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-   -   Crab Apple Mead - Process/amount? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/crab-apple-mead-process-amount-132507/)

pdxben 08-16-2009 11:04 PM

Crab Apple Mead - Process/amount?
I just harvested about 3 pounds of crab apples, and I will be making a mead for the first time.
I was wondering what the best process is for adding the crab apples to the mead. I have heard some advice about washing, chopping, then freezing, and then thawing, then processing/polverizing them to a pulp, and squeeze the juice out, or add pectin enzyme. But, they aren't too bitter, so is all of this necessary? I will also be adding some blackberries as well.

Also, what is the ration of ingredients, ie Honey, water, pounds of crab apples and blackberries that I should be using for a five gallon batch? Like I said, this is the first mead I have ever done, so I am not totally familiar with this process.

Wade E 08-17-2009 12:37 AM

I dont think thats enough for a batch. I use 28 per 6 gallon batch myself. I just clean and then freeze. Then I thaw them out and pluck the stem then as they will be very mushy at that point and then squish between my fingers and throw them in the fermenting bag and the pectic enzyme takes care of the rest. If you just want a hint with the mead then that might do it but otherwise use more. Are these the big Dolgo crab apples, thats what I use.

Yooper 08-17-2009 01:28 AM

I don't make crabapple mead, but I make crabapple wine. (My recipe is in the recipe pull-down). That recipe uses just a bit of honey to smooth out the recipe, so it's not really a melomel at all, but I use 6 pounds of crabapples per gallon. I have two kinds of crabapples- one is a centennial crab, and the other is a rescue crabapple tree. Both are dwarfs, but produce much fruit.

Anyway, I find that the flavor is subtle, that's why I use 6# per gallon. Like Wade said, if you want a very subtle flavor, you may have enough for a gallon. I'm not sure about the blackberries- I don't think I'd put crabapples and blackberries in the same batch. Both are high in malic acid, and I don't think the flavor of the crabapples would come through at all with blackberries in it.

You could try two or three different batches- one with blackberries, one with crabapples, and one plain.

pdxben 08-17-2009 03:13 AM

Thanks for all the great feedback! My main reason for adding a bit of the crab apples was not for taste, but to increase the acidity and add a bit of tannin. But will a high malic acid change the taste or fermentation drastically? What are the results of having too much malic acid?

So, assuming I just do blackberries for the first batch. And f I just do blackberries, how many pounds of blackberries should I use if I have about 8 pounds of honey? And should I use about 4 gallons of water?

Wade E 08-18-2009 01:30 AM

I use 6 lbs of Blackberries per gallon with my wines and 10 lbs per gallon for port. Crab apple will not add any tannins really and youd be better off squeezing the juice of a lemon to add acid or just use acid blend. Too much malic acid will leave a harsh taste which will then need a malolactic fermentation to rid it. If you want more tannin you could add tannins by oaking it or by buying some tannin designed for this purpose.

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