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Old 08-23-2010, 05:35 AM   #1
jonalexdeval
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Default Blackberry mead

My first blackberry mead in progress: (5 gal)

-10 lbs. local CA blackberry honey (tastes great!)
-12.5 pounds wild ripe blackberries in primary (3 hours to pick!)
-Lalvin 1116
-10 lbs. blackberries in secondary (?)

Starting gravity: 1.100 at 60F

Added 1.5 gal water to bring upto 4.5 gal. At least another gal of blackberry juice in at secondary.

So... how many pounds blackberries do you think for secondary/late primary with 1116? I want a final gravity of 15. How many more hours of berry picking do I have?

Bringing the berries upto heat before sulfiting in the must (12.5 lbs made about 2 gal cooked syrup):


It's beautiful...

Must:

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #2
MedsenFey
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Looks pretty. Why do you cook the berries?

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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Well, I was sort of following Schramm's advice when he says to heat fruit to 155F for 15 min in order to eliminate yeasts (I also sulfited). But I also picked them on the same day I used them, so I didn't have time to freeze them... thought cooking would help the break down. No boiling... just about 160-170 for 20-30 min.

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Old 08-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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I'm curious -- I thought if you heat the fruit then pectic enzyme is needed. But I don't see any in either your Blackberry or Schramm's "Mambo in Your Mouth" melomel recipes. I'd think that blackberries have lots of pectin, but maybe not? Pectinase sure helped with my apricot ginger cardamom melomel (from Schramm's peach ginger melomel). Before I added the pectic enzyme, it looked like it wanted to turn into jam.

BTW, those blackberries look delicious!

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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Blackberries are high in pectin. Pectin will clear out eventually even without pectic enzyme, it just takes a lot longer. I'd go with a pectin enzyme if heating up like that, but that's me. Then again I probably wouldn't boil it either.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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Blackberries usually have low to medium pectin content. A pectin haze may not clear completely on its own. If you do wind up with a haze you can test for pectin using methylated spirits.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:54 PM   #7
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I use pectic enzyme with all fruit (except grapes) no matter what the expected pectin content is...there's really no downside to using it...

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:57 PM   #8
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I agree, and I use pectic enzyme routinely even though I virtually never heat fruit.

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Old 08-24-2010, 03:33 AM   #9
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Yeah, I was thinking about adding some pectinase... should probably go get some of that.

And these blackberries are ripe to eat... smaller and sweeter than the ones you get in the store for sure. I had some this summer from a store that were large and beautiful to look at but tasted like rubber. These wild ones are small and ugly but delicious!

This is also my first time using blackberry honey, and it's amazing. I've used varietal clover and orange blossom before, but this stuff is something else entirely. Very smooth-sweet tasting, with deep rich notes like black cherry and almond-amaretto or something... maybe a little darker than most honeys but not super dark.

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