So my last major blog post was about starting two five gallon batches of mead. We mixed a batch with 2lb honey/gallon and a batch with 3lb honey/gallon. We let those percolate for the better part of six months, racking it off to let it clear and tossing some mulling spice into most of the 3lb/gal. And in the end, it all turned out how we wanted it to. My dry is currently in 30 or so bottles (and dwindling) while the hub’s mulled is largely still in the bucket. Which leads us to where we’re at now.
Now that we have a nice base of mead for our own consumption, we’re ready to start playing. We started doing more research into different flavor combinations and other recipes and ratios. One of the things we’ve wanted to try – and only wanted more as we searched – was oaking our mead. Now the way liquors and large-scale wine are oaked is in barrels – nothing new, right? Well, that doesn’t really work on the small scale. But there is still an option! There are actually several options. But the option we’ve elected to go with – largely thanks to the availability at our local brew shop – is oak chips.
Now we circle back around to why the hubs still has some of his mead in a bucket. He decided to go ahead and oak the mead that we hadn’t yet bottled. We’re both looking forward to seeing how that goes. But in the meantime, that’s not enough for us. So we’ve started our next round of test batches. Including our next rootbeer mead! Currently we’ve got a more “traditional” mead – with raisins and orange peal – and the last is a little experiment in plain mead with oak. We should be checking it this weekend to see how it’s going. Depending on what the abv is, we might add more honey to play with the abv and the sweetness of the finished product.
We’re actually pushing these levels higher now, rather than sticking to the tried and true ratios because we figured out that the thing I disliked most about the hub’s mead was that it was carbonated. As it has sat and been degassed, it has stilled to the level that mine was from the get go, and that fixed the problem that I was having. But, on a straight, plain mead, my lower abv mead is easier to drink, so for now, I’ll stick with that when I just want a sipping mead.
But what’s next? We’ll, we’ve been watching this channel on YouTube, CS Mead and More, and they’ve played around with what they called a bouchet and it sounds delicious. So we’re going to try our hand at that. We’re also looking to try a fruit and/or flower based mead. We haven’t bought the ingredients yet (we still only have a few gallon carboys) so we don’t know exactly which we’ll try next, but we’re kicking a few different ideas around. I’ll try to get pictures the next time we fiddle with the mead so that I can show y’all something of what we’re doing.
For now, be well, darlings.