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-   -   The great watermelon mead experiment (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/great-watermelon-mead-experiment-349636/)

dougdecinces 08-24-2012 02:11 AM

The great watermelon mead experiment
 
I finally got a chance to dig into a watermelon I bought last Saturday at the farmers market and found it to be mushy and overripe. Rather than whine about it, I went ahead and juiced the whole thing to make an impromptu batch of mead. Then I checked my fridge and found the only yeast I had in stock was some washed Belgian Saison and washed Jolly Pumpkin dregs. Rather than let that deter me, I figured I'd give both a shot.

I decided to make two 1.5 gallon batches. Both will be low-gravity (1.060-1.070 OG) To each batch I will add 2 lbs of wildflower honey and 72 oz of watermelon juice. Best case scenario is I have stumbled on something fabulous. Worst case scenario is I wasted $10 on honey. I will keep everyone posted as things progress.

funkadelicturkey 08-24-2012 06:28 PM

Sounds interesting! Good luck and looking forward to progress reports :mug:

dougdecinces 08-26-2012 02:01 AM

Here is the batch with Belgian Saison yeast. I put it in my unheated guest room where it's bubbling away like crazy at about 85 degrees.

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...23735571_n.jpg

TerdFurgeson 09-26-2012 07:11 PM

Interesting Idea. I'm curious how this will turn out for you and might have to do something similar if its good

dougdecinces 10-08-2012 08:06 PM

For the few of you who care, I bottled the portion brewed with saison yeast yesterday. The hot temperature threw off a lot of phenols. So much so that it was pretty much overwhelming. I ended up racking the mead to 1 gallon carboy and dry hopping it with 0.5 oz of Hallertau for 4 days. I carbed it to about 3.5 volumes of CO2. I plan on leaving it alone for a couple months and seeing where it takes me. I think the dry-hopping went a long way towards smoothing this one out. Hopefully it ends up drinkable.

eulipion2 12-06-2012 08:56 PM

It's been a couple months, and I'm curious how this turned out. I've been considering doing a mead with saison yeast, probably Wyeast 3711 French Saison. 3711 dries out a saison nicely, to around 1.003-1.006.

huesmann 12-06-2012 09:25 PM

A greater experiment would be making the mead in the watermelon like the pumpkin meads made inside the pumpkin!

dougdecinces 12-07-2012 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eulipion2 (Post 4656779)
It's been a couple months, and I'm curious how this turned out. I've been considering doing a mead with saison yeast, probably Wyeast 3711 French Saison. 3711 dries out a saison nicely, to around 1.003-1.006.

I had my first one of these a couple nights ago. I ended up going a little too wild with the temperature, and fermented it at about 85-90 degrees. It kind of smells like rot (it'll be interesting to see if that mellows out), but it actually tastes pretty good. It's tart, super-crisp, very fruity. I just kind of plugged my nose when I went to take a sip. Doing this again, I would make two recommendations:

1) Go a little easier on the fermentation temps. Maybe scale it up to 85-90 degrees over the period of a week instead of one day.

2) I would also add the watermelon juice in secondary. The watermelon flavor was a little faint. I could almost tell it was there, but was hard to know for sure because of the strong esters given off by the saison yeast.

eulipion2 12-07-2012 02:21 PM

I'm thinking if I go the 3711 route I'll leave it in the upper 60's/low 70's. 3711 works perfectly without the ridiculous ramp-up in temperature as other saison strains. Thanks for the update!

dougdecinces 02-06-2013 01:47 AM

I opened another bottle of this up tonight. The horrible smell has receded considerably (though it still doesn't smell like a bed of roses). But the fruitiness is very pronounced and very pleasant. Slightly puckery, tart aftertaste. This has gone from a questionable experiment to a qualified success. I see more meads with saison yeast in my future.


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