Reserve Series

Over the last couple of months I have been quietly brewing some high alcohol beers.  Kate the Great, Blackberry Mead and my Barleywine, Old Stoner.  All these beers are very different in complexity and style but they all have one thing in common.  They are all made for aging in and out of the bottle.  Some are on oak and some are just sitting for the right time to bottle.  The oldest of these beers is my Blackberry Mead at over 3 years old. 

My goal with this high gravity beer project is to better understand long term aging and it's effect on homebrewed beers.  Plus it is nice to get something out of the fridge and impress fellow homebrewers and friends.

BlackBerry Mead:

The honey for this Mead was purchased in a 50# drum and split with Danny from DeeperRoots Brewing.  Most of my records on this beer have been lost or forgotten but I remember the timeline and the processes used.  Danny seems to remember this was brewed with his "Claire's Mead" but honestly I think it is older.  Plus under Danny's own recipes he lists Clarie's Mead as to have Orange Blossom Honey.  This honey is pure Blackberry Honey.  Either way Claire's Mead was put into the carboy in August 27th 2007.  I think this was a year before personally.  But honestly we may never know.

The recipe is very basic and very classic with no additions besides yeast nutrient.  I used 20 pounds of pure Blackberry honey bought from a farm in the north east.  I kept 5 pounds for  another something or other but ended up eating it on toast.  (It was insanely good, by the way) I did the cold brewing method on brewing this.  Bringing 3 gallons of water up to 85 or so and diluting the honey into the water.  No boiling.  This was added to the carboy and topped off. Yeast was added and left to ferment in my San Diego closet for 6 months.  At 6 months it was transferred into another carboy and put back in place in the closet.

UPDATE #1 Sept 16, 2011

Last week while I was planning my Pumpkin Ale I needed a larger glass carboy (fearing that the added pumpkin guts would create a blow off on my 6 gallon plastic better bottles).  Remembering that I have a 7 gallon carboy in the closet full of mead I thought I should try it, shit remember it at this point is someplace between 3 and 5 years old.  Then if it is drinkable, rack it off the sludge to a small 5 gallon glass carboy.

After moving the carboy to settle out on the counter, Annette asked what is that and how old is it?  I told her about it and she did not remember anything about it, so I told her it was for her.  :)

UPDATE #2 Oct 5, 2011

As you can see, I have tapped into my Blackberry mead for the second time in a month.  This was more to get some pictures of it in a glass, but the tasting was an added touch.  From looking at the pictures above, you can see how clear the mead is after this LONG time in the carboy.  I am collecting bottles to store this in.  I am planning on keeping it "Still" and bottling in 12 oz glass bottles.  At about 13% a 22 oz bottle would be over kill.  Just a nice 12 oz pour at the end of a long day or a special occasion.

Kate The Great Russian Imperial Stout

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