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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * October 16, 2003 * Spicy christmas mead? < Previous Next >

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Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I decided I am going to try and make a christmas mead. I am imagining a base of roasty middle-dark beer, then add honey and ginger... and possibly some more... and not too dry... slight esters are ok.. but otherwise I want it pretty clean as usual... I want it to taste like... "coffe/honey/spicy"

Does anyone have any good receipes? Chumley?

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am think of adding also ginger, cloves and raisins.

But I wonder if it is better to add this for example while racking to secondary or in late primary? Otherwise, do you think the flavours ginger/clove/raisin would be altered by some unpredictable process in fermentation?

Chumley when you add all those whacky spices in your recipes do you add it directly in the wort from the beginning?

/Fredrik
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> I am imagining a base of roasty middle-dark
> beer, then add honey and ginger...

Umm...I notice you don't mention honey. You kinda need honey to make mead. What you may be trying to do is a braggot - where blend a mead with an ale.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With base I didn't mean to blend the finished beer with honey. I will ferment the honey but I am thinking of adding some good amount of dark roast malt and some small amount of normal middle-dark malt. I would love to get some really good coffee flavour together with the honey and christmas spices! :) I am quite unsure what the appropriate proportions would be though so I would be curious to see a good receipe. I want the coffe flavour to be prominent as well as honey and ginger.

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It sounds like an interesting braggot recipe to me. Be somewhat restrained with the spices, which can be easy to overdo if you're not careful. Let us know how it turns out.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 01:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess I am quite unknowing about style rules... what makes the difference between maed and braggot? I want to attain the combination honey/coffee/xmas-spices it should a bit semi-sweet... not too dry.

I think I'll use "black malt" 1300 EBC as I've got a bag of that I haven't tried yet! how big % should I add to get a pronounced coffee flavour but not to have it taste like charcoal?

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Think of braggot as a hybrid of mead and beer, with about 50 percent of the fermentables each from malt and honey.

Without some intervention on the part of the meadmaker/brewer, honey beverages tend to be dry, as honey is extremely fermentable. The most reliable method for producing a sweet mead, cider or braggot is to ferment to completion and then gradually add honey or juice (I add about a pound a week) until the yeast tire and the desired sweetness is achieved. It is best to add potassium sorbate (wine stabilizer) at bottling, as the yeast is prone to spontaneous restarting of fermentation, with explosive consequences. The problem is that this also prevents natural carbonation. If you want a sparkling sweet beverage it is strongly recommended to force carbonate with CO2.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill! I see the difference now. I plan to use at least 60% honey... black malt is plain flavouring... and the rest of it I may add to get the FAN up a bit, but I still plan to increase pitching with the same factor the FAN is low as compared to a normal malt wort. I would think honey are low on FANs or is it?? I really don't know...

I am not sure how sweet I want it though..mmm.. I better do some testing... in fact I'll think I add these spices to my last batch with some honey... to see how sweet it should be...

It'll be interesting!! :) The last time I used preservatives Iscrewd up the cider and froze the haze... I wont do that same mistake again though

Any ideas about the blackmalt? would 10% blackmalt be too much?

/Fredrik
 

big earl (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 01:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

with any luck it will be ready for Christmas 2004....
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whoa :) Why is that? conditioning away off flavours? I am not looking for anything funky... is there any special considerations when conditioning a honey brew?

If the primary takes more than 2 weeks this time it's going right down the toilet, no mercy this time. So I figure there should be plenty of time??

/Fredrik
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If by "black malt" you mean black patent I would say 10% would be way too much for what you are proposing. Since 60% of the fermentables will come from honey, which will ferment completely, I think you would end up with a very dry acrid taste from the black patent. In fact, I would leave it out completely and substitue 5% roated barley and 5% chocolate. That is where the coffee taste comes from anyway. I would also add a good amount of crystal to help with the body since the honey won't contribute any.

I would make this like a regular beer and add the honey and spices with 5 or 10 minutes left in the boil. Go light on the spices - If its not spicy enough for you when finished fermenting, you can always add more.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Primary should be at least 1-2 months, Secondary 1-3 months, tertiary 1-2 years. Bottle and wait 2-3 years. If I were you, I would read more about this style if you are not willing to put in the time.

PTA
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Honey beverages, including mead and braggot, tend to benefit from aging. I wouldn't recommend a braggot as a quick effort.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is a little something for ya to look over...
Bees Lees Got Mead?

PTA
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's amazing! Since I am not doing this for the style anyway I think I'll go ahead and do as I planned and see how it turns out, and just stop calling it mead or braggot. "Xmas stuff" is good enough for me :) 3 years would be kind of out of the question anyway. I am curious to see how it turns out.

The Plans.

I aim to primary 1-2 weeks.
Secondary until clear, then add preservatives when racking a third time.
After some day in tertiary I plan to add some honey for sweetening and then bottle?

Do you guys actually think this will turn out bad? or are you just saying it will not comply to the style? Are there any particular off flavours I can expect to see?

/Fredrik
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Style really has nothing to do with it. I don't think it will be bad, just not very good. You have to wait for the magic to happen. It's like BBQ ribs, sure you can cook them on a gas grill in 30 minutes and they won't be bad , but not as good as ribs cooked over indirect heat (my stomach just growled) for 8 hours.
Possible off flavors: yeasty, burning alcoholic (gas) smell and taste just to name a few.

PTA
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm thanks guys! and thanks for that link PTA! I'll proably make a small batch, just in case :)

/Fredrik
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 03:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think it will be bad, very bad. Given your time frame and what you want to achieve?, I think you'd be better off just blending commercial products.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 03:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I made a braggot that won best of show at a relatively small competition. It was very light and subtle, relatively dry with a soft, fruity quality that made it refreshing for summer, quite the opposite of the dark, sweet, spicy concoction Fredrik envisions. My braggot had three months of aging, and I would guess something dark and sweet would benefit from even more.

To understand about the qualities of honey, I recommend making a simple dry sparkling mead. This is a very simple thing to do (those who have brewed only beer often mention how easy it is). The only real drawback I can see is the patience required. Virtually all the mead I have had is better after about six months of conditioning.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>Chumley when you add all those whacky spices in your recipes do you add it directly in the wort from the beginning?

Depends on the spice. I add them anywhere from 20 minutes before the end to the end of boil. Whole cardamon seeds and cinammon sticks, for example, I would add at 15-20 minutes before the end, while freshly crushed roasted cumin I would end when I shut off the burner, in order not to loose the aromatics.

I would do like Scott suggests (brew beer and add spices at the end), though I would also suggest adding the honey after you turn off the burner so to not lose the honey aromatics.

Since you are Swedish and I am of Swedish descent, I assume that by "Christmas spices", you are refering to glogg spices. Why not use glogg spices in your boil? An orange with cloves stuck in it, cardamon seeds, raisons, cinammon stick, blanched almonds, all stuck in the boiling wort 20 minutes before the end of the boil, honey added at the end.

And for getting a coffee flavor, I agree with Scott as well - his suggestion is good, I might suggest 5% chocolate malt/10% brown malt as another consideration. The coffee-est flavored beer I ever brewed was Bill P.'s St. Chuck's porter, where I substituted brown malt for the biscuit.
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik,

If you are brewing this for X-mass 2004 and do it very soon, I think it will age just fine as long as the starting gravity is not too high - say under 1.090. The malt in a braggot (or whatever you choose to call it) tends to soften the harsh affects of fermented honey and hasten the aging process.

Actually, you have me thinking about this for next X-mass as well.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 04:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have made a braggot that made it to the bottle relatively quickly (3 weeks). Like Bill's it was light in color and hopped lightly as well. It was also in the 1.045 range on the OG. I would think that anything with a high OG and 50% honey would take a while.

-Doug
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My braggot had an O.G. of 1.061 (about the same as B52) and 50 percent of the fermentables by weight were honey. It was better after a few months of aging.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I suppose mead is sometimes strong, but I didn't plan to do something extreme as 1.090! I will probably aim at around 5% alcohol, no more. The same with beer, usually I am not a fan of beers above 6% when the ethanol flavour takes over too much. It's like licker to mee and I never drink licker, I just drink beer, sometimes wine but that's rare. I rather have 10 beers than one glass of whiskey :) So something like 1.045, or at least no more than 1.050 is what I have in mind. I don't have any experience with higher alcohol beers yet. I can imagine that higher alcohol brews generally may require lagering?

Does anyone know what these harsh stuff from honey is? Esters? Or some other weird stuff? If I know what the compounds are, maybe it's easier to tweak something to reduce them? As an experiment I've considered feeding the batch with more honey in mid fermentation if that would help. Also I think will try to ferment very cold, with a sh*tload of yeast. What do you think??

So if I read you guys right, with an OG of 1.045 I *may* be able to gets something fair until xmas this year then? I better get to it... proabably this weekend

/Fredrik
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you want something that is 1.045, and tastes "coffe/honey/spicy", I would bag the honey altogether, and use honey malt (or maybe brumalt, since you are in Europe and honey malt from Canada may be unavailable). Something like BP's St. Chuck's with a pound of honey malt and the spices would get you where you want to go.

Hmmm... this brew is starting to sound as bad as sweet wheat chile beer. Personally, I despise flavored coffee - I like my coffee like I like my women...
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

" like my coffee like I like my women... "
Picked up at a gas station and cost less than a pack of gum?

PTA
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA, you're killin' me! :)
 

Chuck Denofrio (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.posbeer.org/oppaat/sahti/ If you want something strange and fast here's one. 3 days!!
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is my quick recipe for Spiced X-Mass Braggot:

Predicted Specs: OG 1.080, IBU's 20, SRM 30
GRAIN
4oz roasted barley
4oz chocolate malt
1lb cystal 60
5lbs pale malt
mash at 154 for 60 minutes
5lbs honey (added for final 5 minutes of boil) I just like to boil my honey a little.

HOPS
1oz Hallertauer for 90 minutes

SPICES
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger (or 1/2oz fresh grated ginger)
1/2oz fresh grated orange peel
Add spices for final 10 minutes of boil

YEAST
American Ale

Any comments on the recipe? I will try to brew this Sunday.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 02:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, I am considerinh your suggestion of adding oranges. Orange flavours is appealing to me! But do you think I should like, add all of it? including the peel? or just the peel? whole or mashed? I am a bit worried about hermicides in the damn orange peel. I am not sure wether I can find organic oranges. I'm gonna shop for this brew tonight.

Or would the oranges maybe conflict with the coffe flavour? I'm not sure if I should add some oranges.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, now it's the point of no return :) I'm at it and the recipe will be

OG = 1.047
Volume = adjust to 1.047 ~ 19-20 liter?

1200g honey(SBR import, < 20% water)
250g roasted(black) malt 1300EBC(ThomasFawcett)
900g pale DME(Muntons)
250g raisins (ran in kitchen mixer)
34g ingefära(powdered)
11g kryddnejlikor(powdered)
1g ammonia salt & minerals

26g Saaz humle 3.3% 45 min
4g magnum humle 14.8& 45 min

(about 20 IBU ?)

Yeast: 3 packs of nottingham ale @ 13degC ambient
(~ 2.8 million/ml/plato)

That roasted malt smells wonderful! woo! Damn.. I'n never going to brew again without this stuff! It smells wonderful!

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry about the swedish :)

ingefära = ginger
kryddnejlikor = cloves

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's done now.

Final volume almost 17 liter (~4.5 gallons) probably because of the honey.

The wort tasted great! :)

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's done now.

Final volume almost 17 liter (~4.5 gallons) probably because of the honey.

The wort tasted great! :)

/Fredrik
 

chumley (216.161.218.185)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 06:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doesn't sound too terrible, though you'll have to let us know how 11 grams of powdered cloves tastes when the final product is ready at Christmas.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.237)
Posted on Saturday, September 13, 2003 - 08:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll take no risks and offer santa a glass before I taste it. If his beard falls off it's probably really bad.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.205)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 05:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The stuff is now on secondary, I might check it out this weekend when it has been a week on secondary at 55F. It tasted pretty nice during racking. Almost like I hoped, except I possibly should have had more roasted malt! I think it wasn't as much coffe aromas as I hoped. I actually think I'll skip the sweetening part. I think it'll be better as is. Less sweet it will be more like beer, but with honey and xmas flavours.

I wonder how they do it. I bought this commercial ale some time ago for testing, and that sucker was as pretty light colore beer. Almost a big light reddish. And that had some amazing coffe aroma. Just like coffe beans.

I probably had around 4% of the sugars(not 4% of the malts) come from roasted malt. Anyone tried something like 10% dark roasted malt? Perhaps one should reduce hopping in that case to make up for the extra malt bitterness? What do you think?

/Fredrik
 

Beer_Lifter (66.75.143.228)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, that is standard procedure unless you take into account Baltic Porters or Imperial Stouts. Some people like to add mass quantities of hops to those beers. Personally, I usually hate sweet, dark and hoppy, so I leave the hopping moderate to low, but tastes vary and opinions differ.

BTW, just out of curiosity, what OS do you use Fredrik?
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.205)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Beerlifter. I am considering throwing in some fresh coffe powder in secondary to get the coffe aroma up and let it sit for a few days before bottling.

What do you think about this? And risk of contamination? Should I heat the powder before?

My OS? I have my PC setup for multiboot linux and winMe at home. The main reason I use windows alot is that there are some stuff like digcameras that I have no drivers for in linux. So I'm kind of stuck with it. But I am proud to say I am a bit ashamed of using it :)

Btw, if you're trying to hack my IP I've got a firewall setup :)

/Fredrik
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, No powder. Light crack some beans and then throw them in. I would use a light roast light Jamacain blue mountian of Kona. The dark roast jump out with a bitter roasted/burnt flavor.

-Doug
 

Beer_Lifter (66.75.143.228)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not trying to hack your box - just curious. I talk with several people from the netherlands on other boards, and they indicate that linux is the overwhelming OS of choice among them and their friends, with *BSD as a close second. I was just curious if this was true among everyone, or just hackers (in the good sense, not EVIL SCARY HACKERS!). I'd love to get over to that part of the world for HAL or the CCC (which I just missed), but a wife and a 4 month old kid make it difficult to just pick up and go.

Anyway, I don't mean to derail your thread - as far as the beer goes, I agree that either whole, or lightly cracked beans that have been lightly roasted would be a better idea than ground coffee. I have had coffee porters and stouts made with grounds that were essentially like carbonated coffee with a beer flavor in the background. Interesting, but not something I'd want to drink a lot of.
 

Beer_Lifter (66.75.143.228)
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Of course, 11 grams of powdered cloves is going to be pretty hard to overpower :)
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.205)
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 05:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I started using linux 8 years ago and at that time it was only geeks who was into it. But the last few years I've got friends who wouldn't know howto install linux using it at home. Many companies and government departments are now switching or at least considering. I've been telling my boss we should switch to linux for two years now. The problem is that we have to port all damn software. Accounting and ordering software and so on. And noone has time to bare with the transition. I would love to do it, but I don't have time either.

A word about the beer :) I like it spicy. I like to feel some fire, especially in a special xmas beer. I'll probably decide this weekend if I should add some coffe or not. It's probably not bad as is though, so maybe I should take no risks.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.205)
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bottled and tasted the xmas honey beer beer today. I am happy with the taste! The aroma is excellent, it could have been a bit more coffe but otherwise it was perfect aroma.

OG = 1.047
FG = 1.008
~4 gallons

Yeast: 3 packages of nottingham ale dry yeast
Primary: 5 days @ 55F, 3 days @ 70F
Secondary: 1 week @ 55F

The amount of cloves was fine. Quite spicy(!) but that was what I wanted. I didn't want it to become lame.

Now the remaining bottles will be left for xmas! :)

/Fredrik

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