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Old 04-13-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
regulatedhobbyist
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Default Strawberry mead procedure

I am getting ready to do a strawberry mead. I have 5# of strawberries cut, frozen and thawing. I was thinking of boiling the strawberries to extract juice sugars ect. Then while the water was still a little warm, adding the honey. The strawberries are in sanitized pantyhose (cheaper than nylon bags), so I will probably leave them in primary as well.

My thoughts lead me to believe that I may get a better OG reading, as well as have more fermentables present when I pitch EC1118. Should I create a yeast starter? Dry pitch? Thoughts?

Additional info:
2 gallon batch

4.5# honey
5# strawberries cut, frozen and thawed
EC1118
Yeast nutrient
Yeast energizer
Spring Water to 2 gallons

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Old 04-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Personally I'd age the mead on the strawberries. I've never done anything like what you're describing but I believe you'd set the pectin by boiling the strawberries, creating a permanent (?) haze. 1118 is a beast. I only make 1 gallon batches so I don't really worry about pitch rates but I'd imagine one sachet, rehydrated, would be fine...

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Old 04-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
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Well, I was basing my thoughts on this thread
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/strawberry-mead-246983/

and this site
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques5.asp

And then I started thinking, "Self, draw out the flavors and sugars and really feed the beast."

I was thinking that this could turn out good at 1.5 gallon batch. But then started thinking about all of the volume lost to rackings.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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So after some more research, I will probably not boil the strawberries. Just crush and add to the fermenter. Any thoughts on how long to leave the strawberries in primary?

I have also been finding that many people suggest adding acid blends or juice their strawberry wines/meads. Any thoughts?

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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I would recommend just chopping the strawberries into halves or quarters. You don't want to crush too many of the seeds as that might give you some off flavors and it will be a lot less likely to haze the finished mead.

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Old 04-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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I made strawberry mead 4 months ago. It is aging now. I would say you really light on strawberries. 4 lbs per gallon seems best. I used 4.5 lbs in primary and 4.5 lbs in secondary (3 gal batch) and now I wish I had all 9 lbs in secondary instead. Good aroma, strawberry flavor is barely there, and color is really weak, almost a straw like with a hint of pale red. I used pectin enzyme in primary and strawberries disintegrated to mush while fermenting. I used 1116 and they seem liked berries very much, fermented to dryness in less than a week. I quartered, froze and dumped them in primary, no need to heat-treat them at all.

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Old 04-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Personally I would do the mead without the berries and then add them to the secondary. Just make sure you have enough head room, it will ferment again.

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Old 04-13-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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That's a good thought. By brother (fellow mazer) suggested strawberries in secondary as well. Two gallons... what maybe another 3 lbs per gallon?

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regulatedhobbyist View Post
That's a good thought. By brother (fellow mazer) suggested strawberries in secondary as well. Two gallons... what maybe another 3 lbs per gallon?
I think 8 lbs per 2 gal batch will be good start. Not sure how you planning to add strawberries in secondary but I found with any fruit if you want real strawberry flavor to shine through do not let yeast to ferment berries in secondary. I personally add my fruit in secondary after I stabilize with campden & sorbate. And then let strawberries soak in mead for a week to release all the juices. This way you have zero tartness from fermented fruit, which some folks like and I don't.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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So, strawberries in primary. And roughly double the strawberries in secondary after stabilizing? How long in secondary for a nicer strawberry taste?

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