Barkshack ginger mead

Yield: 5 servings

Measure Ingredient
7 pounds Light honey
1½ pounds Corn sugar
1 ounce To 6 oz fresh ginger root
1½ teaspoon Gypsum
3 teaspoons Yeast nutrient OR...
¼ ounce Yeast extract
¼ teaspoon Irish moss powder
1 pounds To 6 lbs crushed fruit
3 ounces Lemongrass, or other spices
1 pack Champagne yeast
¾ cup Corn sugar (bottling)

Boil 1½ gallons of water, the honey, corn sugar, grated ginger root, gypsum, citric acid, irish moss, and yeast nutrient for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off. If you're going to add fruit (this is entirely optional, as are the spices) then fish out as much of the ginger root shavings as you can. Then add your crushed fruit or concentrate and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Some ideas for fruit are: Sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, chokecherries, rhubarb, grapes, grape concentrate... go wild here.

Pour the entire must (unsparged if fruit is added) into an open primary fermenter and add about 3 gallons of cold water. When cooled to 70 to 78 degrees, hydrate and pitch your yeast. After the specific gravity has fallen to 1.020 or within 7 days, whichever comes first, rack the brew into a secondary fermenter. Leave the fruit behind. Age 1 to 1 ½ months in the secondary fermenter.

Bottle with ¾ cups priming sugar. If using spices or herbs as a flavoring, add them now by making a "tea" and adding them at bottling time. The flavors will be fresher and sharper. Some suggested spices are lemon grass, citrus peel (just the zest, not the white part), etc. If using cloves, cinnamon, or hops go lightly on these. Adding flavors in this manner also allows you to use different flavors in the same batch, since you're just adding a "tea" to the mead at bottling time. You can bottle two or three flavors at once this way! This mead should age from 3 months up to a year to allow the harsh flavors to mellow out. Tasting at 6 months will show approximate flavor profile. Serve well chilled.

Author: Charlie Papazian

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