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NAlford
09-19-2010, 04:40 PM
After several batches of JAOM, a Cyser, a traditional Orange Blossom and a Pyment I have started my first Melomel, following Ken Schram's recipe for 'Multi-berry Melomel' (for 5 gal). He says to use a large starter, so I followed the directions for preparing a starter (my first time doing this):

Boiled 6 c. water for five minutes with 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient, 1 tbsp dry malt. Added 1/2 c. honey. Cooled to 100 degrees and added one pkg of Montrachet yeast. Shook vigorously. Last night I had a bubble in the airlock every four seconds. Today its down to 1 every 15 seconds or so.

If I understand the process correctly, I will pour off most of the liquid and use the remainder (thick foam on the top and sediment in the bottom) as the starter for the mead. My first question is, how do I know when the starter is ready for use? Anything else I should know about this?

Then later, for the fruit, I plan to use a frozen multi-berry and cherry blend from Trader Joes. When I remove the fruit after 2-4 weeks do I squeeze out all the juice from the fruit?

Ken Schramm also suggests that this mead will benefit from aging in oak, so I have purchased some medium toast French oak chips. I'm not sure how much and for how long (again my first time with oak aging). 1/4 c. for a week or two?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Nicholas

fatbloke
09-19-2010, 07:05 PM
After several batches of JAOM, a Cyser, a traditional Orange Blossom and a Pyment I have started my first Melomel, following Ken Schram's recipe for 'Multi-berry Melomel' (for 5 gal). He says to use a large starter, so I followed the directions for preparing a starter (my first time doing this):

Boiled 6 c. water for five minutes with 1/4 tsp yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient, 1 tbsp dry malt. Added 1/2 c. honey. Cooled to 100 degrees and added one pkg of Montrachet yeast. Shook vigorously. Last night I had a bubble in the airlock every four seconds. Today its down to 1 every 15 seconds or so.

If I understand the process correctly, I will pour off most of the liquid and use the remainder (thick foam on the top and sediment in the bottom) as the starter for the mead. My first question is, how do I know when the starter is ready for use? Anything else I should know about this?
Hum? Well normally, once the starter is fermenting, then it's ready to go. I certainly wouldn't pour off most of the liquid, I'd just put the lot in...



Then later, for the fruit, I plan to use a frozen multi-berry and cherry blend from Trader Joes. When I remove the fruit after 2-4 weeks do I squeeze out all the juice from the fruit?
To squeeze or not to squeeze, well there are schools of thought on both accounts there. Me ? I don't wring the hell out of it, but if it's in a straining bag, I do just gently take up any slack in the cloth to remove most of the liquid. It's up to you, and re-read the recipe as they often state whether to squeeze the cloth or not.....


Ken Schramm also suggests that this mead will benefit from aging in oak, so I have purchased some medium toast French oak chips. I'm not sure how much and for how long (again my first time with oak aging). 1/4 c. for a week or two?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Nicholas
How much Oak ? and for how long ? Does Ken quote whether he used chips/cubes or a barrel ? If not, then once the mel is clear, then I'd take a little taste, then add the whole pack and leave it for a fortnight. Then take another taste.

Once the taste is to your liking I'd remove the oak and then just let it age on it's own.

During the first fortnight, have a good search of the forums as I've seen this sort of Q asked before...... with varying answers....

regards

fatbloke

AToE
09-19-2010, 07:37 PM
If you use chips I wouldn't wait 2 weeks before tasting, I would start tasting after say 5 days and taste every day or two after that. Cubes infuse fast enough as is, chips supposedly are like greased lightning.

Chevette Girl
09-19-2010, 09:35 PM
Heh, yeah. beware of the oak-bomb... I made one recently, 1 packet of oak chips in 3 gallons of wine for 2 weeks was a bit much. Should have started tasting it much earlier!

If you're worried about over-oaking (and aren't in a hurry!) start with half of what you think you need and if it's not enough after a couple weeks, add a little more...

AToE
09-19-2010, 10:15 PM
Yup, you can always add more, can't take it out once it's in there.