Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Putting some Oak on the Maple Mead

Getting setup to rack the mead onto oak.
The next stage of the Maple Mead is to add oak chips and age for three weeks. As I have a little over two gallons of mead, I would need two 1 gallon carboys and a few mason jars to hold it all. I decided I would only be oaking the carboys, and using the mason jars to top up the mead when I rack it off the oak.

That's some good iced tea there
For oaking, I set aside some mason jars with 1 oz of medium toast oak chips each. I soaked them in enough bourbon to ensure all the wood was covered. Then I added 1 tsp of homemade vanilla extract to each of the mason jars and left it overnight.
Bourbon and wood
The homemade vanilla extract is still good!
Following the preparations, I added the oak and bourbon mixture to each of the carboys, and racked the mead ontop of it.

This is how I made sure none of the chips stuck to the wall
During this time, I also took a gravity reading of the mead. It had dropped to 1.000. This mead should be around 11% ABV, if not greater.
You can already see the color changing
I was able to collect an additional three mason jars worth of mead after filling up the carboys. I shall use two of them to top up the mead following oaking, while the other one will be used for taste testing. It's quite good at the moment, but we'll see how this tastes after oaking.

In three weeks, I'll be racking this, only to age it for an additional three months more.

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