View Full Version : My next batch.....maybe

05-17-2009, 06:04 PM
So far, I have made 3 attempts (only 2 were successful) to make mead, and with the exception of my first disaster, I've been happy with the results. Now I want to try something a little different, but I am very unsure of how to do it, or if I should just stick to the plain honey/water/yeast only mixture.

As soon as payday gets here and I can order the mead nutrient that I like to use, I'm planning on making my next 5 gallons, only I'm considering cutting a gallon or 2 from it to experiment with.

At what point do you add fruits or other flavors to your mead? My plan was....start my 5 (or 6) gallons, letting it go through the first fermentation then siphoning off a gallon to use for a fruit additive when I rack into my secondary.

I have a mullberry bush in my yard and the berries are no where near being ripe yet, but I do have about 7 cups of frozen mullberries in my freezer. I have read that frozen fruit is better than fresh. Any comments on the pros and cons of fresh vs. frozen would be appreciated.

Next question would be how much to use for 1 gallon? or is this a trial and error type of thing?

Since I do not use any pesticides on this bush, but it is open to the elements, (bird poop, etc) what should be used to clean the fruit (not that you can use a brush to scrub the scum off of mullberries, you're liable to have mullberry mush if you do). And for that matter, does it need to be mashed up or pureed before I add to the mead?

I've also read the discussion about oak cask aging. I would like to try this, but I really don't have the space or money for oak casks. The online brew shop where I get the mead nutrient sells a heavy toasted oak spiral that I thought I might like to try. I assume you just drop the stick in the mead and let it do its thing until you're ready to add the clarifyer, is this the case? How do you sanitize something like that without destroying the flavors you are trying to get from it?

I've also wanted to try some vanille flavoring. Bean or extract? If bean, how many and do you grind it up (I have a morter and pestle just for that) If extract, I assume you would use the real thing instead of imitation flavoring.

Sorry to throw so many questions in at once, but I thought I'd probably get lost if I tried to separate them in different threads.

05-17-2009, 08:41 PM
Hi, T-Red! I'd encourage you to use the Search function for most of your questions, since we've already answered them in past postings. However, the one about when to add fruit seems to be a perennial favorite so I'll post my 'druthers here again.

Fruit included in Primary fermentation delivers a more complex, less "identifiable" set of flavors to your mead. Fruit added in secondary or in early aging will be much more "fruity," but that doesn't mean it is better. It depends entirely on the effect that you are after. I personally prefer most of my fruit to go in primary most of the time, and I'll add a little more to the secondary if I want to punch up the fruitiness a little once primary fermentation is over.

For the answers to your other questions, "Seek (or Search, in this case) and ye shall find!" ;D