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Old 08-15-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
AggieBrandon
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Default Help: Cherry Chocolate Melomel Recipe

I am the best man in my cousin's wedding and I am really wanting a great mead/melomel to gift to the bride and groom. I have researched for several months about mead making and have just decided to go with a cherry chocolate melomel. I have found a few recipes, but little to no results/critiques accompanying them. Your input and knowledge is greatly appreciated. The wedding is more than a year away, so the aging of the melomel is not a problem. Thank you.

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Old 08-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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You might try this:
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request.asp

Or have a look here:
http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?opt...ipe&Itemid=616

You might have a look here for a chocolate mead experiment:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/our-...eriment-94358/

I've never used chocolate, so I cannot advise you on it. Hope the info helps.
Regards, GF.

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
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I would just start a traditional (water+honey), then add a whole lotta crushed cherries (5-10 lb) in secondary, plus some dutch chocolate powder (say 4 oz per gal) and a vanilla bean, then just let things sit for a while.

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Old 08-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
I would just start a traditional (water+honey), then add a whole lotta crushed cherries (5-10 lb) in secondary, plus some dutch chocolate powder (say 4 oz per gal) and a vanilla bean, then just let things sit for a while.
+1, although I would suggest seeing what other options are out there for chocofying your mead--one that wasn't tried in the chocolate mead experiment was cocao nibs, which are roasted coco beans.

Also, isn't there usually some kind of liqueur in the middle of the chocolate cherries? Might want to look into either that, or the ingredients thereof--although odds are it's proprietary.

Looking forwards to hearing your results, in any case.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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Well I started my Melomel today. I decided to follow a recipe found here on HomeBrewTalk:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/oake...elomel-339957/

This will be my base. I changed a few things. I made the recipe for 4 gallons and and a 1 gallon top off later on of simply a show Meade. I will add cacao nibs in the secondary and may taste and add as I see fit along the way.

So far:
5-6 lbs cherries
12 lbs pure organic orange blossom honey right here in Texas
4 Camden tablets
4 tsp pectin enzyme
Enough deep spring well water to fill to 4 gallons

All of this is in a brewers bucket which will be eventually transferred to a 6.5 gallon glass carboy when racked to secondary. Waiting to pitch in 24 hrs with 71b-1122, will post OG right before yeast addition.

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Old 09-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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A bunch of great suggestions, I think you may do well to combine a few of them together. you're recipe isn't bad, but you can tweak it slightly to get a little more flavor/kick out of it.

First starting with a traditional mead in primary, a semi sweet I would think would give a real nice end product. this will give you the best base to work with...

(quantities batch dependent)

Honey
Water
Yeast
Nutrients, step feeding
Oxygenate then Aerate (degas)

Once that is completely done fermenting, rack into secondary onto about pounds per gallon of tart cherries, frozens one work great and don't reall need any special preperation, usually cost a little less too. If you have or can get pectic enzyme that will help extract the most color/flavor out of them, I give a good dusting of the frozen fruit and let it work while it is thawing before I add the fruit to the fermenter.

For the chocolate component, using about a pound per gallon of cocoa nibs is the best way to go, great flavor with least hassle. there was a ton of duscussion about this when we were all talking about making a leap year mead when it was finally agreed that a cocoa bochet would be the recipe. While cocoa powder will work to impart flavor, those that have used it have said it litterally has taken years to get it to clear, most resorting to finally using something like k&c in multiple doses to get their stuff clear enough to bottle finally. if you had the time, it's one good option to get the flavor, however you don't.

Aging a month or so on some medium toasted oak cubes after racking off the cherries/nibs would give some nice flavor and also help mellow and meld everything faster as well as increase the speed it all clears giving you the most possible final aging time...

Good luck with however you decide to go and have fun at the wedding

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieBrandon
Well I started my Melomel today. I decided to follow a recipe found here on HomeBrewTalk:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/oake...elomel-339957/

This will be my base. I changed a few things. I made the recipe for 4 gallons and and a 1 gallon top off later on of simply a show Meade. I will add cacao nibs in the secondary and may taste and add as I see fit along the way.

So far:
5-6 lbs cherries
12 lbs pure organic orange blossom honey right here in Texas
4 Camden tablets
4 tsp pectin enzyme
Enough deep spring well water to fill to 4 gallons

All of this is in a brewers bucket which will be eventually transferred to a 6.5 gallon glass carboy when racked to secondary. Waiting to pitch in 24 hrs with 71b-1122, will post OG right before yeast addition.
Just curious where in Texas you found orange blossom honey?
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:36 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions, I really do appreciate your input.

The orange blossom honey is from Walker Honey in Rodgers, Tx. I highly recommend it. My parents have an orange tree and the honey tastes like the sweet smell of a blossoming orange tree.

Okay so I have a question/concern. My melomel has a very hot/spicy aroma. I know that's alcohol and a very slight sulfur smell that I think is coming from the fermenting cherries...is this normal? I have been careful and used proper sterilization techniques. Here's my data so far. Unfortunately no gravity readings...I thought my refractometer that I use for my aquarium would work...it doesn't.

9-7-12
Pitched, 3/4 tablespoon yeast nutrient (fermex)

9-10-12
3/4 tbs Fermex

9-13-12
1/2 tbs Fermax

Degassed daily. Vigorously during the Fermax additions, slowly since last SNA. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-21-2012, 04:43 AM   #9
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It's young still. I sometimes find that the aroma/flavor of some of these young cherry melomels is, how do I say, kinda what a hair salon smells like? Does that make sense? It goes away after time.

What temp are you fermenting at?

That base recipe is a good one.

Good luck

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Old 09-21-2012, 04:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA
It's young still. I sometimes find that the aroma/flavor of some of these young cherry melomels is, how do I say, kinda what a hair salon smells like? Does that make sense? It goes away after time.

What temp are you fermenting at?

That base recipe is a good one.

Good luck
Thank you so much for posting and for your recipe! I've been fermenting at room temps around 75-78 degrees. I know you fermented around 65 if I recall correctly. I got concerned because it smelled heavenly the first few days, now the hair salon thing sounds pretty accurate haha. I look forward to trying to replicate your recipe and have a hit for the wedding. Suggestions are much appreciated and any future advice.
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