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Beer Style: Open Category Mead
Recipe Type: other
Yield: 5 US gallons
Here's a recipe off the top of my head (based on the Crazy-Good Mead recipe I posted a month or so back).
Bring about 3 gallons of water to a boil.
Add 1 tsp yeast nutrient.
Add 1 tsp irish moss.
Bring back to a boil (yes, a full boil, which will almost certainly carmelize some of the honey, which will make for a little bit of nice residual sweetness)
Turn down the heat and let the temp drop back to about 170F add raisins (ideally in a hop/grain boiling bag, so you don't have to fish out the skins later)
Let the raisins steep in hot must/wort for about a half hour, maintaining temp in the 170-180F range.
Optionally add 1/2 - 1 oz saaz hops (some don't like 'em. I do. Using Saaz hops will make for fairly minimal bittering)
Put cold cider in sterilized, rinsed carboy.
Pour in the hot stuff
Add water to bring total to 5 gallons
Wait for it to cool to 70F and pitch 2 packs yeast. I recommend either a) Red Star Champagne or b) Wyeast liquid champage yeast about equally. The Red Star is cheaper and provides me with good results. I double up on the yeast because when I only pitch one pack, I've had some slow starts, but never with two packs.
When S.G. has dropped below 1.000, rack and bottle. If you add no priming sugar, this will end up very lightly carbonated.
At an age of 3 months after bottling, this should be very drinkable. At a year after bottling, it should do well in contests. The main change between this and the Crazy-Good Mead recipe I posted is that one had blueberries and this one has raisins. More than 3 lbs of raisins in a 5 gallon batch will be too winelike for my taste. Earlier in its life, the fruit flavors will be stronger. They mellow with age. Depending on the color of the raisins, you should end up with something pink, from almost clear to white-zin color.
Source: Dave Polaschek,