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Author Topic: New Brunswickan Mead  (Read 4152 times)

Offline Richard

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New Brunswickan Mead
« on: May 14, 2012, 11:40:41 PM »
So a new year, a new mead; this one is after the other(s) on this site, keeping in mind what's been learnt. Trying to steer this away from "alcoholic honey" and more towards the wine-like flavours I remember from other meads.
  • 16lbs non-pasteurised honey.
  • 4 tsp wine acid blend powder.
  • 1 package oak chips (you get these with wine kits; I think it's 1oz, but rather finely chipped).
  • 1 tsp tannic acid powder.
  • 3 tsp Yeast Nutrient (blend including yeast hulls, otherwise known as yeast energizer).
  • Enough water to make the above fill a 6 gallon carboy with a few inches of headspace.
  • Lalvin 1118 (what I use), 1116, or the wine yeast of your choice. Just keep an eye on the attenuation expected re: FG.


Note: No (additional) sulfites, just the same level of care to avoid oxidation + contamination as in beer. I've found this to work well for me, as I seem to be sensitive (not allergic, just low flavor threshold) to sulfites.

  • Boil 5L of water in brew-pot.
  • Turn off heat and immediately dissolve (all) honey in water. DO NOT CONTINUE BOILING.
  • Pour contents into 6-gallon carboy.
  • Add the yeast nutrient, acids, and oak chips.
  • Top up to 2-3 inches below the carboy neck with cold (tap) water, shaking frequently.
  • Pitch yeast & add airlock.
  • Keep at 17-19C.


Wait until visible fermentation has stopped, rack to secondary, leave a couple of months (warmer is better to some degree - 21-24C seems to work well), fine or filter, bottle, leave a few more months. Three months from pitching is about your limit for drinkable mead, and more is definitely better.

This dries out completely in my experience (sub 1.000), but carbonation helps with the dry profile. Artificial carbonation and a beer-gun is my next plan for bottling this stuff... with the reduced FG, should be able to make some seriously light, dry, and bubbly mead.
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 01:27:39 PM »
Recipe changed.
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »
Quote from: "Richard"
3 tsp Yeast Nutrient (blend including yeast hulls, otherwise known as yeast energizer).


Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer are 2 different things: http://www.eckraus.com/wine-making-nutrients/

Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 01:42:55 PM »
So these guys say - however the stuff I'd been buying from Scoop & Save was called yeast nutrient, and had more than DAP in it (hence my saying "with yeast hulls")... so it's not exactly canonical.

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/feeding.asp

From what I can tell, you'll get a different answer for anyone you ask - all I mean is, use a blended nutrient (which energizers invariably are). Only common theme is that the energizers are the more complex nutrient blend.

Thanks for playing :P
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Offline HappyHax0r

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 10:04:40 AM »
Heh, is that a schoolbell I hear? :D.
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 06:59:21 PM »
Making a variation of this now - instead of pitching fresh yeast, pitching onto a cake from a Pinot Noir wine kit with the oak still intact, and a quart of the original wine sitting in the bottom of the carboy.

Edit: wow... really quite taken with how much a quart of red wine colours six gallons of mead... Looks almost the same as the original wine, in the carboy (fully opaque, slightly lighter color).

Curious to see how it affects the flavour... going to wine thief a sample to try.
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 08:54:52 PM »
Two batches on the go - one as-per this recipe, and one as above but without the oak.
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 09:04:28 PM »
Also weird: the one I just made looks darker than the one with Pinot Noir - perhaps the additional acids making the overall color lighter?
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 09:59:55 PM »
Just had a small sample from the pinot noir version to check the gravity. At 1.002 at the moment; suspect it'll lose a few more points. Tastes much more balanced than the previous high-gravity versions Kyle and I made... the quart of wine peeks through a bit, but isn't really dominant at all. Pondering back-sweetening, but suspect I'd prefer ultra-dry. The honey I have is very fragrant - definitely a good thing to avoid boiling or heating too much... nice aroma.

Will report back when both of these are bottled.
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Offline Richard

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Re: New Brunswickan Mead
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 11:13:05 PM »
Got bored and added 1lb each of fresh strawberries and mango to the second one... The wife likes a cooler that uses that combination.

Pasteurised in about a quart of water, for about two quarts total.

Not really enough fruit for a massive contribution, but should add a note or two and some color.

Edit: looking at it, the result is similar as with the wine... the color is very evident; the whole thing looks pink/orange, compared to a very pale yellow before.
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