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Old 09-02-2009, 01:33 AM   #11
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Wouldn't freezing just suspend the lif cycle of the nasties? Could one blanch them for a second to not only sanitize, but lock in color? I used blackberry puree in a can, drained the syrup, and them added to the secondary. No access to trustable fresh berries at the moment (dad ate most of them), but organic blueberries for my "Buck and Blue" mead should be arriving next week.

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:51 AM   #12
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I just picked about 2# of blackberries today. I will notify the family they are now off limits as are all the blackberry bushes. If I don't have to go to work tomorrow I'm making this. I've been brewing for a couple years but this will be my first mead. I will try to take a few pics as I go. I've only tried mead once and it was still. If I get cracking on this it should be ready for Christmas.

Once you are finished you don't carb it do you?

Thanks.

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Old 07-23-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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Hey sorry let this lie for a while. I did carb some of this. Highly recommended!

I wasn't incredibly satisfied with this over time, and I think I know why. The berries were a mix of black raspberries and blackberries. As I was picking them this year, I noted that I really prefer the flavor of the BRB to the BB. The BB leaves an astringent aftertaste, and I really think this comes through in the mead. I plan on using the BB for beer, which will easily cover up the minor aftertaste issue, and try to just use BRB for another batch of mead.

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Old 01-18-2011, 03:51 PM   #14
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Upon even further consideration, the taste that I'm picking up on is the same taste from chewing a fresh picked blackberry, which has a certain amount of stem or other fleshy component (I'm not a botanist!) behind the fruit. Anyway, I think the blackberry flavor would be better if you could juice/press the berries and ONLY use the juice. This might avoid the slight bitter taste, but give the color and flavor of the berry.

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #15
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Good evening - I stumbled onto your post and found it most helpful. I'm trying to get up enough nerve to start my first blackberry melomel. After reading your post, I'm left with a few unanswered questions that I was hoping you might be able to help me with.

You said: "I pasteurized at near-boil temps while skimming foam off the top, about 15 minutes."

I gather from this that you are cooking the 12 lbs of honey on the stove and bringing it to a near boil. Do you then move it to the primary and add water to bring the total to 5 gallons?

You said:
"Added 4.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient, pitched yeast (Lalvin K1-V1116)."

No idea what you meant here. It sounds as though when you added the 4.5 teaspoons (to the primary, I assume) you got rid of the yeast. I'm sure that's not what you meant though.

The rest looks pretty clear. If you could clarify for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Mike

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Originally Posted by esarkipato View Post
I was going to wait to post this, but judging from the success at a recent NYE party I thought it would be better sooner than later.

Yeast: Lalvin K1-V1116 Yeast Starter: no Batch Size (Gallons): 5 Original Gravity: 1.098 Final Gravity: 0.998

5 gallon batch

First, freeze 8 pounds blackberries (fresh preferrable). More is okay too I would think.

12 lbs Clover honey
water to 5 gallons

I pasteurized at near-boil temps while skimming foam off the top, about 15 minutes.

9/7/08: Added 4.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient, pitched yeast (Lalvin K1-V1116). OG=1.098
week 1: 1.064, added 1 tspn nutrient
week 2: 1.026
week 3: 1.008. Racked to secondary onto 7 pounds of thawed & crushed blackberries, plus 1.5 tspn nutrient. Topped off to 5 gallons with water.
week 4: 0.998, racked off blackberries to secondary.
week 8: racked to tertiary for clearing.

Bottled on 12/6/2008. I added another pound of crushed blackberries at bottling (soaked in the bottling bucket for .5 hours in a bag).

For still: Add stabilizer, wait one week, add 1 cup honey, bottle.
For sparkling: Add 2/3 cup honey, bottle immediately (beer or champagne bottles).

I just tried the sparkling mead (melomel) after 1 month in the bottle, and it's very, very good. Light carbonation, good blackberry and honey aroma. Color is light pink. Highly recommended. This went over really, really well at a NYE party!
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:45 PM   #16
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Hey! Thanks for reading and welcome to HBT. Mead making is a great process and very rewarding if only for the fact that it requires the most patience compared to beer and even wine.

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Originally Posted by Takeadoe View Post
You said: "I pasteurized at near-boil temps while skimming foam off the top, about 15 minutes."

I gather from this that you are cooking the 12 lbs of honey on the stove and bringing it to a near boil. Do you then move it to the primary and add water to bring the total to 5 gallons?
I've done three meads now, this being the first. The honey was in a 1 gallon glass jar, which I first submersed in hot water to increase viscosity (or is it decrease? Made it flow, either way). I then brought the honey and about 2 gallons of water to near- boil temps for 15m in an attempt to pasteurize the nasties.

However, I personally don't pasteurize or boil the honey anymore. I truly think it drives off some of the very delicate aromas that tend to characterize mead after it matures. Also the honey is very resilient against bacteria and such naturally. My second batch took this approach and was much more delicious and complex after aging. (read here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/conc...98/index2.html)

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You said: "Added 4.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient, pitched yeast (Lalvin K1-V1116)." No idea what you meant here. It sounds as though when you added the 4.5 teaspoons (to the primary, I assume) you got rid of the yeast. I'm sure that's not what you meant though.
"pitching" yeast means adding it to the must. So, after the temperature was favorable I added the nutrient and then added the yeast.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:29 AM   #17
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Thank you very much for your time.

Mike

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Old 04-04-2011, 04:50 AM   #18
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why did you wait to add the blackberries until the secondary? is this just to make sure they don't become too overpowering?

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Old 04-16-2011, 10:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
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why did you wait to add the blackberries until the secondary? is this just to make sure they don't become too overpowering?
inexperience. I thought they might be more prominent in the flavor if they were added in secondary.

At this point, if I were to make this again, the berries would go in the primary OR I would add more honey to restart fermentation. Having active yeast I think draws out the berry flavor more.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #20
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One poster, here or on another board, said that the rate of CO2 production would draw the blackberry aromas out of the airlock as well. I always wondered if there was any merit to this. It's never stopped me from adding fruit/spices to a primary vessel.

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