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Old 05-25-2012, 04:44 AM   #1
Calvus
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Default Apricot mead/melomel recipe help needed

Hello everyone. New to the forums and fairly new to brewing in general. Had my first shot at a mead with the caramel apple recipe which is about a month in. I can already see that I am going to be a mead/melomel/cyser enthusiast. So I had an idea since I will be getting married next summer. I am going to start 5 gallons of a melomel now so it will be ready to drink by next summer but we will only share 1 bottle. Every anniversary after that we can open one bottle which should last us 24 years or so. I thought it would be a nice thing to look forward to every anniversary. She is crazy about apricots so I was thinking about an apricot/vanilla melomel. I came up with a game plan and thought I would share.

12 cans old orchard apple juice
1/2 wildflower and 1/2 orange blossom honey to 1.100
8lbs total apricots that have been sliced/pitted with skins on and frozen
5tsp yeast nutrient
3tsp pectic enzyme
1tsp grape tannin
water to 5 gal
1/4tsp Kmeta
Lalvin 1116
2 vanilla beans

So the plan is to mix all ingredients together but only add 2lbs apricots at the primary at initial ferment. Pitch yeast starter 24hrs later after Kmeta and let er rip. Then going to add 2 more lbs of apricots at 1.050. Once closer to 1.010 rack to secondary and add vanilla beans. Let sit for 4 weeks before racking again off sediment. Once cleared, I am then going to stabilize with K sorbate and add the final juice from the remaining 2lbs of apricots after steam juicing. Let bulk age for 10months or so.

So my question for you experts who are well seasoned with meads, is there anything that you would do differently to this recipe or any tweaks needed. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-25-2012, 05:59 AM   #2
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The recipe does sound good. Personally I would not use the apple juice. If you just want more sugar content without running up the honey bill then just juice more apricots. Since you want a starting gravity of 1.100 which dry would be less than 14%. if you can control temps and keep this under 70*F the use Lalvin D47. If temps may get higher than 70*F then go for Lalvin 71B-1122.

Good luck and congratz on getting engaged. Marriage is a great thing.

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Old 05-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
The recipe does sound good. Personally I would not use the apple juice. If you just want more sugar content without running up the honey bill then just juice more apricots. Since you want a starting gravity of 1.100 which dry would be less than 14%. if you can control temps and keep this under 70*F the use Lalvin D47. If temps may get higher than 70*F then go for Lalvin 71B-1122.

Good luck and congratz on getting engaged. Marriage is a great thing.
Thanks for the input Arpolis. I think you are right and I am going to drop the apple juice. I have much more experience with wine and I kept thinking that I need a base. But the honey and its characters are the base of the mead. So just honey and a nice filtered water to 5 gal. Do you think the small amount of apricots will shine through? Again I am used to adding 30+lbs of fruit in a 5 gal batch. What advantages does the 71B-1122 have over the K1V-1116. Thanks again. Apricot season will be here shortly!
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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I havent seen a lot of mead recipes use grape tannin either. This unnecessary? Kmeta 24hrs in advance is probably unnecessary also.

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #5
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Adding the fruits in increments like that would be ok but probably unnecesary, you might want to consider upping the quantity to 10+ pounds and put it all or at least most in the secondary with the vanilla, that seems to really maximize the amount of flavor and aroma you get, backsweetening with a little of the juice at the end like you described will boost the flavor as well, you will probably have to let it clear again to prevent haze.

Going with water over apple juice is good to help keep you in the melomel category, the juice sort of pushes it into a cyser, which is great too but if you want a melomel then water is the way to go.

The campden tabs or kmeta in the begining is fine, not really necessary as its also an antioxidant and in the begining you will want as much oxygen in there as possible, even adding more with initial daily degassing/aeration.

Step feeding is always a plus for your nutrients, can be done at the same time as aeration.

I personally like tannins in melomels, and a lot of meads, I often use oak as a source but if I am not I also use a powdered source, So I definetely like that idea.

here are a couple links to compare to 71B-1112 and K1-V1116

http://www.lalvinyeast.com/71B.asp
http://www.lalvinyeast.com/K1V1116.asp

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Old 05-30-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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I appreciate all the input BrewMedic. I think I am dialing in the recipe now and will take all of your advice. I still think I will add some apricot in the primary and secondary but will just add once at each point. Found some blackberry blossom honey locally at a good price too and might do 100% with that instead. A little bit lighter and less complex of a honey which might be a good balance with the apricot. Thanks again.

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