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Old 11-21-2009, 12:35 AM   #1
DaveAllen
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Default JAO to Strawberry Mead

Howdy, all.

I've got about ten one gallon batches of mead under my belt, as well as a lot of wine from kits, and a cider or two. I'm soon venturing into beer as well.

I recently made a batch of JAO (well, sorta-I used EC-1118 yeast) that fermented at too high of a temp, thus giving me a lot of fusel alcohols, plus it turned out pretty thin, and I was pretty bummed. I let it clear, then racked it over a pound of strawberries (and some pectic enzyme) in the hopes of giving it some body as well as trying to mellow the rocket fuel. I let it sit on the berries for about a month, then racked it, let it clear for another two weeks, and I just bottled it tonight.

WOW.

The little sample I took was amazing. Still a bit hot, but the strawberry was amazing, and not too sweet. I can see this aging very well. After I got done bottling, I greedily sucked down every bit left in the tube and racking cane. Just amazing.

I sure wish I had kept a brewlog. I hope I can replicate this stuff again. This is such an incredible hobby.


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Old 11-21-2009, 03:11 AM   #2
soonann
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my strawberry mead turns out awful... it's on the sour side. any tips to help?
used about 5kg of strawberries for 5 gallons. 7kg honey


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Old 11-21-2009, 03:34 AM   #3
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@soonann-- Are you using a sweet mead recipe? Try doing a JAOM but substituting strawberries for the orange. JAOM uses a lot of honey (2.5-3 lbs/gal) and bread yeast instead of wine/mead yeast. The bread yeast dies off at a fairly low ABV leaving a sweet mead. My batch has a very nice dessert-wine sweetness, kind of like eating a spoonful of honey only much, much lighter and more delicate. I can imagine adding strawberry flavor to that and it would be awesome.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:02 AM   #4
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Soonann, I wish I could give you some tips, but this was my first time adding strawberries. Are you using them in primary, secondary, or both? My next attempt to do this will be an attempt to recreate this exactly. I'm going to make a JAO with EC-1118, let it clear, then rack over strawberries and let that settle out and rerack. I use 3 lbs. of honey per gallon for all of my meads, and adjust the yeast accordingly to hit the ABV I want.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonann View Post
my strawberry mead turns out awful... it's on the sour side. any tips to help?
used about 5kg of strawberries for 5 gallons. 7kg honey
5kg of strawberries. my god that seems like alot to me.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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I made one batch of mead a few years back and wanted it slightly sweet, so in addition to the 12 lb (~5 kg) of frozen strawberries we used 15+ lb of honey in a 5-gal batch. There was more sugar there than the yeast could handle (WLP 720 IIRC) so it came out with a hint of sweetness...beautiful, and at 13% (?) it was pretty deadly to boot.

Otherwise you could taste samples every few days until it has the sweetness you want, then hit it with campden tablets to stop the fermentation by killing the yeast. You'll be left with the choice to have still mead or force carb it and bottle from a keg, though.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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I did a strawberry mead once. Put the berries in the primary. Big mistake there. It dryed way out! I fixed it bay back sweetening it and adding 1 pound more of strawberries. It then turned out to be one of my best meads. My suggestion is to start with a medium show mead for the primary, the strawberries added later will add more sweetness. I used 20 pounds of strawberries in a 5 gallon batch. Should be plenty. How I treated the strawberries for easier clean up: I cut the greens off and any white spots, Cut into quarters. Then I put in a bowl and froze it, couple of big bowls. Then I thawed and blended with a little water, Like 1/4 cup total just for lubercation in the blender. Ran it through a metal screen (just a simple fine pasta one). Took the resulting pulp, 1/4 cup of water, blended with some pectin enzyme. Let sit for 1 hr for the pectin enzyme to take effect. double ran through the screen. Then just used the juice. I think it shouldn't hurt to mix it with some honey and water as you rack the primary on top of it. Then you should have a GREAT strawberry mead. Very sweet. Not sour. Remeber, aging 6 months to 1 year to get rid of the fusel alcohols is neccessary. The flavor comes to the fore then.


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