Author Topic: Over-Spiced Metheglin  (Read 2976 times)

Offline 1 atm Brewing

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Over-Spiced Metheglin
« on: January 24, 2011, 11:31:32 PM »
Yeah....so I over-spiced my mead.

It all started when I made an experimental 1 gallon batch from avocado honey. It came out very dark with a caramel-y taste, so I came up with the idea of adding star anise (black licorice flavor) and making a Jagermeadster. Not really sure where I was going with this but it sounded like a good idea at the time. So I added 5g of crushed star anise (pre-soaked in vodka) to the gallon and tasted it after a week. I've added oak to my meads in the past and it usually takes 2 weeks for the flavor to develop, but this time just a week was waaaay to long. It's funny because I ended up with something that tastes similar to jagermeister, which isn't that drinkable in larger than shotglass quantities. I was hoping for a hint of black licorice, not a slap in the nose.

Now...what to do?
Do spice flavors fade over time, like hops in beer? The metheglin is now off the star anise and sitting in my closet. I'm not in a big rush. Any other ideas on what to do with it? I'm thinking of ways I could blend it (what goes with black licorice?). I could make another gallon of avocado mead to blend with the metheglin and cut the spice flavor in half. Although I might end up with 2 gallons of slightly less-offensive metheglin, assuming the spice flavor won't fade. Maybe make a sauce/marinade of sorts? Again wondering about the black licorice pairing possibilities.

I'm open to any suggestions. This started as an experiment and looks like it'll end that way, so might as well learn as much as I can!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 02:26:01 AM »
Make another gallon, and do some test mixes to get the flavor you want, you might not want it 50/50.

For any leftovers, you can cook with it.  Equal parts mead, soy sauce, cheap cooking rice wine, and water.  Bring it to a boil, add some green onions, ginger slices, some chiles and szechuan peppercorns if you like.  Boil for 15 minutes or so, then add some chicken pieces and boil it for 10 minutes.  Cover it, turn off the heat and let it sit for another 15 minutes.  Serve, with some of the cooking liquid and fresh sliced green onions in a dish for dipping.  Delicious.

Strain out the chunks and freeze the liquid for next time, it keeps gaining flavor.  Mine has been going for years.

You can come up with other recipes too, a little in some BBQ sauce, stir fry, lots of places where it could be good.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brew_in_stl

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 03:01:16 PM »
Things that go with Black Licorice (Star Anise)...

Vanilla
Cardamom
Cinnamon
Cloves

previous along with Star Anise known as the four siblings in Malaysian cooking
Juniper
Ginger
Black Pepper

To name a few...

I say you have three options...wait, blend with a standard mead, or play some more with spices.  If you go with option 3, make sure to follow your same method as before (the whole vodka thing)...lends to similar results.

Good luck and I hope to hear what you did!
Joshua Eberhardt
Hombrewer since 2006
Member - Saint Louis Brews

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 05:59:19 PM »
Star anise certainly has some kick.  I steeped 10-20 of them in a 750ml bottle of vodka once, which was INTERESTING.  Probably stronger still than your mead!  Anyway, diluting it with fresh dry mead is one way, but it may take a lot of mead to balance out a really strong anise metheglin.  I personally like things like ouzo and anisette, which have a bit more than a hint of anise flavor...hmmm, you could have a greek food night or something, and just enjoy the intensely flavored mead like it was ouzo.

Other option...you mentioned it not being drinkable except in shotglass proportions...make a liqueur out of it.  Fortify it with brandy or vodka, and rebottle.  The honey sweetness of the mead would make a nice counterpoint, as opposed to many anise liqueurs that have no other strong flavor but anise.

Cooking certainly would be promising...as tschmidlin mentioned, something Asian would be perfect.  I'm thinking as a part of a bulgogi marinade or sauce, but you could do many things with it.

Ken Schramm mentioned another good idea on here that he uses for oversweet meads that might also work for overspiced meads...bottle as is and then serve mixed with soda water over ice.  That sounds like a great thing for Greek or Asian food.

Offline 1 atm Brewing

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 09:43:21 PM »
Lots of good ideas, thanks guys. I'm planning to let the metheglin sit at least 6 months, just to let it mature a little. It can only get better, right?  :)

I haven't heard if the spice flavor will fade with time. This is more of an academic question, the metheglin I have now is too far gone to recover, I think. With beer that's meant to age you can intentionally over-hop with the idea that later on the hops will settle down into the desired range. Is this technique is applicable to mead?

Part of the reason I'm letting the metheglin sit for a while is to find out for myself if the spice flavor will fade. I'll report back with my findings, along with what I end up doing with it. I like that recipe tschmidlin posted.

Always one more batch away from the perfect beer.

Offline 1 atm Brewing

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 11:27:38 PM »
I finally tasted this metheglin after allowing it to sit a year. The spice flavor has definitely faded, what was barely drinkable is now just a tad too sharp. The spice is blending with the flavors from aging quite well so I think it will be ready to drink in one or two years.
Always one more batch away from the perfect beer.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Over-Spiced Metheglin
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 01:19:48 AM »
Awesome news :)  I'm glad it's mellowing.
Tom Schmidlin