Back to my large batches. This is a 5 gallon recipe. This would make a good holiday drink. Sadly, it’s generally around the holidays that you can usually find cranberries the easiest. Which means you’re most likely making next year’s batch.
Ingredients – Primary
- 7.5 lbs of Wildflower honey
- 4 lbs of Cranberries
- 6 Earl Grey teabags in 4 cups of water
- 0.5 cup Craisins
- Lavlin 71B
Ingredients – Secondary
- 2 lb honey to back sweeten
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 0.96
You’ll notice the tea bags for this one are a new addition compared to my previous brews. Tea can be used as a quick and dirty method to add tannins to drinks. I won’t go too into depth on this topic, but tannin will add a certain mouthfeel to a drink. Wine gets it from the skins of grapes. It can give your tongue a bit of a dry tingly feeling. They can be important in drier meads and wines that don’t have as much sugar to give it a body, to prevent it from feeling too watery.
This one has a nice bite to it, but is still a bit tart. And a tad watery. I started with less honey in this one, as I wasn’t looking to make a monster 18% drink with this one. I just racked this into the carboy, and added some Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulphate to prevent fermentation from restarting when I backsweeten it tomorrow. This will definitely thicken it up some, and I’m hoping that the added sweetness will help to balance the tartness of the cranberry.
UPDATE: After nearly a year, I went back to this one and gave it a taste. I believe it had actually managed to restart fermenting again, so had gone dry. The cranberry flavor was quite strong, with a solid tartness. However, I felt it was a bit too much, as well as a little one note. I decided to pick up from medium toast french oak cubes and soak them in some rum for a few weeks, before adding them to the carboy. It sat on these for several weeks and gave it a bit more mouthfeel and a bit of a kick in the finish. The cranberry flavor seems to be entirely up front. I also added 1.125 lbs of honey to help the body some more, as well as temper the tart flavor slightly with some sweetness.