New Day Meadery here in Indianapolis makes a sparkling, low-gravity mead with black raspberries and coffee that is absolutely to die for. Sadly, it's only a winter seasonal. I was craving some last summer and noticed I had 12 lbs of mulberries in my freezer, so I decided to clone it the best I could using information from their website. It turned out wonderfully. Since spring is (finally) just around the corner, I decided to post the recipe so everyone could enjoy it.
6 lbs of honey for the fermentation
12 lbs of mulberries (or sub blackberries, boysenberries, or black raspberries).
31 ounces of honey for backsweetening (you are looking for 4.3% residual sugar, if you plan on scaling this recipe).
30 ounces of cold-pressed coffee.
Nottingham yeast (or sub any inexpensive neutral strain)
1) Don’t skimp on the ingredients! Use a high-quality honey and coffee.
2) Stir 6 pounds honey and your yeast nutrient with 3.75 gallons of water to make 4.25 gallons. Ferment with two packs of a Nottingham. Ferment until completely dry (mine took 4 weeks).
3) Freeze and then thaw the berries to break down the cell walls. Add them to a 6 gallon carboy or Better Bottle. Add the appropriate amount of pectic enzyme and potassium metabisulfite, cover with a stopper and airlock and let sit overnight.
4) Rack the mead onto the fruit. Let ferment an additional 10-14 days. For the first few days punch down the cap to make sure there is no infection.
5) Rack the mead to a keg and treat with potassium metabisulfite and sorbate. Let it sit 24 hours.
6) For backsweeting: stir the 31 ounces of honey with just enough water to dissolve. Add the honey and the cold-pressed coffee to the keg. Purge with CO2 and shake to combine.
6) Force carb the mead to approximately 2.6 volumes of CO2. You are best off letting this cold crash for a week for all of the coffee grounds to settle to the bottom of the keg.
How to make cold-pressed coffee. Grind your beans fresh and use a coarse grind. Add the coffee grounds to a large jug or Mason jar. Add enough water to equal 2-3 times the volume of coffee grounds. Let sit at room temperature out of sunlight for 12-24 hours. When ready, strain it with a sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth.
I wish I had pictures for this, because it was absolutely beautiful to look at: midnight purple with a persistent lavender head. It's tart and jammy with just the right amount of sweetness and coffee. Even better, the coffee gives the mead a chocolatey flavor that plays well with the berries. Cheers