Blueberry Melomel

Discussion in 'Coffee, Kombucha & Mead Forum' started by Ajhutch, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Mar 1, 2017 #21

    BeerCat

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    Had some mead finish at 1040 about 16.5% which I would describe as desert wine. It is really lovely though especially after 18 months in the bottle. I did. blackberry melomel with 500g of boiled and sieved berries and 500g at end of fermentation. Came out really good. I don't stop the fermentation as found it a pita. I backsweeten at the end if it needs it. Think I will try the blueberry. Looks awesome. Cheers
     
  2. Apr 10, 2017 #22

    Ajhutch

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    [​IMG]

    Bottled. Nice and clear, gravity and time only. Smells lovely, sweet from the blueberries. The taste is a little hot, it's more a small glass spirit substitute than a wine even at the alcohol level. I'm going to let it rest in the bottle for a while to see if it mellows out and will be open to backsweetening at a later date.


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  3. May 8, 2017 #23

    Gee117

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    The blueberrie mead I have made looks the same [​IMG]

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  4. May 8, 2017 #24

    Ajhutch

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    Hope it tastes better than mine! This week is one month post bottling so I'm going to taste it and start backsweetening if I still don't like it
     
  5. May 9, 2017 #25

    Fin420

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    Did you notice any effect from staggering the nutrient addition? I've read about this in mead recipes but never tried it myself.
     
  6. May 9, 2017 #26

    Gee117

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    Im on to my 3rd bottle right now it tastes really good for being 3 weeks aged.

    I backsweetend in the bottle.

    My recipe was :

    1.2kgs blueberry
    300g raspberries
    3lbs roses honey
    Yeast nutrition 1 tbsp
    1/2 tblsp citric acid

    Progress
    Added fruit to bowl and added some baby fluid steriliser rinsed fruit and blended (wouldn't recommend this I would crush it next time )

    And added to Demijohn 1 gallon
    Added honey to pot and some Water heated till sterilised and added to Demijohn

    Added water to fill it up and added yeast nutrition pitched yeast left for 1 week (didn't stir) and changed to different Demijohn and toped up with water and added citric acid.

    Left for 2 weeks then bottled..


    Any experienced mead maker can give me advice would be welcome!?
     
  7. May 9, 2017 #27

    Ajhutch

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    I've only done two meads and have done staggered nutrients in both and have had decent fermentations. I did this melomel entirely in the DJ (see post 1) and I struggled to stir with any vigour early on. I'm thinking this might explain my harsh alcohol taste if the yeast was stressed early on.


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  8. May 9, 2017 #28

    Ajhutch

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    My recipe was pretty similar to yours. What level did you backsweeten to?


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  9. May 9, 2017 #29

    Gee117

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    Two teaspoons per bottle

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  10. May 19, 2017 #30

    Ajhutch

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    I thought I'd wrap up this thread after some more research I've done and actions taken off the back of it.

    I was quite concerned that I had fusel alcohols in this melomel so started to research if there was anything I could do about it. I came across this thread which suggested an idea from the wine making world for testing whether you have flavours that will age out or not. Essentially you shake a small sample in a jar and if it tastes 'better' than the original then age will help. Presumably this simulates the oxidative effect of aging. I and my wife both thought there as a difference. Source: original post in this thread:

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=320593

    I also found a thread which got very scientific very quickly but was basically saying that in beer, higher alcohols break down into esters over time as a result of chemical reactions with other compounds in the beer. Source: a few posts down in this thread.

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=268689

    Obviously I don't have esters available to break down the alcohols but I decided to see if adding any chemical compound, namely honey, would do anything.

    And of course there is the thing that everyone says about higher alcohols: leave it and wait.

    So, actions:
    1. Draw off 10ml of melomel from each bottle with a syringe
    2. Shake the heck out of the bottle for a minute, open, reseal and shake again. (I'm using swing tops by the way)
    3. Backsweeten to my planned level
    4. Put them away and forget about them for a minimum 6 months. I have two smaller bottles from which I'll take occasional samples.

    Lessons learned for next time:
    - I don't think I cared enough for my yeast health during fermentation. Temperature wasn't an issue but with blueberries floating on top in the DJ it's possible that CO2 couldn't escape well enough even though I agitated the DJ frequently. Next time I will use a bucket until fermentation is largely complete then rack to DJ to condition.
    - next time I won't add my fruit immediately, I think I will try to ferment out the mead somewhat then add the fruit. I don't know that this is necessarily a cause of my bad fermentation but it does strike me that letting the yeast do the easy work (fruit sugar) first and leave the hard work (honey) until later probably isn't optimal.
    - next time I'll try bulk aging in DJ after racking off the fruit

    A long post for which I apologise but I thought it was useful to go through my thought processes and see what others think. All in all a somewhat disappointing outcome but I still may have a drinkable melomel by Christmas and if not then I'll do better next time.


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    Last edited: May 19, 2017

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