Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mead-a-Rita version 1.0

Yesterday I toured local meadery Brothers Drake and got to try several of their products. It got me to thinking about how I might try to put a spin on the drink.

What I decided was to try mixing the idea of a Mead and a margarita into one beverage. I'd use orange blossom honey as the base, and combine it with dark agave nectar to get a tequila like flavor, adding lime juice to introduce tartness, and sweet orange peel to simulate triple sec.  The honey would provide additional orange notes and hopefully a base sweetness.

Ingredients

1 pound Orange Blossom Honey
1 pound 3 ounces Dark Agave nectar
0.75 ounces sweet orange peel
1 ounce by weight lime juice
0.25 teaspoons yeast nutrient
1 packet champagne yeast

Brewing

Boil three quarts of water for ten minutes with the lime juice, yeast nutrient, and orange peel in it.
Remove from heat and add the agave nectar and honey.

Allow it to cool to around 80F and pitch the yeast into it.

Fermenting

I placed the mead in a gallon jar with a lid and airlock.  There was visible activity, though not a krausen, atop the mead the next day.  Airlock activity has been mostly slow, but steady.  

My plan is to give this about three weeks in the primary fermenter, then rack it off to a secondary fermenter and allow it to age for a month or longer before taste testing.

Additional Notes

On September 9, I transferred the mead off the sediment and into a clean, sanitized fermenter.  At the time, I also tasted a sample. The mead at this point tastes like a very sweet margarita.  I rehydrated some Montrachet wine yeast and added yeast nutrient and yeast energizer, then pitched this into the mead to see if it would dry out some of the sweetness. I'll test it again in a month.

10/22/2017:  The mead is still incredibly sweet to the taste. It will work fine, I think, when poured over ice - but comes across far too sugary to drink much of it straight.  If I do this recipe again, I'll want to increase the amount of lime juice and probably give the yeast repeated nutrient doses to get it to ferment out better.  I can't say I'm totally disappointed with it, but it's not what I wanted and it doesn't seem to be drying out much.

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