Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chocolate Mead

Tonight, I brewed my first chocolate mead. I have been looking at a few recipes and decided to go for it! The aging process may be the biggest hurdle but here is the recipe:

Batch 4-008
12 lbs Clover Honey
24 oz Nestle Cocoa
2 Lemons
5 tsp Yeast Nutrient
3+ gal Distilled Water
1 pk EC-1118 (hydrated)

Step #1: Boil 1 gal water, add 24 oz Nestles Coca and stir until dissolved; remove from heat

Step #2: Add honey to soften, stir until uniform

Step #3: Add 2 gal water, juice of lemons and yeast nutrient to carboy

Step #4: Add must to carboy

Step #5: Hydrate yeast and add to carboy; add airlock

OG: 1.112 (corrected); Potential ABV: 14.9%

-Safari Bob

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pumpkin Cyser Update

I racked the Pumpkin Cyser yesterday and discovered about 2" of lees in the bottom of the carboy. I also added 4 cinnamon sticks and a whole vanilla bean to the secondary. SG: 1.022.

Also, I am contemplating a new mead project: a chocolate mead. From what I read, the chocolate takes a longer time to age because of "oils" contained in the coca. I can find nothing more specific about this but most agree that the finished product is worth the wait. I hope to have a viable recipe by next weekend.

In addition, I bottled a traditional mead made from blackberry honey. I will post the finished stats soon.

-Safari Bob

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pumpkin Cyser

Today, I finally pulled the trigger and took a shot at a pumpkin cyser. Here is the recipe:

3 gal Apple Cider (pasteurized)
1 gal distilled water
12 lbs Clover Honey
15 oz Libby's Pumpkin (no additives)
2 lbs brown sugar
2.5 tsp pectin enzyme
5 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet EC-1118 (hydrated)

Secondary (Planned)
4 Cinnamon Sticks
4-8 cloves
1 vanilla bean (whole)

First I boiled 1/2 gal of water, reduced to 170 F, and slowly dissolved the pumpkin while stirring.

Next, I sterilized the carboy, added the nutrient, enzyme and 2 gal cider.

Next, I removed must from heat, added honey and brown sugar slowly until dissolved.

Finally, added must and hydrated yeast to carboy. Topped off with cider to 5 gal.

OG: 1.51 (20.1% ABV).

-Safari Bob

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mead Day 2008

Today is Mead Day and I am brewing a Root Beer Mead. Here is the recipe:

Batch 4-006
12 lbs. Clover Honey
4 oz. Gnome Root Beer extract
5 tsp. yeast nutrient
Lavlin EC-1118 (Hydrated)
Water to 5 gal

OG: 1.114; Potential ABV: 15.2%

-Safari Bob

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Tragedy of Tragedies

Today, I was racking a batch of mead when I broke my auto syphon. Man that sucks (or doesn't depending).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Apfelwein Bottled: Old Country Inn

Last night I bottled batch 4-002: Old Country Inn. This batch is Apfelwein although with a twist. I infused Old Country Inn with vanilla beans and cinnamon. Also, I used brown sugar instead of dextrose. Still it is quite dry but not as sharp. OG: 1.068; FG: 0.994; ABV: 10%.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Batch: 4-005 Buckwheat Traditional

I have a paper that needs to be written so, of course, I had a busy day of avoiding work by playing in the mead. I racked 4-002, 4-004, and I brewed a new batch of Buckwheat Traditional. Interestingly, the OG: 1.102 is the same as the last buckwheat traditional I brewed.

I am worried about 4-004, however. The SG: 1.072 and fermentation is so slow. I may have to restart with another shot of EC-1118.

-Safari Bob

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Batch: 4-004 Blackberry Traditional

Friday, I brewed a new batch of sweet elixir of the gods! I am working on traditionals here lately and I continue with a blackberry honey. This honey is not like I expected; it is much lighter and completely crystalized. I had some difficulty getting the honey solvent and I had to use a little less water than I had hoped. I used the same recipe and yeast as 4-003 and, with the reduced amount of water, the OG was the same: 1.098.

Also, I cracked open some Black and Red (the buckwheat traditional) and oh my! it is tasty! I was expecting a much more bitter brew but even though it is dry, it does display some subtle sweetness. I may only brew traditionals from now on!

- Safari Bob

Friday, April 4, 2008

Batch 4-001 Bottled: Winter's Flagon

Today, I bottled batch 4-001: Winter's Flagon (OG: 1.060; FG: 0.992; ABV: 9.1%). This batch is apfelwein and a departure from what I normally brew. I was able to get from a 5 gallon batch (6) 1.5L Magnums and (16) Pint Flip-tops.

Winter's Flagon is sour with a distinctive 'Granny Smith' apple aftertaste that is crisp and clean. It is a great winter potable that reminds me (for some reason) of the Pub in the Dragon Lance books. I can well imagine this being served in some fictional bar from which all D&D adventures begin.

-Safari Bob

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Batch: 4-003 Cranberry Traditional

Tonight I brewed a new batch of mead: A Cranberry Traditional. This is a traditional (ie just honey, water, and yeast) but for the honey, I used a cranberry varietal from The Bee Folks. Here is the recipe:

4 gal water
1 gal Cranberry Honey
5 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet EC-118 (hydrated)
OG: 1.098; Potential ABV: 13%

I am hoping that it finishes dry with a subtle berry sweetness. We shall see..


- Safari Bob

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Mead Bottled: Black and Red

I finally bottled batch 3-007: The Buckwheat Traditional. In keeping with the TTU theme, I chose the name of Black and Red because the mead has a hue of both black and red - depending on the angle of light. From 5 gallons I managed the following:

15 750 ml wine bottles
1 1 liter flip-top
1 750 ml champagne bottle (I carbonated)

(OG: 1.102; FG: .996; ABV: 14.1%)

-Safari Bob

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Mead Bottled: Double T

Yesterday, I bottled Batch 3-006 which is a traditional mead using Orange Blossom honey varietal. As I am now at Texas Tech, I have decided to continue with that theme and have named this batch Double T (I thought it apt as it is a traditional). I was able to bottle the following from the initial 5 gallons:

2 1.5 l Magnum bottles
13 750 ml green bottles
3 16 oz "Grolsch" bottles

OG: 1.108; FG: 1.016; ABV: 12.3%

-Safari Bob

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Racking Fun: 3-007 Buckwheat and 4-001 Apflewein

Today I racked batches 3-007 and 4-001. I took a reading on 4-001 (SG: 1.000; ABV: 8%) but I was lazy and did not take a new reading on the buckwheat traditional. Batch 3-006 is clearing and I noticed that I am almost out of corks. So, I ordered the following from The Home Brewery:

12 Clear Bottles
12 Green Bottles
1 pack (30) Shrink Wrap; black
100 Synthetic Corks

Yeah, I'm a wild man.

-Safari Bob

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Batch: 4-002 Apfelwein

I was wandering around Wal-Fart today and chanced upon Musselman's Apple Cider for $1.50 per gallon. I was forced to capitalize and make a new batch of Apfelwein. Here is the recipe:

5 gallon apple cider
2 lbs dark brown sugar
1.12 oz apple pie spice
1 pkt Red Star Montrachet
OG: 1.068 (potential ABV: 10.4%)

Mmmm.. tasty! I also joined the local homebrew club this week: Ale-ian Society. Come on by the forum and drop me a line!

-Safari Bob

Saturday, January 12, 2008

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Monday, January 7, 2008

New Batch: 4-001 Apfelwein

Today I brewed Apfelwein, although perhaps 'brewed' is a misnomer. This wine is so simple to make that I did not even have to heat anything. Here is what I did:

5 gallon 100% apple cider
2 lb corn sugar
1 packet Red Star Montrachet yeast
OG: 1.060 (potential ABV: 9.3%)

Step #1: Sterilize the carboy
Step #2: Add 1/2 gallon apple cider to carboy; add 1 lb corn sugar to 1/2 gallon of apple juice and shake well; add to carboy
Step #3: Repeat step #2
Step #4: Add all remaining apple cider to carboy; add yeast

It took less than 30 minutes - including clean up - and I should get almost 5 gallons of apfelwein for less than $20. Oh yeah..

After it is done I intend to carbonate by adding 3/4 cup corn sugar before I bottle. I have never successfully been able to carbonate this way with mead but it should work here. Now if Linden would only find me a bembel...

-Safari Bob

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Raider Red: Batch 3-008 is Bottled

Today I bottled batch 3-008 which is a cyser I brewed on 10 November 2007. This cyser was brewed with mint honey and finished with a distinct red hue. In order to commemorate TTU's come from behind victory in the Gator Bowl, I have named this batch Raider Red. Out of a 5 gallon batch, I bottled the following:

6 1.5 liter bottles
7 750 ml bottles
2 16 oz Grolsch bottles

The mead is smooth, sweet, and smacks of apple, vanilla, and mint. I can't wait to see how it ages.
OG: 1.144; FG: 1.022; ABV: 17.9% (adjusted)

-Safari Bob