Anyone wanna share a 1 gallon blueberry mead recipe?

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Flexmedia

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Hey folks,
I looked on the recipe tab for a blueberry mead recipe but I couldn’t find one for 1 gallon. My Brother-in-law has a blueberry field and I should have a little honey from my hives. Anyone willing to share an easy but tried and true blueberry mead recip?

Thanks,
Art
 

CKuhns

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Follow your "traditional" mead recipe and protocols and Add 3 pounds blueberries - Freeze them for at least 24 hours prior - Helps break down the skin and release the juice. You can thaw them prior to adding if you want but not necessary. (You could add the berries to primary or secondary and remove when primary is nearly complete or after 10 days in secondary just be sure to thaw them prior to adding them if in primary.) It may need to be clarified and require a little vanilla and acid to round out the flavors.

If you don't have a recipe or protocol, this works... (Is a great way to start learning the process.)
Sanitize everything (Hands included) that touches the Must / Mead.
1 gallon Spring Water
3 Pounds Honey (Warm the honey in some hot water for 15 - 20 minutes)
1 Packet (5grams) Cote Des Blanc Yeast (Or yeast of your choice)
Fill jug with 1/2 gallon warm spring water (100 Deg F +- a bit)
Pour warmed honey in and shake the dickens out of it to dissolve the honey and incorporate some air.
Fill the jug to the top of the shoulder on the jug with additional spring water.
Check your Gravity with a hydrometer. Should be somewhere near 1.105
Add nutrients following the protocol of your choice. (SNA. TOSNA 2.0 or 3.0)
Sprinkle in the yeast and shake it again.
Position an airlock and place in a roughly 65 Deg F location.
Wait for it to complete primary fermentation (Somewhere near 1.010 SG and likely about 30 days then rack from the lee's.)
Add 3 pounds blueberries - Freeze them for at least 24 hours prior - Helps break down the skin and release the juice. You can thaw them prior to adding if you want but not necessary. (You could add the berries to primary instead and remove when primary is nearly complete just be sure to thaw them prior to adding them.)
After 10 days if added in secondary remove the berries and rack from the lees. Check your SG again if not at 1.000 then let it "finish" for a few weeks.
Rack form the lees as necessary
After it is done taste it. It may need to be clarified and require a little vanilla and acid to round out the flavors.

Bottle and age it for 3 - 9 months (Longer is better)

Good luck - Let us know how it turns out.
 
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Flexmedia

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Follow your "traditional" mead recipe and protocols and Add 3 pounds blueberries - Freeze them for at least 24 hours prior - Helps break down the skin and release the juice. You can thaw them prior to adding if you want but not necessary. (You could add the berries to primary or secondary and remove when primary is nearly complete or after 10 days in secondary just be sure to thaw them prior to adding them if in primary.) It may need to be clarified and require a little vanilla and acid to round out the flavors.

If you don't have a recipe or protocol, this works... (Is a great way to start learning the process.)
Sanitize everything (Hands included) that touches the Must / Mead.
1 gallon Spring Water
3 Pounds Honey (Warm the honey in some hot water for 15 - 20 minutes)
1 Packet (5grams) Cote Des Blanc Yeast (Or yeast of your choice)
Fill jug with 1/2 gallon warm spring water (100 Deg F +- a bit)
Pour warmed honey in and shake the dickens out of it to dissolve the honey and incorporate some air.
Fill the jug to the top of the shoulder on the jug with additional spring water.
Check your Gravity with a hydrometer. Should be somewhere near 1.105
Add nutrients following the protocol of your choice. (SNA. TOSNA 2.0 or 3.0)
Sprinkle in the yeast and shake it again.
Position an airlock and place in a roughly 65 Deg F location.
Wait for it to complete primary fermentation (Somewhere near 1.010 SG and likely about 30 days then rack from the lee's.)
Add 3 pounds blueberries - Freeze them for at least 24 hours prior - Helps break down the skin and release the juice. You can thaw them prior to adding if you want but not necessary. (You could add the berries to primary instead and remove when primary is nearly complete just be sure to thaw them prior to adding them.)
After 10 days if added in secondary remove the berries and rack from the lees. Check your SG again if not at 1.000 then let it "finish" for a few weeks.
Rack form the lees as necessary
After it is done taste it. It may need to be clarified and require a little vanilla and acid to round out the flavors.

Bottle and age it for 3 - 9 months (Longer is better)

Good luck - Let us know how it turns out.
This is just what I need. Thank you! Yes, I needed the whole instruction sheet because I’ve only made a few meads.
Thanks for sharing, I’ll let you know!
Art
 
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Flexmedia

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The amount of fruit you use will determine how much flavor is going in. If you want to make the honey/mead stand out with hint of blueberry, use the three pounds suggested. If you want it to be a blueberry mead but may need to sweeten it, go as high as 6lbs.
Ok, that sounds cool. Let’s see how many blueberries my Brother in Law will let me snag. As many as I want if he wants any mead!

Thanks,
Art
 
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Flexmedia

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After it is done taste it. It may need to be clarified and require a little vanilla and acid to round out the flavors.
let me ask you a beginner‘s question, what kind of vanilla? Extract? Bean?
Thanks!
 

madscientist451

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Here's one I just made:
3 lbs honey
3 quarts of water
Use TONSA protocol when adding go ferm protect and Fermaid O, staggered nutrient additions
Ferment with Omega hothead yeast, stirring/de-gas twice a day, it will be done in 5 days or less
Add 3.5 lbs of previously frozen blueberries in a mesh bag lightly crushed with a potato masher, de-gas until fermentation subsides pull fruit after 5 days
rack from bucket to 1 gallon jug
The hothead yeast didn't throw any off flavors and the mead was drinkable when I racked it, but I'm letting it age some anyway to see if it clears somewhat.
The recipe above was altered from the way I made it, I originally used 2.5 lbs of honey any 2 quarts of water and my volume came up short, I figured the water in the blueberries would make up the volume, but that didn't work out, so I made some adjustments.
I believe the key ingredient is the hothead yeast, but using the TONSA method helped as well.
:inbottle:
 

CKuhns

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let me ask you a beginner‘s question, what kind of vanilla? Extract? Bean?

Again, either works.
- I have used both.

1 to 2 Beans split lengthwise and just dumped in at secondary. Removed when flavor hits where you want it. Hard to estimate how much flavor you get from them and requires a daily tasting. Usually 5- 7 days for my taste preference.

Extract again, a very little at a time and taste ensuring you don't deaden your taste buds. Ensure it is 100% vanilla extract. It is easy to over do it and get some over the top "Chemical" like flavors. I do a teaspoon at a time and wait some time in-between additions.
 
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Flexmedia

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let me ask you a beginner‘s question, what kind of vanilla? Extract? Bean?

Again, either works.
- I have used both.

1 to 2 Beans split lengthwise and just dumped in at secondary. Removed when flavor hits where you want it. Hard to estimate how much flavor you get from them and requires a daily tasting. Usually 5- 7 days for my taste preference.

Extract again, a very little at a time and taste ensuring you don't deaden your taste buds. Ensure it is 100% vanilla extract. It is easy to over do it and get some over the top "Chemical" like flavors. I do a teaspoon at a time and wait some time in-between additions.
That’s what I’ll do.
thanks for the tip!
Art
 
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Flexmedia

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Here's one I just made:
3 lbs honey
3 quarts of water
Use TONSA protocol when adding go ferm protect and Fermaid O, staggered nutrient additions
Ferment with Omega hothead yeast, stirring/de-gas twice a day, it will be done in 5 days or less
Add 3.5 lbs of previously frozen blueberries in a mesh bag lightly crushed with a potato masher, de-gas until fermentation subsides pull fruit after 5 days
rack from bucket to 1 gallon jug
The hothead yeast didn't throw any off flavors and the mead was drinkable when I racked it, but I'm letting it age some anyway to see if it clears somewhat.
The recipe above was altered from the way I made it, I originally used 2.5 lbs of honey any 2 quarts of water and my volume came up short, I figured the water in the blueberries would make up the volume, but that didn't work out, so I made some adjustments.
I believe the key ingredient is the hothead yeast, but using the TONSA method helped as well.
:inbottle:
Mad,
Hey, thanks! Good you tweaked it so I don’t have to. :)
maybe I can get enough blueberries to compare a few batches!
Art
 

boydak

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Here a 3 gallon one I used this year.
Currently bulk aging.
I just used regular water though. I used lemon zest in the secondary (brings out the blueberry flavor). I also skipped the acid Blend.
 

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Redeemer

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Here's one I just made:
3 lbs honey
3 quarts of water
Use TONSA protocol when adding go ferm protect and Fermaid O, staggered nutrient additions
Ferment with Omega hothead yeast, stirring/de-gas twice a day, it will be done in 5 days or less
Add 3.5 lbs of previously frozen blueberries in a mesh bag lightly crushed with a potato masher, de-gas until fermentation subsides pull fruit after 5 days
rack from bucket to 1 gallon jug
The hothead yeast didn't throw any off flavors and the mead was drinkable when I racked it, but I'm letting it age some anyway to see if it clears somewhat.
The recipe above was altered from the way I made it, I originally used 2.5 lbs of honey any 2 quarts of water and my volume came up short, I figured the water in the blueberries would make up the volume, but that didn't work out, so I made some adjustments.
I believe the key ingredient is the hothead yeast, but using the TONSA method helped as well.
:inbottle:
I bottled 5 gallons of something almost identical to this 3 weeks ago. I like dry drinks but this could actually use a little back sweetening. It has the taste and body of a Pinot Noir (almost) and while I appreciated the quality at bottling time, the flavor wasn't what I had hoped for. Yesterday I opened a bottle and noticed significant improvement after only a few weeks. I'm really excited to see what 6 months and a year do for this. If I had to do it again, some oak cubes in the secondary would have been nice. Either way yes, I am in love with Hothead.
 

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It was my second mead attempt and I did this as a recipe in a one gallon carboy.

36 oz of honey
1.25 cups of frozen blueberries
15 grams of dried cranberries
EC-118 wine yeast
yeast nutrients

I left it in fermentation for 100 days and just bottled. I like the tartness but I felt like it finished hot. My first mead was JAOM. My wife said she thought this one came out better so I guess that is all that really matters!
 

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Here's a batch that I just finished. Let me do some math for a 1 gallon batch...

I would use about 4 lbs of blueberries and 2 lbs of honey.

Freeze and Thaw the berries a few times to make them super soft and 'pulpy', add them to your fermenter in a mesh bag. (I used a BIAB bag for my batch - but that was 6 gallons and 32lbs of berries!). You can smash them a bit in your fermenter to get some of the juices flowing.

If you're using field picked berries, I would use a campden tablet to sanitize the berries after washing them thoroughly (you may want to do this step before the freeze/thaw step)

Add bottled spring water to cover all the berries. (probably a few cups.) My OG was about 1.135.

I used D47. Follow TONSA 3.0 nutrient schedule.

Fermentation was complete in 3-4 weeks (FG 1.000 - ABV ~16%)

Rack into secondary, I added Sparkalloid (sp) as a clarifier. Using the bag, press out all of the remaining juice from the berries. The longer you leave the berries in contact with the mead, the more tannins you will extract, and the flavor will progress from a Port to more of a Shiraz/Merlot profile. My batch wound up towards the Shiraz/Merlot end, If I'd strained the berries earlier (2nd week?) it would have wound up more on the Port end... I plan on making another batch to figure out the right timing of removing the berries.

Settling took another month. Rack once the gross lees (the big stuff from the berries) settles.

Enjoy!
2020-08-02 13.08.32.jpg2020-08-22 14.32.06.jpg
 
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Flexmedia

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Just started my new blueberry mead recipe from all your suggestions. Thanks! I’ll keep ya updated.

Art

0F0B964D-2420-43F3-A8C7-030D89233D23.jpeg
 
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Flexmedia

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Not starting out the best. 😕 after 30 days during the first rack, I had my wife and neighbor taste it. They both said it was way too strong and bitter. I didn’t take another gravity reading, not until before I bottle according to the instructions. I don’t know where I messed up unless it’s supposed to be bitter and strong at this stage. I mashed 1 lbs blueberries, 3lbs honey, water, vanilla, yeast nutrient, acid blend and Lavin EC-1118. I was planning on backsweeting it but what can I do for the strong alcohol taste. It’s only been 30 days!
Thanks,
Art
 

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The alcohol flavor will mellow with aging. You have a green mead.

How long did you leave the berries in the primary fermentation?
Oh good! I thought it could only get worse. after simmering the honey vanilla and mashed frozen berries for 30 minutes, I placed it in a fermenting bucket overnight. The next morning I stirred it and took a gravity reading. Then I sprinkled some yeast in and covered it. After a week I put it in a carboy and raked it after 30 days and here we are. I only made mead one other time but it was bad. Good to know this will get better over time!
 

videojunkie1208

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The bitterness is because you probably picked up a ton of tannins from leaving it on the berries for a month. In my experience, 1-2 weeks was a Port, 3 weeks was a Shirah.

May want to dilute with a Blueberry juice to try and reduce the concentration of tannins.
 
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Flexmedia

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The bitterness is because you probably picked up a ton of tannins from leaving it on the berries for a month. In my experience, 1-2 weeks was a Port, 3 weeks was a Shirah.

May want to dilute with a Blueberry juice to try and reduce the concentration of tannins.
Blueberry concentrate? Do I add it directly to the charboy?
 

videojunkie1208

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Not concentrate. Juice. If you have concentrate, you may want to make a strong version of the juice recipe (e.g. if it makes a gallon, make 1/2 to 3/4 gallon.) Or more scientifically, you can make a batch to that same SG as your original must.
 
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Flexmedia

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Not concentrate. Juice. If you have concentrate, you may want to make a strong version of the juice recipe (e.g. if it makes a gallon, make 1/2 to 3/4 gallon.) Or more scientifically, you can make a batch to that same SG as your original must.
It’s a gallon recipe should I add enough juice for two gallons and keep racking over the months? Leaving it in the bucket 48 hours didn’t help but I did have everything in milk nut cheese cloth bags and the recipe asked for the peel of an orange for flavor
 

videojunkie1208

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Here's what you are trying to do, you are trying to dilute the tannins that you inadvertently added to your mead. The best way to do this is by making more mead without any tannins. In this case you made a blueberry mead that has too many tannins, you can add more traditional must (honey diluted with water, or you can add more blueberry juice. It looks like your Sg was around 1.080, so you're in pretty good shape to add more must. the problem is that there is no 'quick' or analytical way to do this, it is all by taste and experiment.

Tannins are complicated, they will age out to some degree, but once you are at a certain bitterness level they will never completely go away. but that does not mean that they are undesirable, they just need to be balanced. so you are going into the blending stage of making mead. there are a couple of ways to do this. I find the easiest way is to add more must around the strength of the original mead (assuming that I am happy with my alcohol content) and add it to the secondary fermentation. This is a lot of what i would call "educated guesswork" where I visualise how I got to where I am and guess how much extra I need to add to get back to the flavor I want. I recently did a mixed berry mead that was too concentrated flavor wise, so I added additional 'plain' must (honey and water) to secondary, and now that mead is fantastic, because I have diluted to the concentrated flavor while maintaining the ABV and the body of the mead. If I had just added water, it would have thinned the mead and reduced the body of the beverage.

In this case, you are trying to make additional berry mead to blend with the mead that you already have, and let them age into something better than either would be separately.

The key here is to maintain the balance of your desired flavor (which will include some tannins), ABV, and body.
 

Dan O

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usually that 'hot' flavor goes away in the first few months. (or you get used to it :)

Making mead is fun!
Well said! Mead making is a blast. Sooooo many flavor combinations to be attempted. Honey goes with just about everything it can be paired with. The possibilities are endless 😁😉😋. @videojunkie1208 , Thank You for your contribution to educating us newbies . I know I'm very appreciative for everyone's advice when I have questions.
 
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Here's what you are trying to do, you are trying to dilute the tannins that you inadvertently added to your mead. The best way to do this is by making more mead without any tannins. In this case you made a blueberry mead that has too many tannins, you can add more traditional must (honey diluted with water, or you can add more blueberry juice. It looks like your Sg was around 1.080, so you're in pretty good shape to add more must. the problem is that there is no 'quick' or analytical way to do this, it is all by taste and experiment.

Tannins are complicated, they will age out to some degree, but once you are at a certain bitterness level they will never completely go away. but that does not mean that they are undesirable, they just need to be balanced. so you are going into the blending stage of making mead. there are a couple of ways to do this. I find the easiest way is to add more must around the strength of the original mead (assuming that I am happy with my alcohol content) and add it to the secondary fermentation. This is a lot of what i would call "educated guesswork" where I visualise how I got to where I am and guess how much extra I need to add to get back to the flavor I want. I recently did a mixed berry mead that was too concentrated flavor wise, so I added additional 'plain' must (honey and water) to secondary, and now that mead is fantastic, because I have diluted to the concentrated flavor while maintaining the ABV and the body of the mead. If I had just added water, it would have thinned the mead and reduced the body of the beverage.

In this case, you are trying to make additional berry mead to blend with the mead that you already have, and let them age into something better than either would be separately.

The key here is to maintain the balance of your desired flavor (which will include some tannins), ABV, and body.
Thanks much Videojunkie! Thats a good description I can understand. I read up on tannins but not so much of how to get rid of them. I’m going to try blueberry juice because the wife said she couldn’t taste the blueberry. I got the blueberries wild from my brother in law’s farm.
now, this Freshman doesn’t know how to add the juice. Should I split the one gallon into two charboys and add the juice equally and airlock it? (1 gallon recipe is full at the top) how often should I have my wife taste it?

two years ago I made a peach mead that came out like moonshine so I’m hoping this will be better. Thanks for the help! This one will be better.
 
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The hot alcohol flavor you mention should fade with aging I usually bulk age my meads for 6 months or so. usually that 'hot' flavor goes away in the first few months. (or you get used to it :)

Cheers mate. Making mead is fun!
Yes! It’s a lot of fun even tho this is the third year and I haven’t made a good batch yet! 😂. Backstory.. I’m a Beekeeper and I have all this honey. I’ve never tasted alcohol before in my lifetime. No problem, my wife drinks and I’m trying to impress her! I messed of my first attempt with peach mead that was so strong you could start a carburetor with it. I called it my molotov mead. Yup...it’s fun!
 

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videojunkie1208

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Well if you have extra, and shipping isn't unreasonable, I happen to have a couple of fermenters that are empty at the moment...

I think in your case, I would start by dividing your current batch in half and you can experiment with each half, adding more honey and water to one and adding juice to the other. See which one you prefer. Secondary fermentation is slower than primary, I would expect it to take a month or so for results.
 
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Well if you have extra, and shipping isn't unreasonable, I happen to have a couple of fermenters that are empty at the moment...

I think in your case, I would start by dividing your current batch in half and you can experiment with each half, adding more honey and water to one and adding juice to the other. See which one you prefer. Secondary fermentation is slower than primary, I would expect it to take a month or so for results.
Ok...I have a few empty ones so I guess there’s nothing wrong with dividing in half and experimenting with each and letting the wife decide. I’ll let you know in a month!
Thanks much!
Art
 

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The hot alcohol flavor you mention should fade with aging I usually bulk age my meads for 6 months or so. usually that 'hot' flavor goes away in the first few months. (or you get used to it :)

Cheers mate. Making mead is fun!
I can attest to this, it typically takes at around 6 months for my blackberry meads to mellow out, and nearly a year for my apple cider meads to shine. That’s after they’ve been bottled- I usually let them sit in the fermentor(s) for 1-3months before I bottle.
Just put them somewhere cool and dark for half a year, then crack one open and see where you’re at. It’s all about patience with meads.
Blueberry sounds like it could be fun!
 

videojunkie1208

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Blueberry sounds like it could be fun!
Blueberry makes an excellent mead, but if you're using whole fruit you have to be very aware of when to pull the berries as they are very tannic. It goes through the whole range of red wines (from lightly tannic port, to heavily tannic shirah/zin) in about a week (It may be narrower than that) and then as the OP experienced, gets too bitter to enjoy.
 

Dan O

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Blueberry makes an excellent mead, but if you're using whole fruit you have to be very aware of when to pull the berries as they are very tannic. It goes through the whole range of red wines (from lightly tannic port, to heavily tannic shirah/zin) in about a week (It may be narrower than that) and then as the OP experienced, gets too bitter to enjoy.
I had a similar experience with a raspberry addition I had made to a BOMM . I left it in there too long & the tannic values of the seeds made it bitter. I think it was in there for over a month, but, I never tasted it. That was my first time adding anything after racking & clearing. Lesson learned. I did a lot of reading on here since then about fruit additions.🤓🧐
 
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Blueberry makes an excellent mead, but if you're using whole fruit you have to be very aware of when to pull the berries as they are very tannic. It goes through the whole range of red wines (from lightly tannic port, to heavily tannic shirah/zin) in about a week (It may be narrower than that) and then as the OP experienced, gets too bitter to enjoy.
AND this batch is probably worse with the tannins because I tried to be all natural and whatnot and picked them wild. I have a lot of work ahead of me. 😅
 

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DAMN🤯🤯😱That's a LOT of blueberries! Do you sell them or just pick & eat/freeze them?
ha! Yup! My Brother in Law’s farm. I only picked enough for two gallons. Guess he thought he owed me Cuz I did mary his sister. 🤔🤣
 
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Well if you have extra, and shipping isn't unreasonable, I happen to have a couple of fermenters that are empty at the moment...

I think in your case, I would start by dividing your current batch in half and you can experiment with each half, adding more honey and water to one and adding juice to the other. See which one you prefer. Secondary fermentation is slower than primary, I would expect it to take a month or so for results.
videojunkie,
finally got a chance to follow your advice. Had NO idea blueberry juice was so hard to find! I split the wine equally into two. I added blueberry juice to one and a mixture of honey and water in the other. So you say wait a month and have the wife taste it? The yeast should be done right?
C37E3517-D4E3-459E-B75A-445683BA68E0.jpeg
 
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I would take a sample in a month and see what your gravity is and try it. Then decide which direction you want to go.
I had a decent gravity reading when I first started so fingers crossed in a month!
Thanks for the tips
Art
 

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Next time, on option we've done a couple times is a blueberry-lemon mead. Cut the vanilla and acid blend, and instead add juice of 2-3 lemons, and a bunch of zest.

Also, using the bagged frozen blueberries (or other fruit) tends to be a sweeter, fruitier flavor, and more flavorful for us than using fresh fruit. And easier / more convenient.
 
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5
Next time, on option we've done a couple times is a blueberry-lemon mead. Cut the vanilla and acid blend, and instead add juice of 2-3 lemons, and a bunch of zest.

Also, using the bagged frozen blueberries (or other fruit) tends to be a sweeter, fruitier flavor, and more flavorful for us than using fresh fruit. And easier / more convenient.
Yeah, I’m learning that. So much for trying to be all natural! This mead making takes some patience doesn’t it?
 
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