Huajillo honey is a very rich and full bodied honey that almost has marshmallow notes. It’s the type of honey that begs for oak.
I’ve started oaking with barrels now. Cubes and staves are great, but nothing beats a barrel. The micro-oxidation and depth of flavor is just the bees knees. This mead is going into a new 5 gallon American oak barrel.
1. Add 24 lbs of Walker Huajillo honey to a carboy (SG ~1.14).
2. Add 1.8 TBSP Fermaid O, 1 TBSP Fermaid K, and 1.7 tsp K2CO3.
-Add 1.8 TBSP Fermaid O at 1.11 & 1.070
3. Add water to half gallon and stir with a drill powered stirrer until the honey is dissolved.
4. Add 4.75 gallons of water (6.85 gallon batch). (Remove 4 cups from one 2.5 gallon jug).
5. Add a 3 smack packs of Wyeast 1388. Too lazy to make a starter.
6. It should finish around 1.020.
7. Allow the mead to clear by cold crashing. Rack to a medium toast American oak barrel.
8. For a new barrel, fill with water and allow to swell until water tight. This may take a few days to a few weeks.
-Remove water and rinse with fresh water.
-Add some 50% ABV ethanol, swirl around over a 3-4 hour period, and decant to sanitize the barrel.
-Add mead to barrel. You must fill to the brim! Allow no headspace.
-Check weekly and top off if the mead level is low. Never allow headspace. This requires you to have more mead for top off. I’m planning ahead by making 6 gallons and I have an extra gallon of honey if I need to make more top off mead.
9. After 2-3 month, to taste, bottle.