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RIC0
11-02-2012, 11:30 AM
First post and yes I"m a MEAD newbie.

I brew beer but have never made MEAD. That's about to change.

I will be doing a 1 gallon batch in a glass gallon jug.

I Will be using good honey, not junk, 3lbs should be good from what I've read.

I want to add a hint of blueberry flavor but not sure how much and when.

Please offer advice and thank you for your input.

Chevette Girl
11-02-2012, 12:15 PM
Hey, RIC0. Welcome to the forum!

Had you thought about your yeast yet?

RIC0
11-02-2012, 01:01 PM
I have not to be honest I was going to stop by the local brewery supply house and have them hook me up with what they would suggest.

I'll be more than happy to look for what you suggest...;D

Busymust
11-02-2012, 01:24 PM
I am by no means an expert, but here is my experience:

I used the contents of one pint of fresh blueberries, washed and rinsed thoroughly, pureed, and then placed in the bottom of a 1 gallon carboy.
I added a plain sack mead must to fill much of the rest of the carboy. The must was just honey, spring water, orange zest, bee pollen, black tea, and yeast (Lalvin K1V-1116) which was in its secondary fermentation and whose SpG had fallen to about 1.004. The must became dark violet and its fermentation rate picked up a bit as the yeast (and no doubt a wild yeast or two) started eating the blueberries. The final result was rather dry, (1.001) a bit like a red wine, and did have a distinct taste of blueberries. The tannins in the berries caused it to clear very swiftly without needing any clarifiers.

If you wanted just a hint of blueberries I would suggest a smaller quantity and to cook them down just a bit to kill off the wild yeasts. Just watch the temperature carefully as the aromatics and flavors will break down easily.

Khan
11-02-2012, 01:35 PM
I just bottled a pretty good batch(IMHO) of blueberry mead . You must be only making a gallon with just 3lbs of "Mystery Honey". If you want a hint of blueberry, I suggest adding it to your secondary. a pound & a half should do it for a single gallon; or you can do what I did and put the berries right into primary, but that changes the character of the berry-flavor a bit.

There is no need to do anything other than wash the berries when you put them in, the yeast will do their job regardless. No need to boil anything (unless you REALLY want to), because you might loose some of the flavor that you are trying to put into your mead. I prefer Lav. EC-1118 (a champagne yeast) because it finishes dry and has no problems being forgotten about for periods of time.

Would you mind sharing your recipe, so that you can get more than just the anecdotal ravings of another newbie?

Chevette Girl
11-02-2012, 01:46 PM
K1V is a good solid choice for a wide variety of applications and was one that I was going to suggest, but you don't have to worry about wild yeasts when you're using it. It's got a kill factor so it triumphs over competing yeasts. It's also got a pretty high alcohol tolerance so it depends on how dry you want this mead to be.

And just a note, cooking any fruits runs the risk of giving them a cooked taste and also setting any pectin that may be present in the fruit. If you're worried about other organisms, I'd suggest adding a crushed campden tablet 24 hours before pitching. I sometimes steam crabapples and pears to make them easier to mash, but I don't find they get a cooked taste because they're in larger pieces, but I can see it being pretty easy to overcook blueberries if you're not careful.

Back to yeasts...

RC-212 is also a good choice for dark berry/red wine if you can pamper it adequately, I've used it quite successfully in a few applications but you just have to give it lots of nutrients and energizer or it kicks up a stink... literally.

71B is great if you can remember to rack it off the lees.

D47 is great if you can keep the temperature under about 70F, otherwise it makes stink...

EC-1118 is a good solid performer you can safely ignore, but some people find it blows all the delicate aromas and flavours right out the airlock during its extremely vigorous fermentation, and as Khan said, it'll take most things pretty dry.

Even bread yeast makes a pretty good mead as long as you make sure it's sweet enough and properly balanced with some tannin/bitterness and some acidity, I've found the basic recipe for Joe's Ancient Orange works for a lot of things, I just haven't tried it with blueberries yet. Bread yeast and 3.5 lb honey per gallon, starting gravity usually works out to around 1.125 and usually finishes around 1.025 for me.

I will defer to how much blueberry to add as I haven't done a blueberry mead myself, but I'd suggest doing an advanced forum search with blueberry as the search term started by user THawk and reading through his brewlogs, maybe ask him some questions about how strongly the blueberry flavour comes through; he's been using blueberry a lot lately. When I do get around to trying a blueberry JAO, I'll be looking at his logs myself.

Busymust
11-02-2012, 01:53 PM
Wow CG, you're a fountain of information!

Chevette Girl
11-02-2012, 02:06 PM
*grin* Thanks! You can learn a lot on this forum and if you keep repeating it to others who haven't read it all yet, you can even remember most of it...:rolleyes:

RIC0
11-02-2012, 03:09 PM
WOW you guys/gals are great.

Here's what I will be using and if someone things I'm going about it the wrong way, please let me know. I'm all for be educated and doing it right with the advice of those that know what they are talking about.

Honey will be from a local source here in Indiana. It comes in 1lb jars and I believe is not processed like something you buy off the shelf. The local organic butcher shop carries It, I would think it's good and cost is like $8 a jar.

Water will be a gallon of Distilled water from grocery, same thing I use for my beer.

Yeast,,, well I'll be calling the local brewhouse supply to see what they have in stock, they should have plenty of options.


So will the water, honey, yeast and pint of blueberry all go in together? I say hint, I love blueberry so if it's more than a hint I'm down with that.

I've got a mulberry tree and blackberry bush in the back yard so come spring I'll be making some with that.

Again your alls advice is greatlyl appreciated.

fatbloke
11-02-2012, 05:02 PM
First post and yes I"m a MEAD newbie.

I brew beer but have never made MEAD. That's about to change.

I will be doing a 1 gallon batch in a glass gallon jug.

I Will be using good honey, not junk, 3lbs should be good from what I've read.

I want to add a hint of blueberry flavor but not sure how much and when.

Please offer advice and thank you for your input.
Two things to remember, fermented fruit tastes different, so too get plenty of colour, but less fruity flavour put the fruit in primary.

For a more fruity taste, rack a stabilised, finished batch onto the fruit in secondary.

Personally, I've found I prefer the later.

You can split it too. Say you're thinking of using 3lb of fruit per gallon. Then split it into, say, 1lb and 2lb, then after its been frozen and thawed, add the 1b of fruit to the must (no yeast), then add the required amount of pectolase, then pitch the yeast 24 hours later.

Once its finished, rack it off the lees and stabilise it, then a day later, add the 2lb.

Obviously, that not a "set in stone" method, just an example. It could be varied in a number of ways........

Chevette Girl
11-02-2012, 05:07 PM
The taste of fruit in primary is not the same as the fruit juice with added alcohol, it does change the flavour some. Some of us prefer our fruit fermented, some like Fatbloke prefer it in secondary.

You have blackberries? Or are they black raspberries? (I didn't discover the difference myself till a few years ago). If they're blackberries with the solid core and you like your meads sweet, here's a recipe (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showpost.php?p=166010&postcount=3)for next year... :)

RIC0
11-03-2012, 08:38 AM
For a more fruity taste, rack a stabilised, finished batch onto the fruit in secondary.



Ok this seems to be what I'm looking for. Now once I rack the stabilised and add the fruit do I need to add anything else or do I just let it sit??

and if so how long? at what point do I rack it again?

I understand mead needs to sit and sit for a long time I'm in no hurry as I want a good finished product. If it sits a year then so be it...8)

RIC0
11-03-2012, 08:46 PM
Well my 1st gallon has begun....;D

1 gallon glass carboy.

Distilled water.

2.5 lbs of Gunters orange blossum honey.

2.5 grams of Lav. EC-1118 yeast.

Fermenting room is around 68 degrees. I've got 5 gallons of beer that shows 64 degrees according the thermometer sticker on the side of the bucket. It's been in the primary for 7 days now.

Once I add the 1 lb of blueberry's when it's racked to the secondary, how long do I leave it like that?? What are the next steps??

Thank you for your time and opinion it's appreciated.

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 12:29 AM
Ok this seems to be what I'm looking for. Now once I rack the stabilised and add the fruit do I need to add anything else or do I just let it sit??

and if so how long? at what point do I rack it again?

I understand mead needs to sit and sit for a long time I'm in no hurry as I want a good finished product. If it sits a year then so be it...8)

Most of the time I don't leave anything on the fruit longer than two weeks, then rack it. Just don't tell that to the year old pair of JAO's I racked off the orange bits today... but a couple of weeks is all you need to get the maximum extraction from the fruit, you won't get much benefit from leaving it any longer and it may start to develop off flavours as the fruit starts to break down.

RIC0
11-05-2012, 02:58 PM
Sooooo, when I rack to a secondary it's going to have less liquid than it did from the start, i'm guessing at no time you add more water to get it back to were you started??

Khan
11-05-2012, 03:03 PM
Sooooo, when I rack to a secondary it's going to have less liquid than it did from the start, i'm guessing at no time you add more water to get it back to were you started??

I usually top it off with some honey/water (50/50), nothing to worry about if you have it stabilised, just makes it a bit sweeter... but you could use water if you really wanted to. some people use glass marbles (food-grade of course) to make up the difference in volume. or you can purge the extra space with inert gas, like CO2.

RIC0
11-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Things are going well and I guess my next question since it appears this 1118 yeast is going to dry things out, do I need to add anything to the jug while it's fermenting after fermenting??

Nutrients, acids, boogers??

I'm just wondering if I'm going to have this over powering dry blueberry moonshine conconcion in a few months?

Maybe I'm just paranoid and the simple, jug I have going will be just fine?

The Steps below are what i plan on doing, i'm new so I could be stepping into a pile of crap and not know it so point out the do's or dont's.

This is a 1 gallon batch.

ferment for 2 weeks.
rack to secondary.
put in 1/2 lb of fresh frozen blueberries, if 1/2lb will fit.
wait 2 weeks and rack to another jug.
this will leave me with just the juice which will still have the airlock installed and I plan to leave it like this for a few months.

Everyones time and opinion is greatly appreciated. Sometimes searching for answers can be somewhat overwelming with what you find.

Chevette Girl
11-07-2012, 11:21 AM
Dunno if boogers would help, but acid won't help, nutrients will but only if you get them in for the first half of the fermentation. And for that (and to tell you if 2 weeks is indeed the correct amount of time to leave this in primary) you really need a hydrometer... Adding nutrients before 1/3 of the honey's sugars have been consumed is good, the yeast don't really use it after that point.

RIC0
11-07-2012, 02:55 PM
Dunno if boogers would help, but acid won't help, nutrients will but only if you get them in for the first half of the fermentation. And for that (and to tell you if 2 weeks is indeed the correct amount of time to leave this in primary) you really need a hydrometer... Adding nutrients before 1/3 of the honey's sugars have been consumed is good, the yeast don't really use it after that point.

I've got a hydrometer and took a reading already to see what the SG was..

I say 2 weeks I should have just stated once it got to FG i would add the blueberries.

I'm just being paranoid...:o

It's still fermenting away, not to fast not to slow what I would think just right.

now the JAO i did yesterday using the fleishmens yeast like in the directions, that stuff aint in no hurry... LOL

YogiBearMead726
11-07-2012, 07:02 PM
Sorry for chiming in a bit late, but I'd reconsider using distilled water. While it is true that it is more pure that spring water or tap water, it is also lacking in micronutrients and trace elements that your yeast might otherwise be using. As with brewing, mead making can benefit greatly from having the right water chemistry going on. Think of it this way; if we can't safely consume large amounts of distilled water, why subject our happy little fungi friends to it? :)

If you're game for experimenting, try doing two batches of JAO or some other mead side-by-side, where one batch uses distilled water and the other uses bottled spring water. That way you can see which you prefer. And if you're feeling really ambitious, you could go one step further by comparing different brands and even trying out some tap water. ;D

RIC0
11-08-2012, 09:30 AM
I'm all for using spring water didn't really think there would be much of a difference but moving forward I'll use spring water.

Thanks for the heads up.

Matrix4b
11-08-2012, 12:21 PM
Something that I haven't seen mentoned. Use the juice of one lemon in it. It sounds crazy but it makes the blueberry taste more like blueberry. You wont regret it. I use a cup in a 5 gal batch and got great reviews. I had someone comment that you see the same effect when bluberry cake is made, they add lemon juice to it.

Other than that, everything else you have seen should be fine. Personally, I put the blueberry in the secondary. If you already have it in the primary a little more in the secondary would be good and make for a more complex flavor.

Oh, also, I personally like oaking. I would use a light toasted oak on this for a couple of weeks if using chips, if using cubes go a month. To taste always but the oak helps out big time on smoothing it out.

Hope it turns out well.
Matrix

billv
11-09-2012, 07:46 AM
Well my 1st gallon has begun....;D

1 gallon glass carboy.

Distilled water.

2.5 lbs of Gunters orange blossum honey.

2.5 grams of Lav. EC-1118 yeast.

Fermenting room is around 68 degrees. I've got 5 gallons of beer that shows 64 degrees according the thermometer sticker on the side of the bucket. It's been in the primary for 7 days now.

Once I add the 1 lb of blueberry's when it's racked to the secondary, how long do I leave it like that?? What are the next steps??

Thank you for your time and opinion it's appreciated.

I note that you used OB honey. Don't get me wrong, I love that variety of honey and have made some really delicious show meads out of it. Also a wonderful ginger mead. Heck, I have a 60 lb pail waiting for me in the basement. :)

That being said, it has a very distinct aroma and flavor. So distinctive that sometimes it can compete with fruit flavors. I found this out recently when I made a cherry mead with this honey. It is very good, but if I make another batch in the future, I will probably use a mix of wildflower and clover honey so that the honey flavor is a little less in the forefront.

So just keep that in mind as you begin the tasting later on...

RIC0
11-09-2012, 08:54 AM
Thanks for the replies and information it's greatly appreciated.

The primary has only the honey, water and yeast. blueberries will go into secondary, is that when I should give it a shot of lemon juice??

Matrix4b
11-09-2012, 10:50 AM
Thanks for the replies and information it's greatly appreciated.

The primary has only the honey, water and yeast. blueberries will go into secondary, is that when I should give it a shot of lemon juice??

Yes, secondary should be fine. I did my first batch of blueberry all in the primary. Had trouble getting it started due to the thickness of it. Now I put my blueberries in the secondary with a bit of lemon juice. Turns out great.

Matrix

RIC0
11-14-2012, 10:18 AM
Just made my second batch of JAOM this time with spring water and Clover honey compared to distilled water and Orange blossom.

Will be keeping an eye on the fermentation as well as diffrent taste.


First and original soon to be blueberry is winding down on fermenting. I'm think late next week it will get racked to secondary and blueberries added.

Fisk Jaegaren
11-14-2012, 11:53 PM
Something that you may never have thought of for your blueberry mead...almond extract. Trust me, it just works with blueberries.

RIC0
11-20-2012, 08:36 PM
Something that you may never have thought of for your blueberry mead...almond extract. Trust me, it just works with blueberries.

I've got a second batch starting soon. When would you suggest I add the extract..???


Also, should i wait until the primary is no longer fermenting or add the blueberries during the end..??? It's been in the primary for 17 days now.

Khan
11-21-2012, 01:40 PM
should i wait until the primary is no longer fermenting or add the blueberries during the end..??? It's been in the primary for 17 days now.

Generally, using the method that you chose, you would put the berries in another vessel (secondary) and rack off the lees from your primary to your secondary... let it sit for a few weeks and remove the fruit. If you put your fruit into a mesh bag (like muslin or something similar), you can pull it out without making a big mess, or having to re-rack off the fruit... though some of us rack a few times before we are happy(ish) with the product.

Matrix4b
11-21-2012, 01:55 PM
Generally, using the method that you chose, you would put the berries in another vessel (secondary) and rack off the lees from your primary to your secondary... let it sit for a few weeks and remove the fruit. If you put your fruit into a mesh bag (like muslin or something similar), you can pull it out without making a big mess, or having to re-rack off the fruit... though some of us rack a few times before we are happy(ish) with the product.

I completely agree with this. After removal of the mesh bag it will settle a bit over the course of a month or two and then you can rack it again. Then it's just stabalizing, backsweetening to taste, and oaking is what I would do.

Matrix

RIC0
11-24-2012, 01:32 PM
Ok this batch is 3 weeks old and all yeast has sunk but yet it's still working as there are tiny bubbles still coming up to the top.

Do I need to wait until these tiny bubbles stop before racking to secondary and adding the blueberries or can I rack to secondary and add the BB now?

Khan
11-24-2012, 03:26 PM
have you taken a gravity reading to confirm the the yeast is finished? If you rack to secondary without making sure that the yeast are finished, then you risk fermentation starting back up... remember, yeast are microscopic little things that can stay suspended in your must for quite some time. If you are sure it's done, or just can't wait for some reason (patience is your friend, along with a wine-thief and hydrometer), then I suggest you stabilize, wait a few days, then rack to secondary.

RIC0
11-25-2012, 08:37 AM
I have no idea what the FG should be an yas i have a hydrometer. I didnt realize this stuff would ferment so long.

Chevette Girl
11-25-2012, 12:46 PM
You won't be able to do more than guess at what your final gravity will be, the hydrometer will tell you that the yeast is done because your readings will stay the same over the course of a few days or weeks. Days is usually all I'd give it to determine if it's time to rack.

RIC0
12-07-2012, 11:43 AM
I never would have guessed that mead ferments for so long....:o

Been over a month and my first batch is still bubbling thru the airlock and I see small bubbles rising to the top.

Now I see why mead takes months to get to the point of drinking it.

But with 2-3 lbs of honey in a 1 gallon jug that's a lot of sugar to eat for them yeasties.

fatbloke
12-08-2012, 06:23 AM
Actually its likely to be some specific issue (not that it seems to be a problem) that's made it slow as fruit based batches often ferment quite quickly. As long as it doesn't stick, then there's no problem :cool:

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2

RIC0
12-24-2012, 01:35 PM
Finally racked this first batch onto some blueberries in a second carboy.

Current ABV% = 11.8