended amount, and I won't be adding any more. Hopefully, it doesn't have a negative effect on the flavor. I also areated it. HUGE MESS. It fizzed like a shaken-up soda bottle all over my bathroom counter. I'll try tapping on the side of the carboy some tomorrow before aerating it to diffuse the CO2.

07-22-2009 @ 6PM
Perking about once every two seconds this morning. Nice and healthy.

07-23-2009 @ 10:30PM
Stirred. Aerated. Took measurements.
Must temp: 80 degrees F
Specific Gravity = 1.084 + .003 (correction) = 1.087
So, it's up to about 3.7% alcohol by weight and 5.1% alcohol by volume.
It is currently 448 Calories per 12 oz.

07-29-2009 @ 6:00PM
Stirred. Took Measurements.
Must temp: 82 degrees F
Specific Gravity = 1.044 + .003 (correction) = 1.047
Alcohol by weight = 7.73
Alcohol by volume = 10.19
Calories per 12 oz. = 431

07-31-2009 @ 10:15PM
Gave it a good swirl today. It's down to about 1 perk every 4-5 seconds. Heading to the supply store tomorrow for some sulfites, clarifying agent, and maybe some DAP.

07-31-2009 @ 9:15PM
1 Perk about every 6 seconds
Stirred. Took Measuremensts.
Must Temp: 78 degrees F
Specific Gravity: 1.032
ABW = 9.1
ABV = 11.8
Cals/12oz = 425.7

08/03/2009 @ 11:30PM
Must temp: 80
SG = 1.028
ABW = 9.5
ABV = 12.36
Cals/12 oz = 424

Linda tasted it and, by her reaction, I'd say this batch is plenty strong enough. Put it in the small fridge downstairs to try to cold crash it before stabilizing and racking. Plus it's starting to get a bit of a tart taste. I'm worried that this is because the yeast is starting to peter out due to lack of nitrogen. (I'm going to have to buy some DAP for my next batch.

08/05/2009 @ 6:00 AM
Checked the temp on the brew this morning. It's finally down to 34 degrees! I didn't think it would take that long. I will try to stabilize and rack it tonight.

08/05/2009 @ 6:30 PM
It sat most of the day at 32 degrees F. Just racked it. Swirled in 1-1/4 tsp of Potassium Sorbate to prevent further fermentation, and 1/4 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite to prevent any other yeast from taking root. I'm letting it come back up to room temperature, and then I'll clarify it.

08/05/2009 @ 6:00 PM

The must had warmed up to about 70 degrees this morning. It is still perking, maybe once every minute. I *think* that is just the must degassing. I added packet one of my clarifier and stirred it in.

08/06/2009 @ 6:30 PM
Well, I figured out tonight that I put the liquid clarifying agent (a two-step liquid) into the must in the wrong order! Don't know if it will still work. It seems to have clarified some, but it's got a LONG way to go. I don't think it will make it. If it doesn't, I don't think I want to add any more chemicals to this brew. Also, I just took measurements.

Temp = 76
SG = 1.028 (which is the same as the day I cold crashed it). So, it hasn't fermented appreciably in 3 days. However, the temp is 4 degrees less today than it was then.
abw = 9.6
abv = 12.44
cals = 423.7

, the taste isn't as good as I hoped. This stuff needs to settle out a bit. I'm tempted to just bottle it and put it away for a long time. Hopefully it clarifies enough to do that.

Bottled some of it. 7 bottles. It isn't as clarified as I had hoped, but I need to free up my carboys for another batch. While I'm not overly impressed with it. It is serviceable, and will probably taste better, and hopefully clarify, in time.

Brought a bottle in to work. Everyone seemed to like it well enough.

Several days ago I separated a gallon of mead and dropped in a about a quarter of a habanero. It definitely tasted like habanero after a couple of days, but it didn't have any heat to speak of. yesterday, I dropped in about another 3/4 of a habanero. Today, it tastes pretty good a and has a reasonable amount of heat. Not too much for the average joe. Bottled it today.

Bottled the remainder today (6 more bottles). Dropped a cinnamon stick in each bottle.

I've given away several bottles of this mead, and everyone seems to like it quite well. It is definitely the best batch yet, but there are still several things I did wrong.
1. I didn't use the clarifying agent correctly, and I bottled it too soon. Now there is some sediment in the bottom of the bottles. Not a huge problem, but it is rather unattractive.
2. I didn't have any DAP so I used too much Fermaid K instead. I'm not sure if this had any negative effect, but it's not something I intend to do in the next batch.
3. Cold crashing it was a bad idea. It was difficult to do, and it didn't fully stop the fermentation. Then I added Potassium Sorbate. That still didn't *completely* stop the fermentation. That's another mistake I don't intend to make again.
4. Putting cinnamon sticks in the bottles... bad idea. I thought it would look interesting, and it does. But there are two problems with it: 1) The cinnamon sticks swell up and won't come back out of the bottles; 2) Little particles come off of the cinnamon sticks. Let's not do that again.

I'm ready to make the next batch, and I'm sure I now have a recipe I like. Now, to implement it correctly.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tommy's Biscuit Mead - Scaled Batch

So, now I think my methodology is coming together. I've experimented with a few different recipes and have had some successes, a failure, and a couple of speed bumps. From here on out, I think I will focus on making bigger batches (4-5 gallons) of Tommy's Biscuit Mead and then customizing my recipes after racking to the secondary (or tertiary). So everything will have TBM as a base, and then cinnamon, jalapeño, mint, etc... added later on. My intention on this batch was to make a 3 gallon batch, but a series of oversights (to be explained below) has made it closer to a four or five gallon batch.

Initial Recipe (later revised)

10 lbs of Rice's Lucky Clover Honey
3 Gallons of water (literally 3 gallons)
75 chopped raisins
3 large oranges
6-3/4 tsp of Red Star Bread Machine Yeast
1 tsp of Epsom Salts

4/14/2009 @ 8 PM

Made must, pitched yeast. Used a 5 gallon water bottle (the kind that goes on the dispenser).

4/15/2009 @ 6:30 AM

Fermentation started, but not audible -- probably because of the thickness of the bottle. However, the balloon was about ready to launch into orbit. Poked two more holes in it.

4/15/2009 @ 7:00 PM

I realize I made a mistake in my calculations. I based this recipe on of my initial 1 gallon batch of Tommy's Biscuit Mead, assuming that if I used 3 lbs of honey for a one gallon batch, I could use 9 lbs of honey for a three gallon batch. However, a 1 gallon batch does *not* have one gallon of water; it has less. But my three gallon batch had 3 gallons of water. This will make the 3 gallon batch more diluted, and dryer, than my 1 gallon batch. So, I need to make adjustments. I need to add 5 more lbs of honey and 3 more cups of water. At this point, this is looking like a 4+ gallon batch, maybe close to 5 gallons. My calculations are below:


1 Gallon = 231 cubic inches
1 Cup = 14.6 cubic inches

Water Density
128 ounces per 231 cubic inches
.55 ounces per cubic inch

Honey Density
11.3 lbs per gallon
181.3 ounces per 231 cubic inches
.78 ounces per cubic inch

1 lb. (16oz) of honey displaces 20.5 cubic inches.
3 lb. (48 oz) of honey displaces 61.5 cubic inches.
5 lbs (80 oz) of honey displaces 102.5 cubic inches.
10 lbs (160 oz) of honey displaces 205 cubic inches.

Must Content (for Tommy's Biscuit Mead -- original 1 gallon batch)
...Total: 231 cubic inches) Honey - 61.5 cubic inches (3 lbs) Other Ingredients - 20 cubic inches (about a cup and a half) Water - 149.5 cubic inches (i.e. the remaining space) NOTE: So, not including "Other" ingredients, there is a 2.4/1 volume ratio between water and honey

Must Content (for scaled-up Batch of Tommy's Biscuit Mead -- scaled up, 3 gallon batch)
Honey - 205 cubic inches (10 lbs)
Water - 693 cubic inches (3 literal gallons)
Other Ingredients - 60 cubic inches

NOTE: Not including "Other" incredients, there is a 3.4 / 1 volume ration between water and honey (Too dry!)

Water / Honey = 2.4 #Desired Ratio
693 / n = 2.4 #Water already added
693 = 2.4n
693/2.4 = n
n = 288.75 # cubic inches of honey needed with 3 gallons of water
288.75 - 205 (honey already added) = 83.74

If I add another 5lb bottle of honey (102.5 cubic inches), the water to honey ratio will become...
693 / (205 + 102.5) =
693/307 = 2.25 #2.25/1 ratio (a little high)

So, to get a 2.4 ratio...
n / 307 = 2.4
n = 2.4 x 307
n = 736 cubic inches of water
736 - 693 (water already added) = 43 cubic inches of water (about 3 cups)

Therefore, add 5 more pounds of honey and 3 more cups of water for a 2.4 / 1 water to honey ratio

So, here is my...

Revised Recipe

3 Gallons, 3 Cups of Water
15 lbs of honey
3 Large oranges
75 raisins
1 tsp of epsom salts (for magnesium)
6-3/4 tsp of yeast


04/16/2009 @ 8PM

Added five more pounds of honey and three cups of water. Fermentation still seeps fairly aggressive. This batch is about all I can get in a 5 gallon jug, although it was only meant to be a 3-gallon batch. Now, to keep my hands off of it and let it brew.

FVI (3 holes) 1:19

4/19/2009 @ 9:09 PM

The yeast has consumed about 1 inch of honey in two days. Amazing how quickly they do their work. The fermentation is very vigorous. I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm aiming at racking it on the 28th, but I need to come up with another 5 gallon water jug.

4/26/2009 @ 9:32 PM

FVI (3 holes) 2:47

Fermentation is starting to wind down. All the honey is gone. It still sounds fairly vigorous with my ear pressed to the jug, but the FVI is 2:47. I should be racking it tomorrow or Tuesday (by date), but I may not score another 5 gallon water jug before payday (Friday or Saturday). At any rate, I've been very happy with the progress of this one. Can't wait to get a taste!

Here's what I'm thinking of doing with the secondary:
  • 1-1/2 Gallon of Tommy's Biscuit Mead
  • 1/2 Gallon of Habenero
  • 1 Gallon of Cinnamon Mead
  • 1 Gallon of Viking Maiden
I'm not sure yet, though, if I want to let it clarify for a while in a clean 5 gallon jug or go straight to breaking it down into gallon and half-gallon jugs.

04/30/2009 @ 6:06 PM

FVI (3 holes) 3:22

05/08/2009 @ 10 PM

FVI (3 holes) 4:50

05/10/2009 @ 11 PM

Racked into secondary carboy. It is pretty sweet. Not too shabby.

5/16/2009 @ 7 PM

I could resist, so I poured a glass to... um... sample. Yeah, that's the ticket... a sample! Tasted pretty good (considering it is nowhere near being clarified). But this stuff is stout. Nice alcohol content.

6/02/2009 @ 10 PM

Noticed some small foamy spots floating on the service. Seemed like merely floating sediment. Mead smelled a little suspicious, but not bad. I stirred it a little, and the spots disappeared. Drank a dixie cup of it. It is really tasting pretty good, and very potent.

7/12/2009 @ 8PM

Had a glass and gave a glass to a relative (Joanne). Tasted great. It's pretty sweet, but pretty potent. Clarification is still a ways off, though. Maybe another month. I'll probably rack it again in a day or so.

7/18/2009 @ 12PM

Racked it to a new carboy today. It still needs to clarify a bit more before bottling. It certainly tastes good though, albeit a good bit sweeter than the original 1-gallon batch. I suppose it is a good desert mead.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Viking Maiden

This will be a peppermint/spearmint mead. The primary is almost identical to Tommy's Biscuit Mead, except the orange was peeled. Peppermint and spearmint tea bags will be added to the secondary.

3 lbs Rice's Lucky Clover Honey
1 large orange -- peeled
25 raisins
1 gal of distilled water
2-1/4 teaspoons Red Star Bread Machine Yeast

03/18/2009 @ 8:00PM

Made must and pitched yeast

03/21/2009 @7:30AM

I'm sure it was fermenting on the 19th, but I forgot to check. Today the balloon was full of junk and not bleeding off CO2 correctly. I changed it.

04/09/09 @ 8:15 PM

I believe the fermentation stalled, as there is very little lees in the bottom. I racked it to another container, and it was very sweet. Re-racking seems like it might have re-started the fermentation. The new balloon filled up overnight, and I could hear it fizzing this morning. I emptied the balloon to see if it would fill back up again and will check it when I get home. If it stalls again, I'll need to do some research on how to jump start fermentation after it fails.

04/11/2009 @ 5:15 PM

The fermentation is continuing. It is audible, but just barely. I added 2 dozen chopped raisins as a yeast nutrient, as well as a pinch of epsom salt.

04/16/2009 @ 6:30 AM

Fermentation is still slow and weak, but steady. I suspect the problem is the temperature. The closet gets pretty cold at night, and we have been trying to cut down on energy spending. There isn't a lot of lees in the bottom, so I'll probably just let it go until I see it start to clarify. Then I'll rack it to a new bottle and let it finish -- for better or worse. I think it'll be OK, though. Maybe a little sweet.

04/26/2009 @ 1:00 PM

I racked it into a clean jug today. It is really shaping up nicely. Tastes good, albeit a little sweeter than I had anticipated. However, I think it is going to make a really delicious mint mead. I added three Bigelow Mint Medley tea bags to it. The tea bags contain spearmint, peppermint, rose hips, lemon peel and hibiscus. They very quickly changed the color of the mead to a peachy, pinkish color. I didn't realize it, but I'm already almost a month and a half into this one. It should be ready in another month and a half to two months.

04/28/2009 @ 8:00 PM

Removed the tea bags. The tea is very peachy colored.

06/01/2009 @ 10:00 PM

It's starting to clear up now. I can see the wall through the mead. Should be ready for bottling in a couple more weeks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poncho Villa's Feminine Side: Jalapeno Mead

I've found a lot of mentions of jalapeño mead on the net, but I've only found one recipe for it. The recipe calls for six jalapeños, and the most sensible suggestions I've found for adding them is little by little in the secondary until the taste is just right. But that feels too much like making another batch of JAO, so I'm gonna get a little experimental with it. I'm putting two jalapeños in the primary. If that doesn't do it, I'll add more in the secondary. Hopefully it doesn't ruin the mead doing it this way.

3 lbs Clover Honey (Bargain brand from WalMart. Grade A. Probably Pasteurized.)
1 regular-sized orange (Peeled. Sectioned. Sections cut in half.)
25 raisins - diced
2 Jalapenos (Sliced. De-seeded. Sanitized in 150 degree water for 10 minutes.)
2-1/4 teaspoons of Red Star bread machine yeast

1 gal of distilled water

1/25/2009 @ 5:45 AM

Prepped ingredients. Prepared Must. Shook vigorously for five minutes. Pitched Yeast.

1/26/2009 @ 5:45 AM

Fermentation has started, but it's not audible yet. Evidently the foam obstructed the pin-hole in the balloon, as the balloon was as big as a softball. I replaced the balloon and poked two pin-holes in the second one. The whole closet smells like jalapeno!

1/26/2009 @ 6:00 PM

All looks good now. Fermentation still isn't audible, but I'm betting it will be by tomorrow morning. Stephen thinks it smells aweful. However, I find it kind of interesting (if not appealing).

1/26/2009 @ 6:00 AM

Fermentation is now audible.

1/29/2009 @ 8:40 PM

There is only about 1/4" of honey left in the bottom of the jug. And it smells very nice -- much better. Or, maybe I'm just getting use to it.

2/15/2009 @ 5:00 PM

Racked it today. The sample taste was really delicious. Linda congratulated me on making my first batch of true gut-rot. But, in my opinion, the taste of honey and jalapeño go quite nicely together. It even had just a little bit of heat going down the throat. I plan on adding another jalapeño or two into the secondary, once I go shopping.

3/12/2009 @ 8:15 PM

Re-racked it today into a new jug. It has a very deep jalapeño essence (smell and taste), but no heat at all. I sliced up two more fresh jalapeños today and dropped them in. This one might turn out really well. Linda doesn't like it -- but she's not a very big pepper fan. I'd like to perfect this recipe.

3/30/2009 @ 7:00 PM

Had two glasses of it tonight. This is without a doubt the most uniquely wonderful tasting stuff in the world. It has just a little bit of heat, and I'm gonna call it good for now. It's ready to bottle. I'll hold this stuff in reserve; it's not for everybody. In the next batch of it, I think I'll forgo the jalapeno's in the primary and add another in the secondary, just for a tad more heat. I'm definitely satisfied with the first batch, though.

4/10/2009 @ 8:00 PM

Bottled it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cinnamon Mead

This is basically a simple JOA with cinnamon sticks added. If it doesn't have enough cinnamon flavor after the primary fermentation, I can add more cinnamon sticks during the secondary.

3 lbs Rice's Lucky Clover Honey
1 regular-sized orange
30 raisins - diced
4 ea 2-3/4" cinnamon sticks
2-1/4 teaspoons of Red Star bread machine yeast

1 gal of distilled water

Estimated Bottling Date: 04/19/2009

01/04/2009 @ 4:30PM

Made must and pitched yeast

01/05/2009 @ 6:30AM

Fermenting, but not so vigorously. Our bedroom is getting really cold at night. I think I may need to move it to a warmer part of the house.

01/06/2009 @ 6:30AM

I turned up the heat a little last night and put a thermometer in my closet. The temperature seemed to stay at about 68 degrees. I could hear the fermentation this morning, so it seems like things are back on track. Still, it seems less vigorous than previous batches. Hopefully nothing is amiss.

01/17/2009 @ 12:24PM

The honey is pretty much gonzo. Fermentation is still audible. I can't really smell the cinnamon, but I'll taste it next Sunday.

01/25/09 @ 5:30PM

Stephen and I racked it today, and had a taste. Stephen said he couldn't really taste the cinnamon, but both Linda and I could -- although it isn't as strong as I'd like. I added four more sticks to it. Maybe I'll taste it again in a couple of weeks to see if it is satisfactory. If it is, I'll rack it again.

3/11/09 @ 8:00PM

I racked it to a new jug today. It tastes really nice, and the cinnamon sticks definitely darkened the color. The cinnamon taste is quite prominent. Linda liked it and said it might make a good holiday drink. Let's see if it's still around for Christmas!

3/29/09 @7:00PM

Had two glasses of it tonight. WOW. Very good. I think next time I will use one less cinnamon stick. It's ready to bottle, drink and share.

4/04/2009 @ 7:00 PM

Bottled it. Unbelievably delicious. On my third glass!