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ABV Goals / Viking Blod Clone

Hey Everyone,

I have a friend at work that brought up “Viking Blod Mead” and how it was the best mead that he’s had. It just so happens, I’ve been wanting to try and make some mead and watch it age and the flavor profile of Viking Blod seems to be right up my alley.

Question though. Viking Blod is a 19% ABV mead and I’ve never made mead before. If I’m shooting for that, what ingredient should I be increasing to get that alcohol content? The most obvious answer to me is honey, but my worry is the mead becoming too sweet.

Anyone out there with enough mead experience to know a good balance between the sugar content, ABV goal, and the affects on the yeast? From what I’ve gathered, that high of alcohol content makes it almost too harsh for the yeast to do their magic.

From what I’ve read it’s hard to get a yeast to tolerate that much alcohol. 15% is about the limit. But 15% or 19% might not know the difference

@brew_cat yeah that is what I was thinking. Some article on Northern Brewer mentioned they made a… 18% I think it was? but never mentioned anything about the process. It was basically a “Here goes nothing” article.

Never had Viking blood Mead it must be awful sweet no?

See thats what I was thinking but my buddy swears by it.

I’m gonna pick up a bottle and get back to you. If you’re curious, I would suggest getting a bottle as well. From what he told me, they’re no longer brewing the mead. So whatever is on the shelves is the last of it :confused: Definitely don’t get it from a bar though. I tried once and they wanted $14 for 2oz.

But, like I said. Its a 19% ABV drink. I’d assume that harsh bite would take away from the sweetness.

How many lbs of honey does your recipe call for?. I’ve seen anywhere from 15 to 25 lbs

Well, from what I’ve read the general rule “should” be 3lbs per gallon… I’m really only aiming for a gallon to fill a 12pack of 325mL wine bottles. The clone recipe I found really only does the 3lbs per gallon and never mentioned the end ABV so I can’t really say how accurate that is. I would want to say I should start with 5lbs of assorted honeys.

Honey is a relatively simple sugar to ferment, so I’m assuming you won’t get a lot of residual sugars (as long as the yeast tolerates the abv). Nutrients for the yeast will be the most important. (Worth noting, I haven’t done a mead, so my b.s. is all theoretical).

I’ve had Viking blod…wasn’t too sweet…def get you drunk.

Yep, as previously mentioned, honey is an invert sugar and highly fermentable. The trick is to pick the right yeast and to give it enough nutrients to get to that high an alcohol content. It’s not easy.

Best bet for yeast would be ec-1118, which can tolerate up to 18%ABV. Very easy to use, and it’s a beast. Or go with WLP-099, which can go to 25%ABV, if you treat it right. But she’s a finicky yeast, and you need to treat her right.

In both cases, you’ll want to use a lot of yeast nutrient, and add it in batches. Commonly you use 1/3 of the total amount at first, then the next 1/3 after a few days, and then the last 1/3 when the yeast are slowing down.

To hit that high an alcohol content, you’ll need to step feed your mead. So if you expect it to be 3#/gallon, start with 2#/gallon and add the extra honey as fermentation slows. You need to acclimate the yeast to a high alcohol environment, so add some of the honey, then add some more, then add some more until you’re at your final alcohol level. Does that make sense?

That is the most sound and logical advice I’ve heard with this. I’ve been going through tons of forums to try and figure that out. Thank you sir.

As for the yeast advice, I heard the nutrients should be added at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours so you’re right on par with that. With adding the honey in steps, do you think bacteria could be an issue with that? I’m thinking from a beer standpoint where it wasn’t sanitized during the boiling process so adding honey in that manner could open a can of worms with bacteria.

Then again, I’m not too familiar with how tolerant mead is to infection so, I could be wrong.

Found it here Dansk Mjod Viking Blod Danish Mead | B-21 Fine Wine & Spirits It says pre-order estimated arrival 5/8 (Googled it because I had never heard of it either) so they may still be making it. The $25 price tag sounds better than the $14 for 2oz bar price.

Yeah, I typically like to take what people say with a grain of salt before I start preaching the same. This was just something I found that was an interesting “alternative” fact and didn’t really feel like researching. If you have a Total Wine near you, they typically have it in stock.

We live 60/40 Florida and NY. No Total Wine in NY, lots in Florida but not too close to our place. Probably a good thing because I can’t get out of there under about $100. Their beer selection is outstanding.

I know what you mean, I’m in Tampa and I don’t walk out of there without a 6-pack of Schneider Weisse Aventinus.

We are in Marathon so the closest one is Miami. We try to avoid Miami except going by on the turnpike.

I’m not much help with mead. I’ve only done a few and really winged it. Do have a blueberry that’s a few years old. Had to back sweeten it because it came out so dry. Just tried it a couple of days ago and it’s not bad.

I need to focus on making it more or stick to beer.

Yeah the hard part though is even if you want to get good at making mead, you still should wait a minimum of 6 months to see how you did. So I’m trying to learn as much as I can about making and clarifying it before I dive in. As of right now, I’m looking at almost $100 for a gallon, excluding bottle cost.

I googled a recipe for viking blod. The one I found used wine yeast which kind of makes sense…

Yeah thats where I was leaning towards, but Viking Blod has a really high ABV so the yeast strain needs to be able to deal with that. @porkchop had mentioned a view that are designed for really high gravity so that’s where my head is at.

Oddly enough too, all the recipes I find for Viking’s Blod completely ignore the fact that there is actually hops used in this mead. So I’m gonna have to do some guesswork on the aroma/flavor profile and probably go with Millennium hops.

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