Strawberry Peppercorn Short Mead

Every once in a while I make stuff other than beer to put on my 4th tap that houses a 3-gallon keg. What was originally an oversight in designing my kegerator (not being able to fit a 4th 5-gallon keg in the keezer) turned out to be a convenient excuse to make smaller experimental batches that I’m OK with having less of on tap. I purchased the book “Speed Brewing” by Mary Izett recently and made one of her recipes as a 3-gallon batch (her book listed it for 1-gallon, but just scaled up).

  • 2.5 gal cold water
  • 3 lb Strawberries
  • 3 lb Honey (from Costco)
  • 1.5 tbps crushed peppercorns
  • 0.25 tsp yeast nutrient
  • WLP001

// Puree strawberries (removed leaves and and white from the middles), combine with peppercorns and yeast nutrient in plastic tub. Add 1.5L off-boil water, stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  Add honey to carboy (measure w/ weight scale under carboy), followed by hot strawberry mixture. Add cold water, shake/stir until honey is dissolved from bottom of carboy. Oxygenate for 30s, add yeast and seal. Brewed 6/4/17. //

6/7/17:  Airlock slowing down, gravity at 1018. Gave carboy a shake to help finish.

6/8/17: Moved to fridge to crash cool.

6/9/17:  Kegged. Gravity at 1008. Beautiful pink color and delicate fruit flavors. Carbonation already settled in a little and already tastes wonderful. Lost a bit of product due to strawberry sludge, so only wound up with around 2.5 gal. Can’t wait til this is ready!

6/15/17: This one is going quick on tap! I’m really enjoying this. Beautiful cloudy pink rose color. Super light, refreshing, and the peppercorns add a perfect balance to the sweetness of the honey and strawberries, which actually implies a little bitterness like a beer would with hops. The recipe is perfect, can’t really identify anything worth changing. Letting it ferment out a little more would be OK, but I wanted to save some sweetness since I don’t always like when my ciders dry out so much. Never took an OG reading, but I estimated it should be in 3.7% ABV range with this FG. I’ll 100% be making this again (and will be trying some other recipes from the book) – and, be sure to pick up a copy of “Speed Brewing” if you’re interested in making other cool stuff like this!

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