Wednesday, October 24, 2012

White Wine Yeast Mead w/ Spicey Peppers

I've used Redstar's Pasture Champagne yeast several times, and each time I have not enjoyed the yeast flavors it contributed. I am going to give another yeast a try to bring out different flavors in my next batch of mead. Redstar's Côte des Blancs sounded like a good choice after reading that it brings out the fruity flavors when used to make white wines. This should work as I am hoping to bring out the fruity sweet flavors of the honey and fire those flavors up with a mixture of fresh store bought peppers including Serrano, Pablano, and Anaheim.

(please read more after the break.)

Serrano, Pablano, and
Anaheim chilies
Derek was at an event in Chicago where he sampled a mead made with spicy peppers. He said that the mead was a revelation for him; it was sweet without being cloying and spicy without being punishing.

From a culinary standpoint this makes a lot of sense. Many dishes call for honey/sugar/syrup in combination with 'hot' spices. The sweet and spicy culinary profile works especially in Asian cuisine. So I am going to try this in a mead.

Peppers and Honey
The Recipe:

2.0 lbs Local Wild Flower Honey
1.0 oz Mixture of Spicy Peppers
0.5 tsp Diamonium Phosphate (DAP)
0.5 items Cote des Blancs


Making mead is almost criminally easy. I boil water with DAP in it. Add it to my sanitized carboy, then put the bung in. I then run cold water over the one gallon carboy to cool it. You could do this with a sink full of water and some frozen two liters as well. While the water is cooling you should warm the honey so that you can pour it into the carboy when the water is cool. Then yeast is added. My brew-day was easy and relaxing.

Côte des Blancs Properties:
  • Fast fermenting strain that ensures a regular fermentation even at low temperature (12°C-14°C, 53°F-57°F). 
  • Little temperature increase in case of fermentation temperature is not controlled. 
  • Alcohol tolerance: >14% vol. 
  • Low production of foam and very low volatile acidity and sulphur compound production with an adapted nitrogen contribution (balanced addition of organic and mineral nitrogen).
  • Wines obtained with the Côte des Blancs yeast strain present very fine fruity aromas.
  • As an aromatic yeast strain, Côte des Blancs also showed very good results on sparkling and rosé wines. 

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