***** Added Note: Hightest has graciously offered to track the progress of the group brew. See his post #12.
See Post #22 for the requirements to have Hightest track your progress. Post #22 will list all those that have agreed and contains the post # of their brew log. *****
Ok I'm starting a group brew on Washington's Birthday. In honor of his honesty we will be brewing a Cherry Vanilla Melomel. I propose we all brew on or around February 22nd. Should give us enough time to get the ingredients. If you modify the recipe below, please post. We can even keep a brewlog on this post. If you decide to do a brewlog, please go back and edit your original post with the updated information. This will keep the posting down to a minimum. Feel free to bottle still or sparkling. Sometime down the road (maybe 2/22/10) we should revive this post and do a swap. We will figure out those details at a later date.
I am posting a 3-gallon recipe below. You should scale to your liking. I propose feeding the must based on Hightest's Staggered Nutrient Addition
schedule. I use a bucket for my primary fermentation. It's easier to aerate/stir daily. This is why I like to add my fruit to primary. Keeps the secondary rather clean. Feel free to add to secondary if you like. Or even some in primary and some in secondary. I'm also using dried fruit because it's easier for me. You can also use use fresh, frozen or even jarred fruit. If using fresh cherries, you should add some pectic enzyme. NOTE: Make sure the fruit and juice contain no sulfites or other preservatives.
I Cannot Tell A Lie Cherry/Vanilla Mead
2 to 3 gallons Cherry Juice
Water to 3.5 gallons
8-9 lbs Meadowfoam Honey (has a vanilla/marshmellow taste)
1 lbs Dark Sweet Cherries, Dried (Trader Joe's)
8.0 oz Tart Cherries, Dried (Trader Joe's)
2 Whole Vanilla Beans
1 Pkg Lalvin D-47 or 71B rehydrated w/Go-Ferm
Fermaid-K and DAP
Pectic Enzyme ???
Step 1 (Feb 21): Put 1 qt Cherry Juice in sanitized vessel. Add dried cherries and soak overnite. I use juice made from concentrated Cherry Juice (68 Brix) from Ostbaum Orchards
. Trader Joe's also has straight cherry juice. Also if you prefer to use pectic enzyme, now is the time to add it.
Step 2 (Feb 22): Coarsely mash the berry mixture with hand blender. Add Cherry Juice, honey (Flying Bee Ranch)
and water to make at least 3.5 gallons . Mix and aerate well. You will need about 3.5 gallons in primary to get 3 gallons in secondary after the first rack. Add Fermaid-K + DAP. Pitch yeast (consider Hightest's new method) and cover with sanitized cloth or lid.
Step 3: Check must every 6-8 hours for end of lag phase (foaming). At end of lag phase add Fermaid-K + DAP.
Step 4: Aerate daily until 1/3 sugar break.
Step 5: Once past 1/3 break, stir the must daily (as opposed to aerating) until the 2/3 sugar break.
Step 6: At 1/2 sugar break add Fermaid-K + DAP and mix well.
Step 7: Rack to secondary when finished (2-3 weeks) and add vanilla beans. Top off with cherry juice. I use whole vanilla beans. If you like to split and scrape, you might want to try one and give it a taste after sitting a month.
Step 8: Rack after 1-2 months. Taste for level of dryness/sweetness and vanilla. Adjust if necessary.
Step 9: Rack every 2-3 months until clear then bottle.
Step 10: Let's swap!