Ideas wanted! Blueberries and Honey
Last year I purchased a 5 gallon pail of honey from a local beekeeper. I used up 1 gallon with my first go at mead. Just yesterday my father-in-law showed up with 17 gallons of freshly picked blueberries for free. He said all the source is asking in return is for 1 bottle of the finished product. I have never made blueberry wine before and I have only experimented with blackberry wine beside the mead so I would consider myself a beginner. I would like to play around with different recipes. Maybe some heavier, some lighter, some sweeter, some drier, etc.... Since I still have a ton of honey left I would like to use the honey in different combinations with the blueberries. The ideas I have are unlimited but I would like the wisdom of a veteran on how to best utilize these resources to produce the best possible product. Thanks alot!!!!
This would be better posted in the mead section but I'll throw my 2 cents in since I mainly do meads. I would suggest making a traditional mead to start. Just at 3# of honey per gallon with your yeast of choice and staggered nutrients to ferment. Then when primary is about done. Freeze off 3# per gallon blueberries. Thaw them, freeze them once more for good measure and thaw for the last time. This helps to break up the cell membranes and release the flavor. Add in camden tablets at 1 crushed per 3# of blueberries and 1/4 tsp of pectin enzyme per 3# of blueberries. Crush and mix that well and place in your secondary fermentation vessel. After 24 hours rack your mead onto the berry mix. Fermentation should pick up again and leave there for 1-2 months, rack and then let sit to clear or add finnings if you like. Bottle once clear or bulk age for a minimum 4-6 months from there. You can adjust the honey or yeast to make this dryer or sweeter. Or you can run it dry, Stabilize with Camden and potassium sorbate and sweeten with honey before bottling.
This is from a collection of recipes at The Bee's Lees... http://brewery.org/library/beeslees.html
Crazy-Good Mead, 5 gal
Source: Dave Polaschek (DaveP@county.lmt.mn.org)
Mead Lover's Digest #230, 26 October 1993
10 lbs light clover honey
2 lbs blueberries (I used frozen)
1 gallon apple cider (pasteurized)
1/2 oz Saaz hops
yeast nutrient to instructions on package
1 packs champagne yeast (I used WYeast on this one)
Bring 2.5-3 gallons of water to a boil. Add honey, bring to a boil
again. Toss in the yeast nutrient and hops and boil for about a half-
hour, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface during the boil.
Put berries into a hop-boiling bag. Lower heat to a very low simmer,
and toss in the berries, mashing the bag around to break them up some.
Continue to steep the fruit for about 10-15 minutes while you get the
fermenter ready. Put the gallon of apple cider into the fermenter when
the boil is about done, and then add the hot wort. Add water to bring
the total up to 5 gallons. Let cool, and pitch yeast.
When the gravity has dropped below 0.980, bottle and wait. 3 months
wait makes for immensely drinkable stuff, but the longer you can wait,
the better. Final color is a light delicate pink, not unlike some white
zins, so you may want to store bottles on their head and then freeze the
neck to get the sediment out of the bottles, but I've just been very
careful decanting into glasses with pretty good results.
Specifics: SG: 1.075 FG: 0.965 Alcohol content: 23 proof
Comments: This is something I whipped up last winter, and I sure wish more of it had survived until now (I'm down to my last 3 bottles, and it just keeps getting better).
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