Two Melomel in the planning phase, help needed
I'm going be trying out 2 two new recipes. These is the first one I've developed myself. Both will add fruit to the secondary fermenter using the same mead (honey type, amount, yeast type, etc, only difference being the fruit).
I intend to take 3/4 gallon of Orange Blossom Honey (9 lb) with enough water to make the must 4 gallons. This should result in a must of OG: 1.094-1.095 given a PPG of 42.
I will be using WL720 (Sweet Mead/Wine Yeast) (alcohol tolerance 15%, Attenuation ~75%) resulting in an estimated FG of 1.025 (9.28 ABV, 73% Attenuation)
Following the primary fermentation, I will split it into two, 2 gallon buckets and cold crash for one day to prevent further fermentation with the addition of sugar from the fruit.
To one I will add 12oz of dried blueberries. I figure 4-5oz dried = ~2lb of fresh (Ken Schramm The Compleat Meadmaker suggest 2lb per gallon for a strong fruit profile), I up'ed it to 6oz/gallon for ease of work, resulting in 12oz for 2 gallon)
To the other I will add 3lb of fresh raseberries (suggested 8 lb to 5 gallon resulting in 1.6lb/gal or ~3lb/2gallon) in a muslin bag to help with clarity
If I don't lose any liquid (HIGHLY unlikely in my limited experiences) this should result in about 10x 750ml bottles of each or 21x 12 oz bottles of each.
Again this is just planning phase. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
If you are going for a stronger fruit flavor split your must after you dissolve the sugar into 2 different batches and add more fruit to the primary of each one, it will give you a fermented fruit flavor which is very good, then boost the flavor by adding a bit to the secondary. If you are not fermenting the fruit you are just making a fruit flavored mead, not a real melomel with fermented fruit. Also some folks on here say that yeast is a pain to use, never used it before myself. If you drop a few strawberries into the secondary it will greatly add to the nose of the mead. What is PPG of 42 mean, is that a beer term parts per gallon 42 something to do with the percent alcohol?? Using any nutrients? WVMJ
Your estimates on the yeast potential is a little skewed. Attenuation is a beer term and has nothing to do with mead. With a beer wort there are complex sugars that may or may not be able to be eaten by the yeast and what is eaten is based off of attenuation. In mead 100% of the sugars will be eaten. If treated properly with aeration, degassing and stepped nutrient feeding that yeast will take your gravity below 1.000 easy.
But again you need to aerate well, mix/degass at minimum twice daily and use probably 1.5 - 2 times the recommended nutrients for that yeast to not stall out on you. So I suggest switching up the yeast to a more known good mead yeast. "Just because mead is in the name of the yeast does not mean it is appropriate". Lalvin 71b is a good well rounded one. It makes a good round less tart melomel. Lalvin RC-212 works great with any berry mead by keeping the aroma and color very well.
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