Beesource: Anthony’s peanut butter mead (to do)

I just came across this recipe after a couple of days of idle research on how I would approach a peanut butter mead. “Anthony” from the Beesource forum considerately shared his process and results here, and his notes were intriguing enough that I’ve now decided I want to use his ideas as a template for mine.

Recipe summary

Anthony prepared a must with the following basic ingredients per gallon, boiled and skimmed to remove impurities:

  • 4 pounds purple sage honey
  • 2 pounds organic peanut butter with oil poured off
  • 1.5 tbsp black tea leaves (for tannin)
  • Filtered water to one gallon

Once the must was cool,  he added yeast nutrient according to package instructions and Irish moss to help clarify, then added Lalvin K1-V1116 wine yeast, which is tolerant to up to 18% alcohol by volume. Starting specific gravity was 1.148, which implies there is enough sugar to potentially give a 20% ABV result, assuming ideal conditions for the yeast being used. There’s a chance the peanut butter matter may have altered the reading to give a higher potential alcohol than is actually true, but this is all we have to work with.

Three weeks after pitching the yeast, Anthony found the brew had reached 19.5% ABV and gave a drier result than he was hoping for, so added another 1.5 pounds of honey mixed in 2 quarts water.

Two weeks later, he calculated the ABV at 21% and determined that the peanut flavour was too mild and the sweetness still insufficient. He added additional peanut flavour in the form of a decoction made from 3 pounds peanuts in one quart water, as well as 3 additional pounds of honey and more Irish moss to help clarify.

Another two weeks later, Anthony reports that the mead was to his taste and had reached 22% ABV. Final ingredient count per gallon (approximate):

  • 5.5 pounds honey
  • 2 pounds peanut butter
  • 0.3 quart peanut decoction (taken from 3 pounds peanuts simmered in 1 quart water, oil skimmed off)
  • 1.5 tbsp black tea leaves
  • 1 tsp Irish moss
  • Filtered water to one gallon
  • Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast

The way I’d approach it

  • Use a non-specialty blended honey (e.g. Costco), or even a caramelized honey to bring out toffee flavours
  • Start with 5 pounds honey per gallon of must
  • Use defatted powdered peanut butter instead of conventional to avoid issues with oil inhibiting yeast or going rancid in the bottle; this could get quite expensive, though

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