You know you are a meadiac when your walking down the aisle at the grocery store and think “I could ferment that.” Well that’s what inspired this recipe. I found organic concord grape juice on sale and decided to get three liters. I had an extra packet of K1V-1118 when I was putting together the Great Canadian Short Mead Yeast Experiment and decided to start this at the same time. I was so concentrated on the experiment, I totally neglected the mead. By no means is this a recommendation on the recipe, but maybe evidence on how sometimes you get lucky?
Recipe (if I can call it that):
- 5 grams K1V-1118
- 6.5 g Go-ferm in starter
- 0.5 grams potassium bicarbonate
- 900ml hogans white honey that tasted super sweet and sour
- 3 liters organic Concord grape juice
- SG 1.142
- Target FG 1.010 – 18% ABV!
- 7.5g Go-ferm total (237.75 YAN)
- 3.5 grams Fermaid-O (111 YAN)
- 1g Fermaid-K (26.5 YAN)
- Brewed at 62f
- Total Recommended YAN from The MeadMakr BatchBuildr: 247.5
- Total Actual YAN: 375.25
- Rehyrated yeast using Go-ferm adding must every 15 minutes for 1.5 hours
- Added grape juice and honey to carboy
- Added 3.5 grams Fermaid-O (all up front!)
- Aerated by shaking for 1 minute
- 24 h – blew air lock onto the floor, put back on and shook to degass
- 48 h – added 1 gram Fermaid-K, Aerated heavily, gravity 1.112
- 52 h – degassed
- 72 h – aerated heavily, added 1 gram Go-ferm, tasted super sweet and clean, more wine but lots of concord 1.086
- + 9 days – 1.032, tasted sweet, clean and nice and concord like. Couldn’t taste the alcohol.
- +10 days – 1.022
- +21 days – 1.010 super hot and alcohol, but otherwise clean. Racked to a glass carboy.
- +5 weeks – amazing! Concord juice wine, sweet, clean with alcohol in taste. So much aroma and flavor. Added oak (two cubes American, one French, that had been soaking in vodka for 3 months)
- +5 months – bottled 6 x 375ml bottles
This is a funny drink – like wine that reminds you of the grape juice box you had from your younger days. That said, it is delicious. There is a tonne of flavor and aroma and it is almost candy like in the way it drinks. I would have left it slightly sweeter, maybe a FG of 1.015-1.020. Despite how much I neglected this mead, it turned out quite well. I also added quite a bit more YAN than necessary, but it didn’t seem to be a problem as there was no off-flavors detected. I was really happy at how well the mead turned out. I will be using K1V-1118 again!
Won third place at Brew Slam, Canada’s largest home-brew competition. See the detailed feedback on the scoresheets. Gordon Strong was a judge at the best of show table when the mead was picked for third. After the mead judging, Gordon kept this mead, and the coffee mead (I think he might of sweetened them up a bit) and gave a presentation on the BJCP and on evaluation techniques. The whole time he was carrying this pyment and told the head judge don’t let anyone touch it – as he was judging beers. Can you tell I was happy?