Here is my recipe of a Blueberry Mead I made in August of 2006. Although still bulk-aging, it is starting to turn into something really special. Cut and pasted from my Mead-Making Log:
(12) 08/13/2006 – Blueberry Melomel – ‘Blue-on-Blue’
This will be the first time I made a batch of mead using a varietal honey – in this case blueberry. Additionally, this is the first time I’ll be using RAW UNPROCESSED honey.
Here are the ingredients that I used:
• 20 Pounds of RAW, UNPROCESSED Blueberry Honey.
• 6 vanilla beans cut in half (3 during primary and 3 during secondary).
• Water to 6 gallons.
• 20 Pounds of freshly-picked Michigan Blueberries (15 pounds used during primary and 5 pounds to be used in the secondary).
• 5 packs (25 grams) of Lalvin 71B-1122.
• 1 teaspoon Fermaid to be added after the 1/3 sugar break.
Procedure / process:
1. Added 20 pounds of blueberry honey and about 3 gallons of hot tap water to a 5 gallon carboy. Shook like hell to aerate and dissolve honey.
2. Transferred to sanitized 15 gallon fermenter and added water to 6 gallon mark. Used my lees stirrer to aerate / mix the hell out of the must.
3. Added 3 vanilla beans cut in half to the must and used my newly-acquired aeration stone with pump to aerate must for 30 minutes prior to pitching yeast.
4. Pitched 25 grams of Lalvin 71B-1122 rehydrated with 6 grams of Goferm that was aerated in my magnetic stirrer.
5. Added 15 pounds of thawed blueberries.
6. Placed loose fitting lid on top of fermenter.
7. OG = 1.115
08/14/2006 – AM & PM – Pushed cap down and aerated must for 5 minutes with my aeration system. SG in AM was 1.110 and in the PM 1.105. Looks like we’re off to a great start as is evidence by the drop in SG and the amount of activity in the fermenter.
08/15/2006 – AM – Pushed cap down and aerated must for 5 minutes. SG = 1.100 in the morning and 1.095 in the PM.
08/16/2006 – Pushed down the cap and aerated must for 5 minutes both in the morning and evening - AM SG = 1.090 and 1.085 in the PM.
08/17/2006 – Pushed down the cap and aerated must for 5 minutes both in the morning and evening - AM SG = 1.080 and 1.075 in the PM.
08/18/2006 – Pushed down the cap and aerated for 5 minutes both in the morning and evening – AM SG = 1.070
08/19/2006 – Pushed down the cap – AM = 1.055 – PM = 1.055
08/20/2006 – I’m going to be doing the same thing through next Sunday, August 27. I’ll take the next SG reading before I rack into a secondary, so stay tuned …..
08/27/2006 – Put in 3 more vanilla beans cut in half and 5 pounds of blueberries into a 6 ½ gallon sanitized carboy. Removed the blueberries that were floating on top of the bucket fermenter and crushed them in my newly-acquired fruit press. Collected juice and put back into the plastic fermenter. Racked must using my Enolmatic from the plastic fermenter to the 6 ½ gallon carboy. Topped off with CO2 and installed airlock. SG = 1.007 using my hydrometer and 9.5 Brix (1.025) using my refractometer. Stay tuned …..
08/28/2006 – Active fermentation kicked in again with 6 bubbles per minute.
10/01/2006 – Racked into a 6 ½ gallon carboy.
11/19/2006 – Thieved a sample …. VERY nice blueberry flavor and aroma with a full rounded mouth feel and the expected harsh alcoholic bite. SG = 9.5 Brix.
12/10/2006 – Racked into a 5 gallon carboy and 1 gallon jug. I will not touch this stuff again until I bottle it in August 2007.
03/17/2008 - Aroma: Blueberry Honey - I know that's kind of generic, but this mead smells exactly like the raw blueberry honey that I used to make it with, ie, it has that distinct honey aroma with a very prominent blueberry scent. I can also detect a very subtle hint of vanilla, but that's it - I smell blueberry honey and vanilla, no alcohol aroma that I can detect at all. Interesting.
Visual: This mead is crystal clear with a deep red / purpleish color. Swirling it around in the glass leaves very nice alcohol 'legs' that cling to the sides for about a minute before vanishing back into the mead that remains in the glass. Visually, this is a very appealing mead that I would be proud to serve at any gathering / function.
And now the hard part (for me, anyway) to describe:
Mouthfeel / Taste: WOW! This is the first time I've sampled a 'standard' (by standard I mean not a 'quick-mead') mead that I've made that does not exhibit any of the harshness that I've come to expect from young meads. It appears as if this one has turned the corner after almost 19 months of bulk-aging. Anyway, the first thing I notice when taking a sip is a pleasant sweetness, which is interesting considering that (and I'm guessing here because I did not take a hydro reading today - I will do that again before bottling at some point down the road) the FG of this one is probably around 1.010 or so. Blueberry flavor is extremely prominent, and the vanilla comes through (it's in the background - there, but definitely not as strong as the blueberry, but much more prevelant than the smell would indicate) with a nice warm alcohol sensation balancing it out. On the finish, it leaves the mouth somewhat dry and 'tannic', and I swear I can taste some oakiness even though I did not oak this one.
Overall, this is my best effort to date. My plan at this point is to let it bulk-age at least until the two year point, sample again, then bottle.
Es freut mich mit Euch Allen brüderlich zu trinken ! Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit !