Beer Recipe of the Week: Sparkling Ginger Mead
Recipe Courtesy of Steve Piatz's article "The Sweet Life" in the July/Aug 2011 edition of Zymurgy
Sparkling Ginger Mead
Ingredients for 5 U.S. gallons (19 liters)
- 18.125 lb (8.2 kg) honey, such as raspberry blossom, orange blossom or clover
- 3.25 lb (52 oz, 1.5 kg) thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. Fermaid K
- 2 tsp. diammonium phosphate
- 1 packet of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast a.k.a. Narbonne
- GoFerm for rehydration
Original Gravity: 1.145
Wash the ginger with tap water. Do not bother peeling the ginger; a food processor is your best bet to slice it up. Place the ginger in a sanitized mesh bag. Boil the bag for a few minutes to sanitize it since some chemical sanitizers are not effective on fabrics and the sanitizers can be hard to rinse out of the fabric.
Pour the honey into a large plastic fermenter. Start adding water to the fermenter. After just a couple of gallons, start stirring the mixture. Once you have a couple gallons of water and the honey mixed together, place a sanitized hydrometer in the must. Slowly add water and mix after each addition until you hit the target OG. Add 0.25 teaspoons of Fermaid K and 0.5 teaspoons of diammonium phosphate to the fermenter.
Once you have the must mixed up, rehydrate the yeast in GoFerm, following the package directions. Once rehydration is complete, mix the rehydrated yeast and liquid into the fermenter.
Once or twice a day, stir the must and push the bag of ginger back under the liquid. The stirring process will release a lot of CO2 from the must. Stir until almost no more bubbles are released by additional stirring. If stirring with a spoon, it will take a while to drive out all the CO2. Using a wand in the drill is faster, but be careful not to release so much CO2 so fast that the fermenter foams over the top.
Once a day, after a round of stirring, add the dose of nutrients, 0.25 teaspoons of Fermaid K and 0.5 teaspoons of diammonium phosphate. Do this for 3 days.
After three to four weeks, rack the mead into glass and wait for it to drop clear. Use Super-Kleer K.C. to help clarification if the mead has finished fermenting. Once clear, keg and carbonate to around 3 volumes of CO2.