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Old 06-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
ajm895
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Default Beginner with blueberry mead question

I have been brewed 4 batches of extract beer and I decided I would try to make a mead. I'm going with a blueberry melomel. But I'm not sure the best way to add the blueberries. Should I mash them up before I put them into the primary or secondary? How much blueberries should I use? I'm making a 5 gallon batch with probably 15 pounds of honey. I dont want the blueberries to be overpowering but i definately want to be able to easily taste them. Thanks.

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Old 06-27-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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I did mine with 10 oz of dried blueberries per gallon....no question when you taste it. If you are using fresh, I'd start at about 1 pound per Gallon. Smash them up a bit and rack onto them when you go to secondary.
If it's not strong enough for you in about 10 days, add more.

Word of warning. Account for the sugar in the fruit. I didn't and ended up with at least 22% alcohol in mine. It's more of a liqueur than a mead.

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajm895 View Post
I have been brewed 4 batches of extract beer and I decided I would try to make a mead. I'm going with a blueberry melomel. But I'm not sure the best way to add the blueberries. Should I mash them up before I put them into the primary or secondary? How much blueberries should I use? I'm making a 5 gallon batch with probably 15 pounds of honey. I dont want the blueberries to be overpowering but i definately want to be able to easily taste them. Thanks.
Lots of "right" answers to this question. Your choices are:
Freeze them then thaw and mash.
Puree
Mash fresh berries

Add them free or in a mesh bag in the primary.
Add them in the secondary as the fermentation slows.

Use between 3 and 18 pounds.

My choice given your goals would be to:
freeze the berries, let them thaw then mash with a potato masher.
Add them to the fermenter with a bit of pectin enzyme before pitching the yeast.
I would probably 6-9 pounds for a light blueberry flavor or 9-12 for a strong flavor. More than that is blueberry wine with honey, less is mead with a hint of blueberry.

Make sure you punch down the cap once or twice a day during fermentation. And it helps to aerate the must a couple times a day the first few days and use yeast nutrients.

I have a blueberry mead in the secondary where I used 3# of "wild" blueberries in 2gal of mead with 5# of honey and a gallon of apple juice described here blue berry cyser

Craig
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:35 PM   #4
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Make sure you punch down the cap once or twice a day during fermentation.
Punch down the cap? What does this mean?
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I have a blueberry mead in the secondary where I used 3# of "wild" blueberries in 2gal of mead with 5# of honey and a gallon of apple juice described here blue berry cyser

Craig
Just so you know, "wild" blueberries are a variety which does grow in the wild. They're about 1/3 the size of standard blueberries. They're found in wooded areas in the northern states. Maine has them. I've picked them in Upper Peninsula Michigan.

Hey YooperGirl, where are you from? My family has a summer home west of Ste St Marie, near Salt Pt.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:06 PM   #6
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As CBBaron said, there are a lot of right ways to add the fruit. I would probably use about 1 1/2 lbs per gallon in the secondary after freezing them. I prefer the secondary mainly because I feel I keep more of the fruit flavor and have less chance of contamination due to the alcohol levels. Fifteen pounds of honey plus fruit in five gallons shoud give you a fairly high ABV. It could be over 16% if it ferments fully. Make sure you use a yeast that can handle that unless you are trying to get a sweet mead. The fruit adds sugars, but will probably only add about 1% ABV.

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Old 06-27-2008, 10:44 PM   #7
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Punch down the cap? What does this mean?
fruit tends to float up to the top, forming a 'cap'. you wanna use a sanitized instrument to push it back down into the fermenting must so you extract more flavor from the fruit.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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fruit tends to float up to the top, forming a 'cap'. you wanna use a sanitized instrument to push it back down into the fermenting must so you extract more flavor from the fruit.
Ah! Thank you for clarifying.
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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Here is one that I made almost 2 years ago which is still bulk-aging:

http://tinyurl.com/yp5dnk

- GL63

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