The Homebrewing Thread!

Discussion in 'Food Preparation, Camp Cooking and Recipes' started by forager, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    Who brews what, beer, wine, cider, mead?

    Post your pics and recipes.

    I make mead. Made a metheglin (spiced mead) for the the holidays. Working on some melomels (mead with fruit) for the spring!

    meadhorn.jpg
     
  2. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    I make el cheapo wine from fruit juice. Occasionally swapping honey for sugar to make it mead'ish. My family and I like them.
     
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  3. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    I have done that before, but prefer getting my own berries from the woods and orchards, then freezing them until they are needed.
     
  4. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    I can those to use in pies, sauces, etc. Then wait until juice is marked down super cheap at the store & stock up for wine.... (Hey, I said it was "el cheapo"!)

    p.s. My husband asked if you'd share your recipe for the spiced mead. We've tried a few recipes we've found online & they've been unbelievably bitter....
     
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  5. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    How much honey do you use in a batch? What type of yeast do you use?
     
  6. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    We used 1 3/4 cups of honey to half a gallon of juice and we use champagne yeast, type depends on what type of juice we're using. Those turn out pretty good but the actual mead recipes we've found all come out horribly bitter.
     
  7. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    Champagne yeast will make a dry (bitter mead) that is high in alcohol content.

    You can backsweeten with honey after the yeast dies to balance out the bitterness.

    What else do you do when you make mead? It sounds like you are on the right track, but need to adjust several things. Also, how many gallons do you make at once?
     
  8. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    The mead is my husband's project. I'll pass this along. He only does half a gallon at a time since he hasn't fixed a batch he likes yet. Now the wine tho.... We do a couple gallons at a time. Have 4 jugs set up with airlocks...
     
  9. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    If you put the time into mead making the same that you are doing for wine, you will get a better result. Mead is superior to wine, as you can make it with a higher alcohol content, using fruits and spices. The result is bold, strong and powerful. The buzz you get is more like a glow. I don't use sulfites, and keep the process simple, probably the way that the ancestors did. The product is approved by many, and this year's batch of spiced is proving to be a wonderful holiday gift.

    Let your husband make a few gallons of mead, and you will not be disappointed! What other ingredients do you use? Also, how do you kill the yeast at the end of fermentation?

     
  10. countryboy3006

    countryboy3006 Spike

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    I my dad has made wine for years from fruit that we gathered around home. I have been making beer for a few years now. I have mostly just used kits or recipient from a clone magazine I have that use malt extract. Hoping to eventually get into using all grain and growing as much of the ingredients as I can.
     
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  11. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    He can make all he wants. But so far, it's not exactly been drinkable! (First batch was HORRIBLE.... this latest one isn't bad but even with it, he's the only one who will drink it.)
    Ingredients are pretty basic: juice, sugar, yeast. That's it. We just let the yeast go until they finish eating & pretty much all die off before bottling. Have only lost one bottle that "blew it's top" so far & that was from a batch we rushed into the bottles.
    Started a double batch from concord grape juice the other day. We'll siphon it off to clean jugs in about 4 weeks & let it continue going. Figure it'll be ready to bottle around the end of February.
     
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  12. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    Ok, the problem is that you are not back sweetening the final product. I use one pound of honey per 5 gallons to take the edge off the dry, undrinkable result. There are several other things that help.

    First, add potassium sorbate when you are ready to rack and bottle the product. This will stop the yeast from being active and eliminate bottle bombs.

    Next, cold crash your mead. This means freezing it solid for 24 hours. The yeast is killed off and will not reanimate due to the potassium sorbate that has been added.

    After these steps, add the honey to backsweeten.

    After bottling, let the mead sit 4 to 6 weeks to let the yeasty taste subside. You should be good to go!

    What kind of yeast do you use? This link might help you!

    http://www.piwine.com/media/pdf/yeast-selection-chart.pdf
     
  13. Lady Hunter

    Lady Hunter 12 pointer

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    Hmmm... he's never tried backsweetening. I'll have to pass that along.

    It's not a problem with the wines but the mead... it could make a difference! Ditto for freezing it. At any rate, it can't hurt!!!

    As for the potassium sorbate, I got it but he's always balked at using it. Says he doesn't need it. I told him that he gets to clean up the mess if/when bottles blow! (So now he keeps all the bottles upright in an old cooler with a towel draped across the top....)

    I think he uses Red Star Premiere Blanc for the mead. Can't check because he used the last of it recently & we haven't been to Liquor Barn to pick up more. I know we use Red Star Montrachet or Premiere Rouge for red (or reddish) wines....
     
  14. forager

    forager 8 pointer

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    Good yeast choices for meads. The reason why that mead gets that bitter dry flavor is that the honey gives it a higher alcohol content and the yeast strips the flavor away. Add fruit and it gets even more powerful.

    Bottle bombs are for real, lost a sizeable batch of elderberry mead once because the yeast was still going. Sad waste of a good product that was not repeated.

    Good luck!
     

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