Juice vs. Fruit Melomel

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BWRIGHT

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I'm starting to get my feet wet with some different melomels and I'm wondering about using mostly juice and honey vs. water and a larger amount of fruit. My first melomel is only a month old so I can't say how it's turned out but I used 18 lbs of strawberries in the primary and 5 lbs in the secondary. Obviously, I'm shooting for a pronounced fruit flavor but couldn't this be achieved more cheaply by using fruit juice in place of some of the water? I figure in a 5g batch, instead of using all water and a ton of fruit I could use say 3 gallons of juice, maybe only 8-10 of fruit and then top off with water in the secondary. That would be cheaper and easier in my mind. Also, most juices seem to have either citric acid and or fumaric acid. Fumaric acid seems to be a yeast inhibitor in larger doses but who knows how much is in a particular juice. I'm really not sure if citric acid is an inhibitor or not. I'm aware ascorbic acid is fine as in almost all of the apple juice I use.
 

Arpolis

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I have done two white grape peach wines, one that had fresh peaches and white grape juice and the other was all white grape peach frozen concentrate. You know the one that was pure concentrate was less of a pain and I think it turned out better then the one with juice plus fresh fruit.

take that with a grain of salt. That was my only test of deifferent methodes while keeping the same flavors. So who knows what the difference would be if you went apple or strawberry. not sure if juice or fruit would be better.
 

saramc

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Choosing to use water in your must is completely optional. Some fruits, like blackberry or black currant, are cut with water to help balance the acidity; though many do make these as no water added meads too & adjust the acidity in otherways. 100% juice wines or combo of 100% juice + fruit are also made. It all boils down to what works for you.

In regard to the ascorbic/fumaric/citric acids you may see on labels, those doses are typically never an issue when it comes down to fermenting with a wine yeast.

I wanted to make sure I read your post correctly. Are you saying you used 5 gallons of water and then added 18# berries with another 5# in secondary? What was your initial yield from the 18# of fruit in primary?
 
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BWRIGHT

BWRIGHT

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No I only initially added 3 gallons of water. The water released from the strawberries put the volume around 4.25 gallons after fermentation was complete. I racked to a 5 gallon carboy and added 5 more lbs of strawberries which filled it up to the neck of the carboy. Once I rack again off the strawberries, I plan to top it off with more spring water. Probably around 3/4 of a gallon.
 

paraordnance

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I only make melomels since I like fruit beverages compare to plain traditional mead. I like the spectrum of colors that fruit or berry melomels provide. When I started making melomels few years ago I mostly used juice since it was readily available and no mess solution. I made cherry, blueberry, apple/pear, pomegranate, and grape melomels until I realized that juices are no match for real fruit in terms of flavor (unless you have access to freshly pressed juice). Now I only make what available to me in real fruit or berries. Preferably the ones I picked myself. The difference in flavor and aroma is staggering. Juices will get you started in right direction and its super easy and cheap. But will they make best mead? Probably not.
 
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