Fermenting Food.

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#81

Post: # 28216Unread post karstopography
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:01 am

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Mead is a slow food. I Started this back in early July as a fun project to share with my son. He was 17 when we started, he will be 18 before it’s ready to drink.

The fermentation is done and those yeasts did an amazing job. Final Specific gravity of 0.991. Don’t know my original specific gravity, got the hydrometer after the fact. Estimate of Starting Specific Gravity 1.090-1.095. 0.991 is a bone dry finish. Probably around 13%ABV or a touch higher.

Good news is that mead is highly amenable to adulteration. Don’t like is saharan dry, no worries, lots of fixes available. It’s, messing with the mead after fermentation, almost expected and required in Meadom. The ferment finishes and the work begins. Many mead makers ferment to dry and then add back in a variety of sweeteners. Or they drop in toasted oak spirals. Maybe some wine tannins. Stabilizers, fining agents. There’s a list a mile long.

I took a 15ml sample x 2 of mine and decided to see what I could do to improve my thin and dry melomel. One idea was to add in honey. That’s super normal in mead circles. I added in 2 ml of huajillo honey. Flavor and body of mead improved, but not in a wowser way.

Second idea was to add in this tincture of blackberry pulp I had been cultivating for a month in the fridge. When I made my melomel, I took a cup plus of whole berries from the primary after their 9 days in there and put them in a jar and covered in Tito’s vodka. I added juice from about 3 more cups of blackberries, the juice strained into the carboy at that time and the pulp from that went into the vodka jar. So this jar with berry pulp and vodka has been sitting in fridge. Every once in a while, I’d dribble a bit into my sparkling water just to taste. Delicious. I put in some honey, too, more delicious.

So I added 2 ml of that to the 15 ml sample of mead. Wowser! Now we are talking. Transformative on the flavor and mouthfeel and acid sugar balance. I was able to get about 5 ounces of the tincture strained through a fine sieve and cheese cloth and that went into my aging carboy.

Lets see how well that clears and then I will once again taste and decide the next move.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#82

Post: # 28217Unread post karstopography
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:03 am

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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#83

Post: # 28487Unread post karstopography
Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:48 pm

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Blackberry melomel in the bottles. Feels like an achievement. Now, this needs some aging. Maybe I’ll open one up for Christmas.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#84

Post: # 29258Unread post karstopography
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:05 pm

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Started another one. American Beautyberries foraged about 50 feet from my house, Central Texas Yaupon Holly honey, Yaupon Tea.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#85

Post: # 29873Unread post karstopography
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:22 pm

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Thai Red Noodle bean ferment, an experiment.
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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worth1
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#86

Post: # 29987Unread post worth1
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:41 am

@karstopography
You simply must try asparagus.
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Worth
Paul Prudhomme Is The Head Chef In Heaven

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#87

Post: # 30519Unread post worth1
Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:07 pm

@karstopography
Have you considered getting a small oak barrel to age your wine?
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#88

Post: # 30534Unread post karstopography
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:39 pm

@worth1 I’ve been reading a bit about oaking meads. Seems there are oak spirals available, toasted, not toasted, French or American. Oak Cubes, also. Oak Barrels are another option, maybe more expensive than the spirals and cubes at least initially. People toss in these spirals of oak and even other woods and cubes for such and such amount of time looking to improve the balance, mouthfeel and aging potential. Tinctures also get made soaking oak chips in grain neutral spirits.

I thought I might initially go in the direction of a tincture when and if I decide to oak. I’ve added a tincture of fruit seeds and skins with my first mead and other tannin containing materials like tea with my second one to improve the overall balance and structure of the mead instead of going the oaking route, so far anyway. Oaking, especially american oak, tends to put in a vanilla like taste that I’m for this point in time wanting to avoid.

One complaint I hear about mead is that it can be pretty one dimensional. Alcohol and honey flavors dominate without much complexity like what might be found in good wine. What I understand now is that a number of home mead makers add wine tannins, various acids such as tartaric, malic and citric acid and a host of other additions. Some of that is a turn off, the dumping of prepackaged powdered acids and tannins into a mead lacks appeal for me. I’d rather find something from nature I can use and not the refined, concentrated and prepackaged.

Additives and stabilizers like Potassium metabisulfite and Potassium sorbate are routinely used in mead. Clarifiers like bentonite and chitosan are also quite commonly put into mead. Diammonium Phosphate, xylitol, all these things get added for various reasons.

If there is any way to make a decent mead without all the extraneous materials getting thrown in, well, that’s where I am now.

There are quality wines out there that don’t get so worked over with a host of additions so it should be the same for mead.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#89

Post: # 30542Unread post worth1
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:43 am

Oak is such a generic word for a tree that has many varieties. :lol:
I haven't looked at the choices of spirals and I have to assume no one is using red oak for a barrel.
I would also have to think that each one of these oak spirals or barrels from different types of oak would have small difference in flavor.
Most certainly they are using white oak as that is the standard for barrels and ship building, red oak would rot.
But which one, because there are many kinds.
(Much of the USS Constitution was made from live oak.)
Rule of thumb red oak type trees have pointed leaves and white oak round.
Then there are ways to tell after the tree has been turned into lumber.
I wonder if the people that make and or buy these spirals know of this difference in oaks.
Buying prepackaged chemicals seems to take away from the original concept of making your own wines and mead.
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