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xanderphillips
02-09-2014, 05:42 PM
2 lbs fresh blackberries (once frozen then thawed by me).
4 lbs local unprocessed honey
1 package 71B-1122 yeast hydrated for 10min at 108degrees mixed with 1 tsp fermax.
topped off with spring water to 1 gallon

Must at 78 degrees when I pitched yeast

OG 1.1340

Looks like this may finish too sweet. I may have to cut that sweetness before bottling if it hits my estimates. I underestimated the sweetness of the blackberries.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/12418570805_d28bd360ec_z.jpg

GntlKnigt1
02-09-2014, 06:39 PM
Do you intend to make a sweet dessert mead? 71B is rated at 14%...maybe a bit higher under ideal conditions....

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

fatbloke
02-09-2014, 07:26 PM
Well I forecast a mead eruption unless its aerated at least twice daily for the first 1/3rd of the ferment.........

Honeyhog
02-09-2014, 09:08 PM
Well I forecast a mead eruption unless its aerated at least twice daily for the first 1/3rd of the ferment.........

In a 1 gal carboy I never fill it over the shoulder of the jug until the fermentation has slowed from it's initial burst otherwise, like fatbloke said you will have an MEA. I would pour out some of what's in the carboy now into a jar with a lid and save it in the fridge then add it back later when fermentation has slowed. Or pour back in water to lower that gravity a bit so it isn't so sweet.

xanderphillips
02-09-2014, 11:36 PM
I checked the carboy and sure enough the berries had fouled the airlock and were well on the way to causing an eruption! I released the gas and then poured off a bit to get the level down to just at the shoulder. Replaced with a freshly sanitized airlock.

Oddly, the 2 orange meads and the bochet I'm doing all have levels where the blackberry started at, (which is right at the start of the shoulder) but they didn't swell up like the berries did and clog the airlock. The photo is actually showing them after swelling. I had stopped the fill just at the shoulder like I have on the other gallons I've started. Is that a 'known issue' with using berries that they swell to several times their original size when you put them in a mead like this?

I had stopped filling where you can see the lower level of foam in the photo... ?!?!

Thanks for the warnings!

Xanderphillips


In a 1 gal carboy I never fill it over the shoulder of the jug until the fermentation has slowed from it's initial burst otherwise, like fatbloke said you will have an MEA. I would pour out some of what's in the carboy now into a jar with a lid and save it in the fridge then add it back later when fermentation has slowed. Or pour back in water to lower that gravity a bit so it isn't so sweet.

GntlKnigt1
02-10-2014, 03:04 AM
In a 1 gal carboy I never fill it over the shoulder of the jug until the fermentation has slowed from it's initial burst otherwise, like fatbloke said you will have an MEA. I would pour out some of what's in the carboy now into a jar with a lid and save it in the fridge then add it back later when fermentation has slowed. Or pour back in water to lower that gravity a bit so it isn't so sweet.

Or better still, do (at least) your primary fermentation in a pail...easier to stir/degas, add nutrients, check SG, etc.

xanderphillips
02-10-2014, 09:52 AM
Is there something inherent to berry meads that causes them to keep swelling up and fouling the airlock? I dropped the level well below the shoulder and am still having to watch it and degass it 2-3x/day.

I didn't have that issue with the other 3 gallon's of mead I'm making, but this is the first one I am doing with berries in it. Are the berries providing a crap ton of nutrients to the yeast or something?

Thanks
Xanderphillips

GntlKnigt1
02-10-2014, 10:12 AM
Yes, a fruit (any fruit) will feed the yeast beasts more than batches without fruit....

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

Honeyhog
02-10-2014, 01:01 PM
I think that some fruits e.g. berries; create a semi airtight cap and the gas builds up underneath and pushes the fruit out of the airlock. What I have done in the past to mitigate this is to take a sterilized instrument and in the middle of the fruit cap create a hole that goes down to the must. It may not be completely clear but it will be a weak spot where the gas can escape.

GuapoMead
02-10-2014, 03:48 PM
This looks awesome. Thanks for the recipe; I'm thinking 3lbs of honey would work for me... ABV would probably be 11% at the end of it.

Anyway... how long in the first fermenter will you keep it? One or two weeks? More?
What type of local unprocessed honey? Wildflower? Living in Austin, Tx I've tried local wildflower but I need to wait several more weeks before I can sample.

Lastly, I was told that keeping the first fermenter in a cooler than usually location (e.i. closet tile floor) for the first couple of days would help against foam getting out of hand. I'll need to try it next month... or when I make my next batch.

xanderphillips
02-10-2014, 05:54 PM
I couldn't keep the berries out of the airlock... was having to swirl the jug about every hour to keep it settled... No problems now that it's in the bigger container though. Once the berries slow down on their farting I will be moving back to the glass jug, then keep it there 3-4 weeks. Plan to then rack to secondary and depending on taste I may add a little more berries to the secondary. The honey is just wildflower honey from a coworker who has hives. (That I will be buying from him come spring!). My setup is on a tile floor in my basement, and the must is generally just under 70F to about 67F as a low, but I'm still getting pretty solid CO2 output from my must. (bubbling constantly). So don't count on the cooler must temp to save you from an eruption! With lots of berries in the must you have to have LOTS of headroom to prevent the berries that swell up and float from climbing up the container and clogging the airlock... then BOOM you look like a cartoon character holding a stick of dynamite when you mess with it! (If it doesn't just blow the airlock across the room along with a crap ton of berry sludge!)

Good luck, hope yours comes out great!




This looks awesome. Thanks for the recipe; I'm thinking 3lbs of honey would work for me... ABV would probably be 11% at the end of it.

Anyway... how long in the first fermenter will you keep it? One or two weeks? More?
What type of local unprocessed honey? Wildflower? Living in Austin, Tx I've tried local wildflower but I need to wait several more weeks before I can sample.

Lastly, I was told that keeping the first fermenter in a cooler than usually location (e.i. closet tile floor) for the first couple of days would help against foam getting out of hand. I'll need to try it next month... or when I make my next batch.

GntlKnigt1
02-10-2014, 06:32 PM
Aww. ...you're no fun at all! A little flying fruit can really add to the decor of any room..... Grin. (Just kidding)

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

EJM3
02-11-2014, 03:59 PM
Aww. ...you're no fun at all! A little flying fruit can really add to the decor of any room..... Grin. (Just kidding)

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

Yeah, I already saw the great raspberry melomel eruption of 2013, and read about Medsen Feys' corny keg safety valve MEA Culpa... Here is the link for some great visuals, and be ready to be laughing all the way through!!!

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17907&page=2

xanderphillips
02-16-2014, 05:27 PM
Ok, so if my ABV is where I want it to be but the must is only a week in the carboy is it ok to rack it onto potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to stop fermentation?

I'm worried that the 71B-1122 is going to dry this berry mead out like the sahara before it is done.

The airlock bubbling has stopped, SG has dropped .01 over the past 3 days.

I'm giving it a shot as I don't want this to go really dry, but am wondering if that's a recipe for disaster?

I already racked onto them and moved the carboy to the garage to cold crash (it's currently 25F here). Just wondering for future batches, did I just screw up my blackberry mead?

Thanks
Xanderphillips

GntlKnigt1
02-17-2014, 04:25 AM
First of all, Don't Panic. You didn't say what your SG reading was, or the target you are trying to hit, but here are the words of wisdom from the premier expert...

Zero change in gravity for a period of two weeks is far too short a period to assume that the (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead)mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead) has stabilized. I've had meads that have sat for 3-5 months with no change, then BLAMMO, off they go again. This is even after 2 rackings. The problem with not filtering or sulfiting and sorbating is that you're at the mercy of time and guesswork. You cannot see the yeast with the naked eye, and while (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead)mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead) can appear clear, it can still have a significant enough population of yeast in suspension to begin fermenting again. You need to monitor the (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead)mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead) for several months (more than three in my opinion) in order to make that leap. Even then you're rolling the dice. If you want to stack the odds in your favor you should cold crash the (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=carboy)carboy (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=carboy) at about 39 degrees for two weeks and immediately rack after that time. Take a gravity reading after the (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead)mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=mead) has come up to room temperature and monitor again for eight weeks. At that point if you see no changes in gravity I would still cold crash again for a week and monitor for another four afterwards. Then I'd feel safe bottling. That's no guarantee by the way, but it seems to work for me on a pretty regular basis.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

xanderphillips
02-17-2014, 03:35 PM
Sorry, I prob was muddled in my question.

Is it ok to FORCE a mead to stop fermenting with p. sorbate and p. metabisulfite if the ABV is where I want it instead of waiting for yeast to run its course or will that screw up the flavors/etc?

GntlKnigt1
02-17-2014, 05:07 PM
Yeah...you can try it, and cold crash it as well. Check manufacturers instructions and good luck! Just monitor it closely and for a long time as the quote from Oskaar indicates.

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

mannye
02-17-2014, 05:26 PM
Sorry, I prob was muddled in my question.

Is it ok to FORCE a mead to stop fermenting with p. sorbate and p. metabisulfite if the ABV is where I want it instead of waiting for yeast to run its course or will that screw up the flavors/etc?

Plenty of folks do that. You should be fine. Get it nice and cold and rack. :D

xanderphillips
02-19-2014, 10:37 PM
There's a nice bit of dead beasts / blackberry residual crap 'cloud city' layer settled down to the bottom now.

Planning to rack it to a clean carboy this weekend.

Might I still see any bubbling after the p. metabisulfite/p.sorbate treatment due to remaining co2 left in suspension when I bring it in to rack or should that have stopped ALL bubbling if it was successful?

Wish there was a nice clean acronym for those 2 chemicals, having to look up how to spell metabisulfite (and if it is sulfite or sulfate) every time is killing me! <grin> how about 'PMPS' [pronounced 'pimps', as in "gonna smack dat ho"] LOL!

MJ7
02-19-2014, 11:21 PM
There's a nice bit of dead beasts / blackberry residual crap 'cloud city' layer settled down to the bottom now.

Planning to rack it to a clean carboy this weekend.

Might I still see any bubbling after the p. metabisulfite/p.sorbate treatment due to remaining co2 left in suspension when I bring it in to rack or should that have stopped ALL bubbling if it was successful?

Wish there was a nice clean acronym for those 2 chemicals, having to look up how to spell metabisulfite (and if it is sulfite or sulfate) every time is killing me! <grin> how about 'PMPS' [pronounced 'pimps', as in "gonna smack dat ho"] LOL!

That residual cloudiness is known as pectin haze to us wine makers. There are a few ways to rid this: bentonite, Super Kleer, iterative cold crashing, and/or very fine filter housing to get the sparkling wine (crystal clear).

GntlKnigt1
02-20-2014, 03:55 AM
Seems like I have seen KMBS as an acronym for potassium metabisulfite. And yes, you might see some casual bubbling as the CO2 works it's way out of the mead.

xanderphillips
02-22-2014, 06:16 PM
Racked to new carboy after cold crashing for about a week. I've added bentonite as well. Topped it up with a little RO water to replace missing volume from the sludge. Blackberry flavor pretty nice, still very harsh alcohol flavor as it's very young. Used a mini-autosiphon to start this transfer and WOW was it worth the little bit of $ it cost! Much easier than manually starting a siphon!

Xanderphillips

xanderphillips
03-23-2014, 05:15 PM
Racked today. Cleared up very nicely. A few whisps of berry strands got past the siphon that I will still want to filter out before bottling. Nice and clear, still strongly harsh alcohol flavor. Wife's sample she said it has a 'rotting fruit' flavor. Does that age out, or do you think I did something wrong? It's mildly unpleasant to my tongue mostly due to the strong harsh alcohol flavor but there is truth to what she said that the fruit flavors are a bit 'off'.

GntlKnigt1
03-23-2014, 05:32 PM
You will be amazed at what its like in 6 months. Leave it in a carboy in a dark cool space. So long as alcohol tastes sharp, the flavors are evolving.


Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

McJeff
03-23-2014, 06:17 PM
Reading your recipe made me want to start a batch also. Month old in just a few days cant wait ti rack it !

xanderphillips
12-03-2014, 11:15 PM
Bottled the blackberry mead today. Didn't need to add any backsweetener, was very tasty. YUM!
https://xanderrant.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/blackberry-mead-2014.jpg

curgoth
12-04-2014, 01:06 PM
Great label!

xanderphillips
02-25-2017, 06:31 PM
Thanks, that's my mom when she was a little girl. (Judy).

Well, it's been forever since I've been on here, but I'm about to start another batch of the blackberry using the same recipe / method I did on this original batch. Once it had aged a little bit it was DECLICIOUS! So much so that the wife and I were sad that I had only made a 1 gal batch of it! Here's hoping this batch is as good as the last one!