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Is this a wise move?

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Pflanz

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Getting back into the Mead Making, but considering using pure grape/cherry juice (no preservatives) along with 3 lbs of honey per gallon. Will this turn out too sweet? What yeast would you recommend? Not sure what it is called when you use fruit juices instead of water.

I will be sure to get a starting gravity. I am not looking for a very high alcohol content, even though I think it could end that way with the right yeast.

Any thoughts?

Actually the base liquid will be a combination of water and juice and honey and yeast
 

Arpolis

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It all depends on what you want. If you don't want a high ABV then start with less honey. Measure gravity and step feed honey until you get to the desired abv. Let the mead clear, stabilize with Camden and Sorbate, wait 24 hours, then add honey to desired sweetness.

Putting in 3lb of honey in with pure juice will result in a 14%+ ABV. Unless a yeast stalls or you use one with a low ABV limit. But those will go from 9% - 12% reliably. London ESB-1968 is a yeast I have used that only goes to 9.5% ABV but with step feeding nutrients and honey I have pushed it to even 12% before it hit its limit.

Let me know your goals and I can help more specifically. Do you want a sweet end product or dry? Something in the more beer like ABV range 4-6%,10% or more? Do you want more honey character or fruit character?
 
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Pflanz

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I have about 10 previous batches of traditional mead or JOAM.
I am not looking for something quite as low as a beer, but the 11-12% is probably a good figure. All of my previous tries ended up in that range.

I would like a slightly sweet product, but not a dessert wine. And perhaps these tries should be more fruity, since I am starting off with juices.

After these tries, I will probably attempt a melomel next. Figured I would use the juices before go to fruit in the secondary
 

fuelish

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I've found with my melomels, even fermented dry, the fruit flavor kinda tricks the mind into tasting "sweet" even though the FG is like 0.996.....strange. Lately, have been making low abv melomels (hydro-melomels?)... (sparkling in the end) using maybe 6 lbs of clover honey with X amount of juice and X amount of fruit...depends on what I'm using, fruit/juice-wise. My wife loves most of them, so I save the high abv and/or wierd experiments for me :)
 

Arpolis

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ok cool

with a abv that low you are looking to use much less honey. I would suggest a loose first time recipe like this:

1 lb honey
1 gallon juice of choice
1.5 tsp yest nutrients split over 3 additions. (yeast pitch, day 2, day 5)
yeast: Lalvin 71b-1112

ferment in a 2 gallon pale first. volume with honey should be a little over a gallon. original gravity should be around 1.94. should give an abv around 12.5-13.5% depending on ending gravity. rehydrate yeast per package directions and pitch with first .5 tsp addition of yeast nutrients. follow staggered nutrient additions as above measuring gravity at each addition. after that check gravity every 3-4 days until the gravity stalls and stops dropping in between two gravity checks. should be at 1.00-0.990. then wait an additional 4-5 days to let most of the yeast settle. then siphon into a carboy adding 1 crushed camden tablet and .5 tsp potassium sorbate. let sit until super clear. placing carboy in a fridge speeds this up considerably. once clear siphon back into pale and sweeten with one 11.5oz can lf welches frozen juice concentrate for more fruit flavor or honey to a gravity of 1.010 for more honey character. bottle and let age for as long as you can stand it.
 
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