Sunday, May 20, 2012

Traditional (weirdomel) batch.....

Ok, so I'm thinking of this as a traditional batch, but also as a "weirdomel" (a batch made with weird ingredients).

Now, I'm thinking both, because it's being made as a traditional, but what you can't see from the picture, is the other "blurb" on the label, including the honeys origin.

The jar details explain that it's honey collected from wild bees in the Miombo forests of north western Zambia. There's other marketing bollocks on the label as well, but if you want to know anything else, you can look it up at "Tropical Forest's" website.

Suffice to say that it's unusual enough for me to think of it as a "weirdomel". Despite the fact that I bought it in a local branch of Waitrose.

I bought 4 x 1lb jars a good few months ago, but have only just got round to starting it as a brew. Last night, I put the 4 jars into a sink of hot water, because it had crystalised some and I wanted it to run easily so it mixed up completely when I added the water.

Now I know that honey will vary in it's sugar content, but I was surprised to see a reading of about 1.060 once I'd mixed in about 3.5lb of the honey - though the relatively low reading may have been because I mixed it with a stick blender (sanitised) and hadn't waited long enough for it to settle. Seeing the low number I filled one of the jars with about another 1lb of the Blossom honey I got from Paynes last weekend. I mixed that and it still didn't seem to be reading much over about 1.080 - so I said bollocks to it and just scooped a pint jug out of the Blossom honey bucket and poured that in as well, mixing it with an electric whisk. I then just left the bucket fermenter sealed up over lunch.

When we got back, I took a reading and it's at about 1.140, which is rather high for my liking, but if I hadn't been so impatient, I would have done a better job of measuring both the honey and taking a gravity so it was a bit lower i.e. about the 1.120 mark. Never mind.

A gravity of 1.140, if it gets down to 1.000 would be about 19% ABV - I want a bit of residual sugar anyway, so I'm not fussed. I'm intending to manage this using the usual 2 part, staggered nutrient addition method, and while I'll try and aerate it twice a day, if it just gets aerated once a day, it should get somewhere near where I want it. I'm going to use D21 for the yeast.

The honey itself, isn't as sweet as some (too taste, that is) and has a sort of malty hint, plus a spiciness that I can't pinpoint, though it's not unpleasant.

Right, I'll close for now, as the yeast will have had long enough rehydrating in the GoFerm, must and water mix, so I'll report back how it's doing later on. Even if it does go pear shaped with the ferment and the starting gravity being that high, I can just run a restart, but using K1V-1116, which is also a good yeast for traditionals.......

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