Home Brewing

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CGI_Ram

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I searched and didn’t see this topic.

Any home brewers here?

I am starting 2 gallons of mead this weekend. One I will finish and back sweeten with apples and other spices. The other I haven’t decided how to finish and flavor.

If you are not familiar with mead, it’s a trendy home brew thing that uses honey instead of grapes for alcohol creation. Typically meads are sweetened and flavoured during and after secondary fermentation.

In short, you mix honey and water... pitch your yeast and that’s primary fermentation. After that stage, you take it where you want it to go.

I have a resume of wines and some beer making, but this will be my first crack at meads. And... I’m excited to make 1 gallon batches as a means to experiment with flavour. But I very much feel like a rookie.

Anyone else into brewing? And if so what do you make?
 

Loyal

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I aspire to make booze in my basement.

I have all these empty 40's that can be filled with Mead. Send them to you for a refill, or ? @CGI_Ram :D
 

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A lot of my friends are into the home brew scene around here. I brewed a bit years ago, but my patience is for shit. Let us know how that mead turns out!!
 
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FaulkSF

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Yes some experience. I suggest pasteurizing your honey and yeast mixture to 130F. Suggest staying away from Orange blossom honey and being careful on your spices as these may bring out medicinal flavors (phenolics). Best of luck @CGI_Ram let us know how it turns out!

Haven't brewed in about 2 years but planning to make an imperial stout next weekend. Need to be careful as high ABV beers get a tart green apple off-flavor (acetaldehyde).
 
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FaulkSF

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Just another heads up CGI, make sure you cool your Mead wort to below 70F before pitching yeast.
 
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RamFan503

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Yes some experience. I suggest pasteurizing your honey and yeast mixture to 130F. Suggest staying away from Orange blossom honey and being careful on your spices as these may bring out medicinal flavors (phenolics). Best of luck @CGI_Ram let us know how it turns out!

Haven't brewed in about 2 years but planning to make an imperial stout next weekend. Need to be careful as high ABV beers get a tart green apple off-flavor (acetaldehyde).
Just another heads up CGI, make sure you cool your Mead wort to below 70F before pitching yeast.
OK... So I'll preface this by saying I have never made mead. But I have brewed beer since the early 80s and have spoken to several guys that own meaderies in my time of owning a brewery.

I have to ask why you would want to pasteurize honey when it physically can't spoil and you would be heating it (I assume) similarly to how you heat a wert. Especially if you are adding flavors such as hops and spices. You will be well above the temp for wild yeasts and such.

My thought is that pasteurizing honey is not only unnecessary but will remove the raw honey taste you will really want in your mead.

So to your original question @CGI_Ram ... Ask me anything you want to know about brewing. I have recipes, time frames, temperature periods, etc.

While I haven't made mead, I've done countless recipes that had honey (I used to buy it 500 pounds at a time from a local apiary), fruit, fruit concentrates (I never use essence as it is pretty much fruit perfume), spices like clove, anise, licorice, nutmeg, coriander, pepper, coffee.....,
 

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@RamFan503 in my experience, pasteurization at 2G will not remove honey/mead flavor. I've made a mini mead at 7%ABV. Mead flavor forward, despite our inconsistent water in Sac. Killing flame at 130F, won't change the honey, just a suggestion not knowing the exact recipe to avoid off flavors.

Question @RamFan503 what is appropriate amount of toasted coconut to put into a +/- batch of 5 gallon ~~11% RIS? Thinking of going 2.5lbs pre toast in secondary, it will be kegged, oils not as much of a concern since I'll carb in corny.
 

Raptorman

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I have experience drinking my brother in laws homemade beer. He made one that I loved that used raisins. Man, that was good. Unfortunately, he passed away 4 years ago. My sister still has his recipes and one of his friends who has a small brewpub uses some of his recipes and has one on tap every month in his memory.
 

CGI_Ram

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My thought is that pasteurizing honey is not only unnecessary but will remove the raw honey taste you will really want in your mead.
The technique I am evaluating and intend to follow at this moment is using unfiltered and unpasteurized local honey.

I do not plan to heat or bochet honey first.

My first 2 gallons (1 gallon each) I am focusing on a traditional mead. That might be a boring start but my thinking is to learn how to get that right first.

It seems with that foundation mastered, I can build great finishes to them as I learn more.
 
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RamFan503

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@RamFan503 in my experience, pasteurization at 2G will not remove honey/mead flavor. I've made a mini mead at 7%ABV. Mead flavor forward, despite our inconsistent water in Sac. Killing flame at 130F, won't change the honey, just a suggestion not knowing the exact recipe to avoid off flavors.

Question @RamFan503 what is appropriate amount of toasted coconut to put into a +/- batch of 5 gallon ~~11% RIS? Thinking of going 2.5lbs pre toast in secondary, it will be kegged, oils not as much of a concern since I'll carb in corny.
Gotta admit, I have not used coconut in a beer. I'm just not a coconut fan.

With a new ingredient, I would generally look up clones of beers you like or recipes people have published and go with your instincts on which ones make sense.

With Imperials, you obviously have a lot of malt to power through. If you're adding anything like rum, that will be a competing flavor. Even still, 2.5 sounds a little high but you ARE going after a high gravity. So go for it.
 
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RamFan503

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The technique I am evaluating and intend to follow at this moment is using unfiltered and unpasteurized local honey.

I do not plan to heat or bochet honey first.

My first 2 gallons (1 gallon each) I am focusing on a traditional mead. That might be a boring start but my thinking is to learn how to get that right first.

It seems with that foundation mastered, I can build great finishes to them as I learn more.
Nothing wrong with that. My first ales in the early 80s were very basic albeit with a bit more hop. My first couple batches pretty much came out of a can or were from a kit put together by my psychology professor. I got bored with those pretty quickly but they taught me a lot about what NOT to do.
 

FaulkSF

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Gotta admit, I have not used coconut in a beer. I'm just not a coconut fan.

With a new ingredient, I would generally look up clones of beers you like or recipes people have published and go with your instincts on which ones make sense.

With Imperials, you obviously have a lot of malt to power through. If you're adding anything like rum, that will be a competing flavor. Even still, 2.5 sounds a little high but you ARE going after a high gravity. So go for it.
There's a lot of data out there and methods of incorporating it into the beer. I'm actually doing the base beer as a clone of Kate the Great, one of the first RIS' that really got me into the style.

The coconut is just an adjunct I like. Very good example not far from us was the coconut eclipse from 50-50. My thought is to have a firm flavor but not overtake the base recipe and port barrel (should complement). It might actually help dry out the beer a little bit as it calls for London Ale, which may leave it a tad sweet from a home brew system and needing to drop a few pounds of DME into the batch.
 
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FaulkSF

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2 gallons started. (y)

I have no place for this, so I roll this baby into spare bedroom closet. LOL

Gravity looks good to start.

View attachment 44002
Noice. I started preparing today. One of my in-laws works with wood on projects such as shadow boxes and cornhole boards. I took some of his scrap oak and am toasting it before I combine it with about 14 ounces of port.
PXL_20210228_214109580.jpg
 

CGI_Ram

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Fermentation has started.

Bubblers have mild activity this morning, on both.

I used Lalvin D-47. Which is a cool temperature yeast. Prefers temps under 68 degrees F.

It’s sit and observe stretch now, 2-3 weeks.
 
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RamFan503

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2 gallons started. (y)

I have no place for this, so I roll this baby into spare bedroom closet. LOL

Gravity looks good to start.

View attachment 44002
I used to generally put a tube in those corks and then go into a bucket for initial blow off, then replace the tubes with fermentation locks. One hot batch and you'll be glad you did.

What is your planned final gravity?
 
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CGI_Ram

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I used to generally put a tube in those corks and then go into a bucket for initial blow off, then replace the tubes with fermentation locks. One hot batch and you'll be glad you did.

What is your planned final gravity?
Yeah, these airlocks aren’t working too hard right now. About 7 seconds a pop. 1 gallon jugs too.

I will flatten these in the end, and back sweeten to taste. I think. No carbonation plans.

The yeast can only get to 14% alcohol. With those gravities I should get close to that.

I just took this shot... those bubbles are rolling up the side like soda pop.

4316A32E-FE9C-4E20-9E1D-E2C4F07F28F4.jpeg
 

RamFan503

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Yeah, these airlocks aren’t working too hard right now. About 7 seconds a pop. 1 gallon jugs too.

I will flatten these in the end, and back sweeten to taste. I think. No carbonation plans.

The yeast can only get to 14% alcohol. With those gravities I should get close to that.

I just took this shot... those bubbles are rolling up the side like soda pop.

View attachment 44030
So FG around 1.010?

Are you going to re-rack to a secondary? How are you planning to sweeten to taste without creating carbonation?

Like I said, I've never made mead. Just curious.