Strawberry Melomel

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Ace_Club

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Started out last Sunday with this recipe:

(5 gal)
15# clover honey
8# diced strawberries (frozen and thawed)
Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Engergizer
2 packets of 71B-1122

OG: 1.120

Checked today while I was kegging my Sour Cherry Wheat, and this had fermented down to 0.998 in 8 days. :eek:

Looks like I'll be transferring to the secondary (and 4 more pounds of diced strawberries) this weekend, which is a little sooner than I originally thought.
 

vNmd

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Subscribed because I have a strawberry melomel going as well. I didn't use as much berries and am planning on backsweetning. What are the berries going to do for you at this point since you are already at 0.998? Will it be just forvouring (backsweetning) or will it ferment more with sugars? From 1.120 to 0.998 your 71B-1122 looks like it is at its upper limit.
 
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Ace_Club

Ace_Club

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Subscribed because I have a strawberry melomel going as well. I didn't use as much berries and am planning on backsweetning. What are the berries going to do for you at this point since you are already at 0.998? Will it be just forvouring (backsweetning) or will it ferment more with sugars? From 1.120 to 0.998 your 71B-1122 looks like it is at its upper limit.
At 16% abv, I'm only expecting some flavoring and color additions at this point with the secondary addition of the strawberries. That, and some residual sweetness.
 
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Ace_Club

Ace_Club

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Racked this onto the 4# of additional strawberries tonight. Some pics.

Transferring:

image-558173123.jpg

The old strawberries, devoid of all their berry goodness.

image-2677190066.jpg

The new strawberries, ready to sacrifice their berry goodness for the benefit of the mead.

image-3447417170.jpg

Transfer complete.

image-464159714.jpg
 

vNmd

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Thanks for the pics and continuing info. What did you do to the berries prior to xferring the mead to them? I assume froze them for a while to kill any creepy crawlies. Potassium sorbate, campdem (on the berries or mead before xfer) or is it still fermenting?
 
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Ace_Club

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vNmd said:
Thanks for the pics and continuing info. What did you do to the berries prior to xferring the mead to them? I assume froze them for a while to kill any creepy crawlies. Potassium sorbate, campdem (on the berries or mead before xfer) or is it still fermenting?
Just frozen and thawed.
 

Matrix4b

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I have done 3 strawberries so far. I recomend that you put the berries in a mesh back. Easier to get out and you can strain the pulp to get a better yeild. Those things are like sponges.

First one I did was a fruit in primary situation. It exploded the yeast was so active and it went up to about 18% on D47.

Second one is aging right now. It turned out very well. Needs a little more aging. The fruit was on the secondary and I used Orange Blossom honey. This one is going to be great but aging is going to take a year.

Third one is in the carboy, racked off the berries and onto 2.5 pounds of Rhubarb. And also a teaspoon of Allspice. This one is going to be a very good one.

Yours looks great. The fruit should be in the secondary. Smart choice to hold back 4 pounds for the secondary. Get better flavor that way. I also recomend that you oak this with light toast oak, 1 oz chips or cubes for 3-4 weeks should be good. The oak will smooth it out greatly. But it wont contruibute too much flavorwise as the light toast oak has a fruity character so it should blend in and you get a nice smooth brew that ages better.

But over all, looks nice, much like my others have gone.

Matrix
 

vNmd

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How long do you leave the berries (backsweetening) in? Mine are floating right now and are losing their colour. Leave them until they fall and it clears again or a certain amount of time?
 

Matrix4b

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How long do you leave the berries (backsweetening) in? Mine are floating right now and are losing their colour. Leave them until they fall and it clears again or a certain amount of time?
Shouldn't need more than 2-3 weeks on the berries. I sometimes get lazy and go a month, to no ill effect. The thing to remember is that your primary is prob about 10% if not over that on %ABV. That's enough to act as an extractor to the flavor. also a touch of pectic enzyme helps too. If you started with frozen/thawed strawberries and their juice then you should be fine.

I would still oak it for 1 week with an ounce of light toasted oak, then wait atleast 8 months after bottling it to crack it open.

Matrix
 

vNmd

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Thanks. I don't think ABV is going to be a problem with this stuff. I have known I needed to backsweeten things for a while, but this is the first. I think I have got good info about best practices. As with the mead itself - time will tell.
 

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