Author Topic: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead  (Read 1812 times)

Offline nofunsally

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'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« on: April 27, 2011, 07:46:29 AM »
Howdy,

The recipe: ~3 gallons of water with 1 gallon of raw honey.

I measured the OG at 1.116 and the gravity at racking (2/16/2011) was 1.001.  When I tasted it in February it was a bit alcohol-y.  Regardless, I had always intended to 'flavor' the mead. 

My question is what is the 'best' way to accomplish this?
-Another racking onto some herbs, spices?
-Add them to the current secondary?
-Or, make a tisane and add it to the the current secondary?

Also, in order to backsweeten I should first kill the yeast, right? Any suggestions on the best way to do this?

Thank you kindly,
Cheers,
Mike

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 07:48:38 AM »
I believe that you use sorbate to 'kill' the yeast but someone else can check me on that. It should be available at your LHBS. I would make a tisane and add to taste at bottling/kegging time. that way you can dial it in exactly.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 09:10:29 AM »
To back sweeten I rack on to Potassium Sorbate & a crushed Campden tablet to stop the yeast, and honey to sweeten. Gentle use of a mix-stir works great for mixing it up. Can't help you with the flavoring after fermentation. Cheers!!!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 10:01:05 AM »
I've also seen discussion about using UV light to kill the yeast. don't know how effective or expensive that proposition is though.
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 10:06:23 AM »
Thanks for the replies,
Does the potassium sorbate and Campden cocktail kill yeast 'forever'? If I wanted to keep some of the mead dry, could I add new yeast and priming sugar after the yeast massacre?

Thanks again,
Mike

Offline hamiltont

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 11:01:41 AM »
Does the potassium sorbate and Campden cocktail kill yeast 'forever'? If I wanted to keep some of the mead dry, could I add new yeast and priming sugar after the yeast massacre?


'Forever' has been my experience.  If you want to keep some of it dry just split some off & don't back sweeten it. 1.001 is pretty dry in my book.  Cheers!!!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 12:54:17 PM »
Does the potassium sorbate and Campden cocktail kill yeast 'forever'? If I wanted to keep some of the mead dry, could I add new yeast and priming sugar after the yeast massacre?


'Forever' has been my experience.  If you want to keep some of it dry just split some off & don't back sweeten it. 1.001 is pretty dry in my book.  Cheers!!!

but do add more yeast anyway. I use champange yeast for carbing mead but I am sure just about any thing would work. I like a very dry mead also. My last batch finish @ .98 and it is just the right amount of dry for me. a little too herbal (apparently a couple of handfuls each of rosemary and sage is too much)
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Offline kramerog

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Re: 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 01:21:32 PM »
You can add the herbs directly especially if you are adding preservatives anyway.  There are certain pros and cons to the various methods.  With a tisane, it is easier to achieve a desired flavor level by adding some of the tisane, tasting the result and repeating until desired flavor level is achieved.  Directly pitching in the mead often allows you to extract flavors (good or bad) that cannot be extracted by the tisane.  It may take some time for the flavor to develop if you pitch the herbs directly in the mead.  Give it a week before tasting and adding more herbs.

Campden tablets can be "stripped out" if you aerate the mead.
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