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Hibiscus - Sorrel Mead


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#1 zymot

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 08:40 PM

Years ago I first read the mead section in Papazian's Joy of Homebrewing. Once I finished the Prickly Pear recipe, the first thing I thought of was the sorrel drink I order at a local caribbean restaurant. The drink is made from hibiscus flowers and ginger. The drink is so sublime and inviting, I knew I wanted to make a sorrel mead.I made it this weekend. I am very happy with what went into the fermentor. Here is the recipe I used.2 lbs dried hibiscus flowers (AKA jamaica, available in bulk at mexican grocery stores)5 oz fresh ginger12 lbs clover honey6 gallons spring water16 g Lavlin 71B dry yeastOG 1.092 @ appox 5.25 gallonsPeel and slice ginger, set aside for 2-4 hoursBring water to boil and add ginger. Boil ginger for 5 minutesAdd hibiscus flowers, return to boil for 5 minutesLet ginger and hibiscus flowers simmer for 3o minutesRemove from heat and cover. Let water, ginger and hibiscus steep and cool overnight.Next day, pour cooled sorrel through strainer to separate juice from flowers.Press or squeeze spent flowers to extract additional juice using your favorite method. Add honey to sorell drink per your regular mead making process.Rehydrate yeast and add nutrients as your best judgement dictates. It is strongly suggested that you follow the proven Hightest method.https://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/https://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/Rehydrate.pdfhttps://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/SNAddition.pdfExpect that this mead will require back sweetening.Variations?Scale down hibiscus flowers and ginger. E.g. 1.5 lbs flowers 3-4 oz gingerOmit ginger. (I strongly recommend using the ginger)Use more honeyUse less honeySubstitute with orange blossom honeyYes, you can use additional spices, but I discourage it.
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#2 zymot

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:10 AM

:crybaby: I'll be interested to see how well the aromas come through after fermentation. I would assume with that much flower, it would still be quite strong. Update us!

Interestingly, despite the fact that it is made from flowers, aroma is not a big part of the profile. The flowers are dried and before you put them in the boiling water, that have a kind of dirty dusty not so pleasant characteristic about them. So far I have the big cap that you read about in wine making primers. There is a nice subtle aroma to the ferment and flavor is standing up real well. I am enjoying the excess non alcoholic drink I made. I hope the wine version comes out as nice. zymot
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