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"Just Blueberry" Mead.

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spafmagic

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I just relatively started a new brew. Rather simple... 3 quarts RW Knudsen blueberry juice, with enough Wildflower honey straight from my beehive to bring the starting gravity to 1.120. And Lalvin 71b yeast.

Has anybody done something similar? And how did it turn out?

 

i_mead_it_myself

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I bottled a 1-gallon batch 9/30/20. Basically the same recipe - Trader Joe's Blueberry Juice, 2 lb 5 oz Safeway Orange Blossom honey, D-47, and using TOSNA 3.0 nutrient protocol with Fermaid-O, except used twice the correct amount of yeast by mistake. Finished at 1.008 and 15% ABV. It was a little too tart so I backsweetened by adding 30 g of sugar. It's delicious. I'm halfway through my next-to-last bottle.
 

Dan O

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I just bought 2 bottles of RW Knudsen blueberry juice to make a 1 gallon batch, & have 6 lbs of frozen blueberries in my freezer. I will be starting my batch this weekend based off of both of these recipes, plus lemon, using TONSA 3.0. I have a lot of 71B to use up, so, that will be my yeast of choice, which I will do a small starter with GoFerm, as well as a surplus of wildflower honey that needs to be used. I will be putting 2 lbs of blueberries in primary, in a brew bag, the the other 4 lbs will go into secondary, also in a brew bag, for 8-10 days, along with lemon zest & a little bit of the juice. I know from past experience working with blueberries & lemon, that the lemon enhances the blueberry flavor, then it will get racked for bulk aging & clearing. This will be my first batch of mead using blueberries, I can't wait to see it in a glass!🍷
Hope it works!🤞
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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...along with lemon zest & a little bit of the juice. I know from past experience working with blueberries & lemon, that the lemon enhances the blueberry flavor...
Depending on how it tastes after primary, I may just put some lemon zest in the brew after I rack it off the lease. :)
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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Been away from the brew for a while, on work assignment. Just had a chance to check on it and take a reading. There was positive pressure but no more airflow activity. The reading was at 1.048 which came to 9.74% abv. Odd, as 71b is supposed to have a 14% tolerance.

I degassed it a bit, so, hopefully that would help it get going again... if the yeast is not "done."

Taste test (before degassing) was fair. I like tart and sweet, and it was that indeed. Though I had hoped it would go stronger in ABV.
 

CKuhns

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Sounds like you stalled out....

Some yeasts will stall if not enough nutrients or your pH tanked. (Too late for nutrients now your yeast would not be able to take them up after about 9%)

Couple of tricks to get it going you could try
- Stir it to suspend the yeast in the lees a couple of times a day. (I assume you did when "degassing".)
- Warm it up 5 Deg F or so
- Check the pH and adjust up to 3.5 or so using potassium carbonate (Might be hard to do with a test strip and with the blueberry color)

If none of that works
- Start another pack of 71b in a honey and water for 2 days then pitch it. (Makes a TON of yeasts)
OR
- Start a pack of Lalvin EC1118 in honey and water for 2 days then pitch it. (Makes a TON of yeasts AND has a very high alcohol tolerance - It will go bone dry and will not be sweet)

Good luck - Let us know if it comes around.
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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...Let us know if it comes around.
If I remember to do so, I will. Unfortunately for checking on the brew... I'm still on assignment , and may not be able to get to it for 2 weeks. If it doesn't go any further by then, I can live with 9.74%
 

videojunkie1208

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I made a blueberry mead over the summer. I should have racked it off the berries at 10 days or so right after primary fermentation finished, instead I left it on the berries for another 2 weeks. It went from a fantastic port flavor profile to a very good shiraz flavor profile from picking up the tannins in the skins.

I am the only one who knows what it could have been, everyone else who tries it absolutely goes bonkers over it as one of their favorite meads. It was 32 lbs of blueberries and 12lbs of honey in a 5 gallon batch. using D47.
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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So, from my last post, it dropped only two points, for a gravity of 1.046. Final ABV calculation is 9.71%
It definitely tastes like wine lol! The tartness of the juice and taste of the alcohol balance the sweetness.
 

videojunkie1208

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So, from my last post, it dropped only two points, for a gravity of 1.046. Final ABV calculation is 9.71%
It definitely tastes like wine lol! The tartness of the juice and taste of the alcohol balance the sweetness.
I've never used 71B, but that is surprisingly lite attenuation. you have another 46 pts of sugar in there. (And mine went straight to .995 with D47). I would be careful with bottles of this without stabilizing it, as you could wind up with bottle bombs.

What kind of temperatures are you maintaining? I usually ferment between 65-68*F
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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I've never used 71B, but that is surprisingly lite attenuation. you have another 46 pts of sugar in there. (And mine went straight to .995 with D47). I would be careful with bottles of this without stabilizing it, as you could wind up with bottle bombs.

What kind of temperatures are you maintaining? I usually ferment between 65-68*F
CKuhns touched on that yeast nutrients could make a difference. I kept it basic. Just juice, honey, and yeast. So it more than likely just stalled. I'm okay with it having stalled at 9.71% it actually tastes really good. My house usually stays between 68 and 72 Fahrenheit. So that's the temperature it would have been fermenting at.
 

CKuhns

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Be careful if your going to bottle it. Yeast may have stalled but aren't dead and could restart. With that much residual sugar and no chemicals or pasteurization to inhibit or kill the yeast you could build enough pressure to explode your bottles. Swing tops and refrigerate would help.
 
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spafmagic

spafmagic

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Be careful if your going to bottle it...
Got'cha... I've been checking the bottles for pressure since then actually. BARELY a soft fizz was heared in a couple of them. I degassed ir before bottling as well.
 

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