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Old 04-14-2009, 02:04 AM   #1
Pudge
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Ok, I threw together some stuff for my first attempt at a melomel.

Wyeast #4184 Sweet Mead yeast
2 liter starter w/nutrients the day before.
10 lbs clover honey
48 oz fresh (and then frozen prior to boil) blackberries

I brought it all to a boil for a few minutes, chilled, racked it to my carboy on top of a 2 liter active starter, and added more Wyeast nutrients. I plugged in the pump, aerated for 30 minutes and added two oak spirals. OG was only 1.068.

The mead went to secondary today after a month. A hydrometer test gave me FG of .998 (about 9% abv) with no activity... zero bubbles on top. In tasting the sample, it's slightly sweet up front, the oak is a little smoother since my first hydro sample, and it finishes very dry. That alcoholic punch is gone that it had earlier too. It really tastes surprisingly good.

It doesn't look real clear in the carboy, but the hydro sample is crystal clear. I'll let it sit for a few weeks to see if it clears up any more and I think I'll bottle it up.

How long should I let it sit in the secondary? It really isn't bad at all right now.
How long should I wait after bottling before trying one? Patience isn't my strong suit.
Should I carbonate some, half, none?

Any/all opinions would be great. I know very little about meads.

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Old 04-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #2
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Well the first thing I have to say is DON'T BOIL THE HONEY! The second thing is DON'T EVER BOIL FRUIT!
OK, I got that out of my system. Boiling the honey drives off flavors. Boiling fruit sets the pectins (that's how you make jam) and causes pectin haze. At this point it may never clear. I suppose you could try to add some pectin enzyme now. I'm sure the "experts" will chime in.
Leave it in secondary for 2 months or so then rack again. Repeat every 2 months. Mead can bulk age a year or more. Normally you should let it go for at least 8-9 months. But since your OG was so low, you could probably get away with 5-6 months. At that time if it's clear, then bottle. If not clear look into some finings such as bentonite or sparkoloid...

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Old 04-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
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What poobah said on all regards.

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