Saturday, July 18, 2009

Red Currant Melomel

A few years ago, I attempted my first mead. Not knowing anything outside of: honey, water, yeast, nutrients, I ended up making something that is simply indrinkable (and I still have about 9 bottles left). I used 12 pounds of honey for a three gallon batch, OG of 1.150 and pitched 2 packets of Champagne yeast and no oxygen. It only managed to finish at 1.050 and it sat in secondary for over a year before I bottled it.
I've only had a couple homebrewed meads, and they are quite tasty. I had an idea to make something fairly low in gravity, and refreshing that I could have on tap during the warm August and September months. I got very nervous about my process again this time, more so about what nutrients to use, what I should expect for an OG etc. I ordered 7 pounds of Wild Blackberry honey from Flying Bee Ranch, recieved them very promptly and kindly, and new nutrients through Midwest. I chose to use Lavlin 71B Narbonne since it was recommended for fruit meads (melomel). Again, I never got a definite answer on how much yeast to pitch as this is extremely important for a healthy ferment. But I did make a good guess at how much water to use to get to about 5.5 gallons of total must into the carboy.

Recipe (sorry about 4 different units of measure):
7# Wild Blackberry Honey
2K Boiron Red Currant Puree
10gm Lavlin 71B
15gm Goferm
1.87 tsp DAP

Brewed in about one hours time. Got lazy with cooling the must and ended up pitching the yeast close to about 80 degrees. Gave it about 2 min of O2 and left to ferment in the basement with about 74-75 degree ambient temperature. Lots of action evident the morning after, but no idea how an elavated temperature will affect fermentation.
7/22/09: Gravity just hovering above 1.000 so this puppy looks like it's done. Lots of trub and sediment dropped out of solution, so I think I will rack it before kegging in a few weeks. Flavor seems solid though a little yeasty.
9/22/09: Finally got to keg this one up. I dumped a bit of the coffee brown as I was just tired of it and wanted to get this one in the pipelines.

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