PDA

View Full Version : Melomel process?



B. Goldwater
06-20-2013, 03:19 PM
I have made melomels in the past by adding fruit in primary/secondary and have had varying results. I am currently toying with the idea of making a traditional and a fruit wine at the same time in seperate carboys and then blending them to my liking before bottling. I think it will give me more control over the flavor profile this way. My question is this... Is this method still considered a true melomel if the fermentation of the traaditional and fruit wine are happening seperate and then they are blended? Is it frowned upon doing it this way? I just think I might be better able to achieve the desired result this way...

Midnight Sun
06-20-2013, 04:46 PM
I don't see why you can't do it that way. Folks sometimes ferment mead and beer parts separately before blending; that method doesn't really make it any less a braggot then fermenting in a single carboy...

I do question why not make a strong fruit flavored mel, then blend that with your trad? By blending a fruit wine with a trad, you'll be diluting the desirable honey flavor. Also, at some point it will become more a honey wine than a melomel, but that defining line is somewhat nebulous IMO.

B. Goldwater
06-20-2013, 04:56 PM
I see your point about making a strong fruit mel and then blending that with a traditional. That might be the way I go, I am not a huge fan of sugar, water, and fruit wines. Typically for me they lack body and complexity. But I wasnt sure if it was still considered a melomel if you blended a mead with a sugar/fruit wine...

In this instance I am trying to keep the honey notes in the forefront with a subtle fruit character in the mix. I was thinking i would better be able to control the amount of fruit character present in the final mead if I blended it into it seperate after fermentation...

joemirando
06-20-2013, 05:36 PM
I see your point about making a strong fruit mel and then blending that with a traditional. That might be the way I go, I am not a huge fan of sugar, water, and fruit wines. Typically for me they lack body and complexity. But I wasnt sure if it was still considered a melomel if you blended a mead with a sugar/fruit wine...

In this instance I am trying to keep the honey notes in the forefront with a subtle fruit character in the mix. I was thinking i would better be able to control the amount of fruit character present in the final mead if I blended it into it seperate after fermentation...
I've recently blended two of my 'mistakes' and am fairly happy with the results.

I made several 1 gallon cherry melomel batches, each with 3 lbs of honey. One was fermented with a pound of whole cherries, one with a blended black cherry juice (cherry, apple and pear juices), and one with pure black cherry juice.

Not surprisingly, they all fermented very sweet, albeit with fairly high alcohol contents. To 'dry them out', i am blending them with 'plain' mead (also of fairly high alcohol %). They all need aging, but they taste much better with less cherry. Two of them (the ones made with juice) taste more like plum wine on their own.

One of them (the one made with pure black cherry juice instead of water) is so dark I call it Black Hole Brew, because not even light can escape the bottle. I'm serious. A high-power flashlight behind the gallon jug gives not even a hint of light through the liquid.

What I should have done, I'm afraid, was to do as fatbloke suggests and to do the primary ferment with enough honey to get to the alcohol %, I want, let it ferment dry, then secondary ferment on top of the fruit. Don't know how I'd work the juice into this equation, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. <grin>


Maze on,

Joe

Midnight Sun
06-20-2013, 10:57 PM
Excellent, thanks for the write up Joe! Always nice to have someone who has done something like this.

B. Goldwater, if you need to fine-tune the level of fruit in your mead, I think your blending plan is a good one. To start, you might blend in a glass to evaluate the flavors. Then you could blend the rest using the same ratio.

B. Goldwater
06-21-2013, 11:05 AM
Excellent, thanks for the write up Joe! Always nice to have someone who has done something like this.

B. Goldwater, if you need to fine-tune the level of fruit in your mead, I think your blending plan is a good one. To start, you might blend in a glass to evaluate the flavors. Then you could blend the rest using the same ratio.

That was the plan. I have numerous sizes of beakers and utilizing those to come up with the ration and then blend the batches to my liking. The next question is should i age them seperately for a year or so and then blend or blend them together then age?

The reason I love meadmaking is because of all the directions you can take it!

joemirando
06-21-2013, 12:36 PM
I just bottled a 1 gallon batch of plain semi-dry mead. I was going to use this puppy for blending, but it's got such a nice aroma to it that I just HAD to bottle it as is.

It was made with three pounds of clover honey, raisins for nutrients, spring water to 1 gallon, and started off with bread yeast. After two months, it was still diddling around and not fully fermented, so I racked it onto the lees of a batch made with Cote Des Blancs yeast. It took a looooong time to finish off, and I had to bentonite the sucker, but its done now, with a SG of 0.996 and an ABV of 12.5% (by my calculations).

As I said, it's got a really nice aroma. An almost butterscotch quality to it. Time will tell.


Maze on,

Joe

Midnight Sun
06-21-2013, 04:52 PM
That was the plan. I have numerous sizes of beakers and utilizing those to come up with the ration and then blend the batches to my liking. The next question is should i age them separately for a year or so and then blend or blend them together then age?

Besides blending beer and mead to get a braggot, I have not tried blending so keep that in mind when you read my following suggestions:

If you can accurately predict how the flavors in your blend will evolve over time, then I would consider blending early then aging. If not, then perhaps consider aging for 9-12 months, blending, then aging a couple more months to allow the flavors to meld.

akueck
06-21-2013, 05:58 PM
Blending is super fun and it is common practice in the wine world, and to a certain extent beers as well. It's also often tricky, so practice often. ;)

Many mead styles, and beer styles, were originally blends. Pyment was likely wine mixed with honey, braggot beer with honey or beer with mead, and porters were old and young ales blended together. So it's definitely not "cheating" to blend. IMO blending is "super advanced" homebrewing.