Elderflower mead

For those making mead and related drinks
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Zante

Elderflower mead

Post by Zante » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:14 pm

I have 50g of dried elderflowers and was thinking of making a gallon of mead with them.

(By the way, would this be a melomel or a metheglin?)

I was planning on adding 25g to the primary fermenter together with the honey and filter it out once I rack it into the demijohn. I have seen several different ways of using the elderflowers though:
- As I said adding them to the primary
- Making a tea with them and adding the tea to the primary instead of the flowers themselves
- "Dry hopping" them in the demijohn after the primary fermentation in a muslin bag

What different results would each method achieve? Has anyone tried?

Last question, how does 1.5 Kg of honey sound for this? Too much? Need to use more?
It would be bog standard country honey, no particular blossom honey. And I won't be boiling it, using it as is.

oldbloke
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Re: Elderflower mead

Post by oldbloke » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:25 pm

I'd go for the dry-hopping method, so as not to lose flavour and fragrance along with the CO2 generated during the primary ferment. But I've not tried it.

Honey is about 80% fermentable sugars so 1.5kg will give about 1.2kg fermentable, which in a gallon should give a little under 14%abv if you ferment to dry. A little less if you lose some at racking and top up

Zante

Re: Elderflower mead

Post by Zante » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:04 pm

I always prepare a gallon and a bit in the primary fermenter, so I can keep the left over in the fridge and top up with that when I rack. Sure, it will introduce some sugar back into the wine, but I've seen that if the wine is fermented dry (and that's how I like it) at the very most it might have a very vague carbonation that you almost have to know it's there to notice it, and I like that.

Consider that the fermentation continues in the fridge albeit much more slowly, so when you top up you don't have the same density of sugar as some will have been transformed into alcohol already. It also means that you regularly have to vent the bottles in the fridge :D
I simply vent each bottle in the morning just before reaching for the milk. No accidents so far.

I see what you mean about losing the fragrance, but would that mean having it loose in the demijohn and filtering it out at the second racking? I'm not sure I'd be able to pull out a muslin bag from a demijohn when I'm done

oldbloke
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Re: Elderflower mead

Post by oldbloke » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:01 am

If the bag has a string that leads to the outside, held by the bung ?
Or any cobbled up hook arrangement should do - eg nick your missus's crochet hook.

Why not make two gallons: one with the elder in primary, one in secondary? Then you'd know for sure if it matters

Zante

Re: Elderflower mead

Post by Zante » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:29 pm

Heh... I wish I had the room, I'm stretching the available space I have as it is. I guess it will have to be two batched distanced in time... Ah... so hard to wait...

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