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Author Topic: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots  (Read 3358 times)

Tipitaka

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BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« on: December 29, 2013, 02:22:36 am »

Got brewing gear and ingredients. Just need a big enamel pot now. Will make own stirring paddle out of maple wood. (Beer is to me, an important part of a healthy diet and not a vice. YMMV.) Beyond the initial investment it does make the stuff cheaper than buying it at the grocery store.

 :occasion14:

So I went to the brew shop and picked out the grains. Malt extract was more than double the price of using grain only. The shop also only had a few pounds of each type. Luckily they had the Trappist yeast and low-alpha hops I wanted.

Grain Bill for this experimental ale is 2 lbs red wheat malt, 2 lbs black malt, 1 lb cut oats, 1 lb roasted barley with husks, and the remaining 6 lbs is light barley malts of various types. Exact varieties are secret in case this turns out great. You need 2 lbs of grain for every gallon of finished beer.

I like hops for aroma more than for flavor, so I picked out noble hops (selected wild or localized varieties with usually low alpha scores). A high alpha is bitter, while low alpha is aromatic. I picked a Staaz hop as is used for Pilsner. I'm going to add them near the end of the boil rather than the middle so that the aroma is the main thing imparted rather than the flavor.

I'm using honey to prime it for bottling, and I have toasted oak chips for the fermentation to mellow it out and add a vanilla character to go with the caramel, coffee, and chocolate notes already available from the malt.

Different yeasts have different effects. The Trappist yeast I chose is supposed to create a creamy consistency and thick head of foam, and relatively high alcohol content compared to the beers you might see at the grocery store.

Use big bottles. Bigger bottles are less difficult to clean and faster to fill and cap. There's also the fact that if it's made for special occasions, a big bottle is better looking on the table than 2 small bottles. Aside from saved beer and soda bottles, I also have a case of 12 22oz bottles. Among them, they hold about 2 gallons of beer. Bottles can be reused, crown caps cannot. But the price for a hundred caps is about $3, so it's no biggie. I will probably need to buy a few more bottles and if I still have leftover beer, will let the priming ferment out in mason jars with loosened lids and store it for making soups and stews (they don't require carbonation, but the beer flavor makes for good Irish stew and other dishes).

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WWalker

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 10:05:22 am »

Sounds interesting.  Enjoy!

Just got into brewing recently, haven't done all grain yet, still extract brewing but all grain is in my future.

Will be bottling my first batch of IPA this weekend.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  The wort tasted nice and hoppy after the boil.  The flat beer sample after fermentation, tasted great.  Has been dry hoped in the secondary for a week now...can't wait to taste it again on bottling day...wait some more then start enjoying the fully carbonated finished product in a couple more weeks.   
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Tipitaka

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 04:30:23 am »

Sounds interesting.  Enjoy!

Just got into brewing recently, haven't done all grain yet, still extract brewing but all grain is in my future.

Will be bottling my first batch of IPA this weekend.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  The wort tasted nice and hoppy after the boil.  The flat beer sample after fermentation, tasted great.  Has been dry hoped in the secondary for a week now...can't wait to taste it again on bottling day...wait some more then start enjoying the fully carbonated finished product in a couple more weeks.

Sounds good. I hope the dry hopping doesn't introduce any unwanted microbes to the party.

I've been making Mead pretty much since highschool, which differs from extract brewing only in ingredients. It's a nice variation to try out at your current skill level. It's pretty much the same process. It just uses honey, water, and yeast to make a tasty alcoholic beverage with a generally floral aroma and light sweetness. I'm actually slightly annoyed by most commercial mead breweries because the carbonated version is more or less not available commercially. Mine has a thick head of foam on it, usually 2 finger. It depends on the yeast variety used and sugar concentration. You can add spices during the boil to make Hippocras or mull mead and spices after the fermentation for Bochet (will be flat though). Be sure to boil mead wort long enough to kill wild yeasts and destroy the enzymes in the honey. Use a strong flavored wildflower honey for better flavor. I see a lot of recipes that call for lemon juice, but honey is really delicate, so adding citrus to it keeps a lot of the flavors from being noticeable. It's also not traditional. It's a disappointing recent trend like the flat stuff at the liquor store.

If you want to try out a particular honey and yeast combo before making a full batch, just dissolve 1/4 cup honey in 1 3/4 cups water. Boil, let cool, and add a pinch of yeast into a 1 pint mason jar. Set the lid on top and loosely screw down ring so gas can escape. After the fermentation and yeast settles out or cakes on top, remove it and pour the mead into another sterile jar, stir in 2 tsp of honey and cap tightly. Give it about 3-6 days before you drink it so it carbonates. That's how you make a single serving of mead to test out the flavor before buying $20 worth of honey for a multi-gallon batch. I've never had a jar explode on me when doing this, but it's not out of the scope of possibility. Be sure to take the usual precautions for carbonated beverages.
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WWalker

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 12:33:35 pm »

I will try a small batch to mead.  I've got a lot of honey in storage.

The IPA is bottled.  Tasted great.

According to those in the know infection just doesn't happen from dry hopping.  Of course one must follow all the normal sanitizing practices when opening the fermenter.
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Tipitaka

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 01:45:01 am »

I will try a small batch to mead.  I've got a lot of honey in storage.

The IPA is bottled.  Tasted great.

According to those in the know infection just doesn't happen from dry hopping.  Of course one must follow all the normal sanitizing practices when opening the fermenter.

I read that dry-hopping was risky in a book, so I've never done it.
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Warwulf

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 05:45:40 am »

  For a really great forum packed with recipes and really great folks willing to help with brewing: www.gotmead.com
  I use Lallemand yeasts as Red Star are too tempermental when it comes to temperature and throwing off fusels(the smell and taste of burnt plastic). http://www.lallemandwine.com/spip.php?rubrique33&id_mot=19&lang=en
  Also, honey will be the greatest cost as it's now up to $40-$50 a gallon. It takes 2 gals to make a 6.5 gal batch of mead (for a sweet mead). If you can find your local bee keeper, they might be able to get you in contact with other bee keepers for fresh honey.
  NEVER BOIL YOUR HONEY OR MUST! WHY??? Honey is sterile. Instead of putting the must in mason jars, re-pouring, etc...just use a glass carboy with an airlock.  Now, it IS acceptable to boil the must for BEER. Beer is different that mead.
  As suggested, try different yeasts. See the link and the kinds of flavors different yeasts impart to the mead or wine.
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Baked at 420

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 08:44:58 pm »

Does anyone know a recipe using weed in place of hops? I've tried the Ranger IPA at a party my brother was throwing, and it tasted the the same-ish to my favorite Indica strain called "Mango". So I got the idea to replace hops with weed. Has anyone else tried it?
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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 02:46:48 pm »

Trying out a large (1700ml) batch of beer mead with a new yeast strain. Using safbrew s-33 belgian trappist top-fermenting yeast with 200 ml of local honey and 1500 ml of distilled water. Made as described above in a large mason jar.
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Write in such a way as  that you can be readily understood by both the young and the old, by men  as well as women, even by children. ~Ho Chi Minh

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2016, 10:37:02 am »

any good recipes for mead?

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WWalker

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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2016, 12:02:37 pm »

Does anyone know a recipe using weed in place of hops? I've tried the Ranger IPA at a party my brother was throwing, and it tasted the the same-ish to my favorite Indica strain called "Mango". So I got the idea to replace hops with weed. Has anyone else tried it?

I have wondered the same thing.  I have to believe someone has tried it.

Then my other question is will you get the effects of the weed? 
I haven't done a significant amount of research, but orally consuming cannabis that has not been heated requires much larger quantities to be effective.  Something about heat converting THCA (non psychoactive) to THC (psychoactive).
I know there are tinctures made with alcohol with no heating process, but don't know anything more about that or the effects of such.
     
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Re: BEER BEER BEER... also Mead, Melomel, and Braggots
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 10:09:01 pm »

any good recipes for mead?

Try this method...

If you want to try out a particular honey and yeast combo before making a full batch, just dissolve 1/4 cup honey in 1 3/4 cups water. Boil, let cool, and add a pinch of yeast into a 1 pint mason jar. Set the lid on top and loosely screw down ring so gas can escape. After the fermentation and yeast settles out or cakes on top, remove it and pour the mead into another sterile jar, stir in 2 tsp of honey and cap tightly. Give it about 3-6 days before you drink it so it carbonates. That's how you make a single serving of mead to test out the flavor before buying $20 worth of honey for a multi-gallon batch. I've never had a jar explode on me when doing this, but it's not out of the scope of possibility. Be sure to take the usual precautions for carbonated beverages.

...with this measurement:

Trying out a large (1700ml) batch of beer mead with a new yeast strain. Using safbrew s-33 belgian trappist top-fermenting yeast with 200 ml of local honey and 1500 ml of distilled water. Made as described above in a large mason jar.

It makes a wonderful mead.
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If I survive, I will  spend my whole life at the oven door seeing that no one is denied bread  and, so as to give a lesson of charity, especially those who did not  bring flour. ~Jose Marti

Write in such a way as  that you can be readily understood by both the young and the old, by men  as well as women, even by children. ~Ho Chi Minh
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