Citra Mead

Alcohol can be made by fermenting many different things, last time it was apple juice, this time its honey. Its called a Mead.
And in case you are wondering what happened to this beer blog, I have added a brewer's twist to the the mead.

Recipe Development

Honey 

Honey being the central ingredient in a mead, selection or a good variety is crucial. 
But since we are going to heavily dry hop this mead, the variety of honey is not that important for this recipe. That being said, don't just buy some Dabur or Patanajali honey. It hardly has any flavour. I would recommend any multifloral or uni floral organic honey. 
I found this at a reasonable price in my super-market.



Hops

This is the brewer's twist. I add hops to everything I brew, people suspect that I add hops to my morning coffee :(
I wanted an aroma hop that will go well with the residual sweetness of honey. Citra was my choice. You can chose any american or tropical aroma hop like Cascade, Simcoe, Motueka, Mosaic, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, etc.

Recipe

8 Liters, OG = 1.060, FG = 1.009

1.5Kgs honey
16g Citra hops
4g Safale S04 / Safbrew T58 / Mead yeast
Yeast nutrient ( Yeast extract or a mead yeast nutrient which a combination of DAP and MgCl2 )
Cooking soda ( NaHCO3 ), available in grocery store for about Rs 5


We will have a detailed post about how to make a Yeast nutrient for mead soon.

Brew day

Brew day is going to be super easy. 

  1. Boil 5 liters of water in pot.
  2. Let this water cool down to 70C. If you RO water, you skip the boil and heat the water to 70C.
  3. Add the honey to the water, stirring constantly.
  4. Keep this pot covered for 10 mins.
  5. Top with boiled and cooled water to make 8 liters or must. ( Yes its called MUST, not WORT )
  6. Cool down the wort to pitching temps. Around 25C.
  7. Check the pH of the must, raise the pH by adding cooking soda 1g at a time to bring the pH to about 5.3.
  8. Pitch the yeast and start fermentation.


Fermentation

The brew day was super easy. But fermentation is going to be a little tricky. Meads ferment much slower than beers.
As the must ferments, the pH will start dropping.
It is important to ensure that the pH or the fermenting must stays above 3.5 at all times. Otherwise the fermentation simply stalls until to raise the pH. 
I left my mead on its own and fermentation stopped because pH had dropped down to 2.3 !!

After the first 4 days, check the pH every 3 days, and add 1g of soda everytime the pH is below 3.5.
This will ensure that your fermentation completes quickly.

I will still take a little more than 2 weeks. Sometimes more.

Dry hop with 16g of hops after fermentation is complete. Keep for 2 days and then cold crash.
I suggest racking the mead to another container after 2 days of cold crashing and continue cold crashing for another 2 days.

Bottle and enjoy. You can back sweeten OR carbonate the mead as you like. See the Cider post for more details.

Dry Hopping

Tasting Notes

The mead turned almost as I expected. It had a nice honey sweetness on the pallate and citra gave raw mango, orange, lime kind of nose.
But as the mead carbonated further, all the left over honey got fermented and it had a thin body. Next time I would like to have more body for this mead.

About meads in India



2 comments:

  1. Hi Sapan, incidentally I made a variant on 2nd June. I used 1.5KG Honey, 2 litres of apple juice & 1 litre of grape juice (to provide nutrients). I used a mix of US-04 & US-05 yeast. Everyday, shook it to release carbon dioxide & opened the lid to oxygenate this (different process than beer). I kept adding small quantities of Epsom salt every alternate day for 1st week and one time each in 2nd & 3rd week. After 2 weeks, added citra hops and racked after a week. The fermentation is still going on but I did sample it & it smells very nice - notes of mango, peaches. I am fermenting it in a 5 litre bottle & top it with water when needed (mineral water). I think fermentation will stop completely when alcohol level reaches 16% or so. So far I have racked it twice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sapan Bhai,

    Is 17 to 20 degree fermentation is required for this.?

    ReplyDelete

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