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Old 01-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #11
KenSchramm
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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.
Fair enough. The thing you may want to make sure of then is that you give the yeast enough sugar up front that it hits its alcohol tolerance before the residual sugar from remaining honey and the berries is exhausted. Are you dead set on finishing with 3 gallons? If you are willing to be a bit flexible, I'd start with a gallon of honey, dilute up to ~3 gallons with H20, get 'er going (and don't use EC-1118 or some other yeast strain that will head for 20% like a bat out o' hell. I'd use 71B-1122), and add the fruit to the fermentation later.

I have stopped using fruit in the secondary lately for the most part. I do have one wide-necked 3 gallon carboy that works well, but getting fruit into a standard carboy takes forever. If this was me, I'd be tempted (for the sake of ease, which I like) to use a bucket primary and put the fruit in about 7-10 days after the fermentation was really cranking along. You can avoid having a lot of the berry character go out through the airlock, and still not have to deal with getting fruit through the neck of a carboy (twice!). Maybe you have a cylindro-conical and this is all moot, but that's my take on it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:42 PM   #12
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Fair enough. The thing you may want to make sure of then is that you give the yeast enough sugar up front that it hits its alcohol tolerance before the residual sugar from remaining honey and the berries is exhausted. Are you dead set on finishing with 3 gallons? If you are willing to be a bit flexible, I'd start with a gallon of honey, dilute up to ~3 gallons with H20, get 'er going (and don't use EC-1118 or some other yeast strain that will head for 20% like a bat out o' hell. I'd use 71B-1122), and add the fruit to the fermentation later.

I have stopped using fruit in the secondary lately for the most part. I do have one wide-necked 3 gallon carboy that works well, but getting fruit into a standard carboy takes forever. If this was me, I'd be tempted (for the sake of ease, which I like) to use a bucket primary and put the fruit in about 7-10 days after the fermentation was really cranking along. You can avoid having a lot of the berry character go out through the airlock, and still not have to deal with getting fruit through the neck of a carboy (twice!). Maybe you have a cylindro-conical and this is all moot, but that's my take on it.
Well I'm not dead-set on anything, but a gallon of honey is quite a lot more than I had expected to use for 2-3 gallons of mead. I thought a gallon of honey was enough for 5 gallons.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #13
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It can be, if you want a dry traditional.

Mead is a different beast than beer. It is helpful to think about the value of the 15 or so 750 Ml bottles of mead you would get from the batch you are talking about. A really good blackberry mead (as good as the one you're about to make) would run you at least $20 a bottle, if you can find it. That's $300. If you drop $40 on a gallon of good honey, another $30-40 on blackberries, and $5 on yeast and nutrient, you've got $300 worth of mead for $85. Theirs: $20/bottle. Yours: $5.67/bottle. Good work, man. And they should last you 2-5 years, if you spread them out.

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #14
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So you think about 12 pounds of honey then? It's about $3.50 a pound here, so... Yea, right about 40 bucks for the honey. Not bad.

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Old 01-13-2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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So, anyone have a recipe for me??

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Old 01-14-2011, 02:43 AM   #16
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So you think about 12 pounds of honey then? It's about $3.50 a pound here, so... Yea, right about 40 bucks for the honey. Not bad.
Costco has 6 lbs of honey for 12 bucks
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:15 AM   #17
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Costco has 6 lbs of honey for 12 bucks
Sam's club member here... I wonder if they have any...
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:07 AM   #18
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Costco has 6 lbs of honey for 12 bucks
Hot damn! Is it good honey? That's a steal compared to other sources!
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #19
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I bought a 5lb bottle of clover honey at Sam's for ~$12 not long ago. Bakers and chefs brand, product of USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India. From what I've read, it's not the greatest since the processing has removed a lot of the flavor, but the fruit in a melomel would help cover that up. I figure it's good enough for my first test batch.

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Old 01-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #20
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Hot damn! Is it good honey? That's a steal compared to other sources!
Well its not artisan honey, but you can enhance your mead with more fruit, I like to split the fruit, half in primary ferment, and then ferment out stabilize then rack into secondary with other half. Makes a damn good mead.
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