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Old 08-18-2010, 04:20 AM   #1
bwomp313
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Apr 2009
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I plan on making a strawberry melomel. I see that you can purchase a strawberry extract from northern brewer. Is this stuff any good? Or should I not even bother and just stick to the real thing?

 
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:24 AM   #2
lumpher
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i've never used an extract in any of my beers. i only use the real thing. i've always heard extract is bitter and harsh. i might be wrong, but i stay away from them

 
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
biochemedic
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AAK, extract...don't use it!

You could use a puree, which is essentially canned fruit in water, frozen fruit, or fresh fruit. If you do use fresh, believe it or not you might be best off freezing it overnight and thawing -- this helps release the juice. Add one of those choices to the secondary, and let it ride...

Amounts vary, but I think you'd want at least a pound

 
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
CuAllaidh
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I always avoid extracts, the real thing is just so much better.

And I definitely agree with biochemedic that freezing first is the way to go. It breaks the cell walls and allows for more of the flavour to be released. What I do with strawberries is buy frozen then put them in a blender (still frozen) with a little water then heat them in a large galley pot with some more water, not to the point of boiling, but enough to thaw the frozen strawberry bits. Throw the slurry right in the fermenter, I don't bother straining to get just the juice, I ferment and age on the skins to get more flavour.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
bwomp313
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Thank you all very much!

 
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
bwomp313
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Now since we're on the topic, what sort of pound to gallon ratio are we talking when we use strawberries? I want my end volume around 7 gallons. Should I use like 14 lbs? Does a higher gravity mean you need to use more fruit?

 
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
Matrix4b
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For a 5 gal batch, I have used 14 pounds of strawberries for a very good strawberry flavor result even though I put it in the primary in a puree. I recomend for 7 gal you use 20 pounds and put it in the secondary, freeze thaw, blenderize and hit up with some pectin enzyme. Then you just simply put the resulting puree into a nylon mesh bag in a very big brew bucket, cover. After a month, Strain out the puree. Let it hand and drain a bit as you will get some water absorbtion of the fruit. Then let sit for a month more and rack. Rack every 2 monts until clear toping up water if neccessary or not. Doesn't matter. The result will take a little longer to age but it will smooth out wonderfully. If you taste it 6 months into the aging it will still taste green but you can tell the awesome potential. I recomend 14-16 months aging time when it is clear enough to bottle. And to be clear, Make very sure that there is no sediment and you can read newsprint through the mead prior to bottling. I find that strawberry is more difficult to get completely settled out. My recomendation, when you feel it's ready to bottle and age, wait at least one more month. You WILL end up with a jewel of a mead.
Good Luck

 
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