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jeebeel
11-04-2004, 08:11 PM
Thinking of making a cherry melomel and using Knudsen's "just juice" black cherry juice for the fruit addition (100% cherry juice without added sugar or other juices).
Anyone with experience and/or thoughts on using this product?
Thanks.

Dan McFeeley
11-21-2004, 05:51 PM
Thinking of making a cherry melomel and using Knudsen's "just juice" black cherry juice for the fruit addition (100% cherry juice without added sugar or other juices).
Anyone with experience and/or thoughts on using this product?
Thanks.

I've made some rather nice cherry melomels using reconstituted cherry concentrate, purchased from a local health food store. It worked out well. Sorry! I'm at work and don't have access to my old notes.

Oskaar
11-21-2004, 10:55 PM
I've used the just blueberry in blueberry melomel and it worked just fine.

Oskaar

jeebeel
11-22-2004, 09:14 PM
Oskaar,
How much did you use? And did you add any additional acid or tannin?
Thanks.

Oskaar
11-22-2004, 11:58 PM
Hi Jeebeel,

I used four gallons of the juice. Since you buy it by the quart it gets pretty steenking expensive. I also added four pounds of blueberrys when I racked to secondary, and another quart of juice.

The taste coming out of the primary was fine, but I wanted more. Hence the addition of the fruit.

It turned out very nice.

Here's what I did:

14 lbs Mixed blossom honey (Wildflower)
4 gal Just Juice
1 lb vanilla sugar
2 Key Limes (zest only)
1 Lemon (zest only)
2 Oranges (zest only)

Sample to ensure the citrus balance is right. If sweet on the citrus side add some lemon/lime juice (squeezed) directly into the must. If too sour add some orange juice (squeezed) until you're at an acceptable balance to your taste buds.

2 tsp DAP
2 tsp energizer

Mixed it all together in my brew kettle at about 120 degrees F.

One last taste to make sure it's right after the energizer and nutrient addition.

Decanted through my counterflow chiller (note: I keep the water that I run through my counterflow chiller at about 80 - 90 degrees so when I pitch my yeast they do not experience temperature shock)

Pitch Yeast. In this case I re-used a culture that I had taken from a sweet red wine I had made about a month before. Since I had racked that day, I drained the yeast into a gold filter (like they use in coffee makers), rinsed with warm distilled water (85 degrees F) and put this into a starter culture until it had taken off.

With this recipe I would recommend either D-47 or 71B.

Waited 30 days for fermentation to complete, and racked onto 4 lb blueberries, and 2 lb blackberries. The berries were defrosted and run through my chinois.

Racked after about three weeks to another vessel. Racked twice more as clearing became more complete.

It tasted great! Went really quickly and was a good dark color.

Sorry I don't have gravity readings for you, I really didn't use gravity readings that much when I made this. I still am not a slave to gravity readings, although if I am making an unfamiliar recipe I take an OG and compare to SG at racking times to make sure I am within the boundries of the recipe.

Also note: Before I am accused of heresy for not taking gravity readings, etc. bear in mind that I do not advocate not using them. I've been making mead, wine and beer since the early eighties, and wine since I was about eight years old.

My family (I'm first generation born here) is from an area of the Adriatic where the winemaking tradition is over 3000 years old. We go by smell and taste mostly. I'm the first one in the family to not use a garden hose tied to a stick to rack from the fermentation vessel to the barrels for aging, or burn sulfur sticks in our winebarrels after we rinsed them out with sea water. I'm also not saying that the old methods are better or worse than modern methods. Bottom line is you can't argue with results, and the old dudes had wine that rocked anything I've tasted off the shelf.

Laugh, cringe, or do whatever you want, but I have yet to make a wine that exceeds anything my father and uncles have made, even with all the wonderful new technology available to me. So one day I hope to be as good as my dad and uncles, and maybe half as good as my grandpa!

Cheers,

Oskaar

jeebeel
11-23-2004, 07:56 PM
Thanks Oskaar for the tips and the great observations about your family tradition.

I bet your family wine is excellent. I can also relate somewhat to your comments after spending years watching grandparents in rural Germany making hard apple cider, jams, jarred fruits & veggies, homemade sausage, etc. using old traditional methods. These methods may have been abhorrent to a health department inspector but they always worked great and never produced off or infected results. I've been brewing beer for about 7 years & I rarely bother with gravity readings. And now I've started mead ...

Your posts on this forum are always good and instructive. Cheers!

Jmattioli
11-23-2004, 08:47 PM
Just a tid-bit for newbies reading:
Experienced makers rarely use hydrometers but if you are a newbie or relatively new, it will put you years ahead of where you would be without one. Stuck fermentations for example are easily recognized by one who has much experience with brewing but the hydrometer will tell the new maker what his limited sensory experience with mead will not. I would encourage all first year mead makers to use their hydrometers until they get a real feel for what's happening by sight, taste, and smell inputs.
Joe