Saturday, August 25, 2012

Do you wine? Part 2

Thanks for checking back. Here is the rest of the story about my mead  making night.

Since a gallon of honey weighs in at 12 pounds, I am a tad shy of my 3# / gallon recipe that I’ve come to love. But the addition of the fruit will help raise the sugar content plenty, so I think things will work out fine for a mead that could see the cellar for 4 or 5 years.

I tend to add fruit in the secondary, a period where the wine is removed from the sediment and yeast that is present during the initial phase of fermentation and quickly settles to the bottom. Today we are adding the fruit to the initial fermentation.

Now that the air lock is set, all that is left is to wait... Maybe for a long time! This could take between weeks and months to finish fermenting and when it does, it will spend many months resting in secondary to ensure that it is completely clear before it’s bottled. That will help minimize the gook at the bottom of the bottles. I also believe that it helps the mead to age in bulk before it’s bottled.  Proof of my dedication to this method is the “Leap Year” Mead that was a month short of 4 years old when I bottled it and the 5 gallons of Chocolate Mead that has been in my basement for the last year-and-a-half.

This could be drinkable sooner than I will try it. The first bottle of this will not likely be opened for a year, and hopefully some bottles will stick around for many years. Like... DECADES.

Mead has a way of playing tricks on you and it can get really good over time. It, like any other wine or beer, can go to hell pretty quickly if it’s not taken care of!

The best news is that I’m not done. I will be adding flavor as this progresses. And the better news is that I have plenty of time to figure out what they will be.

At the moment I’m thinking that, since this will be a very lightly fruited mead, and since it will be very dry, I will add a bit of chili pepper, oak and black pepper. But that theory could change at any given moment. I will try to resist the urge to add nutmeg and ginger... Just because that’s what everyone does to peach flavored... Well, anything peach flavored actually.

Regardless of what I end up putting in it, it will be a one-of-a-kind batch and it saved me from tossing out a half a box of peaches.

I hope that you might try your hand at making mead one day, and if you do, I was serious about the book Complete Mead Maker. It is well worth the money and it includes a ton of information and several very good recipes.

~Cheers!

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