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Airlock

Desperately Needed Brewing Day

I haven't had the opportunity to make anything in a while, so thankfully, since berries won't last forever, the day had to happen—and it did.

The basics:

Batch 1: "Carlsonberry Melomel" (black raspberry melomel)
9.5 lbs Black Raspberries
10 lbs Honey
Spring Water
Yeast = Premier Cuvee
OG = 1.062 @ 70°
Total volume at pitching: 6 gal.
Notes: Thanks to queenserenity42 and family for the fruit.

Batch 2: "Great Depression Mead" (semi-dry mead)
14.5 oz. Buckwheat Honey
14.5 oz. Black Forest Honey
Spring Water
Yeast = Lalvin 71B-1122
OG = 1.10 @ 70°
Total volume at pitching: .5 gal.
Notes: Test recipe, Honey was a brewing competition prize from a couple years ago (SCA - All Souls).

Details:
I don't boil, heat, or pre-sulfite
I do use acid blend, tannin, and plenty of yeast nutrient
The rest of my process is secret

Comments:
I'm hoping for a light, crisp, and relatively dry mead from the berries, and a strong, complexly flavored one from the test batch. We'll see what happens with both of these—I'm usually pretty confident when it comes to my mead making skills, but today's work was done on about 6 hours of sleep total since Thursday night. For now, we wait.

I also really need to figure out a way to get back to making beer, too. Our kitchen sucks, and I don't have a lot of space or outdoors area, so my options are limited. I'm also very picky when it comes to beer making equipment and procedure (much more so than when I make mead), so "good enough" for me usually isn't. It's definitely time to research and get to it, though.

Now, time to quench the thirst and kill off some braincells, so hopefully I sleep tonight.
Tags:

Comments

Lochlainn's offer of basement space for brewing is still open. We can discuss at CheeseFest if you'd like.
Any chance any of that will be ready for our tree-trimming party (hint, hint?) :D

Sounds yummy.
Hmmm, doubtful. These will need a bit of time. However, I still have other stuff, so, what is the date of the par-tay?
Sunday December 20th. I'll be dealing with the invite thingies after T-Day. :)
Hm. Hm and Hm and Hm.

Gwyn makes a lovely mead - more a sweet mead though. Can we pick your brains about technique? We're using a tried-and-true recipie from Jhondo but haven't experimented successfully to get a semi-sweet mead. And had a miserable failure on an attempt involving cider.
Pick away.

In a nutshell, though, the dryer you go, the better your control and choices for Yeast, Acids and levels, and Tannins need to be.
OK - that's the level of detail we've never delved into. We've been using the very basic "simmer it, cool it, pitch the yeast and ferment it" model keeping control of the honey content. Hafta look at which yeast we're using. I think lately we've been using a cup of strong tea for a little acid - nothing terribly measurable or repeatable.

What would you recommend as a good reference to start with? 'Cause I don't think LJ is a good tool for this kinda back and forth.
Yeah, LJ isn’t a good place for serious conversation—grab my email from my profile, and drop me a line.

In the mean time, here are the books that I’ve found useful. My favorite is “Brewing Mead.”

Brewing Mead (out of print, but findable)
http://amzn.com/0937381004

The Complete Mead Maker
http://amzn.com/0937381802

Making Mead (out of print, but findable)
http://amzn.com/0900841079