Other Fermentables

Over the past few weeks, I have acquired some other fermentables. If you’ve never seen 24 pounds of honey in a bucket, you’ll want to check out this post.

So yesterday, my brother dropped by Poverty Lane Orchards on his way back from a business meeting in Burlington, VT and bought some pressed apple juice (the label says sweet cider, but we know better). When I got home from work, I had three, mostly frozen solid, gallon jugs of this stuff on my front porch.

I put them in the beer fridge with the fermenting New England hard cider. They are slowing thawing out and keeping the temp in the fridge steady. I don’t think I have heard the compressor kick on since I put the jugs in there.

Poverty Lane Orchards Sweet Cider

This juice is unexpected – I asked my brother to pick up some of their Farnum Hill cider, not the sweet, unfermented stuff.

That’s not to say these 3 gallons are unwanted. I will put them to good use. I think I will make a simple scrumpy – just juice and yeast.

The only decision I have to make is what yeast strain to use. Do I use a champagne strain or an English cider strain? I have used a champagne strain before and that’s what all the expert say to use.

I may use a liquid version this time around rather than a dry one.

I have Campden tablets and I plan to add them at the end of fermentation. Then, I will add a little sugar to sweeten it just enough, bottle it, and let it age a couple of months (if I can wait that long). It will be a nice still cider.

In the beginning of November, I bought some honey in bulk – a raw local wildflower honey and a Maine blueberry honey.

The honey is packed in white plastic buckets like this one:

Honey in Bulk

It’s marked BB for blueberry. Sweet.

I don’t know how hard it is going to be to work with this much honey, but learning will be half the fun, right?

The honey in the small jar I bought from Merrimack Valley Apiaries was all crystallized. I had gently and slowly heat it up to get it back into a liquid form. I was afraid that the buckets would be in the same shape. I opened this one just to see what condition it was in.

It looked pretty good:
Blueberry honey in bulk

This honey is also raw and unfiltered so that is why it’s a little foamy on the top, but it appeared to be not crystallized which is what I was hoping to find.

I am not sure when I will get around to making some more mead, but I think I have the right raw materials to do it.

Comments

  1. You should make as much mead as possible–every time I try mead, I can’t get enough of it.

    OR, save just a little bit of that honey (like, say, 3 pounds or so) and throw it in a secondary for batch of beer that just needs that little sweetish edge to it.

    As for your yeast situation–I am a die-hard liquid yeast kinda guy. White Labs has the mead, champagne and cider yeasts. But if you were thinking of going with the dry yeast route, I know a lot of guys who come into my store looking to make cider ask about Cooper’s Ale yeast. If it were me, I’d stick with liquid cider or champ yeast.

    Anyhow…more power to ya man.

  2. You’ll want to add both Campden (K-Metabisulfate) as well as K-Sorbate to arrest fermentation. One stops the existing yeast from working, the other prevents them from reproducing; you need both to stop a healthy population, and expect it to drop a few more points while they’re taking effect.

  3. Thank jsled. I will need to pick up some Potassium Sorbate.

  4. Thanks Logan. We plan to make many batches of mead over the next 12 months.

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