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Homebrew #100: Evil Clone (Mk. VI)

by Rob Friesel

It was time to make more ginger mead. Even with Groennfell and Havoc shipping to Washington state now… there’s just something about having a pint of your own homebrewed stuff, right? Thus, the sixth batch of Evil Clone.

Evil Clone (Mk. VI)

Brew Day

I mean, at this point it’s almost not even worth reporting out on the brew day. Six pounds of honey, around five gallons of water and… You’ve got must.

With the settings on on-demand hot water system, I can get water in the mid-80s ºF by doing a 3:2 mix of hot and cold. That seems to be warm enough to make mixing easy. That and a drill-powered wine whip.

O.G. of 1.042 and sit tight for a little while to let the must cool before pitching.

"Whoops! Looks like I made mead again."

Fermentation

After the last batch’s experiment with D-47, I re-committed to US-05 for Evil Clone. Rehydrated almost like I normally would — I’d all but run out of Go-Ferm and so I gave it the nutrients that I could be otherwise… some is better than none, I guess?

Got the US-05 pitched and did my usual staggered nutrient addition schedule:

  1. 1.6 g DAP + 0.8 g Fermaid K at pitching
  2. At 24 hours post-pitching, degas and add 1.6 g DAP + 0.8 g Fermaid K
  3. At 48 hours post-pitching, degas and add 1.6 g DAP + 0.8 g Fermaid K
  4. At 96 hours post-pitching, degas and add 1.6 g DAP + 0.8 g Fermaid K

And that #4 is where I (almost) got myself into trouble. On the first two nutrient additions, I degassed with the wine whip, but was careful to be gentle about it — let things settle a bit between each burst of stirring.

And I thought that I was doing the same on the last one but… I guess there was just that much more CO₂ ready to come out of solution.

degassing trouble

Lucky for me I already had the carboy in a deep bus tub. Could have had a much worse mess on my hands!

After that last nutrient addition, I let the mead ride it out for another two weeks or so (plus a couple days) — given that my experience with US-05 is that it takes nearly 3 weeks to finish attenuating this mead recipe.

But — oh yeah — in the meantime, I also added the juice of 5 limes and 60 g of high quality powdered ginger.

Finished at 0.997 for 5.9% ABV. Kegged it up and got it to serving.

Overall Impressions

That’s the mead I like to make.

Evil Clone (Mk. VI)

AROMA. Moderately strong spicy ginger note. No significant honey aromatics — subtle background floral notes. Low fruity esters, otherwise clean fermentation.

APPEARANCE. Pale, light yellow color. Rather clear, though early pours had a bit of haze. Tall white mousse with dense beaded bubbles. Mousse does not persist, and collapses into a persistent cordon of dense white bubbles. Lots of visible carbonation; decidedly sparkling.

FLAVOR. Palate is dominated by strong spicy ginger notes. Light citrusy element in the mid-palate and finish; perceptibly lime but could get lost behind the ginger. No substantial honey character; light floral notes retronasally. Bone dry finish which is enhanced by the ginger’s spiciness. Ginger character lingers long into the aftertaste. Moderately low acidity. No significant tannins.

MOUTHFEEL. Light body. Lively carbonation with moderately strong carbonic bite. Ginger spice enhances the carbonation. Moderately low acidity. Again: no significant tannins.

OVERALL IMPRESSION. This is my at-home present-use session mead. All that ginger and just enough alcoholic strength. Previous iterations have done well in competition, but this isn’t one I make for competition — as it doesn’t fit the expectations for what most people expect out of a mead. (Which… that’s a whole separate side rant, but whatever.) It doesn’t have as much character as the mead that inspired it — BUT: “This one’s mine.”

I think I’ve got this one exactly where I want it. No further changes.

Recipe

The recipe for Evil Clone (Mk. VI) is as follows:

Water Chemistry

Starting with the Seattle City Water profile as a base, collect it by carbon filtration.

Fermentables

6 lb. wildflower honey

Flavor Agents

  • 12 g/gal. ginger powder (Morton & Bassett)
  • juice of 1 lime per gallon

Yeast

1 sachet (11.5 g) SafAle US-05; rehydrate with Go-Ferm nutrients.

Brew Day

  1. Collect 20 qt. water and heat to 90ºF. Add 3 gal. to fermentation vessel. Add 0.8 g Fermaid-K + 1.6 g DAP to fermentation vessel. Stir to mix until dissolved.
  2. Add 6 lb. of wildflower honey to fermentation vessel. Stir to mix until dissolved. Top up to 5.25 gallons and stir to homogenize.
  3. Allow must to cool to pitching temperatures.
  4. Rehydrate 1 sachets (11.5 g) of US-05 in 250 ml water with 12.5 g of Go-Ferm. Pitch and aerate must.
  5. Start fermentation in the mid-60s ºF.

Beyond Brew Day

  1. At +24 hours (post-pitch), de-gas must and add 0.8 g Fermaid-K + 1.6 g DAP.
  2. At +48 hours (post-pitch), de-gas must and add 0.8 g Fermaid-K + 1.6 g DAP.
  3. At +96 hours (post-pitch), de-gas must and add 0.8 g Fermaid-K + 1.6 g DAP.
  4. When mead is within 20% of expected attenuation, add juice of 1 lime per gallon and gently stir in 12 g/gal. powdered ginger.
  5. Allow fermentation to complete. Allow mead to condition at least another week.
  6. Force carbonate to approx. 2.3 volumes.
  7. Enjoy!

Details

Evil Clone (Mk. VI) a ginger mead by Tilde Gravitywerks

Original Gravity 1.042
Final Gravity 0.997
ABV 5.9%
Attenuation 107.5%
Links Flickr

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night; weekend homebrewer. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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