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Old 01-04-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default What Melomel Should I Make?

I want to make my first mead, and have some ingredient questions. What I have on hand is:

2lb sams club honey (actually more but planning on using some in a barleywine)
7.75lb frozen blackberries I picked last summer
8lb frozen black raspberries I picked last summer
1 pack D-47 yeast
LD carlson yeast energizer

The plan is to use just some of this fruit in my mead, and the rest will be made into a few gallons of blackberry/raspberry wine. Soo... which fruit should I use and how much for a basic 1 gallon recipe? The 2lb honey will only give me ~1.069 OG and I'm not sure how the fruit will effect that. If it's going to be an issue, I might use up to 2.5lb honey to get it closer to 1.100.

How should I add the fruit? When doing wine, I crush it and put it into a nylon bag in the fermenter and use sulfite, but I don't think that is very good for mead?

I'll probably end up using either a 7.9gal plastic bucket or a 3.5gal apricot pastry filling bucket as a primary. I'm assuming headspace won't be an issue? Secondary will be a 1gal wine jug + bottles if needed.

Will my hard water (393ppm bicarbonate) be an issue?

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Old 01-05-2011, 03:26 AM   #2
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No reason you can't use both fruits for the same batch. Better yet, send me the blackberries. I'll mix them with my raspberries and let you know how it turns out

I would add some fruit to the primary and some to the secondary but adding at either stage is fine, each will give you slightly different results / tastes but its all good. Your method for using berries in wine will work just fine. But no need to use sulfites (fruits have natural sulfites, no need to add extra). Unless you're going to back sweeten, then you'll want to stop yeast activity before sweetening.

D47 will probably take your mead down to 1.000 give or take. So if you want a sweeter mead, you'll need to backsweeten. I prefer semi-sweet to sweet melomels over dry ones, but that's my personal preference.

Your water shouldn't be a problem, just make sure it doesn't have chlorine. You're good to go with those containers for fermenting.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:20 AM   #3
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the honey you use will impact the quality of mead. so if it's got great aroma that will carry into the mead. if you use sam's club, it is likely been pasteurized and might get stuck fermentation. raw honey is best.

Like to suggest adding fruit at primary and secondary. adds layers of flavors. with mead, really no need for sulfites. You might use sorbate in a melomel. Vote for the semi-sweet as well. keep us posted! sounds delicious!
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