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Old 05-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
2ndGenBrewer
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Default Strawberry Melomel. Blance or Not?

Hello everyone,

I'm getting ready to start on my first fresh fruit melomel and I'm feeling a little stuck.

Here is my recipe:

12 lbs of Sage blossom honey
1 lb of Belgium candi sugar
12 lbs Chopped and frozen Strawberries
2 tsp Nutrient (to start and more staggard)
2 tsp Energizer
2 tsp Pectic enzyme
1 tbsp Acid
1 package of Lavin 71B-1122

From what I have read on the forum I decided to add 4 lbs of strawberries to the primary and 8 to the secondary.

My question is that I'm not sure how to sanitize the berries that will go in the primary? (I know that the berries in the secondary should be OK due to the alcohol levels post fermentation) Some of my friends that will drink the mead are sensitive to sulfates so camden is out of the question. I've read some post on the beer forum that they've had success with blancing the fruit (but thats beer not mead) What would all of you recommend? Should I do a quick boil of the berries for 15 minutes or should I take my chances? What will the quick boil do to the flavor of the berries? Any help you could offer would be great!!

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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With fresh fruit, if the fruit looks clean and is not moldy, I'd just rinse the fruit with clean water, then chop them up and toss them in. If they are already frozen, I'd just take them out of the freezer and toss them in when they thaw out. The chances of wild yeast or other contaminants is not zero, but it is low enough that this approach works the vast majority of the time.

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Old 05-28-2010, 02:46 AM   #3
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Instead of blanching your fruit and losing some of the good flavor of strawberry I would maybe just pour boiling water over them quickly while they are frozen and then catch the water under the strainer let it cool and the berries cool and then pop them all into the the primary. I kinda do that to my raisins to plump them a bit before putting them in the primary.

Just a small primer on blanching, if you must blanch any veggie before freezing it just steam it for about 2 minutes or boil for just 2 minutes and then plunge into ice water, when cold dry well and freeze. Preferably vacuum packed. I preserve most of my garden produce that way. Any thing past 3 minutes will lose flavor and texture when reheated for eating.. Most fruits do not need to be blanched the sugar in them saves them from the enzyme break down... Rhubarb is more of a veg than a fruit and I do blanch that... Too much info I suppose.. lol
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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Thanks. You gave me a lot to think about.
I have already chopped them up and I did rinse them before hand.
Hmm... I might try the trick with the boiling water to frozen berries. And thanks for the info on the steaming. Next time I might just steam them quickly.

I guess I just got a little paranoid after reading the thread about losing two batches of mead after racking bad berries. All the other melomels I've made were with dried fruit so...

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Old 06-01-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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From what I've researched, you want them sanitized. Freezing them will take care of most beasties and also breaks down the cell walls of the fruit, thus releasing more flavior into the mead. I cut them all up, froze them and added them. You can also squeeze or smash them before adding.

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