This is one of my favorite meads of all time. It is based on the Lacto Soured Orange Blossom, 12% ABV, bone-dry, mead from Gold Coast Meads. Anytime I lacto sour a traditional, I think to myself that this is the way traditional were meant to be made. The brightness that comes from a co-ferment of a lacto sour enhances the aroma and body. Also, the brightness from the acidity results in high perceived sweetness for a dry mead.
Recipe for 5.25 liters:
- WLP001 California Ale Yeast (I used second generation, wouldn’t now)
- 1.25 liters (2.75 lbs) of 2017 orange blossom honey from Dutch Gold Honey.
- 4 liters of spring water
- 5 pills of 100 billion cell mixed probiotics
- OG – 1.090, 12% ABV
- FG – 0.996
- Total high recommended YAN from MeadMakr BatchBuildr = 270 YAN
- 3.5 grams Fermaid-O (60 YAN)
- 6.25 grams Go-ferm (155 YAN)
- 1.5 grams Fermaid-K (30 YAN)
- Total: 245 YAN
- T=0 – mixed, honey, water, 6.25 grams of Go-ferm, and probiotics, temperature ~ 68°F
- +3 days – added 2 grams of Fermaid-O, pitched the yeast, swirled twice a day
- +5 days- 1.5 grams of Fermaid-K, swirled twice a day
- +6 days – slight sulfur so added 1.5 grams of Fermaid-O and 0.5 grams of Go-Ferm, swirled once a day for another week
- +2 months. FG 0.996. Transferred to 1 gallon glass carboy, added 1 oz of orange blossom honey.
- +4 months – bottled.
Looking back, I would not have formulated the nutrients this way. That said, it worked. The mead tasted excellent and was very bright. At two months I did notice some yeast/ Go-ferm flavor, which is why I added 1 oz of honey in when transferring, and the flavor seemed to be gone by four months. The Florida/Dutch Gold orange blossom honey character was strong, but not as fresh orange as the Cali blossom honey character of the one I tried from Gold Coast Meads. That said, it was delicious. I remember thinking that all traditional meads should be co-fermented with lacto.
I served this one to my friends, and they all loved it. They couldn’t believe it was bone-dry since it had a tonne of perceived sweetness. In fact, when one of my friends asked me to help him with a mead he wanted to make this mead. However, I never got to try it since he drank three gallons of it before it was even bottled!
I sent the mead to competitions. No-one, at least at the time, made sour mead in Canada and orange blossom is hard to come by. I got raving reviews from some judges. The other judges said the perception of sweetness was too high when I had claimed it was a dry mead and docked me points… come on!!