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Old 11-06-2011, 01:21 AM   #1
BrewOFin
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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Hello,

I thought I'd throw together a Light Cranberry Mead which is intended for next year. I am somewhat new to mead, but have a couple batches that are almost ready to bottle. In other words this post is probably an exercise in cataloging my mistakes.

Ingredients (pictured below):
  • 1 lb cranberries
  • roughly 72 oz of honey, blend of pure and raw from farmers market and home brew store.
  • Lavlin K1-V1116
  • 3.5 gallons of water



Method:
  • Simmered 1 gal of cranberries for 15 minutes.
  • Was disappointed in the faintly pink water, so I used a potato masher on the cranberries while they were simmering for another 5 minutes.
  • Poured into fermentor, adding 1 gal of ice to cool it down.
  • Poured another 1.5 gallons in fermentor
  • Added honey while stirring.
  • Added yeast.

Below is the color of the cranberry water before I added the honey.


Based on my initial taste, I have a feeling the cranberries will only be contributing color.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:42 AM   #2
Malarky
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Sep 2011
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I've got a one gallon batch of cranberry wine in the works and that called for 3#'s of cranberries so yeah I'd say you on the light side for 3.5 ga

 
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:15 AM   #3
BrewOFin
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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Wow 3# for 1gal. The handful of posts I found seemed to suggest 1# to 1gal made for a puckery mead.

I figure I'll go light this year and refine the recipe each holiday season.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
BrewOFin
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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Last night I racked to a 3 gal secondary (pictured below). The aroma and taste were very pleasant, the cranberry presence was more pronounced than I had anticipated, so I am glad I limited the supply of fresh cranberries.

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
usfmikeb
 
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What was your OG here? 4.5 lbs of honey seems exceptionally low for a 3g batch, I use 2.5 to 3 lbs for a single gallon batch of mead.

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
BrewOFin
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
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Hi usfmikeb

Unfortunately, my hydrometer reading was more precise than my memory. And in general, instruments of precision have some sort of aversion or intolerance for me.

The proportion of honey to water is low, because I anticipate sharing it with others over a large Thanksgiving meal. I figured a lighter mead would be attractive to more people, while not interfering with an excellent meal.

If it comes out too light, I'll increase the amount of honey for the 2013 batch.

I'm also thinking of bottling 2 gals and racking the other gallon onto oak chips, just as an experiment. I figure that might make a better Christmas Mead.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
AsianMead
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Aug 2011
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it's very light color but it's beautiful.

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:29 AM   #8
Gamrchick
 
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Hi BrewOFin,

I make a Cranberry mead this time of year as well. I thought you were a little light on the berries, especially considering the color you ended up with. Then I checked my logs. I use 5.5 pounds in a 5 gallon batch, but I do not cook the berries first. I freeze, thaw and bruise the fruit then add it to the secondary. I added some pics to my photo album if you are interested.

The color of your's is amazing. It is going to be a beautiful blush. Good luck with this!

Rebecca

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #9
usfmikeb
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewOFin
Hi usfmikeb

Unfortunately, my hydrometer reading was more precise than my memory. And in general, instruments of precision have some sort of aversion or intolerance for me.

The proportion of honey to water is low, because I anticipate sharing it with others over a large Thanksgiving meal. I figured a lighter mead would be attractive to more people, while not interfering with an excellent meal.

If it comes out too light, I'll increase the amount of honey for the 2013 batch.

I'm also thinking of bottling 2 gals and racking the other gallon onto oak chips, just as an experiment. I figure that might make a better Christmas Mead.
I can appreciate that idea. Let me know how it turns out from the perspective of a lower alcohol level.

 
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:06 AM   #10
BrewOFin
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Nov 2011
Madison, WI
Posts: 12

Gamrchick: thanks for the tip! The pictures look really great. How long do you keep it in the secondary with the cranberries?

usfmikeb: I have a small batch of mead that had similar proportions of wine and honey, although I used D47 and no cranberries were harmed. We'll be opening a bottle this Thanksgiving, so I'll let you know how the others enjoyed (or reacted to) it.
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