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Mikeymu
08-07-2012, 03:31 PM
I used the following recipe for 1 gallon:

2.5 lbs (frozen then thawed and crushed) raspberries
4 lbs clover honey
yeast
2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp citric acid crystals
topped up to 1 gallon with water

Everything but the fruit was started off in a demijohn (or 'carboy') and once the fermentation slowed down significantly, the mead was siphoned off the lees and onto the fruit in a bucket fermenter. After a week it was racked again off the fruit into a demijohn to clear.

It's fermenting well and I intend to rack it again once I get my hands on a jelly bag (there's still some fruit in the lees) but was rather acidic when I sampled at the last racking. I wondered if I could either a) blend with a plain mead or b) use chalk precipitate to take the acidity down a little and hopefully get a better balance between the fruit and honey flavours.

Your help appreciated in this, my first post!

Yo momma
08-07-2012, 06:39 PM
The recipe looks sound. One thing I want to ask is, why the acid up front. Raspberries have plenty of acid on there own. I brew then add acid at the end for taste. Just a thought.

Using chalk to bring it into balance can leave a funny taste IMHO. I do belive most brewers here us potassium carbinate to balance the ph. Do a search on that and I believe you will bring up a post by Oscaar explaining it completely. :)

Chevette Girl
08-07-2012, 11:16 PM
Likely it's converted from a wine recipe or it's just an old recipe, only Gotmeaders seem to know that there's acid in honey, everyone else's recipes add acidity to fruit wines to approximate a grape must, not realizing that honey has its own acidity to contribute.

What concerns me more is that there's 4 lbs honey in a gallon total volume, that's more potent that I'd start a wine or mel off at and it'll probably finish pretty sweet. Oh wait, that'd be a bigger gallon than you silly Americans use... 1.120, not so bad after all. ;D

And Mikeymu, welcome to the forum! What kind of yeast did you use?

Mikeymu
08-08-2012, 03:23 AM
Thanks for those replies to my post.

I can see now that adding citric acid was not a good idea.

I understand that there are two different times you can add the fruit in the process of brewing melomel - either at the start or later on - to get a stronger fruit flavour.

Due to my lack of experience I didn't know there was acid in honey, so I added the citric acid to help produce a strong fermentation. The process was badly planned though from the start. Raspberry wine, for example, is quite acidic to start with and I could have either a) put less raspberries in or b) waited until our blackberries were ready and got a far smoother taste.

My motivation for posting is to try to see if there's anything I can do to make the best of the situation. Sorry but the lavlin yeasts I see on the various forums is not stocked by any of the local brew suppliers and it was a standard white wine yeast I used.

fatbloke
08-08-2012, 06:33 AM
Glad to see that you're aware about raspberry being a good idea, but when used on its own, can be an over powering flavour.

For Lalvin yeast local(ish) to you, check out winesathome forums, and Duffbeer is the bloke to contact as he does stuff mail order and has opened up a shop, over toward Goole/Hull (and discounts a bit for WaH members).......

Mikeymu
08-08-2012, 04:55 PM
Glad to see that you're aware about raspberry being a good idea, but when used on its own, can be an over powering flavour.

Thanks fatbloke but am I right in thinking that you mean that in contrast to plain raspberry wine, raspberry mead is a good idea, or are you saying that blackberry mead is a good idea?

Yo momma
08-08-2012, 08:13 PM
Blackberry mead is a great idea! I have had some Blackbaerry mead that was awesome. Use about 3 lbs primary and a pound secondary and hold on to your britches!

Chevette Girl
08-08-2012, 10:58 PM
I absolutely love the raspberry wine I made, I haven't tried it as a mead yet.

And blackberry mead kicks some serious butt. You should make some with your blackberries :)

If you can get some pH strips and some precipitated chalk (or something else from your local brew store to bring pH up) you can keep an eye on your raspberry batch, but as long as it's fermenting along, it should be fine. I added acid to my melomels for years before I found out you weren't supposed to do it and most of my mels finished their fermentation and tasted fine.

fatbloke
08-09-2012, 02:48 AM
Thanks fatbloke but am I right in thinking that you mean that in contrast to plain raspberry wine, raspberry mead is a good idea, or are you saying that blackberry mead is a good idea?
No, its more to do with your familiarity of a flavour. Fresh rasps, lovely. But once the sugars have been fermented out, it becomes a very strong, acidic, dominant taste.

So I either keep the fruit levels down a bit, or back sweeten, or mix the fruit with something to lessen the impact. Raspberry and apple go well together, as does raspberry and peach. I do tend to back sweeten my mels anyway, so they are a bit "fruit cordial like"....

Mikeymu
08-09-2012, 05:48 PM
Thanks all for the responses to my post.

a) Think I'll back-sweeten the raspberry mel with more honey. At the moment there's a 1-2 inch thick sediment forming on the bottom, even though I racked it off the fruit after one week!

b) I'll certainly do some blackberry mel but for a 1 imperial gallon batch, how many lbs should I use?

Yo momma
08-10-2012, 07:28 AM
I like to use 3.5 lbs.

Mikeymu
08-10-2012, 07:46 AM
thanks YoMomma - but with 3.5 lbs of fruit, can you still taste the honey/mead flavours?

Yo momma
08-10-2012, 09:56 AM
Blacbery is a lighter flavor than rasberries so youll be good.