Retaining Fruit Colour in your Mead? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
Speratus
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Mar 2012
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I made a blueberry melomel and in the initial stages the colour was amazing! But as it cleared it ended having none of the purple it had at the begging.
I've posted the initial pics.

After racking it ended up coming our a regular yellow orange colour. I was hoping for a soft purple. Here's the procedure. What could I have done different?

Jan 22, 2012
Bourgovin rc 211
3lbs Wildflower Honey
1.5lbs Frozen blueberries
250ml Joy tea
Warmed strained
Nutrient
Racked 25th Feb. w/ 1/2 tsp nutrient
Bottled Badly 18th May left sediment to sit in bottles.
Rebottled on June 22nd.



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Old 12-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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This was my final colour...?

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Old 12-07-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
Golddiggie
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You lost it because you only added the fruit during primary. You should have added more as it was aging (either after the first racking, or sometime after that).

I made a blackberry melomel that I used fruit in primary AND afterwards (at least in the second, if not third racking). Color retention was far better.

Just took pictures of one bottle of the melomel... Made in 2010 mind you. Decided to shine a light behind it to show some of the color it still has...
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K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
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Ahhh I see! Thank you! K time to start another batch. Does it make a difference if you rack onto fresh or frozen fruit or even perhaps juice? Also doesn't this mess up your gravity readings? Thoughts?

Thanks again!
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:20 AM   #5
Golddiggie
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I used fresh fruit in my first melomel. Added a few pounds to the initial must, let it get fermenting and then (when ready) racked over to onto more fruit. I think I even added more once fermentation was done. I made sure the yeast was finished doing what it could before I racked onto the second round of fruit. Haven't made another melomel due to how this one was while still very young. I plan on trying it again this month. With any luck it will finally be coming into it's own. Then I'll have to decide what fruit flavor I want in a mead.

Next batch/time I plan on NOT adding fruit until the mead is fully fermented.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:27 AM   #6
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I always add half of the fruit in begining and half in secondary. I never had any problems with melomels losing color. On my last blueberry mead I only used 6 lbs of blueberry per 4 gal batch and it looks a lot darker. Are you stabilizing your melomels? I've heard if you don't you will lose some color during extensive aging

 
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Mar 2012
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I didn't in this batch... But really it had no colour to lose during aging I will for my batches going forward tho.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Next batch/time I plan on NOT adding fruit until the mead is fully fermented.
I believe that is the procedure used by Brian Shlueter at Moonstruck Meadery in Omaha. Moonstruck had three grand openings. They sold all the inventory after the first two and then he upgraded equipment before the last one. http://www.moonstruckmead.com/

Speratus,

I used 9 lbs of frozen/microwaved/crushed blueberrys in my first melomel and all of it was used in the primary. My yeast was D47 (fermentation chamber) and I step fed the mead during 4 subsequent rackings. The recipe was mgayer's and the thread is here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/blueberry-mead-34038/

You can see pics of that mead at: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/show...ml#post4617023
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:36 AM   #9
WVMJ
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1.5 lbs of fruit is just not enough, 4.5 pounds would have been much better. Also the color of the anthocyanins in fruit is pH dependent, if the acid level is to low you are going to loose color, you dont mention measuring the acid level or adding any to balance the mead. A little pectinase also helps get more color from your fruit - before fermentation - as well as helping clear it up later. You can certainly boost the flavor with more fruit at the end, but if you dont start out with enough in the begining you are going to have to add a lot more to get color and flavor and probablly throw everything out of balance with the original mead you started. Adding some strawberries at the end of the fermentation is also a good way to get some aroma going, it doesnt have to be a lot, just enough to get some fruit smells going when you open the bottle. Good luck with your next batch. WVMJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speratus View Post
I made a blueberry melomel and in the initial stages the colour was amazing! But as it cleared it ended having none of the purple it had at the begging.
I've posted the initial pics.

After racking it ended up coming our a regular yellow orange colour. I was hoping for a soft purple. Here's the procedure. What could I have done different?

Jan 22, 2012
Bourgovin rc 211
3lbs Wildflower Honey
1.5lbs Frozen blueberries
250ml Joy tea
Warmed strained
Nutrient
Racked 25th Feb. w/ 1/2 tsp nutrient
Bottled Badly 18th May left sediment to sit in bottles.
Rebottled on June 22nd.



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Old 12-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
iluv2brew
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I like your suggestion of adding strawberries to the end of fermentation to get a good fruit smell.

 
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