View Full Version : Teach me about berries.

06-17-2005, 08:28 PM
Well, ok, the subject sounds a little pushy. ;D

Basically, I plan on doing a lot of berry picking this season. In the area I'll have plenty of opportunity to get blueberries, raspberries, high and low bush cranberries, and I have a garden patch of strawberries.

Now, I'm not really hurting for recipie ideas, there are a ton of those here. However, a lot of them use things like concentrates or prepackaged frozen drink mixes. So the first question I have is how would I convert measurements of frozen concentrate to hand picked berries?

The second question I have is how do I make sure these things are totally clean. I don't want some fungus or mold growin' in my fermenter!


06-17-2005, 09:02 PM
For all fruit, I rinse everything off and take out anything that isn't fermentable fruit, which includes leaves, seeds, and anything else that might effect the end product. Then I stick it in the freezer and let it freeze hard to break down the cell walls making it easier for the yeasts when they are thawed.

06-17-2005, 10:05 PM
I work with a ratio of about 3-4 lbs of fresh fruit per gallon of water. I've used as much as 20 lbs and more in a primary when making melomel (loquat if I remember right). So whatever it is I kind of adjudicate by taste. If it is a strong flavored fruit, I'll go with 3-4 lbs, but if it is more delicate in flavor then 4-5 or more.

Also I tend to add fruit in the primary and secondary. Secondary generally preserves the flavor of the fruit, while primary will ferment the fruit and give it a very different flavor. Many times I end up layering in primary and secondary. That is a lot of fruit in the primary, and then some fresh stuff in the secondary to bring back some of the original fruit flavor without overpowering the honey or the fermented fruit flavor. It takes practice and it's different for each fruit you use.

I'm not making a lot of melomels right now, but all this talk is getting me interested again. I'm mostly getting back to basics.



06-17-2005, 11:22 PM
I generally use 2-3 lbs of fruit per gallon of mead. It is interesting that I too used 20 pounds of fruit in my loquat melomel.

Up until that last year I have put the fruit in the primary, with some pretty nice results. The last few melomels I have put the fruit in the secondary.

Lately I have been using only the juice for my melomels, just to see what the difference will be.

Brian K

06-17-2005, 11:34 PM

Brian, it seems like we use the same rule of thumb, I remember you saying something about 22 lbs of raspberries too. I've used 20 lbs and up of raspberries too.

Great minds think alike . . . fools seldom differ :o



06-18-2005, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the tips, all. Now I just have to be patient and tend to the bushes with care. The local squirrels seem to have taken an interest in strawberries. ;D