For any brew that doesn't fit into any of the above categories!
I've got a mead on the go, I started it in August, racked it six weeks later and left it in the DJ to mature since then. Turned out very very dry, so I topped it up with sterile honey water. Whether the yeasties ate it or it's made it sweeter, only time will tell! I used Tesco value honey btw.
Any supermarket cheapo honey is likely to have been processed to hell and back. Plus it will have been blended for eating, not "mazing". Plus it's hardly surprising that it tasted dry, and in all probability, it was bloody hideous tasting as well.Sozzled_RadioHam wrote:I've got a mead on the go, I started it in August, racked it six weeks later and left it in the DJ to mature since then. Turned out very very dry, so I topped it up with sterile honey water. Whether the yeasties ate it or it's made it sweeter, only time will tell! I used Tesco value honey btw.
That's not a fault per se, because most meads, when young, are indeed hideous tasting.
As for topping up with honey water after racking, if the amount you started with, didn't correlate to the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, then just racking and topping up will have likely started a little of a re-ferment. You could do that until it's reached the tolerance for the yeast, but equally, if you stabilise it with sulphite and sorbate after it's racked and leave it for a day or so to make sure that the yeast is "stunned and neutered", then topping up with honey water mixed, only then will it start to add sweetness.
Me ? I tend to make my meads so that they will be up to between 12 and 14% ABV (possibly a little higher), I do staggered nutrient addition up to the 1/3rd sugar break, then let them finish on their own, followed by an initial racking and test the gravity. Then hit them with sulphite/sorbate to stabilise, then I'll gently back sweeten to about 1.010-1.015, and then let them clear naturally. I back sweeten at this stage as using honey can cause a protein haze and it's a pain in the arse to have to clear them twice. If they haven't cleared by the 6 months mark, then I just hit them with Kwik Clear.
I generally bulk age them for at least 12 months.
The use of cheapo supermarket honey isn't a problem if there's something else in the brew to be the main flavour, only if you're making "traditionals" - where the taste of the honey is paramount. So this is where I use varietals, or if I can get some, raw unfiltered honey (dead bee's and all). Any debris in raw honey is removed by the racking/clearing process. For cheapo honey, I'd go for something like Joes ancient orange recipe (making it with local brand bread yeast as Fleischmanns is a US brand - and I just follow the recipe, up to 1 imperial gallon, it seems to work just fine).
so hence I'd suggest a batch made like a traditional, but with the tesco's value honey will probably be fine, but likely nothing special.
Nope, not familiar with that one.TouLouseLePlot wrote:Can you help? I saw a recipe on t'internet for mead that added to the honey mace blades, vanilla, agrimony & cloves. Now I can't find the recipe anywhere despite several hours googling... has anyone seen, got or otherwise knows the recipe? I've got all the ingedients now and will cook up my own, but thought a guide might be handy...
Plus, with that number of different spices, there's a possibility that it would be "too much". When spicing meads or making batches with spices, you do have to be quite careful with the amount used, as some spices can create an over powering flavour that makes them undrinkable (until you're hammered, then anything will do won't it). Cloves are one such spice. a maximum of 1 to 2 cloves per gallon is the suggested limit. With Vanilla, it depends on how strong flavoured you want it, but 2 to 3 vanilla pods (usually split and scrapped, but still put all of the pod(s) into the batch), gives a nice level of flavour (which can easily be swamped by too much clove).
As for mace and agrimony, I don't know. I haven't made any with those.....