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Old 09-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
BrewFrick
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Default Advice on Blackberry Melomel

I put together this lower gravity mead about three weeks ago:

Approx. 8 lbs. of Wildflower Honey
Zest of 6 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
Yeast Nutrient
Pectic Enzyme
Cooper's Ale Yeast

This went for two weeks in primary and I racked it off to a better bottle to secondary and had planned all along to get it onto some fruit. So I bought 4 lbs of frozen blackberries and racked it over into a primary bucket while I poured my blackberry puree in. I used the blender on the blackberries with just a little water and a bit more enzyme to be sure it could clear later. I also put a metal strainer over the bucket while racking and poured the blackberries into a nylon bag sitting in the strainer. Tied off the bag and let just float in the mix holding all the goopy blackberry junk.

I think I did this the smart way by keeping the pulp out of the liquid for easy removal, but I do have a couple of questions since this is my first time trying out fruit in a recipe. How long should I keep the blackberries in the mead to get good flavor/color out of them? Is the four lbs. of blackberries going to be enough fruit to add flavor? How many more times will I likely have to rack this and wait before bottling?

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Old 09-06-2008, 01:56 PM   #2
summersolstice
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I don't think I saw in your thread how much the total volume was supposed to be. Anyway, I have absolutely no experience making any sort of mead, other than braggot, with an ale yeast. Perhaps someone with such experience could chime in. When I make mead I use wine yeast and a minimum of 2 pounds of fruit, or one can of frozen concentrate, per final gallon of liquid in the primary for a lighter bodied melomel.

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Old 09-06-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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Well this started as a 5.5 gallon batch. I didn't loose as much as I thought on the original racking from primary so it was just under 5.5 when I put in the fruit, so it is around 6 gallons now and very close to the top of my 6.5 gallon bucket.

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Old 09-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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And by what you are saying with the two lbs. of fruit per gallon, I need another 8 lbs. in there?

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Old 09-06-2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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At the quantity you specified for your recipe, I'd say that you're pretty light if you're looking for any significant blackberry flavor in your melomel. Having said that, I don't know how well your ale yeast will ferment or what sort of flavor profile it will produce so I'm hesitant to offer specific advice on your fruit additions.

The thing I like about wine yeast is that they're designed to produce a known result in wines and mead that more closely resemble wine than ale. I know what kind of profile almost any given variety of wine yeast will provide and to what degree they'll ferment with a specific amount of honey, sugar, or fruit. That's why I'm hoping someone who has made mead with ale yeast will jump in and offer a suggestion.

I might want to add that, when using a straining bag, especially in the secondary, you should add some sanitized marbles, or something similar, to keep the straining bag submerged and the fruit wet in order to avoid spoilage and off flavors. You don't want to stir in the secondary in order to keep oxygen introduction to a minimum. Stirring and punching down the fruit in the primary's fine but not desireable in the secondary, so submerging is the answer.

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Old 09-06-2008, 03:10 PM   #6
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Well, with the volume of liquid in the ale pail, it will stay sumberged. That is a good tip though for when I do it again and have more headspace in it. Now I just need to know how long to keep this in there before racking and removing the fruit. I was thinking about two weeks with the fruit in and then another secondary after removing the pulp, maybe putting it in the fridge to help clear.

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