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Old 02-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
Geosomin
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Default juice or fruit - which is better for mead?

Just wanted to get everyone's opinion who has made mead before - do you think I would get a better result from using apple juice for apple spiced mead or using water + honey and then adding chopped up apple to the hot water/honey and leaving the fruit in it until I bottle it? I haven't made apple mead before and I'm torn as what to do for my first batch. It's hard to get that much fresh apple juice here where I live. Would frozen concentrate work for this? I see it made both ways so I was curious about flavours and thoughts from you mead makers out there. I've only made beer and wine before and want this to be worthy of all this honey

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Old 02-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
lawpaw
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I would buy some quality cider, just make sure that it doesn't have sorbate. The cider I use (from local orchard) has Kmeta, but not sorbate. The sulfites won't effect fermentation much of you use a starter.

The biggest reason for the use of cider is that cider usually comes from a mix of sweet and tart apples, which will add that bite that balances sweetness. Juice or apple chunks won't have the complexities of multiple apple varieties.

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Old 02-09-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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I tend to use fresh cider as well - my simple cyser is 5 gal cider and 1 gal (~12 lbs) honey. For other fruits, it's harder to get that much volume...when I did a pomegranate, I only used 1 gal of POM brand juice, but I started with 5 gal of straight wildflower mead, and added it later in the primary so as to loose less color/aroma/flavor. Harder fruits like apples and pears I think are harder to extract flavor from by adding the fruit itself, but this technique works well for berries, cherries and other soft fruits. I've had good success with canned fruit and purees such as Vinter's Harvest and Oregon puree brands.

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Old 02-09-2012, 05:11 AM   #4
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What those two said. With apples, you're really looking at getting a cider, ideally one whose apple contents you know or can ask about. If you get fruit, you really have to puree it to get the flavor out and that's harder with hard fruit, than with soft fruit. I chopped up cranberries for my last mead, which I just racked into a carboy this past weekend.

Though, as you mentioned, if it's that difficult to get apple juice or cider in your area... I suppose I'd look into which apples would be available first, and consider putting them through a food slicer.

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geosomin View Post
Just wanted to get everyone's opinion who has made mead before - do you think I would get a better result from using apple juice for apple spiced mead or using water + honey and then adding chopped up apple to the hot water/honey and leaving the fruit in it until I bottle it? I haven't made apple mead before and I'm torn as what to do for my first batch. It's hard to get that much fresh apple juice here where I live. Would frozen concentrate work for this? I see it made both ways so I was curious about flavours and thoughts from you mead makers out there. I've only made beer and wine before and want this to be worthy of all this honey
Apple juice & honey (no water) ferment to make a tasty beverage called cyser, sounds like that's what you're wanting to make. Go with juice, chopped apple will contribute very little flavour by comparison. I've used both fresh pressed juice & frozen concentrate, both work well. With the concentrate, you can add even more appley goodness if you want.

If you're going to add spices, I'd add them whole or cracked, NOT powdered. The powdered stuff is next to impossible to remove once your desired flavour profile has been reached & will continue to add more & more spice flavour till there is nothing left. Stick cinnamon, cracked or sliced nutmeg, whole allspice, etc... Also, put those spices in a hop sack to make a sort of "teabag," you can add a couple of sanitized marbles to weigh it down & keep it totally submerged. A little spice goes a long way. Hope that helps.
Regards, GF.
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