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cranberry mead


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#1 brewhead

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:37 PM

13 lbs OBP honey2 gallons ocean spray cranberry or cranberry extract2 Tbsp gypsum to harden up the water a bitThe yeast was Lalvin EC-1118mixpitchpatience
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#2 Hightest

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:28 PM

...2 Tbsp gypsum to harden up the water a bit...

Just curious why this is necessary?
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#3 brewhead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:37 AM

Just curious why this is necessary?

not being the mead expert, when i first started out i was told to do this. since then i leave out the gypsum and it doesn't seem to matter. i should have made a note to that effect. this recipe is, now my most requested. everyone seems to like the tart of the cranberry against the sweet of the mead.
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#4 Hightest

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 07:46 AM

I can understand that reasoning. In fact, there are older books and recipes that specify adding gypsum. IMO, it is an unecessary ingredient, as is adding Irish moss. I have yet to find anyone who can discuss any purpose for adding it. Moreover, it is not even mentioned in Ken's book (TCMM).
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#5 brewhead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:39 AM

I can understand that reasoning. In fact, there are older books and recipes that specify adding gypsum. IMO, it is an unecessary ingredient, as is adding Irish moss. I have yet to find anyone who can discuss any purpose for adding it. Moreover, it is not even mentioned in Ken's book (TCMM).

ken who?
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#6 ScottS

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:58 AM

ken who?

Ken Schramm, author of The Compleat Meadmaker.

#7 brewhead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:50 AM

*gunny voice*

never heard of 'em

but sounds like i need to take a look
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#8 Hightest

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:05 AM

... never heard of 'em but sounds like i need to take a look

:) :) And when you do, you'll find the world of making mead has changed for the better. Many of my mead FAQs align with Ken's thoughts, and some are new concepts. Yet, all of them are based on a sound foundation rather than hearsay or tribal knowledge... They first appeared on the HBA Greenboard during my moderator days there - before the 1st "Ice Age" :) .
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#9 ScottS

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:25 AM

:) :) And when you do, you'll find the world of making mead has changed for the better.

+1Definitely take a look. Lots of good stuff in there.

#10 badogg

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

Mmm, Cranberry mead. I've never made a mead before, well to be honest I don't think I've ever had a mead before either, but this sounds really good to me. Pretty much cranberry anything is good as far as I'm concerned. That makes me wonder what other fruits can be used in a mead? Is it pretty much wide open?
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#11 Hightest

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:44 AM

... That makes me wonder what other fruits can be used in a mead? Is it pretty much wide open?

Short answer - YES. However, one must understand that if the fruit is used in the primary, the yeast's action there will create something that most likely will not directly taste like the fruit - similar to how wine doesn't taste like raw grapes.The "which is best" discussion regarding placing fruit in the primary, secondary, or both, is ongoing...
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#12 badogg

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

I guess if I want to try my hand at a mead, I should probably just start off with a basic plain mead the first time and then progress from there.
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#13 Wayne B

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:51 AM

I guess if I want to try my hand at a mead, I should probably just start off with a basic plain mead the first time and then progress from there.

Definitely a good approach. Fermenting with honey is fundamentally different from both brewing and winemaking, although a lot of technique can be borrowed from either other discipline and applied to meadmaking. Still, there are some things unique to mead, and the best way to get a handle on all that is to do a straight-up traditional batch (just honey, yeast, some yeast nutrient, and water). One of the things that you'll learn is that nutrient is almost essential for a traditional batch to completely finish, and to not produce noxious smells and/or flavors in the process. You'll also learn about managing pH, far more quickly than you likely would from beer brewing or winemaking experience alone.
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#14 brewhead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:52 AM

:) :) And when you do, you'll find the world of making mead has changed for the better. Many of my mead FAQs align with Ken's thoughts, and some are new concepts. Yet, all of them are based on a sound foundation rather than hearsay or tribal knowledge... They first appeared on the HBA Greenboard during my moderator days there - before the 1st "Ice Age" :) .

well hightest i'm sure to piss of a bunch of brewers - tho not intentional - i admit to being a just do it brewer. yes i have a basic recipe. and yes i have a basic understanding of what's going on, and i know my system very well so i know what it does when it does it.i'm not too much on hard core technicalities and the molecular science as it were. i guess i'm a hands on kind of guy. read enough to get me going, and figure it out along the way.not to say that i don't seek guidance from those more in the know than i, but more so i'm not a book learning kinda person - i will read the hell out of the intertubes tho. fopr some reason that clicks better. but for 13 bucks i'll pick up a copy and browse through it.
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#15 Hightest

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:00 AM

well hightest i'm sure to piss of a bunch of brewers - tho not intentional - i admit to being a just do it brewer. yes i have a basic recipe. and yes i have a basic understanding of what's going on, and i know my system very well so i know what it does when it does it.

I never force my techniques onto anyone. I will explain, and point to what I believe is the best thing to do. Yet, it is up to the individual to decide just how much they want to do.

... not too much on hard core technicalities and the molecular science as it were. i guess i'm a hands on kind of guy. read enough to get me going, and figure it out along the way.

Wayne's summary of fermenting mead was well written. Sometimes people get lucky, but generally one must be aware of ceratin differences making mead to stay out of a problem.
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#16 brewhead

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 12:01 PM

I never force my techniques onto anyone. I will explain, and point to what I believe is the best thing to do. Yet, it is up to the individual to decide just how much they want to do. Wayne's summary of fermenting mead was well written. Sometimes people get lucky, but generally one must be aware of ceratin differences making mead to stay out of a problem.

i understand man. it has more to do with my character. much like i play the guitar - can't read music and tabs befuddle me - i just do it :)
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#17 dave in indiana

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:10 AM

Gypsum is a holdover ingredient from Papazian.
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