I am poised to start my second batch of mead ever. My first was a traditional mead (no fruit, spices) and turned out pretty well, but I think I want to try something drier, with fruit. After perusing many recipes and talking to some more experienced meadsters locally, here is my tentative recipe. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions or improvements welcome!
Goal: a gallon of dry to nearly dry cranberry cyser or cranberry-apple melomel, no added sulfites.
2 lbs gallberry honey from LHBS
1/2 gallon pasteurized, filtered apple juice/cider w/o preservatives from farm stand
Lalvin K-1V1116 dry wine yeast
1-2 lbs fresh cranberries
13 oz raisins
Heat a quart of water just enough to dissolve in honey; combine with cider and enough water to make just shy of a gallon (leaving some head space in a gallon jug). Add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient (quantities per labels). Mix thoroughly by shaking. Pitch yeast.
After initial fermentation (perhaps a month?), boil a quart or so of water; remove from heat, immediately add whole cranberries (1 lb, 2 lbs, more?) and raisins. Let cool. Crush/cut cranberries and raisins. Rack must onto fruit and let ferment to completion. Rack into one-gallon container and let clear before bottling.
Thoughts on adding a cinnamon stick or two, or an ounce or so of grated ginger root? If so, when -- during primary or secondary?