Viking Blood Mead, yes I know…
Heiðrún, the goat on the hall that stands, eateth off læráth’s limbs; the crocks she fills with clearest mead, will that drink not e’er be drained.
I never made a Mead until now (February 2020). I just made a mead I like to call Viking Blood, that’s what I (and others) call it when it is made with cherries. The Vikings probably never made mead with cherries (they don’t grow up here in the north). One web site blogger says…
Viking Blod’s recipe dates back to the 1700s, making it an old-school offering and a great place to start. It pours a rich golden amber, reminiscent of Thor’s flowing locks.
Well I’m sceptical, I don’t know about that. Blood is red. Vikings drank mead. So I think it should at least be red. Maybe they used raspberries which grows up here naturally, but I they never called it Viking Blood Mead back in the day. I love raspberries, I might do a raspberry mead later?
Anyhow, my first batch of Viking Blood is fermenting right now.
I used concentrated cherries instead of real cherries with 1.3 kg honey. It was so sweet (OG1500? it went far beyond the hydrometer scale) I had to dilute it with water so the OG came down to 1190. I’m using Lalvin EC-1118 wine yeast which can only go up to 18%ABV before it stop fermenting (according Beersmith it will stop fermenting at FG1060) so it will be pretty sweet.
I had to dilute it with more water than I expected so the batch is 8.1 Liters instead of planned 5.5 Liters. I put in 50 gr of cacao nibs. When the fermentation stops I will rack it to a 5 Liter jar and add two vanilla sticks.
I don’t know what to do with the remaining 2-3 Liters, maybe keep it like it is?
Mead takes much longer to ferment and age, but it should be ready to drink after the summer. Anyway who want to drink 18%ABV meads in the summer heat? Actually, I can think of doing it when the sun is down, or in a cold cellar or a rainy shitty day (we often have that).
Update 1; Alright, just checked the fridge (two days later) and I had an old WLP099 High Gravity Yeast that I used for an imperial stout I kept feeding with sugar until it was 21%ABV. It was to dry and boozy so I added lactose to sweeten it. I regret doing that, I should have added sugar until the yeast died. It can ferment up to 25%ABV under perfect conditions.
I doubt this mead will be much above 18%, but the yeast was old, didn’t smell bad so what harm could it do? I have no plans of doing a strong beer anyway so why not?
I will update this page with the final FG and %ABV and how it turned out after the summer if I don’t forget.