Better brewing through science.
Jadwiga is considered the pinnacle of Polish mead and considered among the best in the world. The commercial description is as follows:
"It has very rich specific fragrance due to the addition of raspberries and wild rose to nectar honey.
1 litre of Póltorak style mead contains 720 g of natural honey. By comparison, the Dwojniak style of mead contains 610g/L of honey; the Trojniak contains 420g/L and the Czworniak contains 320g/L.
Póltorak mead matures for several years to achieve full clarity. In time its rich aroma hides a high content of alcohol (16%) and acidity forming the finest liquor there is."
I want to clone Jadwiga...sort of. In order to clone something, one needs to taste it first. After repeated attempts, I simply cannot get the stuff. So, I guess I'll have to make it!
I did a lot of digging to find out everything about this beverage. This required me to learn a lot about Polish mead making and the laws that are in place to regulate Polish meads. I also learned that some Polish meads are pure myth (I'm looking at you, Poltorak. SG of 1.240?! Yeah, right). Below is what I could dig up for Jadwiga:
-16% ABV final after raspberry juice addition. Probably starts at ~18% ABV prior to fruit juice addition.
-Sugar content is reported to be 720g/L final with residual sugar at 300g/L. >This is a total of 6 lbs of honey per gallon with a theoretical FG 1.240 and SG 1.100. I call buuulllshiiiit.....
-Black Locust/Acacia honey
-Barrel aged for a very, very long time (6-25 years). I presume Hungarian oak, but some Polish meaderies use American oak as well. After barrel aging, it is blended with the following:
While I've never had the original and cannot say if this recipe is close in flavor, I can say that this mead is extremely tasty.
Raspberries, rose hips, and the wonderful Black Locust/Acacia honey really make a stellar mead!
Jadwiga BOMM - 1 gallon
1. Add 3.5 lbs of Black Locust honey to fermenter. SG ~1.140.
2. Add 0.4 tsp of Fermaid K and 0.79 tsp of Fermaid O.
-Add 0.79 tsp of Fermaid O again at 1.10 & 1.070.
3. Add 1/4 tsp K2CO3
4. Add water to half a gallon and mix until honey is totally in solution, then top off to 1/2 cup shy of 1 gallon with water.
5. Add an activated pack of Wyeast 1388. Activate for no more than 2 hours.
Post Ferment Plan
1. Once the gravity hits <1.025, add the following:
-12 oz dried rose hips.
-4 Hungarian medium toast oak cubes
-Sterilize and remove harsh tannins by soaking 24 hours in vodka.
-2.5 lbs of frozen raspberries (in a sanitized muslin bag to facilitate removal)
2. Remove berries after 2 weeks to avoid excessive tannin addition. Allow oak and rose hips to remain in contact for 1 month.
3. Cold crash until clear. Protip: Cold crashing makes rose hips sink too!
4. Bottle. Enjoy immediately or age for 6 months to a year. If you have the self control...