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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Blackberry Mead
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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Default Blackberry Mead

I brewed up a one gallon batch of blackberry mead a few weeks ago and just got around to bottling it last night. It tasted quite strong at bottling, but not too sweet which is what I was going for. The blackberries seem to have a natural bittering effect.

Here is the ingredient list:

1.33 lb Honey
1.5 lb Blackberries that had been frozen
1 oz Ginger Root
1.5 lb Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 pckt Montrachet Yeast

I brewed it on 9/3/2008, the OG was 1.054, and I bottled it last night on 10/5/2008, and the FG was 1.002. I'll be sure to put my thoughts on the taste here in about 3 weeks when it is carbonated and I am back from my business trip.

Anyone else ever make anything similar?

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:54 AM   #2
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That FG seems kind of high to me- are you 100% certain it's done? I would expect that it would take about 2 months to finish, but I know that sugar is fully fermentable so maybe it would go quicker.

I'm just concerned that montrachet will generally go to 14% ABV, and you're only at a little under 7% ABV.

I make blackberry wine, but haven't used honey in it. I use 3 # per gallon, though, and make the SG around 1.085 or so, for a dry table wine. Honey really sounds like it would smooth it out nicely. I usually bottle it about a year after making it, because it tends to drop lees for several months.

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Old 10-07-2008, 03:04 AM   #3
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I'd suggest having a little more patience next time. I realize you started with a low OG, but 4 1/2 weeks from brewing to bottle is awfully quick. I'd be afraid of bottle bombs, since I would also expect it to go below 1.002. Even if it was done fermenting, did it have a chance to clarify?

I've only used ginger a few times, but an ounce in a gallon seems high. I'd like to hear how it comes out. Good luck.

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Old 10-07-2008, 03:51 AM   #4
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Something's gonna give.

That FG is WAY high...The Montrachet should take that little 1.054 down to 0.996 or lower. I'm sure thinking this could take off again...and if you're expecting to carbonate...you've added more sugar? Please tell me you are not just expecting the final 2 points to carb.

I'm thinking 2 possibilities...neither of them good...1. Bottle Bombs...2. Flat mead with potential for bottle bombs.

Also, I'd not expect anything too wonderful from this for another 3 to 6 months. Sounds like it could be good this coming spring / summer.

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Old 10-07-2008, 11:10 PM   #5
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Sounds like I should store the bottles in my garage in a sealed tote then. I wasn't sure how far down the FG would go, I'd had two consistent readings 3 days apart at that gravity so I figured it was finished; who knows. I did add more sugar to it to carbonate, I used different size bottles and just added the priming sugar to the bottles (~1/3 tsp or less for 8 oz bottle, 1/2 tsp for 12 oz bottle).

I knew I was going to be out of town for 2 weeks starting next week so I wanted to get this and a pumpkin ale I had sitting around since the beginning of sept bottled. I figured the mead wouldn't be ready by the time I got back but at the same time I brewed it for fun and will probably try one after only 3 weeks in the bottle anyways. I'll post back to let you know how many, if any, of the bottles get launched. Thanks for the input.

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Old 10-07-2008, 11:31 PM   #6
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:12 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=mkw87;885297] I'd had two consistent readings 3 days apart at that gravity so I figured it was finished QUOTE]

Mead is completely different than beer. In the future, I would suggest not bottling till you have consistent readings for three months, not three days. Mead also takes a lot longer to clarify than beer...months vs weeks.

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkw87 View Post
Sounds like I should store the bottles in my garage in a sealed tote then. I wasn't sure how far down the FG would go, I'd had two consistent readings 3 days apart at that gravity so I figured it was finished; who knows. I did add more sugar to it to carbonate, I used different size bottles and just added the priming sugar to the bottles (~1/3 tsp or less for 8 oz bottle, 1/2 tsp for 12 oz bottle).

I knew I was going to be out of town for 2 weeks starting next week so I wanted to get this and a pumpkin ale I had sitting around since the beginning of sept bottled. I figured the mead wouldn't be ready by the time I got back but at the same time I brewed it for fun and will probably try one after only 3 weeks in the bottle anyways. I'll post back to let you know how many, if any, of the bottles get launched. Thanks for the input.
Definitely in a sealed container, and be very careful when you open it. 1/2 tsp of sugar isn't much, but you might have had 10 more SG points to go before it finished, so you're in serious danger of bottle bombs. I would have waited at least a year to bottle this, even if the FG was .990.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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My last blackberry melomel ended up at 0.992, but it was close to 13%. I was going to make something close to what you have this year, but there weren't enough blackberries to bother picking.

You might consider loosening the tops and waiting 3 months. Then add carb drops and re-cap.

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Old 10-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #10
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I think you bottled too early, however the suggestions of waiting a year for this mead are a little excessive. The original recipe was not your normal 1.100 OG but only 1.054. This will make a light refreshing beverage and should be ready to drink in much less time.
I still would have given it a couple months before bottling. Mead usually takes longer to ferment than beer even with a lower gravity. I would be careful with these bottles because you may have some fermentable sugars left. However I do not think this mead will drop much below .998 so your carbonation may be within tolerances of the bottles any ways. Chill them all once you reach the desired carbonation and be careful when opening.

Craig

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