Spicy Lemon-Ginger Mead
Source: Mark A Fryling (firstname.lastname@example.org),
HBD Issue #1162, 6/15/93
With all the recent posts on the network regarding summer brewing and
specifically the use of summer fruits in brewing, I felt compelled to share
some info about the excellent results we've had on our last few batches of
mead. In particular I've found that Lalvin 71B-1122 (s. cerevisiae) is a very
good yeast for meads and melomels (mead with fruit). The reason I like this
stuff so much is that the samples seem to be quite fresh (high apparent
percentage of viable cells), the fermentation is active and very quick, and the
strain is not overly attenuative so that a slight residual sweetness remains in
the finished product (sorry but I dont have numbers on SG and FG). We've now
made two batches of a spiced mead (no fruit) and both were completely clear and
ready to bottle after spending 1 wk in the primary and only about 3 wks. in the
secondary. Other yeasts I have tried (including Red Star Pasteur Champagne,
and Eppernay 2) have taken much longer to clear out and have finished a bit dry
for my taste.
We also experienced very quick (about 5 wks.) clearing on our the one
melomel we made using this strain (a Kiwi mead with 8lbs honey and 12lbs
crushed kiwi fruit). A strawberry melomel (8-10lbs light honey and 15lbs
frozen strawberries picked last weekend) is on the list for tomorrow.
Believe it or not, this stuff tastes great after only a month or two in the
bottle. It has a mouthfeel thats not unlike a medium sweet champagne, but of
course, the flavor is mead all the way.
For melomel, I generally cut back to about 8lbs of honey and replace the sugar
with 8-15 lbs of crushed fruit. My best results, though done with different
yeast, have been with black rasberries (fresh picked then frozen before use),
and a combination of peaches and strawberries (yummy). I've heard of different
techniques, but we've had
good luck and no unwanted innoculations just adding the thawed and crushed
fruit to the hot honey wort just at the end of the boil and steeping (read
pasturizing) the fruit for 15min. Oh, BTW the spices should also be cut back
or deleted all together to let the fruit character come through.
- 10-15lbs light (clover, orange blossom etc) honey
- 1/4 oz good flavor hops (I like cascade or hollertau)
- 4 oz grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 oz good aroma hops
- a strong tea made from 1 oz dried lemongrass, and several (5 or so) bags
of your favorite blend (we have used chammomile and constant comment)
- 1.25 tsp yeast energizer
- 2 pkgs (10g total) of Lalvin
S. Cerevisiae rehydrated yeast
- 3/4 cup corn sugar (priming, optional)
Bring honey to a boil with 2gal good brewing water. Boil 15 minutes. Add tea,
hops, and ginger at the end of the boil and steep for 15 min. Cool to about
75F and dilute to 5gallons. Add 1.25 tsp yeast energizer, and 2 pkgs (10g total) of Lalvin
S. Cerevisiae rehydrated according to instructions.
When completely cleared in secondary, bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar if a
sparkling mead is desired.