Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bloody silly idea's ?

I'm not really a traditionalist, though I do make mainly "traditional" meads.

For anyone not knowing, "Traditional" meads are just ones made like wines, but with the use of nutrient etc, that honey lacks, when compared to grape juice i.e. honey, water, yeast, nutrient/energiser and any required winemaking chems.

I'm quite happy to admit that there is some historical evidence for variations, when batches/mixes/recipes have used other ingredients, but given what would have been available (and affordable) in times past, the range of other possible ingredients is going to be limited.

For instance, apple juice (it's fucking juice whether it's cloudy or clear America!) might have been used, but the sort of shit that might be in a "liquid apple pie" only exist in the mind of a modern day idiot!

There is no historical version of chocolate raspberry capsimel, with added mint! That's a fucking "weirdomel". Just like a lot of the recipes that might be found at the various mead making websites (no I won't name any, as this is my personal opinion).

Sure, some of the historical recipes did have limited spices, but limited mainly, by what was available at the time - equally, what was affordable at the time. Likewise, ingredients like the honey and water, may indeed, have been boiled. Though that's likely to be mainly connected with them not knowing any better at the time and needing to sterilise the water, rather than the honey. They may have used herbs of various types, because they were available, but most spices would have been far too expensive, if they were actually available.

Now, this morning, I'm reading about "stove top pasteurisation". I suspect that this is some fools idea of being green/organic/stupid, about how to be able to make a batch to a specific level of alcohol, yet kill off any remaining yeast cells, so that they can back sweeten it. Given that alcohol boils at temperatures lower than water, it seems that it's thought that it should be OK to do this.

I'd like to point out, that the volatile nature of flavour and aroma elements of any product are often affected by heat, and that with modern methods, part of the point is to include as many different flavours and scents as possible. So why in gods name, would any fucking idiot want to heat a batch to try and kill off the yeast ? And still have something that's remotely drinkable ???

A little research would have shown that it's probably, either better to make a batch and use the "step feeding" method, whereby, a base batch is made and then small additional amounts of honey are added, along with careful monitoring of the gravity of such a batch, to build up the alcoholic content to exceed the maximum tolerance of the yeast used, too end up with some residual sugars that can't be fermented by that yeast and just supply flavour/sweetness. The drawback of this, is that higher levels of alcohol in a batch, can need ageing for much longer before the batch is drinkable.

And possible alternative, is to make a batch, then use methods/techniques to get it as clear as possible, and then the batch is filtered with as fine a filter as possible. I'd guess something like a so called "sterile" filter, which I believe is the term applied to filter gauges less that about 0.45 micron diameter. Then it might be possible to back sweeten the batch, because in theory, such fine filtration is capable of removing particles down to the size of bacteria. The downside is that they will also remove some colour pigment, as well as larger sized aroma and flavouring particles...

At the end of the day, it's your brew, so it's up to you what you do with it and the processes that it's exposed too. If you post about something which is patently a fucking stupid idea, then don't be surprised if you take shit over it.......


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