hist-brewing: Buckwheat mead - fining

Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca
Mon Jan 22 15:57:03 PST 2001


Made it twice, tried nearly everything that seemed reasonable.

I boiled all of the honey additions 15 minutes, and skimmed off the
coagulated protein (good honey separates out and is returned.

After fermentation, I found that during aging it threw down a soft, bulky
layer of protein after each racking or bottling (even after 1 year!).  I
used 1/2 bottles and lost so much good mead to the sediment that I tried
harder the next time.

In the next batch, I used 1/8 tsp Irish Moss in each boil on the assumption
I was after protein.

In the final racking, where I sweeten if necessary, I added bentonite and
let it sit a month.  Bottled it, and got almost as much sediment as before.

I've heard that what scums off in boiling is dispersed wax, pollen and dead
bees.  If I made 5 gallons, I could filter it, I guess, but at what cost?
And will it be effective if every time I rack crystal clear mead it throws a
new deposit?

So when a bottle gets down to the last inch and a half, dinner for my
sweetie and me includes buckwheat mead glazed carrots.  The sediment doesn't
show among the onions.  I can live with that.

And if it can help inspire your friend, here's my recipe below.  If he's
"period" he can leave things out.

Sean

 SEAN'S SWEET MEAD

Not offensively sweet. Should appeal to those who like Drambuie but not
other sweet liquers.  A long-term project that produces a great after-dinner
drink.

Yeast starter (or use primary fermenter deposit from white wine):
Combine in pail or 10 L carboy:
 3 cans frozen concentrated apple juice
 3.7 L water
 1 g sodium metabisulphite
 1 g Pectinex
 2 g "white" or "reductive" wine acid blend
 1 g yeast nutrients
 1 pkg (5 g) Lalvin champagne (bayanus) yeast
Ferment 8 days or until "cider" has a good yeast deposit and is in process
of clearing.  Rack off cider - might be good for blending with crabapple
scrumpy or something.  Leave yeast in fermenter.

Mead (per gallon final product):
Boil together in pot with sufficient headspace:
 4.3 L water
 1.5 kg strong flavoured (e.g. buckwheat) honey
 10 g "white" or "reductive" wine acid blend
 1/2 tsp powdered Irish moss (about 1 tsp, powdered)
Boil 10 minutes, skimming foam (collect in heat-resistant container and
return clear liquid).
Remove from boil, add:
 15 g yeast nutrients
Force cool.  When at room temperature, add:
 1 g sodium metabisulphite
Rack onto yeast deposit from apple juice or wine.  Make sure fermenter has
plenty of headspace as about 5 inches head is expected.  OG should be
1.090-1.100
At day 2, or when fermentation starts to slow down:
Boil together as above:
 500 g same honey
 500 mL water
 1/4 tsp powdered Irish moss
Boil 10 min., skim foam, etc.  Force cool and add to primary fermenter.
When head collapses, rack to carboys.  Use mix of sizes so as to fill to
neck without topping up.
Rack at 2 weeks (SG 0.996).  Yield about 5.5 L
Rack at 3 months (should be starting to clear).  Yield about 5 L.  Prepare
sweetening:
Boil together as above:
 250 g same honey
 250 mL water
 1/4 tsp Irish moss
Boil 15 minutes, skim foam.  Add to pot while still hot:
 3.6 g bentonite
Stir vigorously and patiently to suspend.  Force cool and add:
 1.2 g potassium sorbate
Rack mead and add sweetening.
Bulk age until it clears (2 wks. to 1 month to ???).  Bottle (dregs can be
filtered out with coffee filters for maximum yield).  Use 1/2 bottles and
close with FLANGE CORKS.  Seal with wax and store and age UPRIGHT.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Maples" <matt_lists at hotmail.com>
To: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca>
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2001 9:40 PM
Subject: Buckwheat


Just a question about the sludge. I am asking because a friend on mine is
dead set on making a buckwheat mead (MORE POWER to him !!!!:-)) Did you fine
your 100% buckwheat mead? and if so with what?


Matt Maples
Anagram: "Tap me malts!"


May mead regain its rightful place as the beverage of gods and kings.

Sean Richens
srichens.spamsucks at sprint.ca



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