Best Blueberry mead ever!

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flyweed

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Guys, I just wanted to take a moment and post a recipe that I just "tasted" tonight after a number of long months waiting in anticipation. This is a Blueberry Mead(sweet) that is absolutely outstanding! It is from a member that goes by MGAYER here on HBT. I have come to know Mark via PM's and emails and must give credit where credit is due. This recipe is his, with just a few minor additions of my own. I HIGHLY suggest anyone looking for a good, fruit mead, to give this one a try, and patiently wait..it's worth it. I promise.

Here's the recipe: (to make 5 gallons)
10 lbs Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
16 lbs of honey (I used clover)
5 tsp yeast nutrients
2 tsp yeast energizer
3/4 tsp Pectic enzyme
5 campden tablets (or 1/4 tsp. potassium metabisulphite)
3 packets of Lavlin D47 yeast.
4 oz bottle of blueberry flavoring (no fermentables packed in alcohol)

Mix 13 lbs of honey with 1 gallon of water. Shake until your arms are tired..or about 5 minutes. I use about a half gallon of hot (not boiling) water from the tap per half gallon of honey. Pour into fermentor and add one gallon of room temp water. Add nutrients, energizer, pectic enzyme and crushed campden tablets. Allow the blueberries to completely thaw if using frozen..then mash them with your hands so you crush and split the skins. Add the blueberries to the Must and cover with a cloth for 24 hours.

Make a yeast starter witha cup of water and a cup of the must, around 84 degrees. Add the yeast and make sure it is working. Pitch the yeast after 30 minutes and then stir the Must to suspend.

Top off, but be careful how much water you add as the blueberries will rise to the surface and start to expand and swell up. Cover the fermentor with a towel (NOT AIRLOCK) or some other material that can breathe. You need LOTS of O2 right now. Stir the Must and punch the cap down every day for the next 10-12 days. After this rack off into secondary and again top off with water. Put on the airlock and let sit. rack this every 30 days for the next 4 months (yes 4 months!) Add 1 pound of honey for the first 3 rackings for a sweeter mead. It should NOT be in the dry range. The yeast should take this to about 14.5% ABV..before it is overwhelmed.

This Must should start to clear and fermentation finished by around 4 months. Age as needed, and I recommend bulk aging.

My schedule was as follows:
Starting temp: 72F
Date: 11/05/08
O.G. = 1.141
1st racking was: 11/17/08 (1.113) added 1 pound honey
2nd racking was: 12/16/08 1 pound of honey added
3rd racking was: 01/12/09 1 pound honey added + 2oz. natural blueberry flavor
4th racking 2/14/09..added 2 oz of natural blueberry flavor and racked into 5 gallon corney keg...shielded with c02 to purge oxygen..and bulk age.

Today(03/31/09)...ramped co2 up to 8psi..and drew off a glass of chilled mead. WONDERFUL.

I cannot tell you how GOOD this tastes. Great purple color, nice honey aroma and flavor mixed with a good blueberry nose..not overwhelming at all. Light, crisp taste. did I say how good this is????? Oh yeah...I've had two glasses now and am feeling a buzz already.

Again, Great great recipe..and I highly recommend this one to you all. It is definitely worth the little bit of waiting time.

Dan
 

Tusch

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Ummm what not pictures?

And I must say this is a very intriguing recipe.
 

robsauce

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I'm looking for a second recipe for mead after my cherry vanilla melomel is out of the primary in about a week. I may just have to give this a go based on how delicious you make this sound.

I guess my only question is why would one need 3 packets of yeast? This recipe isn't very different than my cherry melomel and I used only 8g of D47 yeast and the fermentation took off like crazy.

Also, out of curiosity, after your racking(s) and honey additions what was your FG? I was pretty surprised that your gravity only dropped 28 points (141 - 113) before your first racking...
 
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flyweed

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Tusch..there are some initial pictures of this in my photo gallery of this on the day I made it. I'll take another of it in the glass, ready to drink..it has not changed color at all however.
Yes..it is still young..but very very good. I can't wait for another couple months to go by, if I can refrain from sampling it every day!! ha ha ha

Robsauce...I don't know why the need for 3 packs..Mark said it was just to ensure a good solid start for fermentation. I didn't want to question him about it..so I did it that way. as for the Gravity readings..I took them at every racking..but was hesitant to post them..as they are ALL OVER the Board on this one..I don't know why, but I figured each honey addition had something to do with it.

My gravity readings are as follows...I don't know if they are accurate..but it's what I got:

First rack: 1.113
2nd racking: 1.019
3rd racking: 1.016
4th racking: 1.033 (at 68F, I'm not sure why I got this reading..could be wrong)
yesterday when tasting a glass: 1.024

so there ya have it
Dan
 

jim_reaper1066

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I just put a batch of this on two days ago same as flyweed's version, only when i went to add everything to the primary i ran out of yeast nutrient at 3.5 tsp. I let it sit 24 hours then pitched the yeast and added 2 tsp more nutrient today. Also I didnt have any cheesecloth so for the first 24 hours i left the lid on the primary without snapping it down. I put some cheesecloth over it today, but will the initial lack of oxygen and nutrients hurt my mead?
 

Northerngal

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4 oz bottle of blueberry flavoring (no fermentables packed in alcohol)


Is this blueberry concentrate juice that I could get at a grocery store? Or something from a brewery supply? Thank you!!

Jenn (beginner!)
 

Matrix4b

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I have found that I have a good recipie too. I use 18 pounds of honey, 12 in primary, 6 in secondary. I use the same amount of blueberries but I do not use your 4 oz of flavoring. I do put in 1/2 cup of Lemon juice. That punches up the blueberry flavor a lot. I also find that when I put the blueberries in the secondary that campden tablets are not necessary. I do use Potassium Sorbate for the stabilizing prior to backsweetening though.

Matrix
 

Matrix4b

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Matrix,

Would you explain your back sweeten process? My wife and I want to make mead this weekend.

Thanks in advance.

Brent
Yes, first make the mead and get it at least into the secondary, when it is time to rack again for sediment rack into it 1 tablespoon (for 5 gal batch) of Potassium sorbate. Then wait 1-2 days. This is so that it can take effect and stop or at least drastically slow fermentation.

Mix 1/2 honey, 1/2 water the honey amount you want. with 6 pounds you are adding 1/2 gal of water and adding 1 gal of liquid total.

Then put that in your bucket or carboy that you are racking into, that self mixes it. Don't worry it will fog up again and need more time to settle.

That's it. Not complicated

Matrix
 

bnairuni87

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Thank you and I think I may have goofed up the recipe. I added 13 gallons of honey and all of the water, blueberries and rest of the ingredients at once.

Hopefully it will turn out a good batch of mead.
 

ostensibly

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Adding blueberries to primary will give it some complexity but not a lot of fresh blueberry flavor. You can add some more to secondary to punch up the fruitiness.
 

Matrix4b

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Thank you and I think I may have goofed up the recipe. I added 13 gallons of honey and all of the water, blueberries and rest of the ingredients at once.

Hopefully it will turn out a good batch of mead.
I hope that this is 13 pounds not gallons!
 
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