Sunday, September 18, 2011

#10 - Basic Mead [Extract]

While the other Mead #7 was brewing I was eager to get another Mead in the pipeline given that a Mead pipeline can be measured in years rather than months for beer. I had been reading around and felt that the previous brew had been unnecessarily complicated. I reduced the amount of ingredients and made my own guide to brewing the must so that it would be clearer in future. 

Simple Mead Recipe
  •  1.2kg     pure raw honey                  (for sweet, stronger Mead)
  • 5              Litres spring water            (Bottled, not tap unless chlorine free)
  • 1              tsp. yeast nutrient            (Citrix Additive)
  • 1              tsp. Nutmeg                       (main flavour)
  • 5              tsp Mellon balls                (stuff for yeast to eat)
  • 3              slices lime                           (stuff for yeast to eat)
  • 1/4          tsp. Irish moss                   (to clarify Mead)
  • 1/2          packet yeast                      (ale yeast)

Bring 1.5L of water to the boil. Take off the heat, add the honey and stir in until dissolved. Add the nutmeg, yeast nutrient and put back on the heat. Skim off the protein scum as it forms and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to prevent boil overs if necessary. Add Irish moss and continue to boil for another 5 minutes. More scum, protein and clumps will form due to the Irish moss. Skim all of this off. Take off the heat and add all of the fruit. Allow the liquid to cool for 60 minutes.  
Add 0.5L of cool water to a sanitised demijohn; this prevents thermal shock when hot liquid added. Using a funnel and sieve, pour the mixture into the demi john and top up the liquid to the 1 gallon mark leaving enough head space for the krausen to form. Fill a sink with water and ice and gently lower the demijohn into it. This will cool the mixture to a temperature which is suitable for pitching the yeast. Add the yeast once the temperature has dropped below 25oC. 18-20 oC is preferable if you have patience. Bung the demijohn and shake the mixture to mix the yeast and aerate the mixture. Insert air lock and store in a cool, dark location for a month before racking to secondary. 
OG should be in the 1090 – 1100 range, FG should be 1000 or less

I racked the yeast after one month and took a small sample for tasting. If you compare this sample to that from brew #7, it can be seen that this one is a lot cloudier. This is to be expected as it was only fermenting for 1 month and hasn't had the same amount of time to settle. The taste from this recipe was delicious and was completely unexpected this early on! I figure the sweetness was due to an unfinished fermentation and the fact that I used ale yeast this time instead of the nasty champaign yeast. In theory the ale yeast shouldn't be able to ferment to the same level and should begin to die at 8 or 9% volume?  I don't have full faith in that assumption as it didn't work to well with the cider in brew #4. 

I am considering stabilising the fermentation to maintain the flavour as I feel it tastes great now and doesn't need any more. I will leave it go for another month and rack it again and taste it again to see what it is like. If it is still ok I will stabilise and perhaps add some bentonite to clear it further before bottling. 

Started - 11.7.11
Racked -  28.8.11
Finished - NA
Bottled - NA
Code - 1010
Yeast Brand - Coopers Ale Yeast
Yeast Code - 19310 IPA
Y-Temp - 25.0
Beer/Product Type -   Basic Mead
Malt/Sugar Type - 1.2kG honey + limited Flavours
Volume -  5L
OG - 1091
Proof  - NA

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