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david83 07-15-2011 01:33 AM

mead recipe help
 
so im looking to do a mead with strawberries i was thinking 1 gallon of water 4lbs of honey and 2lbs of strawberries im looking to sweeter rather than dry what do you guys think? and was thinking of using montrachet yeast.

malkore 07-15-2011 09:54 PM

too much honey.

don't start with more than 3lbs per gallon of mead or you'll have such a high gravity the yeast will have a problem getting started, even with a starter sometimes. Start with less, then feed more honey after a week or two.

I've not done a strawberry mead but i hear strawberry flavor tends to come out light, and often more tart than sweet.

yeast selection is fine. I do recommend staggered nutrient additions and degassing the first week of primary for happy, healthy yeasties.

david83 07-16-2011 02:25 PM

ok thanks for the insight,is there any way to have the strawberry more sweet than tart by say adding honey down the road at some point,and could you tell me more of staggering nutrients please or direct me toward a thread. sorry for the newbie questions but it is my first mead.
thanks dave

Vance71975 07-16-2011 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by david83 (Post 3087484)
so im looking to do a mead with strawberries i was thinking 1 gallon of water 4lbs of honey and 2lbs of strawberries im looking to sweeter rather than dry what do you guys think? and was thinking of using montrachet yeast.

I would do less honey and Far more strawberries, I have a Juicer, and i love it for doing stuff like this, but strawberries come out a very light taste.

david83 07-17-2011 11:52 PM

ok so i wasnt paying attention that well while making this,i bought 2 2lb jars and put all 4 lbs in i know this will effect the abv but will this produce a drier mead and also i used 2 lbs of strawberries and was now thinking if the taste is weak i could secondary this on more strawberries,would you guys recomend letting it ferment all the way or rack onto strawberries before the fermentation is over? also if this is going to be on the drier side could i back sweeten with more honey? if so how much and when during the process? thanks and again sorry for all the q's

Matrix4b 07-18-2011 03:55 PM

Put the Strawberries in the secondary or you are going to end up with an explosion and rocket fuel down the line. I recomend about 4 pounds of strawberries should be fine, but In the secodary. I would also reserve 2 pounds of honey for backsweetening after you stabalize it.

How to Stablaize: Add Potasium Sorbate and possibly a campden tablet crushed. I think for a galon you would need 1/2 teaspoon of potasium sorbate. Then let sit for a day and mix up your honey water, about 1/2 water 1/2 honey mix.

The strawberries, I personally puree and put in a mesh bag. then take the bag out and let drain back into my brew bucket for a bit as the puree will abosorb a bunch of your liquid.

This will take a few racking, From Primary to fruit in secondary, off of the fruit onto the stablizing, Then backsweetening, THen sparkloid/oak or what every you wish for fining. Last racking it should be nearly clear. Wait till a nice pink clearness that you can read print through before bottling.

At least that is how I would do it. Good Luck

Matrix

david83 07-21-2011 09:13 PM

will 4 lbs of strawberries in secondary give it a strong strawberry taste?and also when do you stabilize a mead after it reaches its fg?

Matrix4b 07-21-2011 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by david83 (Post 3106329)
will 4 lbs of strawberries in secondary give it a strong strawberry taste?and also when do you stabilize a mead after it reaches its fg?

I did a 5 galon batch in the primary and got a good strawberry flavor, I did 14 pounds of strawberries. So for 1 gallon, 4 lbs in the secondary should give a good strong strawberry flavor. As far as when to stabilize:

You can do so at any time, I typically wait until after I rack to the secondary, about a couple of weeks.

Here is what I do:

1. Rack to secondary when the fermentation slows to almost imperceptable, like 1 bubble every 15 seconds or so.

2. wait 2 weeks to a month.

3. I rack and stablize at the same time but you don't need to. Just mixing in and stiring it in would be fine.

4. Give at least one more day if not 2 for stablization to take place.

5. rack onto your strawberries and fresh honey (1/2 honey and / 1/2 water mix as your toping up or backsweetening agent. At this time you can test how sweet it is, usually hydrometers are helpful.

6. rack off of strawberries after 2 weeks to a month, usually on lightly toasted oak for 2 weeks.

7. remove oak, possibly rack into some hot mix sparkloid or other clearing agent. This is not neccessary if you are more patient.

8. rack one final time when clear for bulk aging or what I do is rack to my brew bucket and bottle at this time

9. age about 8 months to a year.

10. Chill and enjoy. It will only get better over the next few years.

That is the process that I recomend. Some of the other mead brewers may chime in on timing or specific techniques but this is for me at it's most basic.

Hope it turns out well.

david83 08-07-2011 01:18 PM

update i bought a wine theif cause i want to be able to taste brews and meads has they age,well after a month the strawberry mead im making already tastes GREAT strawberry is very strong in flavor and def not overly sweet.

fatbloke 08-07-2011 01:41 PM

I'd guess that's one of the things that a lot of us forget david83 i.e. how much of the taste of a specific fruit is actually the taste of the natural sugars, and how much of the flavour is from the non-sugar part of the fruit......

It's one of the reasons why I don't make many fruit melomels etc etc, because I might like the fruit naturally, but once it's been through the fermenting processes, most, if not all, of the sugar has been metabolised into alcohol.

I'm guessing that the method/technique you've ended up with, presuming that you've gone with the "fermented base mead" then racking onto the fruit, is why you've got a good fruit flavour, because the yeast hasn't metabolised the natural sugars out of it, but the flavour of the fruit (sugars and all) have been extracted by the immersion in the mead and the action of the alcohol on it.

If it's tasting good, then well done. Just add to the info about how flavours can change a lot if they're fermented, rather that how they seem to retain more of the original taste (which is usually what attracts us to the fruit in the first place) of the fruit, when it's been soaked in the mead to your memory bank and you'll probably be producing good meads for years to come.

Oh, and steeping the fruit like that also retains more colour as well, because the fermentation process can cause some "bleaching" as well i.e. strawberries often make the mead straw coloured if they've been fermented, rather than having enough pigmentation to pass on the lovely bright/light red of the original fruit......


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