Thursday, October 29, 2009


Cola, like in Kola Nut, and Mel, as in Latin for Honey. More accurately its a methaglin (Spiced Honey Wine) that is spiced with various spices to archive a cocacola like flavor.

I know people have touched apon the subject of mixing cola flavors in beer/wine/ciders/meads, but I thought I would present my interest and experiments in the subject.

I found OpenColas recipe, however I am not excited about using oils or any premade flavorings in any recipe. So kept looking...

Then I found Tristan Stephensons article which in turn is a natrual ingredient adaptation of Cube Cola Recipe wich is an adaptation of the original Open Cola I found.

I went through the recipe and removed the kola (cola) nuts and citric acid. The citric acid would interfere with the target pH for the yeast, as we are dealing with a lot of acidity already, and Kola nuts are not needed for flavor (As per Tristans comments on his own recipe).

I'm left with :

500ml Water
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lemon
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
2 pinches of ground nutmeg
1 points of a star anise (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers
10g stem ginger
1/3 vanilla pod with the seeds scraped out and added as well

This makes 500ml of flavoring. The Ratio should be 1:4 of Flavoring:Drink. Basic calculations said I need to make 3800ml(1 gallon) of flavoring to flavor a 5 gallon batch. So we have to increase the quantities for this recipe... but by how much?

Target / Original = Multiplier
3800ml / 500ml = 7.6 times

But I don't want to make a Cola that tastes like Mead. I would rather have a Mead that tastes like cola.

So I'm going to drop that down a notch, so about 5 times the amount of spices from the original recipe. (Choose your own concentration on cola flavoring)

Get your zesting arm ready to zest 10 oranges, 10 limes, and 5 lemons, I suggest using a microplane zester. You can juice the zested fruits and mix it with ginger ale to make a super yummy drink while you brew up some colamel goodness :)

For scaling and bulk purchasing purposes here are some notes :

A large orange produces 2 tablesoons of wet zest.
A lemon or a lime produces 1 tablespoon of wet zest.
8 pinches = 1 tsp
3 tsp = 1 tblsp
16 tblsp = 1 cup

If you are going to order your ingredients bulk, then I would suggest, and if you are going to bulk order the zest then use

So here is the new scaled ingredients list :

2/3rds gallon
zest of 10 oranges
zest of 10 limes
zest of 5 lemons
1.25 tsp ground cinnamon
1.25 tsp ground nutmeg
5 points of a star anise (they ussually have 7 points)
2.5 tsp lavender flowers
50g stem of ginger
1 to 2 vanilla pods with the seeds scrapped out and added as well

Now to the mead side of things.

If I'm going to spend my time(and money) on this I might as well go all out... for this reason I wanted to go with a well aged mead.

I wanted to make a slightly sweet mead, as a dry cola doesn't not sound right to me; so I will infuse this recipe :

16lbs honey
4 gallons water
2tsp energizer
2tsp nutrient
Lalvin D-47

OG : 1.120
FG: 1.025

I do not like using coloring or anything else not natural to the processes. I infact like looking through what I drink. Optionally, I thought of burning a small amount of honey to add natrual colors and complexities. For my first attempt I will not add any more complications than I'm already encountering.

Final Ingredient List :

16lbs Honey (kind doesn't matter as long as its not too dark/light , but try to get it from an apiary, not the over filtered watery commercial crap)
5 Gallons spring water
Lalvin D-47
2tsp energizer
2tsp nutrient
zest of 10 oranges (1 1/4 cups)
zest of 10 limes (2/3rd cup)
zest of 5 lemons (1/3rd cup)
1.25 tsp ground cinnamon
1.25 tsp ground nutmeg
5 points of a star anise (snap off two points of a full star and throw it in)
2.5 tsp lavender flowers (Hidcote or Super Blues if available)
50g stem of ginger (fresh root)
1 to 2 vanilla pods with the seeds scrapped out and added as well (please no extract, check out and google for their coupons, had great success)

The Processes (I foresee):
Zest your fool head off. Crush the anise and lavender. Slice the ginger into thin pieces. Mix zest, anise, lavender, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into 2/3rds gallon of water. Boil for 30 minutes. Then let cool slightly, then filter though a fine screen/coffee filter/large tea bag. Then add to the end of your normal mead brewing procedures. I do the no-heat method myself so I just simply throw the flavoring, water, and honey into a carboy, balance the pH (target is 3.7), and shook the crap out of it then I add nutrient, energizer, and yeast.

Since this was experimental I did a 1 gallon batch. Here was the results :

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