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Old 01-08-2011, 04:58 AM   #1
rogaldorn
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Default Blackberry Mead

Hey guys, sorry to post a question that's been asked before, but I have been digging around and can't find a solid answer.

I want to make some Blackberry Mead for Christmas presents next year, and I need a good recipe that won't be extensively complicated to make. I would like to make a small batch (maybe 2-3 gallons).

I would like the mead to be sweet, but not like a dessert sweet, more like a mead you can drink deeply without puckering from the dryness. I don't want something so sweet you can only have a small glass before you put it away.

All that being said, how would you handle this? I have gathered that I will probably like a mead that involves first fermenting the honey, then racking to secondary onto blackberry mash (as opposed to fermenting berries first), since I think the blackberries will change flavor as a result of the fermentation.

I plan to probably backsweeten at bottling with some extra honey.

What would you guys do?

Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate it!

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Old 01-08-2011, 05:55 AM   #2
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I'm tagging this, because I'm interested in the responses. I'm interested in methods of coming out with a melomel as you describe. Not dry, but not on the really really sweet end.

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Old 01-08-2011, 05:58 AM   #3
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I want something... like a nectar of the gods.

I just want it to be a little sweet, smooth, easy to drink. My friends and I also want to be able to crack open several bottles together and celebrate life.

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Old 01-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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I've used the backsweeten to taste method with cider, then add campden tablets so it doesn't keep fermenting. There are also yeasts out there that give up the ghost while there's still some sweetness left - Wyeast has a "sweet mead" strain. Haven't used it so can't speak to whether it's REALLY sweet or more off-dry. I think you'd have more control with the backsweeten method but you do have to either pasteurize when you reach the level you want or put up with preservatives, which some people don't care for.

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Old 01-08-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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Well I plan to heat the honey to below-boil to kill any bacteria when I am ready to backsweeten.

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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Sweetness can be relative though to other factors such as ABV. Ex: I have a cinnamon vanilla mead that has a SG of 1.030 which is considered desert sweet but because it sit at ~14.5% ABV it does not feel that sweet when you drink it and is very drinkable.

I would suggest pair a startig gravity and yeast that should finish around where you want, while hitting the higher end of that yeasts alcohol tolerance so that if it eats more than you want and is dry you can more easily back sweeten because the yeast should be well pooped out.

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
Sweetness can be relative though to other factors such as ABV. Ex: I have a cinnamon vanilla mead that has a SG of 1.030 which is considered desert sweet but because it sit at ~14.5% ABV it does not feel that sweet when you drink it and is very drinkable.

I would suggest pair a startig gravity and yeast that should finish around where you want, while hitting the higher end of that yeasts alcohol tolerance so that if it eats more than you want and is dry you can more easily back sweeten because the yeast should be well pooped out.
Well it will be my first real chance to make mead, so any suggestions?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
Sweetness can be relative though to other factors such as ABV. Ex: I have a cinnamon vanilla mead that has a SG of 1.030 which is considered desert sweet but because it sit at ~14.5% ABV it does not feel that sweet when you drink it and is very drinkable.

I would suggest pair a startig gravity and yeast that should finish around where you want, while hitting the higher end of that yeasts alcohol tolerance so that if it eats more than you want and is dry you can more easily back sweeten because the yeast should be well pooped out.

Recipe? That sounds DELICIOUS.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:28 AM   #9
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You may find that the considerable acidity in blackberries (after the fermentation strips them of their sugar) can make a dry or demi-sec mead seem more puckering than you initial supposition might lead you to believe. The best blackberry meads I have made were fermented in primary on the fruit for about 25-30 days, about 4-5 lbs of fruit/gallon, and finished with about 1.025-1.030 of RS.

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Old 01-09-2011, 05:55 AM   #10
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Well that's why I planned to add the berries to secondary, after much of the fermentation has been completed. I thought that would leave more of the berry sweetness.

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