So I have a 3L starter of Wyeast 1388 going right now and plan to do a 5 gallon batch of mead with 15# of honey later this week following the BOMM method. My plan is to add about 10# of sweet cherries I presently have in the freezer at some point to make a melomel. Any thoughts as far as timing of the fruit? My plan is to add the fruit as I near terminal gravity. Do I need to add the fruit from the get-go or is there an optimal time to add it?
Just like a beer. Add it after primary fermentation. The only catch is that mead is pretty low in pH and nutrients, so it’s tough on the yeast. Add some yeast nutrient during primary, but when you add the cherries it should provide some nutrients for the pretty exhausted yeast. Give it as long as needed to reach a terminal gravity and clear. Don’t be surprised if it takes months.
I start my fruit Mead in a big 2 gallon jar honey water and fruit all at once. I keep pushing down the fruit until it stays down after a week or so I rack it to a jug fermenter with nutrient and let it sit for a month or so then rack it again with nutrient. I’ll usually rack it once more. Just bottled a peach Mead tonight after about 7months. It’s, well peachy
Thanks for all the input guys. Kind of have a plan…now!
5 gallons of mead in the jug! SG:1.105. 15# of wildflower honey, some Yeast nutrient and DAP in with a 3L starter of Wyeast 1388. Recipe says to degas daily for the first week. Not going to happen. Hopefully not too negative an impact.
Degass? Are you fermenting under pressure?
No. Apparently mead has the tendency to build up entrained CO2. The CO2 stresses the yeast so from what I’ve read you need to stir it daily to get the CO2 to come out of it.
I’ve never done it but maybe it may be helpful for the bomm method.
No harm in trying it. Or you could add a little bit o’ dry yeast nutrient every day. Ever added grain sugar to a fermented beer full of CO2? BOOM! Pretty effective at degassing.
I have noticed the slow tiny bubbles in my Mead but never thought about speeding that up. I thought it was just fermentation happening
No degassing for a week for me. Got some stuff going on so won’t be able to attend to it. It’ll have to just make mead on its own. Weird right? Just checked on it and it’s happily bubbling away in the mancave. Just for grins I’ll give it a little jiggle later today to see what happens.
Check the mead last night and it’s at 0.995. I really haven’t messed with it much. Only gave it one nutrient addition other than the initial and it seems to be doing fine. Not sure if the 131 calculation for ABV works for stuff that started as high gravity as this (1.100-ish) but if so we’re around 13.7%. The stuff tastes great plain and I’ll keep some but I also plan to split some off to add sweet cherries, raspberries, and tart cherry juice to respectively. Pretty jazzed about this adventure!
Update: Just for grins I went to a local Meadery for reference. Got talking to the owner/mead maker guy and described my BOMM attempt. He was a bit skeptical to say the least. I had a flight of his products which were VERY tasty. They all had body and flavor although more sweet than I like. I bought a couple bottles for reference purposes. I bottled/jugged my mead last night and poured a sample to compare to his. The pro product is very sweet compared to mine and has a deep rich amber color. Mine is much lighter in color, mouthfeel and flavor. Although not terribly “hot” tasting, the alcohol is definitely detectable. I’m not disappointed in my first attempt but now have an idea of what I’m after. I’d like to move in the direction of his although not all the way there. I think I need to have fermentation stop a little earlier to get away form the dryness a bit. I’m not sure if I need to use another yeast or take more samples and kill this one off somewhere along the way, say at 1.008- 1.015. I did put some of my mead on sweet cherries and some on raspberries too so we’ll see how that goes.
Mead makers are a snooty lot from what I gather watching the bud lite commercials. Do you like your Mead? I make alot of fruit meads mostly with peaches and pears from my trees. Though I’ve never had commercial Mead I’ve served mine to people who’ve had. They all say the same thing the commercial stuff they’ve had is to sweet. I make mine dry. I’ve always bottled it still. I have some conditioning now that I’ve carbonated. I’ll try some soon
I do like my mead. Would like it just a smidge sweeter but it’s definitely drinkable. I think I’m going to keep all mine still at this point. Maybe fizz some up next batch.