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Thread: First mead questions, berry melomel

  1. #21
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    I made 5 litres of top-up must last night with 4 litres of water, 1 kg of honey, a can of frozen orange juice concentrate, and a 1 litre carton of mixed berry juice (which had a small amount of grape and apple in it). This had a gravity of 1.092.

    My existing must read at 1.030, after adding the top-up this should be 1.042, though I didn't take an "after" reading.

    Re-estimating the starting gravity of the whole batch with the top-up taken into account, it should be about 1.134.

  2. #22
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    Read at 1.037 tonight. It smells wonderful, like raspberries and port, and tastes like it's going to be dangerously drinkable at some point down the road.

    I'm already pondering a few next projects to occupy the fermenter when this moves on. I fear making mead may be more addictive than beer.

  3. #23
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    What are you using for your original OG, the calculated or the measured?
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    What are you using for your original OG, the calculated or the measured?
    If you mean the 1.134 I posted after topping up the must, that's the calculated gravity (I checked it both by using the blending calculator for 5 litres of 1.092 must with 20 litres of 1.145, and by putting all of my fermentables and the increased volume into the gravity calculator). If I go by what I first measured before pitching yeast instead, I calculate a revised OG 1.123 (the original measured at 1.131 with some honey still on the bottom).

    Just now, to satisfy my curiosity, I estimated the undissolved honey at pitching was around 300 grams, and took that amount plus the fruit out my OG calculation, and got exactly the 1.131 my hydrometer read.

  5. #25
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    Awesome, you're on it. I was just checking that you weren't using the 1.131 you'd initially measured, because adding fruit juice should make it go down and not everyone understands the math .
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G

  6. #26
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    Read 1.028 last night.

  7. #27
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    This read at 1.023 last night. It has definitely slowed down again.

  8. #28
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    Still a good sign that it's still going, my fermentations often slow down near the end.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G

  9. #29
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    Down to 1.017. I tasted the sample and the fruit is really coming through now that the sweetness is down, but my mouth is numb from the heat.

    I'll probably rack it to secondary with the strawberries on the weekend, it'll have been in primary for a month by then and I won't be terribly upset if it ferments a bit more with them.

    I started my first-ever gallon of JAOM tonight so I'll have something to look forward to a little sooner than the year or more the melomel is going to need.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by khildahl View Post
    Down to 1.017. I tasted the sample and the fruit is really coming through now that the sweetness is down, but my mouth is numb from the heat.
    That heat will diminish with age, so don't worry to much about it.

  11. #31
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    Read at 1.011 before I racked it onto the strawberries today.

  12. #32
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    Stabilized, racked to a clean carboy, and topped-up yesterday. SG is still at 1.011.

    Now the hard part: Leaving it alone.

  13. #33
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    So this has been aging untouched in a cool dark corner of my basement for nearly six months. I took a small sample today and it's coming along nicely. It's a crystal-clear slightly tawny pinkish red colour, and smells like fresh strawberries. It's got a medium-dry (leaning more toward dry) level of sweetness, which I'm quite happy with.

    As far as taste, very little of the berries are coming through. If I had to compare it to something, I'd say it's similar to a dry sherry (the drinking kind, not the cooking kind). There's a touch of heat on the finish, but nothing unmanageable. I'll try it again in a month or two, then decide if I'm ready to bottle it.

    Overall, I'm impressed with how much it mellowed over such a short time. I was expecting it to take a lot longer.

  14. #34
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    I finally hauled this carboy out of the basement and bottled it last night. SG was still 1.011 (which is what is was last time I checked it a year and a half ago), so I'm estimating it finished just shy of 16% ABV (calculates at 15.9%).

    Colour is a light tawny red, nice and clear. The nose is really dominated by strawberries, very little else comes through on it.

    It tastes dangerously like juice (and has the thin consistency/mouthfeel to go with it), with very little heat from the alcohol. The level of sweetness in it ended up just right for the fruit-flavour, to my taste. A perfect medium.

    Overall, I'm happy with it. I do have a gallon left in a small carboy (I ran out of bottles); I'm thinking about experimenting on it by adding tannins or oaking it to give it some more body and a little complexity.

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