Originally Posted by Justibone
I don't know that this is really apfelwein... it's a cyser-melomel, I'd think.
Mead ferments more slowly than you'd expect, if you've done much wine. Even when it's mixed with other fermentables, something about the honey just slows the whole thing down, in my (limited) experience.
No pectic enzyme? I guess with the blender you got the juice out of the fruit, but clarity is going to be an issue. Also, is that bread yeast?? *shakes head* If you don't use wine yeast, it takes a lot longer to get wine due to flocculation issues. Not a problem if you are going to cold crash, I guess.
Thank you for bringing up some very valid points. Let me walk through them with comment on what I had in mind.
First, the yeast. It is a red wine yeast: "Red Star® Pasteur RedTM (Davis 904), a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been derived from the collection of the Institute Pasteur in Paris. It is a strong, even fermenter that produces full bodied reds. This yeast encourages the development of varietal fruit flavors, balanced by complex aromas."
I had it on hand, and with the additional fruit giving more body, thought it would be a good choice.
The style comment is an interesting one. Where some may use sugar, corn sugar, or brown sugar in addition to the apple juice for fermentables, I decided on honey for purely subjective reasons. I have augmented other homebrews with a small portion of honey, and used it as priming sugar. I guess I am not sure why I decided on it except that I like using it.
Based on the sugar content of the apple juice, fermentables came in thus:
Apple Juice - 36%
Honey - 27%
Fruit - 27%
Corn Syrup from fruit cocktail - 9%
This is somewhat of a rough estimate using beercalculus.com and assuming one pound of corn syrup from the fruit cocktail.
Where does this put this, style-wise? I believe with beer, if no more than 25% fermentables are from non-malt sources, it is still considered beer.
I used the blender (and pasteurization for getting rid of possible bugs) method to extract as much of the fruit flavors as possible vs. whole fruit. It is interesting, to watch it ferment now, as the bits of fruit are churning away with the yeast.
I did a mead that was mostly honey, and yes, it needed to be stowed away for six months before it was ready. I am hoping to have a similar experience with this mixture as I did with EdWort's original; that is, an acceptable wine in 6-8 weeks, with the additional layers of flavor the other fruit bring to the equation.