Vanilla Blueberry Mead?

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Ryan

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So this is what I am planning on doing this weekend unless someone tells me it is a bad idea.

4 gallon batch
13 pounds honey
yeast nutrient and energizer
Lavin EC-1118
Water to complete 4 gallons

I'll let this ferment out. Then I will rack it onto Potassium sorbate and camden tablets along with 8lbs of blueberries, another 2lbs of honey, and 2 vanilla beans (split and scraped of course). Let this age awhile. Then bottle it up.

Any reason this is a bad idea?
 

jezter6

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8oz of berries is probably going to impart very little flavor (IMHO) but hopefully someone who's done it before can advise on what they've seen as far as actual results.
 

jcobbs

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Bad, bad idea. It's way too cold where you live right now to ferment this properly. Pack it up immediately and bring it to AL where it will be properly taken care of, I assure you. Just leave it here and check back in a year or so. By then it should yield 1 or 2 bottles that you can take back with you--those kinds of wines lose an awful lot to racking... :D
 
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Ryan

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Ok so I have a question. I was doing some reading and a couple of places said that Potassium sorbate will lend a slight off flavor. Is this true? How noticeable is it? Would I be better off using a lower abv tolerance and just upping the amount of honey initially used and just hope that it finishes where I hope it will?

I also forgot to add that Pectic Enzyme will be added to this as well.
 

pulpfiction32

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I have never noticed any off flavors from Potassium sorbate. The pectin enzyme is to help extract juice from fruit. since your starting with a show mead you dont nead any
 

eulipion2

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I actually just put a blueberry mead into secondary yesterday (recipe here) that calls for 12 lb honey, 2 lb blueberries in primary, plus 1.5 lb honey, 8 lb blueberries in secondary, which is supposed to finish around 1.012, then is racked to tertiary and oaked. So far so good, but the 2 lb blueberries from primary didn't leave much flavor or color.
 
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Ryan

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I have never noticed any off flavors from Potassium sorbate. The pectin enzyme is to help extract juice from fruit. since your starting with a show mead you dont nead any
I thought the pectin enzyme was to prevent pectin haze? So since I am not adding blueberries to the primary, do I not need to add the pectin enzyme?



I also had another question. I was looking at some random recipes and saw that a lot of them called for a acid blend. Something about how the acid helps give the flavor a more pronounced flavor. Am I going to be really dissapointed a year or two down the line that I didn't add an acid blend or should I just do it so I am not regretting it down the road.
-Also, would adding a couple of limes or oranges be the same since I don't have any acid blend at home and the LHBS is closed on mondays?
 

jcobbs

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You can add acid blend to taste before bottling, or you could do the lime/orange thing. I have a gallon batch of blueberry-citrus in secondary that I made with frozen blueberries and a cup of ruby red grapefruit juice. Still aging but the tartness seemed about right when I tasted it. But no need to rush to the LHBS. Which way you go depends I guess on whether you want a citrus flavor along with the blueberries, or just a bit of acidity to balance the flavors you have.
 
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Ryan

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Ok just a little update.

I got this going last Wed. I ended up doing a 5 gallon batch with 16.5lbs of honey. OG was 1.122. It smelled fantastic.

So now I have to think about my schedule for racking and such. I think I'll go with this schedule:

Primary- 1 month or until fermentation is done (if longer then a month)
Secondary with blueberries and vanilla beans in 6 gallon carboy- 3 months?
Rack again (can't think of the name of this stage) to bulk age in 5 gallon carboy- 6 months?
Then bottle


Should I make my secondary a longer or shorter period? I want to extract as much flavor as I can from the blueberries and vanilla beans. Is there any disadvantage to leaving them in past the point of flavor extraction?

Also is there a problem with leaving the mead on the yeast for a month, or do I need to rack it off as soon as fermentation is complete?
 

Sirthomas42

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Heh, I made almost this exact recipe a few months ago on a whim when I thought I'd add vanilla to a blueberry mead I wanted to make. 17 lbs of honey and an OG of 1.122 :p I added 2 vanilla beans in primary and 2 beans in 4 months of secondary. I just racked it a 3rd time, added a little honey, and gave it a taste. Amazing! Probably bottle in a few months when I can drink again :)
 

Sirthomas42

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The wife and I bottled this last night. It's quite tasty, a little hot, with a strong vanilla taste. I might cut down on the vanilla a bit next time, but it's still good. Can't wait till it ages a little.
 
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