Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grape Mead Melomel and a Maple Hard Cider

I just started 1 gallon batches of each about a week ago. The Melomel is recipe designed by Joe Mattoli of It is designed to be go from pitching to glass in 3 weeks. Therefore, it is a sweet mead. Easier to cover up the bite of some hot alcohol. The Maple cider is a test batch going off of a really basic hard cider recipe. I used maple syrup in place of corn sugar or the like. Anyway here are the recipes:

Grape Mead Melomel:
64 oz. Welch's Grape Juice (the kind with no preservatives)
2 lbs. clover honey
Top off to 1 gallon with spring or bottled water (not distilled)
Lavlin EC-118 or D-47 (1118 is more clean, 47 has more of a wine flavor)

My notes say an OG of 1.064. Which I'm pretty sure is wrong and I just failed to read the hydrometer correctly.

Maple Hard Cider:
1 gallon Motts Apple Juice (no preservatives again...)
24 oz. Maple Syrup
Lavlin EC-1118 (or a Montrachet or Nottingham if you want to cut back on the Maple Syrup and get something closer to an English Cider or German Apfelwein)

Mix one 64oz bottle of apple juice and maple syrup over low heat til fully dissolved, add to carboy or 1 gallon glass jug. Top off to one gallon with second bottle of apple juice.
OG was 1.084.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


For now my main aspiration is to be able to make a 5 gallon batch of beer a month. I have been researching equipment, techniques, and other various tidbits of information from forums like HBT and MoreBeer.

For now I am considering a basic 5 gallon starter equipment kit. With my love for Rogue's and Stone's products I have collected a decent number of 22 oz bombers and quite a few 12 oz bottles from other various sources. With my bottle collection I should be able to bottle a 5 gallon batch.

Anyway, past that the majority of my research has been tasting and researching different beers. I spent my Christmas break off school in Salisbury, MD and there are 3 fairly large craft/micro breweries around here: EVO, Dogfish Head, and Troegs. There are also Flying Dog and 16 Mile for smaller operations. Dogfish Head and 16 Mile have had the products I liked the most. 16 Mile has an incredible amber ale called Amber Sun Ale. We also visited the brewery where this particular beer is made (16 Mile has 2 different breweries). Dogfish Head has an incredible selection of brews generated from there 40BBL brewery in Milton and had my personal favorite for beers I tried while here, their Namaste. Namaste is a very well rounded Belgian Witbier that is apparently no longer available. I happened to find a few bottles at a liquor store near Rehoboth. I tried a flight sampler at their restaurant, which included their Shelter Pale Ale, Fort, Midas Touch, 60 Minute IPA, and Palo Santo.The Fort was bt far the best, and the Shelter was delicious. Their 60 Min IPA was pretty typical, it reminded me of Stone's.

From all of this tasting I have decided I want to make a Witbier for my first attempt. It will not be a traditional witbier in that I will not be adding coriander. Lemongrass and some bitter orange peel is it, maybe some orange zest.

Time for some coffee... Coherent thoughts are becoming more difficult to come up with.