View Full Version : Blackberry mead.

Dirty Steve
03-10-2014, 10:07 PM
Well I crafted my first batch of mead the other night. Wondering what you all think of it. I started with 15 pounds of honey, 6 pounds of whole black berrys, 2 packets cote des Blancs yeast, 4 tsp of citric acid, 6 tsp of yeast nutrient, and 2 tsp of peptic enzyme. This is for a 6 gallon batch. Any input on the use of whole fruit to blended fruit? Also the hydrometer reading with out the fruit was 1.09 at about 90 degrees F. Also wondering what the final % alcohol will be around. And if it would be sweet, dry or mid of the road. Thanks in advances. Really looking forward to try this after I get back from my deployment in oct.

03-10-2014, 10:48 PM
I will need to let others respond on the recipe, but I can answer the ABV question. (Assuming the fermentation goes well,) your mead will finish dry at 1.000 or below, and you will end up with about 12% alcohol. If you want it sweeter, you could stabilize with sulfite and sorbate after fermentation and backsweeten with more honey to taste - maybe about 2 or 3 pounds more for a semi-sweet mead.

BTW, 90F is a bit warm for your yeast. I believe that Cote des Blancs ideal range is 64-86F. Hopefully it is cooler now.

Also, it seems like a lot of nutrient to me, especially all up front, but I understand that Cote des Blancs is a nutrient hog so others might know more.

03-10-2014, 11:35 PM
Especially with blackberries (which are loaded with rather tannic seeds), I go with whole frozen fruit. The freezing usually breaks the skins on the berries (unless they are truly flash-frozen, but even then many of the berries skins will be broken), but keeps the seeds intact. If you pulverize the seeds with a blender, you'll likely produce something far too tannic to drink with a reasonable amount of aging. I would also suggest racking off the fruit and seeds rather quickly - in 7 to 10 days after fermentation has begun at the longest. If you press blackberries for maximum extraction, do so very gently. According to Oskaar (and backed up with my experience) you'll get all the color that you're likely to get from any red fruit after 4-5 days in primary, and you will have extracted all the fermentable sugars shortly after that. Much past 10 days to 2 weeks of exposure to the fruit and you'll start to create reduced sulphur compounds that will introduce vegetal aromas and flavors into your finished mead.

Dirty Steve
03-11-2014, 12:28 AM
I did forgetto say that I was only able to put 4 gallons of water in with everything. Plus I have all the berrys in a seeping bag. When I pull the fruit out should I squish the berrys to get the juices out and add it back or no?

03-11-2014, 05:52 PM
Yes, squeeze the juices out. The only real reasons I can see having the actually skins in the must is for tannins and color. You can just juice it and have the juice in the carboy without the skins or actual berries as well.

Dirty Steve
03-13-2014, 12:13 PM
I just juiced the blackberries. Added the juice back to the must. Took a hydrometer reading and it's reading 1.03 down from 1.09. Figure I'll let it sit in the fermenter for about another 8 days than rack. Does this sound about right or should I rack it sooner? Thanks for the help in advance.

Dirty Steve
10-27-2014, 07:21 PM
Well just got home from the deployment. Decided it was time to bottle this run. The GF and me sat down to try it. It didn't have the in your face berry taste I was hoping for but over all it was very tastie. Took a couple bottles to work for people to try. Went over very well. Needless to say over 3gals of the 5 are already gone. I take it as a win. So thank you all for your help. So waiting on my 60 pounds of honey to get here to start the next batch.

10-27-2014, 08:02 PM
nice, glad to hear it. FWIW next time if the flavor isn't distinct enough, you can always stabilize and add more fruit/juice until it tastes right.