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Old 06-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
mkut
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Default raspberry mead

Just a quickie,

looking at making a raspberry mead, seen several recipes. But none of them mention if you should leave the raspberries whole, cut them up, pin prick them or even pulp them.

advice on this would be great help

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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i'd mush them up to make sure you get all the flavour

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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I've used them whole with no problems. I imagine if you do anything to them, it would be much harder to leave the "mush" behind when racking. For the same reason, a bag is always a good idea. I think you'll find that flavor/color extraction isn't a problem with whole raspberries, they're white and mushy after a week anyway.

Also, I'd either freeze/thaw them once before using, or add some pectic enzyme.

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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Freeze them before and you will have no issues.

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Old 06-15-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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I currently have a Raspberry Thyme in the carboy ready to bottle. Smells wonderful.

What I did, I froze the Raspberries and then thawed them, ran them through the blender and then ran that through a metal screen siv with a rubber spatula. I ran it through the screen to remove the seeds. Oh, when I blended them, I put in some pectic enzyme and then waited an hour before the siv. This will help break down to juice. But mostly I de-seeded them. I kept the seeds and put them in a jar with 2 cups of white rum for a few months then screened it. I had 11.5 pounds of raspberries that made about 1 1/2 cups of seads. It had enough pulp in it to make it into a raspberry extract for baking. But I digress.

Then I put in the resulting pulp through the blender and through the screen again, didn't change much so you prob could skip the second time through. Yes I lost a lot of volume to sediment of the pulp as about 1/4 of the resulting 1 1/2 gal of raspberry pulp was non-juice. So I did add about 1/2 gal to the mix after it cleared a bit. Oh, also no mater what you do expect it to go dry. Yeastie Beasties LOVE raspberry juice/pulp I discovered.

Best option is to stabalize and back sweeten it a bit. This also give a bit of a chance to bulk it up a bit.

After it settled from the stablize and back sweeten and cleared to a beautiful red, I put in my Fresh Thyme Leaves, just bruised, and lightly toasted Oak chips for about 3 weeks. When I opened the carboy, I was greeted with a lovely smell of raspberry AND suprisingly thyme. I didn't expect that much scent, it really bowls you over and is wonderous.

I expect this to be a very tasty batch. I may do a raspberry basil in the future as I am sure it will go fast.

I know it sounds like a lot of work but for me, I would rather do the work on the front end where my tools are easily fit into the dishwasher than have a hard time with clean up later, like cleaning major gunk out of the carboy. Where I can I prefer to render it to juice.

I recently did 10 pounds of blueberries to juice, the pulp I was able to extract, about 3 cups, I plan on giving to my wife for blueberry muffins or blueberry cookies or just making another fruit extract. Hmm, could be good in homemade soda making. I am always thinking on how to get more out of the fruit and how to use everything I can. I haven't gone to re-using yeast yet. But you never know.

Enjoy your brew.

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Old 06-15-2011, 06:37 PM   #6
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It's up to you, but the "freeze/thaw" method will do the job well, you don't have to mush them up and certainly not blitzed with blender, as you can get some bitterness from the broken seeds.

2 other points worth remembering. Raspberry on it's own, can be very over powering and taste quite acidic. So I'd suggest that you mix it with something else, a fruit that will complement it, say like some apple juice....

Also, make sure that you use some pectic enzyme, preferably before you start the ferment, as you use less, and it helps with flavour/colour extraction.

Maybe if you have another berry fruit that's in season, you could try that as something to mix it with.......

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Old 06-15-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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I froze em, then crushed em.. happy with that. The color is awesome, I read somewhere to rack it off the fruit when the Raspberrys lose their color ... im 30 days in and thinking about racking it off ....the color is electric !!!!

Cheers

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