Ale – Cider – Mead

What we have here is a second batch of the Honey Pale Ale, my first batch of hard Cider made with Linvilla fresh cider and my first batch of Mead made with all Tupelo honey.

First is the Honey Pale Ale. This beer is a second attept at this beer. This beer was already popular, inparticularly with Karen Mom’s Cindy. So when she requested I make a second batch and bought the honey for it, what could I say? I “switched” a few things this time from last time, hopefully for the better. This time I am using equal proportions of liquid malt extract to honey, Wampler’s Clover Honey. Last time it leaned toward the malt side. This could officially be labeled a Braggot. Also, I doubled the amount of Honey Malt and Cascade Hops. The other “trick” I learned from Garrett, he’s the guy I brewed the Fool’s Initiation with. Anyway, when he brewed his Black Honey Ale last time he added the honey on the second day of primary fermentation. I tried this beer and it was very “honey-licious”, so I thought I had to give it a shot. I waited more like 24 hours after the onset of fermentation. Here is a nice article Garrett wrote on Honey in Homebrewing for the First State Brewers.

Next is Linvilla Hard Cider. I must say, making Cider has GOT to be the easiest fermented beverage I have made to date. Plus, while it is fermenting, the room it is in smells great! Anyway, this is a very simple Cider recipe, to hopefully create a very simple straight forward Hard Cider. Basically, I wanted to know that I could do it before I got all funky with it. Literally, this recipe is fresh pressed, no preservatives, no sugar added 100% Apple Cider juice from fresh apples, plus yeast nutrients and yeast. Seriously, that’s it. I still have my doubts only because I have never made it before, but it’s chugging away as we speak, so I figured it’s doing something. One hint for anyone who is interested in making Cider: allow plenty of time for your 5 gallons of cider to come up to room temperature. I pulled the jugs of cider out of the refrigerator at 10:15AM. I had to run around all day before they came up to temp. I didn’t pour them into the carboy until 12:15AM, 14 hours later! Like I said, just a hint to go by for next time.

And finally is the every mysterious, thought provoking, late-night interpretting Mead! Mead is definetly a new one for me. There is a lot of different information available, but I suppose the best source on line is probably Got Mead? I’ve read that it should age between 4 months and 4 years, so there really is no idea when this will be “ready” let alone served, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. Mead itself is broken down ito three main categories; dry, sem-sweet and sweet. This all has to do with the amout of residual sugar left that the yeast did not ferment (your FG). All three of these styles fall into three sub-categories also; hydromel, standard and sack. This has to do with the amount of sugar the yeast had available to begin with (your OG). And yet again there is one more sub-category which all mead fall into; still, petillant (lightly carbonated) and sparkling. This has to do with the amount of carbonation that the mead will be served with. All of this is described in much more detail in this Introduction to Mead Guidlines. Anyway, I know my mead will be a standard based on my OG of 1.081. As of yet, I have absolutely no clue what my FG will be. I’m assuming it’ll fall in the dry or semi-sweet area and I’m guessing I will lightly carbonate some and serve some still.

Briefly, mead has many different names depending on what “extra” ingredients are added to it, here is a “short” break-down: a Melomel is a fruit mead, a Cyser is a apple Melomel, a Pyment is a Grape Melomel, a Omphacomel is a Pyment using only unripe grapes, a Morat is a mulberry Melomel, a Metheglin is a herbed or spiced mead, a Hippocras is herbed or spiced Pyment, an Oxymel is a wine vinegar mead, a Rhodomel is a mead with roses, a Capsicumel is a chili pepper mead, a Braggot is a blend of beer and mead, and a T’ej is honey, water and hops. It is the national drink of Ethiopia, and has a unique taste. Dogfish Head actually currently has just brewed a T’ej and also has available their Midas Touch Golden Elixer which has won awards for being both a mead/braggot/and beer.

One Response to “Ale – Cider – Mead”

  1. Fool Circle - Artisanal Ales » Blog Archive » Linvilla Hard Cider Says:

    […] time I made hard cider was October of 2005. I followed some simple “rules” I found online and kind of went from there. This time I […]

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