Skip to main content

2022 Batch 02 - Pecan Brandy Mead

I watched an episode of Moonshiners: Master Distiller late in 2020 where one of the contestants made a Pecan Brandy that he (and the judges) described as being very tasty, like drinking a pecan pie.  I thought that sounded good, and although distilling it into brandy would not be a legal option for me, turning it into a mead would be quite possible and might be good.

The recipe as described on the show was pretty simple... honey, water, yeast, and pecans.

Ingredients

12 pounds of Wildflower Honey
2 pounds of Pecans, crushed and ground
4 gallons of water, treated with some gypsum
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 package of Premier Des Cotes champagne yeast

Batch Size: 5.0 gallons (actual and estimated)
Original Gravity: 1.090 (actual and estimated)
Final Gravity:  0.984 (estimated)

Brewing Instructions

Bring water to a boil and sterilize wort chiller.

Add half the pecans in a muslin bag.  Add the other half, in a different muslin bag, to the fermenter.

Gradually add honey while stirring the liquid.

When all the honey is added, pump the must through the wort chiller into the fermenter.

With sanitized tongs, transfer the bag of pecans to the fermenter so that both bags and all the pecans are in the fermenter.

Pitch two packages of the yeast when the must temperature is in range for the yeast.

Ferment until completely fermented, then bottle and enjoy.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

01/08/2022:  Fermenter volume read exactly 5 gallons at 78F with a gravity of 1.089 SG.

01/09/2022:  Gravity has dropped to 1.088 SG.

01/10/2022:  Gravity is down to 1.086 SG at a temp around 66F.  There are clear signs of activity in the airlock if you check, so I assume the yeast are still getting up to speed and that we'll see activity pick up today.  If not, I may need to add more yeast and perhaps a farmentation heat wrap to get things kickstarted.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 2

In the last post, I shared an overview of The Grainfather, recommended equipment to use with it, and an overview of the brewing process.  In this installment, I'm going to talk specifically about mashing and sparging. Having brewed over a dozen batches with it, I'm finally becoming very comfortable with the device, the mash process, and how to get what I want out of it. I don't consider myself a "master" of it yet, though. For those who have never done all-grain brewing, I want to provide a quick overview of the mash process itself. Mashing - With or Without The Grainfather The goal of mashing is to turn the starches in the grain into sugars. More specifically, you want to turn the starches into a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars that provide the flavor profile associated with the beer you are brewing. A sweeter beer might warrant more unfermentable sugars. A more dry beer will demand few unfermentable sugars. To a great extent, controlling the

Yellow Label Angel Yeast vs. Typical Brewing Yeast

I currently have my second batch of rice wine fermenting with the "magical" yellow-label Angel Yeast from China, and wanted to share some of the more unusual aspects of using it.  If you've never seen or used this yeast, I suspect you're not alone.  It ships in a 500 gram package that looks like this: What makes it "yellow label" is that yellow box you see in the upper left corner of the package.  This implies that it's yeast for distilling (though you do not need to have a still or distill the output to use it).  As I understand it, inside the package is a mix of yeast and other materials which will convert starch into sugar and directly ferment it, without the need for a traditional mash step.  This can radically shorten your brewing time.  For my most-recent batch of rice wine, I heated 3 gallons of water to 155F, poured it over 13+ pounds of uncooked rice straight out of the bag, let that soak for an hour, rehydrated some of this yeast in warm water,

Grainfather Specifications for BeerSmith, Beer Tools Pro, and Other Software

Recently, I've been trying to "dial in" settings in BeerSmith and Beer Tools Pro so that I can do a better job getting my actual brewing results to match up to the figures in the software. Below are some of the figures I've worked out with my US Grainfather. Given manufacturing variances and possible measuring errors on my part, these might not match exactly to yours, but hopefully they're close enough that it will help you. BeerSmith Equipment Profile: Brewhouse Efficiency: 83% (based on my experience, yours may vary) Mash Tun Volume: 8 gallons Mash Tun Weight: 8.82 pounds Mash Tun Specific Heat: 0.12 Cal/gram-deg C Mash Tun Addition: 0 gallons Lauter Tun Losses: 0 gallons Top Up Water for Kettle: 0 gallons Boil Volume: 6.25 gallons Boil Time: 60 minutes Boil Off: 0.40 gallons per hour Cooling Shrinkage: 6% Loss to Trub and Chiller: 0.53 gallons Batch Volume: 5 gallons Fermenter Loss: 0.40 gallons (yours may vary) Whirlpool time: 0 minutes B