tasting things

Quite Windy
"Was this made with a special honey?" I wondered. Nope. It's just a nice sweet sack mead with enough character to be interesting. Very accessible though, I think it tastes very much like non-mead drinkers expect mead to taste. This one's gonna make a good gift.

New: Dale

  • 1750 gr plain flower honey
  • 2 liter store bought pomegranate juice
  • ~o.5 L homepressed pomegranate juice (SO not worth the effort)
  • port yeast
  • yeast energiser

Starting gravity: 1135
Read about pomegranate mead and it sounded intriguing. I hope it still has some colour by the end of it.

New: Chai

  • 1750 gr plain flower honey
  • 2.5 liters really strong Bengal chai (Celestials Bengal Spice: Cinnamon, roasted chicory, roasted carob, natural spice and vanilla flavors with other natural flavors, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg)
  • Mead/sweet wine yeast
  • Yeast activator 
  • Water to make up volume. 
Starting gravity: 1090
This tea is pretty sharp with the pepper and I'm hoping it'll give the mead an interesting kick.  Hopefully also a pretty dark colour.  I'm also going to try to make this one a little more semi-dry, since I've made so many really sweet ones lately. 

Drake - 2009

Been a while since I tried this one, but there was a small bottle handy upstairs. It was corked - and the cork had dried to shit, so I had to pour it through a filter.

This is very distinctly strawberry! It's not too noxiously sweet, the fruit profile is quite distinct, pretty great actually. Of course with the cork situation it's hard to give this away or serve at a party..

Vuvalini, All Rise Up

Bochet with chai tea
SG 1022
alc 16%

Oh, this is INTERESTING. Kind of dark and spicy but not spices-spicy. Not sure if this is very accessible for novice mead drinkers (it's meant to be the one I take with me to Wasteland to share) but I am very happy with it

All Rise Up
Bochet with Quince
The 3 liter overflow batch: 0.995 & 13% alcohol - watered this one down a bit too much. The quince is VERY clear, but this is too dry for me. Added some honey and yeast stop.

The 10l batch: SG 1018 / 15%
This is great, very fruity and gentle. Very pleased with it.
Racked into two demis and added yeast stop

Zephyr, Vuvalini and All Rise Up

Zephyr (bottled)
Dry quince mead
SG at 1010. Alcohol at 15%
Too dry for me, but Karen loved it and since not all mead needs to be to my specific tastes, bottled it like this.

Vuvalini (racked)
Bochet with chai tea
SG at 1010. Alcohol 16%
Dry but with a present caramellized flavour. I didn't really get the chai though. Added yeast stop and backsweetened with more caramellised honey.

All Rise Up (started)
Revolutionary bochet with quince juice
2.5 kilo of honey cooked down to medium brown. Rest is quince juice. Port yeast and energiser. 

Bochet - Vuvalini

Vuvalini - a mead for Clan of the Boltcutters at WW 2017

A bochet with 1700 gram honey
1300 gram honey boiled to a deep brown colour
400 gram added later (pan wasn't big enough to do it all)
6 teabags of (caffeine free!) rooibos chai
Port yeast

Bottling day!

So I should have done this about 8 months ago but who cares, it's finally done:

Heavy, syrupy sweet but with enough green/spiciness to make it interesting. In hindsight just a touch of acid might have lifted it a little.
SG 1060, alcohol 18%

Bob Ross (The Happy Accident)
Wild yeast, so you never know what you're gonna get. This was originally a honey syrup so should have ended up somewhere like Wuluwaid (I thought) but instead it's dry, still very sweet and weirdly 'thin'. Almost like the sweetness you get from stevia, sweetness without body, as it were. Weird stuff.
SG 1002 (??) and alcohol 17%

Not as blueberry-tasting as I'd hoped, but very drinkable
SG: 1020, alcohol 18%

Thyme honey mead. This is delicious and there's a distinct thyme profile that adds but doesn't overwhelm. Sweetness is exactly right; the sweetness level people expect from mead without being syrupy.
SG 1030, alcohol 16%

Sage honey mead. Sweetness adjustment worked. This is very flavourful and the sage honey brings an interesting but not overwhelming profile to it.
SG 1030, alcohol 17%

Orange & spice mead. A little underwhelmed with the spice at first taste, but it's mainly just hard to taste because the alcohol percentage is so high. It tastes very hot. Hopefully it'll mellow out some. 
SG 1015, alcohol 20%

Zephyr - racked
Quince mead. It's been sitting on its sediment for ages and you can taste it, but that will age out. Pretty happy with the sweetness level. 
SG 1015, alcohol 17%

Mead Sales post

I have some ambitious holiday plans for next year, and also a lot of bottles of mead while I barely drink alcohol myself. So. Want mead? I've got mead!

This is a list of things I have tasted and consider to be very tasty. This list might get updated when I've had a chance to taste some batches that have been in storage.

Unless marked differently, these are the prices:
0.25L bottles are €6.50
0.7 L bottles are €15,
1L bottles are €20

Ehle vanilla chocolate - semi sweet, with a subtle cacao and vanille flavour. 6 years old! 17%
0.25 x
0.7  x
1L   x

Ehle chocolate - sweet, with a subtle, delicious cacao flavour. 6 years old! 18%
0.25 x  (€7.50)

Gwyllion - semi-sweet elderberry port. 19.5% vol
0.7  xx

Jove - Sweet apple mead. 18%
0.2  x
0.7  x
1L   xx

Keir - dry raspberry mead. Lightly sparkling 16% vol
0.7  x

Lisidh - Vanilla mead. Semisweet, 17% vol
0.25 x
0.7  x
1L   xxx

Shattered Spankerboom - semi-dry sparkling mead - 16% vol
0.7 xxxx

Tuve - Pine honey mead. Heavy and almost syrupy sweet and a little spicy, 19% - this is much more of an after dinner liquor than a wine!
0.25 x x x  ( €7.50)

Zephyr (The west wind)

- 2.5 liter quince juice
- 1500 gr flower honey
- Water to fill up the 5 liter demijohn
- mead yeast

Racking time

I'm not a lazy brewer, I just like slow mead. 
No, I'm totally lazy. I feel like doing brewing stuff only a couple times a year, because making space in my oddly laid-out house and sanitising everything is such a giant pain. So my meads spend up to half a year in primary, and then in secondary pretty much until I feel motivated to go through the process of collecting and cleaning labels off of enough bottles. 

But this past week somebody gave me 5 kg of quince, and I remember how nicely the Halle batch of quince mead turned out. So I borrowed a steam extractor and chopped fruit and... got a lot of quince juice. Like... a LOT. 8 liter in total. 

Halle was made with 1.5 liter juice, though I expect a lot of this juice will be weaker than that was. So maybe I'll just up the juice ration in the new batch. I need to think about doing some more medium-dry meads, since I'm not brewing for my own tastes - I hardly drink it.

But first I racked the batches I had standing: 

Wuluwaid  - a 2 liter 'heavy' 
Eucalyptus honey and you can taste it, heavy sweet syrupy but with enough depth from the Eucalyptus.
SG 1060
18% - bang on what I expect from my 2 liter batches of heavies.
Added yeast stop and a few drops of oak extract

The Thyme honey one. As expected super dry. Taste note: 'Not bad just dry' (which is saying something coming from me, I don't like dry meads) but in need of a bit of sweet.

SG 1004
15% alcohol
Added yeast stop and 450 gr thyme honey. Still considering some thyme leaves.

Blueberry mead. 
Taste note: A little jetfueley but not bad, sweet enough, just needs to age
SG: 1022
18% alcohol (whoa, did not expect that) 

Added yeast stop

Sage honey mead. Much like Undine - you can smell and taste the sage (mmm spicey) but it's too dry. 
SG: 1002
14% alcohol
Added yeast stop and 450 gr sage honey

Orange mead. I'd never tried this so my taste note is 'Not sure if like?' then I saw the alcohol percentage and understood why it was hard to tell.
I was concerned about it not clearing but it's cleared beautifully. Pecto enzym magic. Of course, I lost a liter of volume from all the pulp. Ah well. 
SG: 1020 (happy!)
21% ¿¡!? alcohol. Whoa. 

Added yeast stop, a small piece of cinnamon and a single clove.


2kg flower honey
Juice of 1kg blueberries
Port yeast


1 l fresh (bottled) orange juice
2 l flower honey
1 tsp pecto enzym
1 tsp mead yeast

The plan is to add cinnamon, clove, vanilla etc to this in secondary fermentation
900 gr thyme honey
450 gr flower honey
Mead yeast

I need to cycle to the beekeeper sometime soon and buy maybe another 900 gr thyme honey - it's pricy but if I'm going to brew with it we should be tasting it. I'm also considering brewing thyme tea and introducing some of that. Or maybe just some thyme leaves?

900gr Sage honey
450 gr forest honey
mead yeast

Same thing with the added honey. Adding 450 gr is not enough - 1800 gr honey is too dry for me on a 5 liter batch. Not sure about adding sage leaves. Raw sage doesn't smell very good to me, so I think I'll leave that and just get some more of the honey

Wuluwaid (2 L) -  Australian rainmaker
900 gr Eucalyptus honey
mead yeast


Quite Windy (needs some time)
sg 1040 
Alcohol 15%

Tuve (yum)

sg 1044 
Alcohol 19%

Lisidh (Eh)
sg 1022 
Alcohol 16%

Shattered Spankerboom   (Don't open before 2016)
sg 1012 
Alcohol 16%
This does NOT want to calm down. Added yeast stopper last year, but the moment I racked it it was fizz city. Also pretty dry and sourish sadly.  Added a small amount of sage honey and bottled in champagne bottles. Should probably leave it at least a year and hope the sour note ages out. 

Jove Apple (Nice)

SG 1040
Alcohol 18%

Ehle Chocolate Vanilla (Nice. Could do with some time)

SG 1024
Alcohol 17%

Ehle Chocolate (Yum yum yum)

SG 1032
Alcohol 18%

And a surprise of the happy accident kind:

Bob Ross 
I made a 200ml bottle of honey syrup at some stage to mix honey into something. Forgot about it and it started to ferment. Needed the bottle and was about to chuck it when I smelled it and - well I would have been happy to smell that from a demijohn. Wild yeast though! It tastes like honey syrup with a very sharp kick.
SG 1170 (!!)
Alcohol 17% 
Put it in a different bottle and added a very small amount of port yeast. Let's see where this goes :-)