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This past sunday I racked several meads, some may have been prematurely, possibly not.
so starting in order of working:

First I made some material to back sweeten with.  I made the crystalized honey soft in the tub, hot water and time with the big 42 pound bucket in the tub for a couple of hours.  I started with the Buckwheat honey.  Got about 10 pounds out of the last of it.  So that's nearly a gallon.  I heated up a gallon of water and mixed the two, then placed in 2 glass gallon jugs.  The Orange Blossum Honey I did get a full gallon of and about 3 pounds left in the bucket, which will go to backsweetening the Bamboo Jasmin.

Pumpkin Hazelnut: I racked off a bunch of sediment and added about 5 pounds of honey in the mix, this bulked up the volume lost and I also mixed in some sparkloid and Potasium Sorbate.  The Sparkloid is a clearing agent.  The Potasium Sorbate will inhibit the yeast and stabalize it so that the yeast doesn't eat up all the sugar.  I also added 3/4 cup of the Hazelnut extract that I have been making for the past 10 weeks.  So, Backsweetened, Added Flavor, Stabalized and put in the clearing agent.  Only thing left here is to oak it and for it to clear on it's own.  So a few rackings and oaking and this is done.

Blueberry Vanilla:  Did the same but with about 6 pounds of Buckwheat honey to backsweeten it.  Added the 1/2 cup of vanilla to it.  Should be enough.  This one had lots of pulp, both as sediment and as a bit floating.  It may require a bunch more rackings to clear but it is an excellent purple color.

Strawberry: Backsweetened with 6 pounds of honey, the 1 gallon 1/2 honey and 1/2 water solution, mixed in stablizer and clearing agent.  Also racked off of a ton of sediment, the left over fruit sediment.  The volume of this was pretty big, Looks like this will end up around 6+ gallon mark.  Almost didn't have room for it in the large 6 1/2 gal plastic bucket carboy that I have.  This only requires clearing and oaking and done.  I was tempted to put a touch of vanilla into it.  I still might.  Not enough to make it a strawberry vanilla but enough to round out the flavors a bit.  I only used the orange blossum honey on it so it should be great.

Mango: Did the same as the Strawberry.  Same results needed.  Both the Mango and the Strawberry are a bit cloudy but that could easily be the honey addition.  This one was almost overflowing, I am sure that I will get 6 gallons out of this one as well.

Bamboo Jasmin: in the recient 4 weeks this one has dropped dramatically and was nearly clear with a bunch of sediment.  I took out the Jasmin at the 3 week mark.  I didn't backsweeten this yet but I did Stabalize and put in some sparkloid to clear it more.  Next step on this one is to backsweeten it with the remaining orange blossum honey.

Tale of 3 toasts:  Did nothing with this one(3) but I did check it.  I think that I do need to rack it onto some sparkloid.  It is a little foggy and does have some sediment at the bottom.  Not much but enough so that it won't clear the rest of the way.  So this delays the mead out to about New Years for being ready.  At next mile hi con, I should have it aged a little over a year.

Once I bottle up the Tale of 3 toasts it is my plan to get some honey again and make three primaries.
The meads I plan on making, possibly: Peach Vanilla, Raspberry something, Lime Vanilla.  In the fall/Winter to make possibly a Cranberry Vanilla, another Pumpkin something.  I have a list of requests here somewhere.  I also plan on trying to make some less potent meads as well.  This will use up less honey or make for a bigger batch one or the other.  Late Winter I expect to be bottling the Strawberry and Mango, in Fall the Bamboo Jasmin might be ready to bottle.  Early Winter, the Blueberry Vanilla should be ready to bottle.   So by my estimation, I should have all current batches bottled by early to late winter.  The new batches should be going down at that time too.  I have honey money and just need to get the honey.  I am trying to step up my game a bit and use more varietal honeys that are of a higher quality.  Also, Next Fall should be my next rockbitter test.  I plan on testing step nutrients and non-step nutrients, for 2013.  With the same toast level, possibly Medium toasted oak.  Also, I may refine into the recipie just a little vanilla.  Just enough to round out the flavor a bit. Then in 2015, the next rockbitter test is going to be a yeast test with maybe 6 rockbitters doing different yeasts.  So slowly, I am refining technique.  Hopefully, I can see about getting a large barrel and a pump to do a big batch and see how it turns out with a lot of attention.  That's once I get the rockbitter formula really good, then I can see about big batches.  Then after a big batch 2 other big batches with different styles then I can go professional.  but honestly, I don't think that it's going to happen until well past into my 50s.  I may just be done brewing at that time.  Though I plan on trying to brew until I am at least 70.  Then with the 1-6 pack that I have put away from each batch I plan on just drinking.

Unfortunately, My apprentice may not work out, I got called by her parents and she couldn't come over this time due to both parents needing to work.

That's all for now.

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matrix4b: (Default)

October 2012


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