First batch of the 2017

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Jericurl

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I mixed my first batch of the year yesterday and pitched the yeast this morning.

It's my largest batch to date, just under 10 gallons.

Almost Traditional

24 lbs meadow foam honey
3 lbs orange blossom honey
6 T American Oak powder (medium toast)
1.5 T pectic enzyme
8 frozen/thawed/chopped overripe bananas
enough water added to put a touch under 10 gallons

Beginning SG 1.10

3 packets of KV-1116


2017 mead.jpg
 
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TXWineDuo

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@Jericurl if you don't mind, what is your cost of honey breakdown and where do y'all get the honey at?
 

Amanda660

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Same questions as TXWineDuo. Very interested in the orange blossom honey but have no idea where to source it from and be confident the product is exactly what I'm wanting.
 

Jericurl

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I got the Meadowfoam honey from here:

http://queenbeehoneycompany.com/products/one-gallon-tubs-of-honey-12-pounds

And the orange blossom from here:

http://www.walkerhoneyfarm.com/

This was the first time I've ever ordered from Queen Bee, and other than a little bit longer time to wait for shipping, I was pleased. The honey was definitely meadowfoam.

I order from Walker all the time and I've always been very pleased with their products.

As far as cost breakdown, I've got about $130 sunk into this batch.

Accounting generously for racking losses, etc, I'll expect to get about 90 (375 ml) bottles or 45 (750 ml) bottles. That's about $2.88 per large bottle or $1.44 per small bottle. I don't really count bottles since I either reuse my old bottles or get the free used ones from the local winery.
I can live with those numbers.
 

bkisel

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Is this a Mead that you're brewing?

I've used cups of honey (along with brown sugar and frozen concentrate) in back sweetening my peach and apple wines but have not considered honey being the main ingredient for a batch of wine. Thanx...
 

Arne

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I mixed my first batch of the year yesterday and pitched the yeast this morning.

It's my largest batch to date, just under 10 gallons.

Almost Traditional

24 lbs meadow foam honey
3 lbs orange blossom honey
6 T American Oak powder (medium toast)
1.5 T pectic enzyme
8 frozen/thawed/chopped overripe bananas
enough water added to put a touch under 10 gallons

Beginning SG 1.10

3 packets of KV-1116
Did you give it a little nutrient boost? Sometimes honey needs it to help it finish out. Arne.
 

geek

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I always wonder about the taste of a honey mead....
Let's see if we can swap a bottle when we swap the vanilla fig port?
 

Jericurl

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Racked this on 01/13/2017. SG was a little under 1.02, which is a bit early, but I knew I wouldn't have time to do it this weekend and since it was such a large open fermentation I didn't want it to go totally dry w/o being under an airlock.
 

winter_hunt

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Sounds like a great brew. Did you modify the TiOSNA much? In quantities, or timing?

I've heard about adding bananas (more pottasium?) -what's your experience with using them vs without?

Thanks!
 

Jericurl

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Sounds like a great brew. Did you modify the TiOSNA much? In quantities, or timing?

I've heard about adding bananas (more pottasium?) -what's your experience with using them vs without?

Thanks!
I used the calculator from here: http://www.meadmakr.com/batch-buildr/

and went with the 2nd nutrient regime. I used Ferm K, but skipped the DAP additions altogether. I consulted with a few experienced mead makers who have gone to not using any DAP at all with great results. So far it seems to have worked because this mead is already quite drinkable once you get past the suspended CO2.

As far as the bananas go, I add them to just about everything I make now. They just seem to give it a little more mouthfeel and even though the banana flavor does not translate out into the final product, I feel it definitely adds another element to the overall flavor profile.
 

Jericurl

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I always wonder about the taste of a honey mead....
Let's see if we can swap a bottle when we swap the vanilla fig port?
Except I slacked off and waited too long and didn't get one of those kits. Sometime within the next month I will be making a high ABV fig mead. If it turns out well enough, I'll offer it up for an exchange.
 

Mortalpawn

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How high gravity are we talking? I've been starting some melomels in the 1.140's and even 1.150's with great results. Obviously you need a fruit with a lot of acid/tannins to pull it off.
 

Jericurl

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How high gravity are we talking? I've been starting some melomels in the 1.140's and even 1.150's with great results. Obviously you need a fruit with a lot of acid/tannins to pull it off.
I haven't decided yet. I will most likely aim for 16-17%. As far as acid/tannins go, I'll likely add a wee bit of oak powder in primary and wait until it's a few months old to determine how much more to add at that point.
 

Whitehrs

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Jericurl,
My question is about the oak powder in the primary. Does the fall out of the lees, pull the oak with it? and what kind of effects could I expect from Oak chips in the secondary.. Say an oz of medium American (vs French)... Anyway. I would be very appreciative of any knowledge you can give.
 

Jericurl

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Jericurl,
My question is about the oak powder in the primary. Does the fall out of the lees, pull the oak with it? and what kind of effects could I expect from Oak chips in the secondary.. Say an oz of medium American (vs French)... Anyway. I would be very appreciative of any knowledge you can give.
The oak powder in primary doesn't add a whole lot of oak flavor, but it does add some mouthfeel, bit of tannins, and creates another layer to the overall profile. I use bentonite in primary so by the time you rack to secondary, most of the powder has fallen out.
I'm just now getting into really experimenting with different oaks, American vs French.
I am finding I like using the wee bit of powder over chips. The chips just seem to add an overpowering amount of oak very quickly.
I have also used cubes in secondary/tertiary and I really do like those as well because it seems like the oak amount is easier to control.

As far as differences in American and French oaks, I'm afraid I don't think my palate is quite refined enough to tell the difference. I really do need to do a side by side experiment so I can see if my mouth can find a noticeable difference.
 

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