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Old 03-02-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
robsauce
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Default Modified Cherry Vanilla Melomel

I originally wanted to join in on the group brew but due to lack of available ingredients (dried cherries) and cherry juice being outrageously expensive here ($8/32oz) I had to opt out. I've come up with the following recipe and would like some input and comments. Also, due to fermaid-k, go-ferm and D47 yeast not being available at any LHBS, I've had to order everything from morebeer.com - $20 in merchandise is going to end up costing me $60 due to $20 in shipping and $20 in brokerage. This is my first mead attempt other than a modified JOAM so I'm hoping to get it right the first time. here goes:

Cherry Vanilla Melomel

Brewlog - Post#7

12lbs of clover/alfalfa honey (no weight listed – it’s in a 1 gallon pail)
10lbs of sour cherries – frozen
Enough water up to 5 gallons
D47 Yeast
Goferm
Fermaid-K
DAP
Vanilla Beans

- Mix and dissolve honey in primary fermenter with warm water to total 5 gallons.
- Thaw and mash/blend 5 lbs of cherries and add to must.
- Rehydrate yeast @ 104F with Go-ferm for 20min – pitch yeast when must and yeast are around 75F.
- Stir daily until 1/3 sugar break. Gently swirl primary to suspend yeast to 1/2 sugar break.
- Staggered nutrient additions at inoculation, 1/3 and 1/2 sugar breaks
- After primary fermentation is complete rack onto 5lbs of thawed and mashed cherries.
- After approx. 1 month rack onto vanilla beans
- After approx. 1-2 weeks (or longer based on taste) rack and start bulk aging until its clear and tasty
- Once clarifying/ageing is complete I’ll plan to ask for advice on backsweetening if needed and on carbonating and bottling ½ and leaving the other ½ still

All methods and procedures will follow hightests mead making FAQ’s. Fermentation will happen in my basement - average temperature is 60-65F

In conjuring up this recipe and trying to educate myself as best as possible I have a few questions specific to my recipe:

1) Is 10lbs of cherries divided equally into the primary and secondary going to result in an overpowering cherry flavour? I don’t want this to turn into really expensive cough syrup =)
2) Along the same lines as #2, would anyone recommend something other than a 50/50 fruit split between the primary and secondary? Or more/less fruit?
3) Is pectin necessary in the primary or secondary?
4) Some people state adding camden tablets to the thawed/mashed fruit @ 1 tablet per gallon of fruit mush and letting it sit for 24hrs in order to sanitize the fruit. Is this necessary? If it helps the fruit will be purchased already frozen from last years harvest from a local organic fruit farm. I’m hoping they are already pitted.
5) Is 5 minutes of vigorous stirring per day sufficient for aeration? I don’t have an oxygen stone or lees stirrer.
6) Is 1 package of D47 sufficient? I’ve seen some recipes use 2, others use 1.
7) Would 1116 or 1118 be better suited for this mead? I may have to use one of these as I don't have much hope that the d47 made it through shipping.
8 ) How much mead loss would be expected due to racking? Ideally I’d like to end up with 5 gallons of mead. Will 5gallons of must (honey/water) and 10 lbs of cherries give me around 5 gallons in the end?

Any other comments or suggestions are appreciated. TIA!



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Old 03-02-2009, 11:12 PM   #2
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You can still join us. Nobody said you HAD to follow the recipe.
BTW a gallon of honey is about 12 lbs.



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Old 03-02-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robsauce View Post
1) Is 10lbs of cherries divided equally into the primary and secondary going to result in an overpowering cherry flavour? I don’t want this to turn into really expensive cough syrup =)
2) Along the same lines as #2, would anyone recommend something other than a 50/50 fruit split between the primary and secondary? Or more/less fruit?
3) Is pectin necessary in the primary or secondary?
4) Some people state adding camden tablets to the thawed/mashed fruit @ 1 tablet per gallon of fruit mush and letting it sit for 24hrs in order to sanitize the fruit. Is this necessary? If it helps the fruit will be purchased already frozen from last years harvest from a local organic fruit farm. I’m hoping they are already pitted.
5) Is 5 minutes of vigorous stirring per day sufficient for aeration? I don’t have an oxygen stone or lees stirrer.
6) Is 1 package of D47 sufficient? I’ve seen some recipes use 2, others use 1.
7) Would 1116 or 1118 be better suited for this mead? I may have to use one of these as I don't have much hope that the d47 made it through shipping.
8 ) How much mead loss would be expected due to racking? Ideally I’d like to end up with 5 gallons of mead. Will 5gallons of must (honey/water) and 10 lbs of cherries give me around 5 gallons in the end?
Any other comments or suggestions are appreciated. TIA!
I'll give it a shot:
1. 10 lbs may or may not be enough. I would put them all in primary then taste after racking to determine if you need more. I believe you get more flavor when in secondary.
2. Answered in #1.
3. Pectin probably isn't necessary but would not hurt to add it.
4. Campden is not necessary. If you use Go-Ferm and nutrients you should be OK. The good yeast will dominate any bad stuff in there.
5. Vigorous stirring is only necessary at inoculation. You can stir it up pretty well 2-3 times a day until the 1/3 sugar break, then gently stir after that.
6. 1 package will work. Two won't hurt you.
7. D47 or 71B will work for this.
8. Depends how much the cherries absorb. Might want to start with slightly more than 5 gallons before adding cherries.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

As far as joining the group brew I found that my recipe was modified too much to really make direct comparisons to what everyone else was brewing - but thanks again for the invite

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Old 03-05-2009, 01:38 AM   #5
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I'm using different honey, variety and volume. I am no longer using dried cherries. I've switched to a canned cherry puree. My temperature is higher than the others. I also missed several days of aeration and stirring when I was out of town. And we've only got 3 people tracking their progress on our thread. We would love to have you join us.

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Old 03-05-2009, 03:12 AM   #6
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I'll be sure to log my progress here but I probably won't be actually mixing this batch until March 22nd as I'm gone traveling the next 2 weekends and won't have the cherries until that weekend. If hightest wants to add my data to the group brew that would be fine by me. Thanks again.

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Old 03-24-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Brewlog

Recipe: See above
OG (SNA Stage 1)?: 1.102
Honey Variety?: Clover/Alfalfa blend
Yeast Type?: Lalvin D47
Pectic Enzyme Used?: No
Must Temp: 80F
Lag Time: About 12-15hrs
O2/Air Infused & Duration (min.): Stirred for 5min before and after pitching yeast
Nutrient Brand?: Fermaid K
DAP Brand?: Generic
Using SNA?: Yes
Rehydrated?: Yes
Used Go-Ferm?: Yes
Amb. Rm Temp: 70F at inoculation, must is currently in the basement - temp varies between 60-65F
SG measurements by Hydrometer or Refractometer? Hydrometer
PH: I'm hoping to get my wife to bring home some pH strips from work to get me a general reading

Procedure
1) Added 6L of room temp tap water to primary
2) Blended (using an immersion blender) ~10lbs of sour cherries (previously frozen/thawed twice)
3) Added blended cherries to primary
4) Boiled and cooled 7L of water to approx 130F
5) Stirred and dissolved 1gallon of honey into 130F water
6) Heated 1L of water to ~160F and added to honey bucket to get all the goodness out
7) Added honey mixtures to primary – total volume approx 22L
8) Stage1 nutrient addition: Dissolved a little more than 1tsp of each DAP and Fermaid-K into 1L of warm water and added to must
9) Added additional 3L of water to must – total volume ~ 26L or 6.5 gallons
10) Rehydrated 10g of Go-ferm in 110F water. Added 8g D47 yeast once cooled to 104F and let sit for 15 minutes.
11) Stirred must vigorously for 5 minutes
12) Pitched yeast - must temp 78F, yeast temp 82F.
13) Stirred must vigorously for 5 minutes
14) Stir for ~ 5minutes 2x/day until 1/2 sugar break.

Day1 - Mar 24 - 12pm Gravity: 1.102 - Must temp: 78F Room temp: 60F
Day2 - Mar 25 - 6pm Gravity: 1.102 - Must temp: 62F Room temp: 60F -> moved from basement upstairs to ~ 68-70F room temp.
Day3 - Mar 26 - 8pm Gravity: 1.096 - Must temp: 71F Room temp: 69F. Tested pH with pH strip - somewhere around 3.0 or slightly higher.
Day4 - Mar 27 - 6pm Gravity: 1.072 - Must temp: 68F Room temp: 64F. Added 3/4tsp of each DAP and Fermaid-K. Moved back downstairs.
Day5 - Mar 28 - 5pm Gravity: 1.044 - Must temp: 69F Room temp: 63F. Added 1/4tsp of each DAP and Fermaid-K.
Day6 - Mar 29 - 9pm Gravity: 1.028 - Must temp: 64F Room temp: 60F.
Day7 - Mar 30 - 10pm Gravity: 1.020 - Must temp: 64F Room temp: 62F.
Day8 - Mar 31 - 9pm Gravity: 1.012 - Must temp: 62F Room temp: 61F.
Day9 - Apr 1 - 6pm Gravity: 1.008 - Must temp: 61F Room temp: 60F.
Day 11 - Apr 3 - 8pm Gravity 1.004 - Must temp: 63F Room temp: 64F.
Day 12 - Apr 4 - 5pm Gravity 1.002 - Must temp: 63F Room temp: 62F.
Day 13 - Apr 5 - 8pm Gravity 1.002 - Must temp: 63F Room temp: 64F.
Day 14 - Apr 6 - 9pm Gravity 1.002 - Must temp: 63F Room temp: 63F.
Day 15 - Apr 7 - 8pm Gravity 1.002 - Racked to carboy, added 2L of cherry juice and 2 split vanilla beans
Day 15 - Apr 7 - 8pm Gravity 1.014 - Will let this sit for ~ 2 months before racking
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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Based on my procedure I'm a bit puzzled.
- I used 12lbs of honey as previously stated above and in the honey spreadsheet (1gallon of honey = approx 12lbs)
- I used a total of 18L of water or 76 cups.

When I plug that info into the honey spreadsheet it says my OG should be 1.074. Using the spreadsheet once again to correct the OG based on my fruit additions, the OG should be 1.082. Any idea where I might be going wrong? My 2 thoughts are maybe I'm using some part of the spreadsheet incorrectly or the pail of honey I had was in fact bigger than 1gallon/12lbs. Can anyone figure out what I did wrong?

My other question, I originally used the spreadsheet with 12lbs of honey and 64cups of water to calculate how much Fermaid-K and DAP to add, which was 4.5g of each. Now after my change in water (and possibly honey), should I be adding more Fermaid-K and DAP?

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Old 03-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #9
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Sounds delicious to me!

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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A little bit of mead porn for those that like to indulge.






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