Blackberry Mead (First Attempt)

Discussion in 'Meads' started by Bodenski, Aug 17, 2017.

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  1. Bodenski

    Bodenski Junior Member

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    Just parking my details here for future reference. Picked up 10 or so pounds of blackberries from a road-side stand over the weekend, and am making both a mead and a wine (both one gallon batches).

    Blackberry Mead (1 gallon)
    4.5 lbs blackberries
    1.5 lbs Mesquite honey (so far)
    7 pints water
    1/2 banana (probably a little less.)
    1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
    Yeast 71B


    Berries were frozen. Put into bucket (in a bag) and added water, honey, pectic enzyme and Campden tablet. Will check SG today (after 24 hours), and add honey to get to SG up to 1.090 for a 12% ABV. (Berries were still frozen so I was waiting for them to get to room temp and get crushed before measuring SG). Plan on doing timed additions, but I'm not sure about faithfully sticking to the TONSA schedule. This morning I stirred it and tasted a bit. Taste is OK, but doesn't seem like the SG is high enough yet. I do think it's going to be a good drink. Now that I have several other batches aging I plan on letting this age a while when it's done.

    My last couple of meads I went high on the honey and let the yeast go to "completion." They both ended up with a higher ABV% than I wanted so this time I plan on fermenting dry, stabilizing and then back-sweetening. I think 12% should be a good target, but I might even go for just 11% so that the berry flavor can be a bit more prominent. (My 15.5% ones are taking forever get the fruit flavor back!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  2. Bodenski

    Bodenski Junior Member

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    Following up

    I put too much water in, and it's weaker than I wanted. Total Honey was probably a hair under 3 lbs. Added nearly 1.5 lbs of Trader Joes Turkish Honey. Starting SG was 1.080. Last night the SG was 1.000, and I took out the fruit. It seems like there was nearly 1.5 gallons of wine, which means I really overshot the amount of water I added. So it will be weaker than I wanted. Drat!

    I'll probably add some berries to the secondary to increase the flavor some. Or it will be just a light-bodied mead! I plan on adding honey to get the final SG (after sitting on some berries for a month or two) up to 1.010 I think.

    So bottom line - be careful how much water you add!
     
  3. Donatelo

    Donatelo Senior Member

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    I know this is a very old post, but how did your Blackberry mead turn out. I am curious and would like to try my hand at this recipe. An 11% mead would be fine with me.
     
  4. Bodenski

    Bodenski Junior Member

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    I just bottled this about a week ago. It's OK, but not as strong with the blackberry taste as I wanted it to be. I added some more honey to taste, but I didn't measure the final SG after adding the honey. I'm kicking myself a little about that right now.

    The winery I buy my grape juice from also sells buckets of fruit juice in the fall. If I make blackberry mead again, it will be from juice I think instead of from fruit. At least that's my current plan.
     
  5. meadmaker1

    meadmaker1 Member Supporting Member

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    You might try starting with slightly higher abv than you want and using heavily sweetened juice to back sweeten.
    This will add volume, lowering avb and boost fruit taste.
    Of course it will and time to clearing, but clearing time counts as aging, right?
     
  6. Bodenski

    Bodenski Junior Member

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    I might do that next time. Although blackberry juice isn't something I normally find in my local walmart. I did do that with my first apple cyser (which I made way too strong) and it ended up being quite nice.
     
    JamesGrape likes this.

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