Archive for the Mead Category

Springs on the way.

Posted in Beer, Mead on February 13, 2009 by Aleforge

Now that winter is over (well not actually but lets just pretend) its time to start thinking about good times. This is the time of year where you have to start planning out how your spring / summer is going to unfold in the world of brewing. Since we got a little back this year on taxes my lovely wife and I decided on two things, one pay off some debt, and secondly order some beer ingredients. Well maybe I decided on the second, but I will admit she did give me the thumbs up. So I decided on three things to get going, 2 that will be ready by the real spring season, and the other around June, just in time for summer.  And here they are,

Irish Red

Dunkelweizen

Orange Blossom Mead

I have had great success with Irish reds in the past, and its by far the most favorite of my friends. A few good things about an Irish red; its easy as hell to make, will be ready very quickly and is easy on young palates. This will be a great brew to drag along to festivals and share with the masses.  As far as the Dunkel, well I have never made one but I have some commercial versions and really liked the style. They are German, dark and hazy, although very easy going down. Its a wheat beer, and usually at the low end of the IBU scale. Lastly a Mead, yes I will be making a mead only for the second time. My first shot at this was a down and dirty quick mead, lighter ABV although I believe it hit around 8% and fairly dry. This one will be sweater, although higher ABV (11%) so it should sneak up on you. Its going to be made with Orange Blossom honey, so it will have a nice interesting character to it. I am excited as its more of a tradition mead, and should take about 4-5 months to ferment. And will age well so it should only improve over the rest of 2009.

My biggest hangup now is the bottling situation, should I or shouldn’t I? I really should take advantage of my keg setup however I like how easy it is to send bottles home with people. Most parks and events wont allow glass bottles either, however I might be able to get away with a couple growlers. Then again I could bring a keg on ice to a gathering and really be a hero. Luckily I have a month or so to make up my mind, its going to be a tough choice.

Stay tuned I will post some pictures up of the next round of brewing, hoping next weekend we will have good weather!

Mead Tasting.

Posted in Mead on July 21, 2008 by Aleforge

I bottled my mead last night, as I was wary letting this go to long in the secondary. It was noted by others that since it doesn’t have a super high ABV that letting it sit on secondary might allow it to become oxidised fairly quick. So I kept it in there for about 7 days just to allow some additional clearing. So I made the batch on June 8th, went to secondary on July 13th and to the bottle on July 20th. Very fast mead indeed!

So how does it taste? I will say it came out a touch dryer then I anticipated, however Mead’s traditionallycan fall to either end of the spectrum. This batch came out like a white wine, with some really nice aroma. My wife being pregnant couldn’t indulge in it, but swished some around and spit it back out to taste it. She approves, which means allot, she is way more into wines then myself and said she would definitely drink this. Of course being pregnant and banned from any adult beverages for the past 7 months might have something to do with it. So her stigma of mead being like manure has been squashed, and I urge anyone that used chauncers as a guideline to reach out and try some others. I will add a photo of the finished product to this later on in the week.

Mead & Hefe, Party in the basement!

Posted in Beer, Mead on June 13, 2008 by Aleforge

Both my Mead and Hefe are doing well. As of last night my ambient basement temps are holding steady around 65. Kind of cool for the Hefeweizen, but I am sure it will be fine. I checked on my Lager also and it still has a cidery aroma to it (Acetaldehyde). It has been in cold storage for 3 weeks now at 34’F, I am giving it one more week then just kegging the SOB, calling over a few friends and clearing it out if it sucks. It was my first Lager and I learned a lot along the way. For instance, monitor your freezer or cooling device well if its on an outside GFI! I had mine trip 3 times from storms and it didn’t notice it until a day or so later. Luckily during the primary it only spiked to around 60’F. This is considered a BMC light clone, along the lines of Bud / Miller light. I wanted something super light and easy to drink, so my BMC fanatic friends could for once try and say they like homebrew. I know this is the complete ass backwards way of converting the die-hards, but I gave up on most of them already. And besides I don’t mind a light lager in the heat of the summer!

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MEAD, it’s whats for .. breakfast.

Posted in Mead on June 12, 2008 by Aleforge

I attempted my first MEAD last weekend, its a variation of the “JAOM” recipe. Malkore from the “homebrewtalk” forums posted it and many of us grabbed it up to try. The advantages to this recipe are the MEAD ferments out very quickly. Leaves a lot of sweetness and hits up around 12% ABV. How quickly? Try a month, thats fermented, tossed through a secondary and bottled. If you know anything about MEADS most take a very long time to age and finish up. Up to a year in fact. I don’t have that much patience, that’s the main reason I had not tried to create my own batch.  The “JOAM” recipe accomplished this but took around 8 months of aging to drop its bitterness. Malkore found a remedy for this by swapping out the bread yeast for Wyeast’s 4184 Mead yeast. This allowed a much quicker time frame with a drinkable mead in 1 month, although Malkore recommends allowing it to age, as the mead still improves over time.

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