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Old 03-17-2013, 09:54 PM   #1
robostill
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Default Strawberry Mead / Wine

Having found a sale on strawberries last week, I was inspired to make a strawberry wine / mead.

I read through a few of the strawberry wine (berries + sugar) and mead (berries + honey) recipes on here, since I already have so much mead in stock, I decided to do a hybrid of sorts. Brown sugar for complexity and boosting OG, honey for body and mouthfeel, and straberries for flavour.

I made the following recipe this afternoon;

5 kg strawberries (trimmed, frozen, thawed + mashed)
3 kg light brown sugar
4.5 kg honey
20 L water
5 tsp nutrient
5 tsp pectine
5 campden tablets
4 tsp lemon juice
2x 5g EC1118

The honey, sugar, lemon juice and nutrient were boiled. Strawberries were added to the primary (bucket), pectine was mixed in, and the honey/sugar must was added (1L reserved for a starter) Campden was added a few hours later.

Currently the must is "resting", allowing the pectine to get a head start, and proofing the starter. Although there are a lot of suspended solids, the measured OG is 1.075, hoping for a gentle table wine. Later tonight I will pitch the starter.

Right now it smells *amazing*, hope not too much of the flavor is lost in the primary.

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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11 lbs of strawberries in 5 gallons of wine? Go back to the store and get 20 more pounds, save 5 to add right at the end of the primary. What kind of yeast are you using? WVMJ

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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I'm using EC1118. I debated getting more strawberries, but it's a bit of a haul to the supermarket here.

Given the high tolerance of EC1118, I could add more strawberries (bringing up the SG)

There seems to be a large variance in recipes here, some people say 2-3 lbs / gallon, others are 5-6 lbs / gallon. Obviously taste is very subjective, but I've read threads with both recipes producing apparently "good" wine. What's your experience WVMJ?

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
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You added 'pectine'...not quite sure what that is. Was it pectin, as in jam/jelly making supply or pectic enzyme aka pectolase--the enzyme which breaks down the natural pectin in fruit?

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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You cant ask me a question like that! My experience is that the people who think 2lb/gal is good have not tasted 10lb gall intensity. There is not faint strawberry taste you have to twirl around on your tongue for a minute to find, its right up front, from the moment you open the bottle and it fills the room with strawberry goodness to your first sip which makes you think I should have picked more strawberries and make more of this pure summer sunshine. Our current batch used 50 pounds of strawberries, 10 were saved for the last 2 days in the primary as an extra taste and nose booster. Yes lots of acid but we already planned that this was going to be a sweet strawberry mead and are going to backsweeten with more honey. There will be more color and body and this has the potential to age longer. I have made some strawberry with other recipies that lasted 5 years with no problems, but some of the weaker recpies end up all nose and no strawberry taste after aging. Plus this is ready just as soon as any other melomel. WVMJ


Quote:
Originally Posted by robostill View Post
I'm using EC1118. I debated getting more strawberries, but it's a bit of a haul to the supermarket here.

Given the high tolerance of EC1118, I could add more strawberries (bringing up the SG)

There seems to be a large variance in recipes here, some people say 2-3 lbs / gallon, others are 5-6 lbs / gallon. Obviously taste is very subjective, but I've read threads with both recipes producing apparently "good" wine. What's your experience WVMJ?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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Definitely not one of lifes "shrinking violets" are you Jack

Either way, yer not wrong. The 1118 is gonna blow a lot, if not all the volatile aromatics and some of the flavour straight out the airlock. Plus using the levels of fruit you mention gives it a chance of retaining some as well as some colour, though I'd suspect any red/pink will still get bleached to a straw sort of colour......

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:26 PM   #7
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Hi Bloke, not famililar with that saying, it is a Briticism? Does it mean "someone who doesn't ever want to make a weakass wine or mead" WVMJ

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Hi Bloke, not famililar with that saying, it is a Briticism? Does it mean "someone who doesn't ever want to make a weakass wine or mead" WVMJ
It means shy.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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Jack,

Thanks for the input. I've been to 3 grocery stores now, and everyone is out of strawberries. I'm hoping to head to Costco this evening and get some frozen ones. Selection is pretty limited where I live, especially in the fresh fruit department.

Given the OG is relatively low, and with the high tolerance of EC1118, does it matter how late I add more strawberries? I was thinking of the weekend (it will have been 7 days in the primary). Or should I re-pitch more EC1118 after I add more berries?

I do worry about the high acidity, but I don't mind backsweetening such a drink to compensate. I'm learning that most of my friends, and SWMBO, prefer wine dry, but mead sweet. Have you considered backsweetening with a berry juice (pressed strawberries, organic blueberry juice, etc.)?

I don't think I could ever *afford* 50 lbs of any berry here, nothing is grown locally so prices are high. Definitely makes me miss BC.

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