Author Topic: Beer in SW Florida???  (Read 5540 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2011, 01:12:34 PM »
No Zest.  No nutrients.  No pH adjustments.  Thames Valley Yeast.  Strange, eh?
Joe originally used only a cup of juice in his 5 gallon batch and I really liked his.
I had some fireweed mead once.  Interesting flavors, kind of sharp and spicy as I recall.  Does that sound right?
I find it to be rather plain, I think it makes a nice base honey.  It's soft, light, a little fruity.  Very nice.

No nutrients, no pH adjustment, very interesting.  Thames eh?  Hmmm . . . I'll have to see what I have, I don't feel like pulling that one out of the freezer. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2011, 01:23:57 PM »
jeff... don't know if you ever had any of it, but after Fred Buhl closed down Screaming Viking, we sold some fireweed honey mead at the Medieval Faire. It was made by Kate from Seattle (blocking on her name and the name of the mead), she used to attend the NHC regularly. Anyway, I'd agree with Tom's assessment. Dispite the name, it isn't fiery or spicy. But had a very nice character - soft is a good descriptor, but soft in a very positive way. It's a honey I'd use if I had easy access to it.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2011, 01:46:25 PM »
Maybe I'm thinking of a different honey.  Thistle could have been it, not fireweed.....
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2011, 02:32:27 PM »
Kate Geiser?

Tell me about this mojito mead you guys seem to be referencing.  Seems like there's a story there.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2011, 03:11:35 PM »
It's got to be Kate Gaiser, she attends regularly.  She was in MN last year, and she makes mead.

I should clarify that by "plain" I didn't mean it in a bad way at all, just that it is not a very strongly flavored honey.  I like it a lot, I get it all of the time from my local apiary (less than 1 mile on the roads, less than half a mile if I cut through some peoples yards and climb some fences.  I take the roads.)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 04:08:18 PM »
I picked up a pound of key limes at the store today.  It won't be enough for 16 ounces, but I figured I'd squeeze a few and see how much juice I get, then extrapolate how many I need.

Jeff, you never said what you thought of the zest idea . . . a great idea, or the greatest idea? :)  I'm going to zest one and see what I think of the aroma/flavor compared to the juice and make a call from there.  I'll go with somewhere between a cup and a pint of juice since you liked both, maybe adjust down if I use some zest.  It just so happens I'll be by the LHBS tomorrow, so I can pick up some yeast if needed.  I'm not sure what kind of yeast I have at home, but definitely some S-05 and/or S-04.  Any opinions on making mead with those?
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Offline punatic

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 05:19:30 PM »
It's got to be Kate Gaiser, she attends regularly.  She was in MN last year, and she makes mead.


That's great!  I'm glad to hear she's still meadmaking.  I first met Kate at the Rockies - Astros game we all went to at Mile-High Stadium (pre-Coors Field) during NHC '94.  Last time I saw her was at NHC '97 in Cleveland.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 06:24:51 PM »
I picked up a pound of key limes at the store today.  It won't be enough for 16 ounces, but I figured I'd squeeze a few and see how much juice I get, then extrapolate how many I need.

Jeff, you never said what you thought of the zest idea . . . a great idea, or the greatest idea? :)  I'm going to zest one and see what I think of the aroma/flavor compared to the juice and make a call from there.  I'll go with somewhere between a cup and a pint of juice since you liked both, maybe adjust down if I use some zest.  It just so happens I'll be by the LHBS tomorrow, so I can pick up some yeast if needed.  I'm not sure what kind of yeast I have at home, but definitely some S-05 and/or S-04.  Any opinions on making mead with those?
I think that juice works well on its own in mead making.  Some of the best melomels I've judged were made by substituting some sort of juice for the water in the recipe.  I use zest in my witbier, but I don't know if it is needed in a mead that you've already used juice.  I'm not an expert here.  You should try it and see for yourself.
I'm one of those strange brewers who uses ale yeast for my meads, but that's because my most frequently brewed mead is usually a braggot.  I've had good success with cal common yeast in braggots.  It's all one big experiment, isn't it?
The Mohito mead that Joe originally made was as follows: key lime juice (one cup in 5 gallons), honey and water, fermented with sweet mead yeast, then mint leaves added in the secondary.  Delicious.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline blatz

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 06:43:11 PM »
I made mine strict to Joe's original recipe - I still have a few bottles of what he made in my fridge - hmm, perhaps I should crack one this weekend.

It'd be very different with ale yeast - I'll wait to taste jeffy's before I try it myself!

BTW,  this is a favorite of the ladies as well - both my wife and neighbor kill for this stuff.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2011, 10:52:31 PM »
The 1 lb bag of key limes I got had 23 limes in it.  I juiced 5 of them and got 40 mls of juice . . . so I figure I need about 60 limes.  I tasted some zest and liked it, I think I will zest some of the limes and make a tincture.  I can either dose it in the mead if I want more lime or use it for something else, key lime vodka has lots of potential uses.  I think it would make a nice bloody mary.

I think I'll make it this weekend if I can get to it, I just need to procure and juice another couple of pounds of key limes.  I'll ferment with S-04 and see what happens.  And I think I'll add some nutrients just for my own sanity.

It'd be very different with ale yeast - I'll wait to taste jeffy's before I try it myself!
Well, you know what they say . . . no balls, no balls.

They say that, right?  :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline punatic

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2011, 11:10:27 PM »
Monitor your pH Tom.

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« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 11:12:21 PM by punatic »
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2011, 03:57:51 AM »
Yes, it was Kate Geiser. Just couldn't recall her last name when I posted.
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2011, 07:55:06 AM »
They sell key lime juice in bottles.  While I'm always in favor of getting the fresh fruit, I was just wondering about the opinion of people who have bought that product.  Sometimes fresh isn't always better (I'll always used canned tomatoes, unless it's the middle of summer and I get them from a farmer's market, for instance).
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2011, 07:58:23 AM »
They sell key lime juice in bottles.  While I'm always in favor of getting the fresh fruit, I was just wondering about the opinion of people who have bought that product.  Sometimes fresh isn't always better (I'll always used canned tomatoes, unless it's the middle of summer and I get them from a farmer's market, for instance).

never used the bottled juice for brewing, but I have used it for both key lime pies & for margaritas. perfectly acceptable for both. I'd think it'd be ok in a mead as well. just check for preservatives.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Beer in SW Florida???
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2011, 09:32:44 AM »
Monitor your pH Tom.
Good point Carl.

Jeff, what is your water like?  I can see pH being a problem with this, but I don't have a reliable way to test it (just strips).
Tom Schmidlin