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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Apricot Melomel Recipe Development
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:01 AM   #1
Atek
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Default Apricot Melomel Recipe Development

Alright, I was hoping we (all who are interested) could work together in developing a nice apricot recipe. I have some ideas based on some of Jack Kellers apricot wines and the only Apricot recipe on gotmead. I am looking for something fairly light, not necessarily sweet or at least not very if flavor proves to need some sweet. My thoughts are as follows:

12lb clover honey (light)
4oz grated ginger (gotmead recipe)
17lb Apricots (the amount that I have) or simply 10lb Apricots (upscale from Jack Kellers wine recipes)
5lb Cracked wheat (Jack Keller)
2 Lemons juice only (possibly not needed, I stopped using lemon juice in my meads some time back and haven't really missed it)
1 & 1/4 cup strong black tea (upscale from Jack Keller, the alternate listing is 1 & 1/4 tsp grape tannin, I have both available but figured the tea would offer a nice flavor with those tannins)

Typical SNA and Aeration technique

My biggest concern is that 17lb apricots would be overpowering, my second thought is to divide either amount of apricots used in half. Place half in primary and half in secondary (taken from basic brewing podcast regarding mead and fruit additions).

Anyone have an opinion or suggestion? random thoughts are welcome too

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Old 07-24-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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I'd definately lose the lemons, they won't add any flavour & will only contribute acid, lowering your PH & adding stress to the yeast. I doubt you'll be able to taste the tea in 5 gallons of melomel, but there will be some added tannins. You might want to reduce the amount of fruit if you're wanting some of the honey flavour to come through. Clover honey doesn't have much flavour when compared to a varietal like orange blossom, and is easily overpowered by fruit. I think I'd stay under 3lbs/gallon; you can always rack onto more fruit later if you feel it needs more.

I'd be sure to pit & quarter the fruit, then put it through a freeze/thaw, freeze/thaw cycle before the final thaw & addition to the must. Freezing helps to break down cell walls & extracts more juice/flavour from the fruit. a dose of pectic enzyme will also help with this AND will help in clearing, though it's not really a fining agent.
Regards, GF.

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Old 07-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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I agree with gf. Back off the Apricots. I would recomend more like the 3lb/gal he is suggesting for a prominent apricot flavor. I acutally am going to see about doing a Apricot Allspice soon. Soon being next year. But I only have like 8 pounds. I plan on freeze, thaw, blender with pectin enzyme, then mesh bag in the secondary. A touch of Allspice and vanilla. Oaking with lightly toasted oak. But if you are going less sweet I definitely would not use a large amount of honey. Apricots do have some good sugars in them too. THat should be factored in a little. Hope it turns out.

Matrix

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Old 07-26-2012, 04:32 AM   #4
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In a 5 Gal batch, 12# of honey and 15# of the apircots asumming they have a contributing factor of 9.1% of their volume being fermentable sugar should bring the must to a gravity of around 1.099. Lalvin D47 or Lalvin 71B shoud be able to take this dry. Splitting the fruit though probably 5# primary and 10# secondary would be benificial to the fruitiness of the end product. I agree that taking out the lemons is a good idea. I am a big fan of adding tea to the must however. I would go 1 cup per gallon of strong black tea or try an herbal tea at 1.5 cups per gallon like "Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion Herbal Tea" or even " Celestial seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger Herbal Tea".

So I would propose the recipe:

12lb clover honey (light)
4oz grated ginger
15lb Apricots (5# in primary & 10# in secondary using the freez/thaw methode)
1tsp of pectic enzyme
5lb Cracked wheat (Jack Keller)
5 cups strong black tea (Or 7.5 cups of herbal tea of choice)

Good luck with the recipe building.

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Old 07-26-2012, 05:56 AM   #5
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That's almost exactly what I was going to do for the recipe after reading the replies. Though I was planning on using 10lb apricots, half in primary half in secondary. I can ways add more to
Secondary if need be. I was pondering using 71b or k1v-1116, I'm having trouble with temperature stabilization in my basement ( temperamental a/c). I'll likely wait until later in the fall or at least until I'm sure the ac won't break again. I will update this as soon as I start it and keep this updated. More ideas are more than welcome. :-)

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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with only 10# of apircot abd 12# hony in 5 gallon I would go with 71b. 1116 is great but imo should be saved for higher gravity musts where you want 16%+ ABV.

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Old 07-27-2012, 04:12 AM   #7
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Ok, here's what I am going to do.

12lb clover honey (light)
4oz grated ginger
10lb Apricots (5# in primary & 5# in secondary using the freez/thaw method)
1tsp of pectic enzyme
5lb Cracked wheat (Jack Keller)
5 cups strong black tea (Or 7.5 cups of herbal tea of choice)
71B Yeast
SNA management

I'l be picking up the wheat tomorrow and getting started when my AC is fixed.

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
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I got to thinking about this a little more and hit another road block. The recipe that I am pulling the cracked wheat from is as follows:

APRICOT Melomel (4)


2 lb. chopped dry apricots
1 lb. wheat, cracked
3 lb. honey
1 gallon water
2 lemons, juice only
1/4 tsp. grape tannin or 1/4 cup black tea
Madeira wine yeast and nutrient
Bring apricots to boil in gallon of water, reduce to simmer, then strain into primary fermentation vessel without pressing after one-half hour, discarding pulp. Add remaining ingredients, except yeast and nutrient, and stir to dissolve sugar. When cool, add yeast and nutrient, cover, and ferment in warm place for three weeks, stirring daily. Strain into secondary fermentation vessel, top up to one gallon, and fit airlock. Rack after one month. When clear, rack again and bottle. Taste after six months, but allow one year for best quality and flavor. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's First Steps in Winemaking]

My question is do I boil any water or not, I have already decided that I do not want to boil the apricots and strain them, I want to keep them diced in a nylon sack in the primary for 5-7 days, then strain and discard. In the recipe above I am wondering if the warm water (allowed to cool for half-hour) is acting on the wheat at all to allow some enzymatic action to produce fermentable sugars. My hold back to that is I do not want the hot water to affect the honey and cause aromatic loss. The solution to this in my mind would be to bring 2-3 gallons of water to boil and pour over the wheat, obviously I would likely add the tea at this point. Allow this to cool to 90 degrees or so and add the remaining ingredients. Then comes a question about what to do with the wheat after that. Keller is a bit vague on whether or not the wheat is removed with the apricots or not. I assume that the wheat is not kept in any kind of nylon sack and is simply racked off of after removing the apricots and transferring to carboy. Anyone have any best practice ideas on this?

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:51 AM   #9
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Are these fruits that are used to make melomels still edible after fermentation? Some cheap fruits maybe doesn't matter, but stuff like cherries are fairly expensive. If they are edible, are they still good?

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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It's not something I would do, I have tasted post fermented fruit and it really does not taste good. Think of the last time you bowed to the porcelain thrown....

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