BlackBerry Melomel?

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David Violante

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I had a great harvest of blackberries this year and froze them to make jam come Christmas. After about 8 jars of BlackBerry rosemary jam, I had enough left over to ferment about a half gallon. I started with a SG of 1.100 and a pH of 3.2. I used RC212 and a starter, oak chips, and nutrients. All is well.

Then… I’m sitting here reading about all these delicious sounding melomels and have a good amount of honey from the spring… so here’s what I did. Looking to see if this sounds ok… I made a mix of honey and water to a SG of 1.100, mixed well, added nutrients, and slowly mixed the two. It ends up being just over a gallon of half BlackBerry and half mead. Both started at 1.100.

It‘s now at 1.090, is just over a gallon, has a pH of 3.2 and the fermentation is still going. This is my first melomel and so I’m just wondering if it all sounds good so far...
 
I would put money on it will be good but there won't be enough of it. Should come out just fine. But you will probably have to make more. Arne.
 
I will take the contrarian view for discussion purposes. You essentially diluted your blackberry by half, while adding honey to bring up the SG. My thought is this will create a weakly flavored product. I’ve never made anything out of a jam so if the jam provides twice the flavor as juice then your back to square one. Do let us know how it turns out.

Hoping @BigDaveK weighs in as I think he’s made wine from jams before.
 
I will take the contrarian view for discussion purposes. You essentially diluted your blackberry by half, while adding honey to bring up the SG. My thought is this will create a weakly flavored product. I’ve never made anything out of a jam so if the jam provides twice the flavor as juice then your back to square one. Do let us know how it turns out.

Hoping @BigDaveK weighs in as I think he’s made wine from jams before.
It's not clear to me from the OP that David is using jam but since you called, I'll answer.

Yes, I've made wine from jelly and jam. Jellies need extra work up front because of the added pectin. Jam I cook to the gel point (220F?), so it's just fruit, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice.
My last jam wine used 5 half-pint jars of jam for a gallon batch. The limiting factor is the amount of sugar in the jam. Those 5 jars gave me an SG of 1.103. The flavor was surprisingly good! Easily as good as a commercial brand but not as good as those I've made with 6+ lbs of fresh fruit. My jam probably had about 3.5 lbs of fruit. If I ever need space on the shelf I won't hesitate to use jam for wine. I think everyone should try it at least once.
 
Bob,

Great discussion point, and one of the things I love about this forum. I haven't yet made a melomel and so this is an experience at a small scale 1 gallon size. I'm thinking that by the virtue of being a melomel, there is some amount of dilution of both honey (by fruit) and fruit (by honey). I've not added water to the blackberries, but I did add water to the honey to get the right SG. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking in the future to use honey instead of sugar to get to the right SG. But making the melomel was an afterthought. Complete experiment.

Big Dave is correct, I didn't start with a jam or jelly, I had leftover blackberries that I was using to make jam. I do like the idea though...
 

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