A Dry Cranberry Melomel
12 lbs Orange Blossom Honey
2 packets of Lalvin 71B-1122
Water to 5 gals
3 lbs Fresh whole cranberries
Freeze Cranberries (These will not be needed until the secondary.)
Add honey to 5 gallon carboy and top with water to 5 gallons. Add Fermaid K to carboy. Rehydrate yeast with Goferm per directions. Add to carboy. Ferment in primary until 10% abv is reached.
Thaw Cranberries and pound with a hammer or meat tenderizer to crack the berries. (It is not necessary to mash them to pulp) Add berries to a 6.5 gallon carboy. Rack mead from the primary onto the fruit.
Ferment in Secondary until fruit loses its color (minimum 10 days) or until target gravity is reached. Still fermentation with sorbate and metabisulphite per directions.
Rack off of fruit into 5 gallon carboy. Allow to clear (we use SuperKleer). If bulk aging, top off and let sit for a minimum 6 months.
OG = 1.087
Target FG = 1.000
(1/3 Sugar Break = 1.057) add fermaid
(2/3 Sugar Break = 1.028) add yeast hulls
@1.014 (10%) Rack, add cranberries
Some notes from our logs:
G = 1.018 (9.04%)
Crushed 5 lbs of cranberries and added to 6.5 gallon fermenter with a "dash" of yeast hulls. Racked the mead on top. The color is beautiful, if still a little creamy looking due to the active fermentation.
Have been stirring twice daily to break up the fruit cap. Tastes odd, but the cranberry will come through and the color should be astounding. Activity is very low and it is trying to clear, so we plan to rack off the fruit this Saturday.
Racked off the fruit. The color in the carboy is like a fake cherry juice red. Smells like cranberry. Taste is a bit off but not really that bad.
Racked again. Seeds are EVERYWHERE!! Color is cherry kool-aid, smells like perfume (Rebecca) or A Jolly Rancher (Paul).
Racked, stilled and added Superkleer.
Bottled. Taste is a bit watery. Hopefully, this will age out.
Yum! Very very tart, but not unpleasantly so. Cranberry taste is there, but not as prominent as we thought it would be. Perhaps we were expecting Ocean Spray. Still, we are at this point not disappointed at all. We will be making another batch this fall.
Brewer's Note: When we bottled this, the taste was almost watery. This has aged out for us. We almost added tartaric acid to add some tartness. We now realize this would have been a horrible mistake for this mead.