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BlueBomber
08-28-2014, 08:22 AM
Hi all,

Using Joes ancient recipe guidelines, I'd like to try a blueberry mead. I have a bush in the back yard that yields quite a bit, but I only just thought of this and I only got a little more than a cup. Is that enough for 1gallon batch?

mannye
08-28-2014, 10:56 AM
I don't know, but if I were you I would throw them in anyway. Maybe go to the supermarket and get a basket to supplement? What I do know is that it shouldn't stay on the blueberries very long. I'm sure someone with actual experience using them will chime in!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

BlueBomber
08-28-2014, 12:58 PM
Thanks! I didn't think about how long it should stay...Rack it after 2weeks? A month?

mannye
08-28-2014, 07:22 PM
I have read that mead shouldn't stay on fruit lees for very long. Something like a couple of weeks or so or the skin will give the mead a very bitter flavor. I also think you're supposed to mash it up. But do some searches on melomels "Blueberry mel" and see what pops up.

Medsen Fey
08-29-2014, 09:44 AM
With fruit in the gross lees there is always a risk that sulfur odors may develop. However, with variations of JAO, it is very rare to have it get stinky. You can usually just manage things in the usual manner (leave it alone until clear).

The bitterness/astringency will be balanced by the residual sugar.

BlueBomber
08-29-2014, 01:29 PM
Thanks! I appreciate the advice. I was planning on letting it sit in there until clear, then rack.

kudapucat
08-31-2014, 06:05 PM
If you mean a cup as in 250ml (or half a pint if you must) then in a standard 1 gal JAO it will give a very mild flavour.
I would add it in secondary to try and preserve as much flavour as possible.
Skins bitterness and acidity will balance the sugar well, just like the orange does in the original recipe, so like Medsen I concur, leave them in for the tannin and maximum flavour extraction.
Personally I wouldn't mash them, as I believe the seeds are more likely to give your astringent flavour than the skins. If you like you can bruise them, or break the skin. The yeast and alcohol will get in there and do their thing.
Though the flavour will be mild, it will still make it interesting, and the colour will be awesome.
Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
Next year: don't eat so many!


NB Handy tip with valuable berries - use a fruit bag. Keep them out of the lees.
When you pull them out, you can still use them to make jam and sauce etc.

Kakalakee
09-01-2014, 09:40 PM
I just made a blueberry melomel - probably used 3 or 4 quarts of backyard berries. Froze mine, thawed, and just gave a little mash in ziplocks, then put panty hose leg in the carboy (through a funnel) and poured the berry mash into the stocking. Worked great. Kept the berries in for about 2 weeks. I so added 3-4 sliced vanilla beans which worked very nicely. Finished product is off the hook.

mannye
09-04-2014, 08:04 PM
I was a little thrown off by the use of "infusing." I didn't realize you were using them in the primary. But if you listen to Medsen and kuda you can't go wong. Those two have mels down pat.

BlueBomber
09-05-2014, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the great advice! Yeah, infusing was the wrong word choice...

I do not have blueberries in the primary, in fact, all I have in one primary is just yeast, honey and water! My plan was to throw them in the secondary once the primary clears up a bit.

Chevette Girl
09-06-2014, 07:54 AM
I've made blueberry wine a few times and made mels with the second runs (reusing the fruit bag) but I haven't tried a blueberry JAO variant yet :) Hope it goes well and there's at least a hint of blueberry flavour to the end product!

Medsen Fey
09-06-2014, 08:14 AM
...I do not have blueberries in the primary, in fact, all I have in one primary is just yeast, honey and water! .

Without some nutrients from fruit in the primary, a variation of JAO may have problems with stalling or with odors. You may want to add the fruit.

mannye
09-06-2014, 10:40 AM
At least some raisins.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

BlueBomber
09-06-2014, 11:25 AM
Without some nutrients from fruit in the primary, a variation of JAO may have problems with stalling or with odors. You may want to add the fruit.

Ah, never thought of that. So just throw them in whole, or maybe slice them a little before? Once I rack and send to the secondary, should I get the fruit out and toss them in as well?

Thanks for all the replies, greatly appreciate everyone's input and patience!

Medsen Fey
09-06-2014, 01:05 PM
Well if you make a JAO, you don't rack it. If you do decide to rack, leave the spent fruit behind. I'd mash the berries a little, enough to rupture them, and add them in.

BlueBomber
09-06-2014, 03:57 PM
Well if you make a JAO, you don't rack it. If you do decide to rack, leave the spent fruit behind. I'd mash the berries a little, enough to rupture them, and add them in.

I know he says not to rack it, but shouldn't I rack it a few times to get the sediment out?

Medsen Fey
09-06-2014, 04:19 PM
If you actually make JAO, you should follow the instructions to the letter. Otherwise you void the warranty. :)

BlueBomber
09-06-2014, 05:02 PM
Lol, yeah I know I probably shouldn't, but what happens if it does get racked? Is there something that occurs when you do it?

Chevette Girl
09-06-2014, 06:26 PM
Yes, the mighty Joe himself steps down from the heavens and smites your brew...

Kidding.

But it's a tried and true thing, start with the true recipe once, then go ahead and start mucking with it.

Or ask someone who's mucked with it a lot. (Hi! I think I qualify!) Mash the fruit to break the berries. Stick to 3.5 lb honey per gal and use the bread yeast, those are the two most important things that keep it a JAO variant, the next most important is to make sure there's enough acidity to balance things, if your fruit's not terribly acidic, add juice from half a lemon, that should do it without affecting the flavour, if it's not got enough acidity it's just way too syrupy sweet... Leave the fruit till it sinks and it clears up (usually happens one within a week or two of the other), that's how you know you're done your JAO variant and it's time to bottle (or rack).

Racking it might stall it early or cause you not to get the full flavour of the ingredients. The point at which the fruit sinks and it clears up on its own and the instructions say to bottle it? This is when you can rack it without calling down Joe's vengeance. He'll never know if you rack it and let things settle out for a week before bottling if it's after the point at which the recipe says to bottle it. Or at least he's never noticed when I've done that.

mannye
09-07-2014, 12:23 AM
NO need to rack it. This stuff goes crystal clear and the fruit drops to the bottom THEN you rack it. Frankly, I've never made a 5 gallon batch of JAOM, so it's never really been around too long after clearing but I did rack it into a few bottles after it was done. Don't be fooled however, even though you think it's crystal clear and indeed it looks like it is; there is still sediment waiting to fall out of suspension. Just add the fruit and forget about it for three months.

Medsen Fey
09-07-2014, 03:13 PM
Yes, the mighty Joe himself steps down from the heavens and smites your brew...


You know, that gives me an idea -
Mighty Joe Young Orange mead (Strong enough to drop a gorilla). Aim for 18% ABV, sweet and "orangey" and ready to drink quickly.
DV10 can produce meads that are drinkable out of primary and it is fairly well behaved though it might need more than 1 small handful of raisins to feed it. Hmmm... This could work (I said an idea - I didn't say a great one :) )

mannye
09-07-2014, 04:30 PM
You think maybe a step fed JAOM variant using orange zest instead of the whole pith and 80 to 100 grams of Fermaid O with a little orange pulp thrown in for good measure along with cinnamon and clove then maybe racked onto a layer of more peeled pith less oranges in secondary?

Fermented at low temps? I have a free bucket at the moment.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

kudapucat
09-07-2014, 04:58 PM
Wow. Did you intend that to sound all super-excited with words spewing from your mouth? Without a single comma, that's exactly how I read it. I could see a gleam in your eye too.

mannye
09-07-2014, 05:16 PM
Hahaha! I guess that's exactly what I was feeling!

Like that girl in that awful college movie with Val Kilmer.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.