I started up a 1 gallon batch of cherry almond vanilla mead today. This is the first mead I've tried to make on my own without following someone else's recipe. (The others, two variants of MAOM, are still under glass so I don't even know if I did those right. But I'm game to make mistakes, so what the heck.)
Here's the plan:
3 lbs clover honey
Spring water to make SG 1.100 (24 Brix)
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Lalvin D47 yeast
Warm 1/2 gallon of water or so to about 105 degrees F. Dissolve honey & mix well. Check Brix, add more water & keep checking until it reaches 24 Brix. Hydrometer says it's OG 1.102. Add energizer & nutrient, mix & aerate. Cool to about 75 F. Transfer to 1 gallon carboy, pitch yeast, stopper & airlock.
That part's done. Feel free to offer suggestions for next time.
1 lb 12 oz dark sweet cherries, pitted & frozen, warmed to room temp.
1 lb slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
When primary is at SG 1.020 place cherries, almonds, and vanilla bean in a mesh bag in a fermenting bucket. Rack mead over bag. Cover, stopper & airlock.
When secondary shows no further activity, rack to carboy, let clear, bottle, etc.
This part is open to suggestions. One questions I have for the group: when I pitted the cherries I added three crushed Campden tablets and mixed it in before bagging and freezing. Is that much SO2 likely to cause a problem in the secondary?
I'll post updates a the situation changes.
P.S. Sorry, no photos. I don't have enough hands. D.