hist-brewing: New to brewing, Fermentation question
Jonathan L. Shapiro
jls462 at psu.edu
Tue Jun 29 16:25:47 PDT 1999
Hello, I had a quick question about the fermentation period of mead. I
had followed the recipe below a few months back as my first experiment in
brewing. My question has to do with the part about adding the vodka or
grain alcohol to end the fermentation. Rather than doing this, could I let
the fermentation continue until it stops naturally? Does anyone have an
idea of about how long that would take as opposed to what is indicated in
the recipe? Is there an easy way to be sure that fermentation has stopped?
(I have yet to obtain a hydrometer) And lastly, I assume doing so would
affect the alcohol content of the mead, but will it drastically effect the
flavor? One of the things I liked about this mead was the fact that it
tasted a bit like an apple pie, so it worked great as a desert drink, though
it did almost seem too sweet for some occasions.
To be honest, this is the only mead I've ever tasted, so I've no idea
what to expect from other recipes or procedures. Absolutely any help will
be greatly appreciated.
Basic Small Mead
Author: Cher Feinstein (crf at pine.circa.ufl.edu)
Digest: September 30, 1989, Issue #267
2 sticks cinnamon
2 thin slices ginger
2-4 teaspoons orange peel
2 pounds honey
1/4 cup vodka or grain alcohol
In a 1-gallon pot, simmer cloves (lightly cracked), cinnamon (broken),
and ginger. Add orange peel. The amount of orange peel will vary
depending on type of honey used. Use less orange peel with orange
blossom honey, for example. Simmer.
Add water to bring volume to 3 quarts. Return to simmer. Add honey,
stirring constantly. Do not boil! Skim off any white scum. If scum
is yellow, reduce heat. When no more scum forms, remove from heat,
cover pot, and leave overnight. The next day, strain to remove as
much spice particles as possible. Pitch yeast. Replace pot cover.
Twelve hours later, rack mead to 1-gallon jug, leaving dregs of yeast.
Top off jug, bringing to base of neck. Take a piece of clean paper
towel, fold into quarters, and put over mouth of jug. Seal with rub-
ber band. Ferment for 36 hours, replacing paper towel whenever it
becomes fouled. Refrigerate 8-12 hours. Rack to new jug and put back
in refrigerator for 12 hours. Add 1/4 cup vodka to kill yeast. Rack
to fresh jug. Refrigerate 3-4 days. Bottle.
This is a quickie mead, drinkable in 2 weeks, however, it does improve
with age. Aging at least a couple months is recommended. This mead is
Original Gravity: N/A
Final Gravity: N/A
Primary Ferment: 2 days
Secondary Ferment: 2 weeks
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