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View Full Version : How much Fruit to add to Mead



knowlesbrew
02-15-2009, 10:26 AM
I would like to make a Blueberry Mead. My recipe is below. I have a 96 oz can of Vintners Harvest reserve blueberries. Would this be a suitable amount to flavor a five gallon batch?


Five gallon batch
12 lbs of Orange blossom honey
2 tsp of Yeast nutrient
2 tsp of energizer
1 tsp of Yeast Nutrient/energizer at 1/3 break
Lavin ec 1118
OG- 1.09

the batch is in the primary an has pretty much fermented out. I plan to rack it into a bucket with the blueberries. I was just wondering if I should add more than this amount?
After I rack it with the fruit I plan to leave it for two weeks then move it to a corny keg to bulk age until November or so.

capoeirista13
02-15-2009, 04:18 PM
My first mead was a blueberry mead, I made it with 2 lbs, which wasn't nearly enough. It seems like 10 lbs is the way to go when hoping to get a lot of a certain fruit flavor.

EverGreenman
02-15-2009, 04:34 PM
It depends on the fruit though. When I make blackberry meads and wines I'll only use a couple pounds and it's more than enough. Blueberries are different though not nearly as kaboom! flavorful. Expensive little buggers too I almost got some at the co-op today but the organic mango bits were a third the price so I got a pound of them instead for a gallon of mango mead.

bordeaaj
02-15-2009, 09:10 PM
According to Ken Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker it depends on the amount of fruit character you're looking for. He offers the following suggested fruit additions as a guide:

For Blueberries in 5 Gallons of Mead
Mild Fruit Character = 5 to 7 pounds in secondary
Medium Fruit Character = 7 to 10 pounds in secondary
Stronger Fruit Character = 11 pounds or more in secondary (many of the berry mead recipes from this forum easily double that amount of fruit and more)

Hope that helps!

dogglebe
02-16-2009, 03:25 PM
Whenever I make a fruit melomel, I tend to over-fruit the batch. It's easier to add more honey at the end, to balance the batch, than to add more fruit.


Phil

Kee
02-16-2009, 06:01 PM
I disagree with dogglebe. It isn't that hard to add more fruit later. You just need to plan a little so you don't oxygenate the mead.

Knowlesbrew, 92 oz is a little light for 5g, but go ahead and give it a whirl. If you want more blueberry after a week or two, rack onto another can and bucket. Keep going until you like the flavor. You're not really changing much since you're bulk again for the year anyway.

capoeirista13
02-16-2009, 06:27 PM
If you have a carboy w/ a narrow neck, it is hard to add fruit later on, if not it is no problem.

knowlesbrew
02-16-2009, 06:43 PM
Yeah, its in a carboy at the moment, but i am going to rack it to a bucket with the fruit. If the one can isnt enough I was planning on using the flavoring extracts that Midwestsupplies.com sells to give it a little more blueberry flavor. I will probably do that after I age it.

Odinsson
02-16-2009, 07:03 PM
According to Ken Schramm's The Compleat Meadmaker it depends on the amount of fruit character you're looking for. He offers the following suggested fruit additions as a guide:

For Blueberries in 5 Gallons of Mead
Mild Fruit Character = 5 to 7 pounds in secondary
Medium Fruit Character = 7 to 10 pounds in secondary
Stronger Fruit Character = 11 pounds or more in secondary (many of the berry mead recipes from this forum easily double that amount of fruit and more)

Hope that helps!

I know this is a thread specific to blueberries but could someone who is experienced with Melomels make a sticky thread for a guideline on how much fruit should be added to secondary for a desired taste in a 5 gallon batch?

Oskaar
02-16-2009, 09:07 PM
I know this is a thread specific to blueberries but could someone who is experienced with Melomels make a sticky thread for a guideline on how much fruit should be added to secondary for a desired taste in a 5 gallon batch?

That's a pretty tall order Odinsson. Ken's book has a good guidline if you're going to add fruit to the secondary, but, there are a lot of folks like me that will add fruit to the primary and sometimes the secondary as well. I prefer the integration of flavors when the fruit, juice, skins, seeds, etc. are mixed with the honey in the must and fermented. Adding the fruit in the secondary is a great way to keep the flavor of the actual fruit and over time it will integrate and develop it's own character as it oxidizes with age.

Both ways produce excellent meads, so it's tough because you'd have to break down what people's tastes are, and then figure from you're own experience with local fruit, out of state fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, canned fruit, fruit juice, etc. So to me it makes more sense to ask the person what they want to make and what they desire in the end product and then kind of dial in the recipe.

Do you have a mead in mind?

Odinsson
02-16-2009, 10:14 PM
I am working on a 3g Raspberry. I was planning on doing a puree in the primary and seeing where that left me at secondary. The brewshop sells a raspberry puree and I can find frozen raspberries all over town but the fresh ones are outragously expensive right now and idk how they will go down during raspberry season.

knowlesbrew
02-16-2009, 11:06 PM
Yeah where I live I know tons of people that grow blackberries, I am planning on taking advantage of that and go crazy on the Blackberry Mead

bordeaaj
02-17-2009, 01:11 AM
Ken's book has a good guidline if you're going to add fruit to the secondary, but, there are a lot of folks like me that will add fruit to the primary and sometimes the secondary as well.

To make things even more confusing, although in his book Ken recommends adding fruit to secondary, I have heard or read somewhere (probably here) that he now prefers fruit additions toward the end of primary as well.

Seems like it would be easy enough to sticky the suggestions from Ken's book with the understanding that since fruit character preferences vary wildly they are just basic guidelines, are not to be taken as hard and fast rules, and that there are variations of these techniques available for those who are interested.

Oskaar
02-17-2009, 02:48 AM
Sounds to me like you just volunteered :), welcome to the Got Mead Volunteer Corps!

EverGreenman
02-17-2009, 10:25 PM
Yeah where I live I know tons of people that grow blackberries, I am planning on taking advantage of that and go crazy on the Blackberry Mead

Knowlesbrew do you live in the northwest too? Blackberries blackberries and more blackberries!!! (and blackberry honey!) Ever read any of Tom Robbins' work? He's got a nice little digression manifesto thing in Still Life With Woodpecker about how Seattle should just give in and let the blackberries grow over everything and become the blackberry capitol of the WORLD!

bordeaaj
02-18-2009, 12:33 AM
Sounds to me like you just volunteered :), welcome to the Got Mead Volunteer Corps!

LOL...should have kept my fingers off the keyboard :). Well, I guess I could start a new post with the suggestions from the book if you're serious (if that's the best way to do it).

Oskaar
02-18-2009, 12:46 AM
LOL...should have kept my fingers off the keyboard :). Well, I guess I could start a new post with the suggestions from the book if you're serious (if that's the best way to do it).

Dude,

I'm serious as a heart attack!

Please be sure to include a bibliography at the end of your post so that proper credit to Ken and the Publisher, along with recognition of the Copyright is observed.

If you want a template for the bibliography PM me and I'll give you the standard format used for publications and abstracts, which are what I use when I quote from copyrighted sources.

Cheers, and I thank you for your willingness to take this on! Oskaar

bordeaaj
02-18-2009, 11:43 PM
Completed and ready to post...just need the bibliography template and which area of the forum you prefer it posted in! :)

bordeaaj
02-25-2009, 01:45 AM
This post has been placed on hold pending permission to publish here on Got Mead?

Apologies for misunderstandings.

Pete Bakulic

Oskaar
02-25-2009, 02:57 AM
It looks fantastic! Nicely done dude!

Let me think about where to put this. Your call do you want it in the public area, or would you rather it stay in the Patron's area?

bordeaaj
02-25-2009, 05:45 AM
It looks fantastic! Nicely done dude!

Let me think about where to put this. Your call do you want it in the public area, or would you rather it stay in the Patron's area?

Might as well benefit everyone and make it public...I suppose it's mostly for us newbies anyway.

dogglebe
02-25-2009, 08:30 AM
[QUOTE=Kee;119686]I disagree with dogglebe. It isn't that hard to add more fruit later. You just need to plan a little so you don't oxygenate the mead.[QUOTE]

I just noticed that someone disagreed with me on this; I don't like it when people disagree with me. It infuriates me. Next thing you know, I kill a dozen people.

It is harder to add more fruit at the end than honey. With honey, dissolve some in a little warm water and add to taste (after you've sorbated the batch). After adding fruit, you need to wait, once again, for the batch to clear. And it's a little harder to add fruit to taste as the flavor isn't all in the batch as soon as you add it; it needs to be drawn from the fruit.


Phil

knowlesbrew
02-25-2009, 01:38 PM
Very nice. Sorry if this is a dumb question but where would blackberris fall on this list?"

STLBrewer
02-25-2009, 02:22 PM
I would be inclined to think they would be in a similar situation as Raspberries...

ndbrewlady
02-25-2009, 06:25 PM
When adding fruit in the primary you have to punch down the cap to allow air in, control the heat and probably other issues I didn't state. But when you add the fruit to the secondary do you just leave it alone? ???

When I added fruit to my basic mead, it started fermenting again, I had to "gently" shake the bottle every day to keep the fruit from plugging up the nose of the bottle.

Kee
02-25-2009, 06:35 PM
I just noticed that someone disagreed with me on this; I don't like it when people disagree with me. It infuriates me. Next thing you know, I kill a dozen people.

Well, if you kill a dozen people, it will discredit you and I will RULE THIS THREAD by default!! Mowahahaha!!

Medsen Fey
02-25-2009, 08:38 PM
How does this look?


Absolutely terrific!

I guess I have to ask, with the combined wisdom of the folks around here, dare we propose some other fruits to add to Ken's list?

For example -

Mango
Mild Fruit Character = 3-6 lbs in secondary = 0.6-1.2 lbs/gal = 72-144 g/L
Medium Fruit Character = 8-12 lbs in secondary = 1.6-2.4 lbs/gal = 192-287 g/L
Stronger Fruit Character = 15 lbs or more in secondary = 3 lbs/gal or more = 359 g/L or more


Pete? Ken? Anyone else have a better idea for mango?
What other fruits should be added?

Medsen

P.S. Thank heaven for google conversions. :angel7:

bordeaaj
02-25-2009, 10:42 PM
Mango
Mild Fruit Character = 3-6 lbs in secondary = 0.6-1.2 lbs/gal = 72-144 g/L
Medium Fruit Character = 8-12 lbs in secondary = 1.6-2.4 lbs/gal = 192-287 g/L
Stronger Fruit Character = 15 lbs or more in secondary = 3 lbs/gal or more = 359 g/L or more


I think further additions to the list by meadmakers experienced with different fruits would be a great resource. Some fruits can be reasonably extrapolated from or between similar fruits already on the chart depending on flavor intensity of the fruit...such as with the previous suggestion that blackberries follow the recommendations for raspberries. If most agree blackberries and raspberries have reasonably comparable flavor intensities just copy the Raspberry suggestions, paste it to the appropriate place on the chart and change the title to Blackberries. We can always insert any general technical information as well, ie:

1) The quality of your mead will depend directly on the quality of the fruit you use. Whenever possible, use the best quality fruit you can get your hands on. Also, in general, a blend of different varietals of a particular fruit will result in a much more complex and satisfying end product. For example, in a cherry mead you may blend different types of cherries to to make the best mead...one type for color, another for flavor intensity, and a third for acidity. Sometimes a small amount of a completely different type of fruit may be used to add depth.

2) Pureed and/or freezing fruit ruptures cell walls and releases flavor into the mead more completely.

3) Covered, open containers are preferred for secondary fruit additions in case the sugars in the fruit restart fermentation. If a carboy must be used make sure there is a couple gallons of headspace to avoid clogged carboy openings and the distinct possibility of a horribly unforgettable (and even dangerous) mead eruption.

4) Cap Management tips

Feel free to modify to your hearts content. :)


What other fruits should be added?

My suggestions:

Kiwis have always interested me...though I'm not sure how good they would be in a mead. They are always being compared to strawberries in the literature so they could probably use the Strawberry suggestions.

Apricots would a be good addition too, they are often used in place of peaches in craft brewing fruit beers as they give a stronger perception of peach flavor than do peaches themselves. Might be similar effects in mead.

Cranberries since they are mentioned in the intro as intensely flavored fruit.

Huckleberries...are they significantly different from blueberries?

Black Raspberries...are they mellower and less acidic than red raspberries?

Pomegranate

The Tropicals
Bananas...sounds weird but I had a banana lambic that was awesome.
Pineapple
Guava
Papaya
Passionfruit

The Ancient
Dates
Figs
Raisins

STLBrewer
02-25-2009, 11:18 PM
Bananas...sounds weird but I had a banana lambic that was awesome.

Saw online somewhere (while bored at work ;)) a recipe for a Spiced Banana Mead...looked oddly interesting!!

Oskaar
02-26-2009, 01:35 AM
I'm going to have to check with Ken on this. I skimmed right past the fact that this is directly from Ken's book (I don't use secondary additions to make most of my melomels so I haven't really hit that section of Ken's book very hard) and is copyrighted material so we need to get Ken's permission in order to post this in a public forum. That doesn't mean however that we can't continue to compile listings of fruits that are not on his list and publish those.

I'm going to take the post down for now until I hear back from Ken.

Sorry for this folks, I'm very busy right now and all I saw was that someone was taking the onus to document fruit additions to the secondary and didn't internalize that this was straight from Ken's book.