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Maeloch
09-17-2014, 06:59 AM
Hi All again. It's my first full autumn in this mead making game, and I've been busy 'hedgerowing' picking up a few kilos of blackberries. As they're quite soft fruit anyhow, is it advisable to put them thru a freeze thaw cycle for maximum juice and flavour extraction, or is that pointless and risks changing the flavour? I'll be using trying them out both in primary to some new batches, and also as an addition to a fairly strong (18-19%) but bland base mead.

skunkboy
09-17-2014, 09:13 AM
I usually freeze most of my fruit, to help extract color and flavor from them. Also helps to last longer if you don't intend to use them right away...

kudapucat
09-17-2014, 09:34 AM
Freeze them.
Try to freeze them slowly. (ie warm freezer)

icedmetal
09-17-2014, 11:42 AM
Freeze them, then thaw them, then crush them. The difference between crushed and uncrushed fruit in primary is huge, in terms of flavor and color extraction. The difference in cleanup will also be pretty big; crushed fruit is a lot more difficult to deal with than whole fruit. It's worth the effort.

Maeloch
09-17-2014, 11:47 AM
Okay, fairly unanimous! I'll be freezing them then I guess. Cheers all for the help.

Chevette Girl
09-17-2014, 01:01 PM
I've used both frozen and thawed as well as fresh blackberries in my blackberry JAO and haven't noticed a difference. Icedmetal's got the important part - crush them. For a JAO where I leave it long enough for the fruit to sink, I don't use a fruit bag, but for any other batch I always bag my fruit (much easier to do in a bucket).

Maeloch
09-17-2014, 01:50 PM
I've used both frozen and thawed as well as fresh blackberries in my blackberry JAO and haven't noticed a difference. Icedmetal's got the important part - crush them. For a JAO where I leave it long enough for the fruit to sink, I don't use a fruit bag, but for any other batch I always bag my fruit (much easier to do in a bucket).

Out of interest, how many did you use in a JAO? One wasn't on the cards, but I might give it a go.

Chevette Girl
09-17-2014, 01:53 PM
I only use 12 oz in a gallon with 3.5 lb honey and bread yeast for a blackberry JAO variant and the flavour still comes through just fine.

Bee Serious
09-17-2014, 09:45 PM
Freezing them is nice, like Skunkboy mentioned, because you don't have to use them right away. Plus, that would maybe kill some of the "bugs" on them, I dunno.

I usually freeze, thaw, and then squeeze through cheesecloth/nylon fruit bag to extract pure juice. I have heard that blackberry seeds add an astringent quality - I don't know if that is true. A little seed tannin might help balance honey sweetness? But blackberry seeds definitely would be a pain to keep out of your bottles at the end...

Maeloch
09-18-2014, 05:12 AM
Thanks Chevette Girl - it's difficult to know how much to use. Some of the recipes use less than a pound a gallon, some of the ones I've seen on Jack Keller's country wine site, use up to 5-6lb/gal. I guess with mead, you don't want the blackberry to totally dominate the honey.

For the UK members - funny enough there was an article on the BBC this morning record number of blackberries in the hedgerows this year. I cycle to work down the lanes so have been passing them all summer, and there's loads - more than I at least knows what to do with.

K5MOW
09-18-2014, 07:39 AM
I definitely freeze mine then crush.

GntlKnigt1
09-24-2014, 04:47 PM
I made a base mead this year (traditional) and picked fresh blackberries and crushed them currently aging in a 10 liter carboy. Seems promising

psychopomp23
10-01-2014, 11:57 AM
I usualy buy frozen fruits or freeze them but i've liked my results better when i juiced them after and i get great color and the most juice/sugar with the less mess possible after. I do agree that i takes some time juicing something like 8kg of fruits but i find that it's worth it.