Barhshack Ginger Mead

Source: Phil Bacon
Recipe added: 04/15/01

I hope I don't scare anyone away with all the co2 purging. It really isn't all that much trouble,and certainly not too much to ask when making the drink of Kings. And this is really worth the effort, I kid you not, I've seen peoples eyes so big you'd think they'd seen a ghost when I drop a 1 year plus version on 'em. Hamlet was a big Mead drinker. My first recipes were pretty darn good, thanks to Charlie Papazian I didn't worry and just sloshed my way forward. In my old age this making of Barkshack has become a labor of love. Of course I'm not saying this is the best Barkshack recipe there is, just the best I've made according to my tastes. By using an extra pound of honey, 6 pounds of clover and 2 of wild cherry along with the ginger and raspberries the flavors and aromas compliment nicely,and I had good results with Pasteur champagne yeast. However, this recipe really bloomed when I started using the Wyeast 3632 Dry Mead version. It's very active yet low foaming with residual sugar of 0-0.25%,with none of the sulpherous undertones associated with the champagne yeasts. I hope you'll give it a try! Wassail! Phil.


Recipe type: Extract
Batch Size: 5 US Gal
Starting Gravity: 1.065
Finishing Gravity: .995
Time in Boil: 15 minutes
Primary Fermentation: 7 days
Secondary Fermentation: 3 Months



Filter 5 gal. tap water with Brita to remove chlorine. Crush raspberries and hang in muslin bag. To 1.5 gal. water add honey,corn sugar,ginger root gypsum,acid blend,ascorbic acid,yeast nutrient and irish moss.Full roiling boil for 15 minutes. Skim the foam as needed.Keep lid over pot as much as possible. Cool the must to under 200 degrees. Add dripings from the raspberries along with the berries in the muslin bag and allow to steep for 15 minutes. With a sanitized strainer remove the ginger root. Transfer to plastic fermenter with 3 gal. cold water. Aerate well and pitch yeast at 78 degrees. I make a starter the night before which is enough time with the Pitchable Tube Wyeast. 1 pint water, 1/4 cup light DME and 1/8 tsp. yeast nutrient. Racking: On the seventh day rack to 6 gal. glass carboy with fermentation lock filled with iodophor solution. I purge the carboy with co2 and rack from a primary bucket with a spigot to minimize oxygen intrusion. Secondary Fermentation: 2 months is usually sufficient sometimes it takes 3 months. When the must is not showing anything in suspension(just shine a bright light from the opposite side of the carboy and you will know) it's time to bottle. Racking for bottling: I purge a corny keg with co2 and add my priming solution, 3/4 cup corn sugar boiled for 15 min. in 1 pint of filtered water, cooled to 78 degrees,rack from the secondary, this allows a good mix of the priming sugar without stiring. Seal and set aside for a few minutes. Bottling:I put 20 psi of co2 into another corny keg,attach a piece of flexible tubing long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle and give each bottle a 1 sec. shot. The co2 is heavier than air and will remain for quite a while. Attach the spigot with hose to keg with the ambrosia put about 3 psi on it and fill the bottles. Cap with well sanitized oxygen barrier caps, and stay away from it for at least 3 months before you sample any!!
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