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.