Cherry Mead

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Jericurl

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It's still a bit cloudy, but I'm hoping this one will clear up without any intervention.

I started this on 01-11-16, 1 gallon batch.


64 oz black cherry juice

3 lbs dark sweet frozen/thawed cherries

2.5 lbs honey

.5 tsp mahlab

water to make whole mess a tad over a gallon (to account for racking losses)

RC212 yeast



Racked this the first time in January, then again on 03/27 and added a 1/2 a scraped vanilla bean.

Racked in July. Racked 10/09 and added heavy toast french oak cubes and 12 oz homemade cherry pit extract.

I think I added a pinch more mahlab in there at some point because the taste is pretty heavy. The almond tasting extract did a nice job of somewhat smoothing everything out and I'm hoping the oak deepens the flavor a bit.

Will probably be looking to bottle this one in December if it clears out enough.

Cherry Mead.jpg
 

BernardSmith

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Sounds really very delicious. I wonder if you placed this in the coldest part of your fridge for two or three weeks or even longer that the cold would cause the solids to precipitate out and so the mead would begin to clear faster...
 

Jericurl

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Sounds really very delicious. I wonder if you placed this in the coldest part of your fridge for two or three weeks or even longer that the cold would cause the solids to precipitate out and so the mead would begin to clear faster...
That's actually not a bad idea. I may see if we can clear out a space in the fridge to do that.
 

WildBillCiarbino

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I made a similar 5g batch at the same time as you (i used tart cherry juice instead). Thought it was cleared, and bottled it about 6 months in. have a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottles now, but not enough to empty them and re bottle. I went with 1 vanilla bean per gallon and was a a bit too much at bottling. It has mellowed out a bunch having tried it a few days ago, but I probably should've gone with a half bean per gallon like you. How'd the sweet cherry flavor turn out?
 

Jericurl

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How'd the sweet cherry flavor turn out?
It's actually fine. I was concerned after it was already fermenting because I started reading that if you don't do a mix of sweet vs tart cherries, you can end up with a medicinal tasting cherry.
I don't know if the black cherry added something in the way of tartness or what, but it definitely isn't medicinal.
I think the half a vanilla bean was the perfect amount. It's not super identifiable in the blend, which is what I was aiming for. I just wanted it to be a background flavor and let the cherry shine through.
 

Jericurl

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Looks awesome Jeri.
I've got to say, you come up with some of the most unique wines.

For anyone else wondering, because I sure was
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahleb
It's an amazing flavor. A little goes a very long way, but it is so worth it. I add it to some of my fruit jams and himself wants it added to just about every fruit pie that I make. 1/4 tsp in a cherry pie takes it into blue ribbon territory.
 

WildBillCiarbino

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It's actually fine. I was concerned after it was already fermenting because I started reading that if you don't do a mix of sweet vs tart cherries, you can end up with a medicinal tasting cherry.
I don't know if the black cherry added something in the way of tartness or what, but it definitely isn't medicinal.
I think the half a vanilla bean was the perfect amount. It's not super identifiable in the blend, which is what I was aiming for. I just wanted it to be a background flavor and let the cherry shine through.
good to know! i'll be trying another batch in Feb/March of next year and I'll try cutting the vanilla in half. Right now the vanilla flavor is mellowing, but unfortunately it overpowers the cherry. I suppose I could always do a straight cherry mead and mix it with my current batch...:dg
 

wineforfun

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It's an amazing flavor. A little goes a very long way, but it is so worth it. I add it to some of my fruit jams and himself wants it added to just about every fruit pie that I make. 1/4 tsp in a cherry pie takes it into blue ribbon territory.
Do you buy it locally or have to order it online?
 

Mismost

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you're cherry mead sound awesome even though I am of the opinion cherries should only be used in pies...big, thick, heavy pies.

This is what grabbed me....12 oz homemade cherry pit extract....how do you do that??
 

wineforfun

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Thanks Jeri.

Will have to look into those.
 

Jericurl

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you're cherry mead sound awesome even though I am of the opinion cherries should only be used in pies...big, thick, heavy pies.

This is what grabbed me....12 oz homemade cherry pit extract....how do you do that??
After pitting cherries, take all the pits in put into a mason jar, cover with vodka. Shake it every few days and leave for awhile. I think I left them in there for a month or two, then strained out.
 

Mismost

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After pitting cherries, take all the pits in put into a mason jar, cover with vodka. Shake it every few days and leave for awhile. I think I left them in there for a month or two, then strained out.

Does it make a strong cherry flavor or is it more bitter?

I make a Mezza Luna red and we really like it with cherry wood...and I just kinda like the idea of recycling cherry pits too!
 

Jericurl

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Does it make a strong cherry flavor or is it more bitter?

I make a Mezza Luna red and we really like it with cherry wood...and I just kinda like the idea of recycling cherry pits too!
There is a slight cherry flavor, but it really adds more of an almond element.
 

gratus_fermentatio

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Hi Jeri: I'm wondering how much flavor you're getting from that 1/2 vanilla bean. I have 6 gallons of cherry melomel going right now & added 2 split & scraped vanilla beans a few months ago, but there's no discernible vanilla flavor or aroma. I was hoping for a bit in the background to compliment the cherry & honey flavors. I'm thinking I'll just add more, but I'm wondering how much to add? I thought 2 beans would be enough, but apparently I was wrong. Any suggestions?
Regards, GF.
 

Jericurl

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Hi Jeri: I'm wondering how much flavor you're getting from that 1/2 vanilla bean. I have 6 gallons of cherry melomel going right now & added 2 split & scraped vanilla beans a few months ago, but there's no discernible vanilla flavor or aroma. I was hoping for a bit in the background to compliment the cherry & honey flavors. I'm thinking I'll just add more, but I'm wondering how much to add? I thought 2 beans would be enough, but apparently I was wrong. Any suggestions?
Regards, GF.
Where did you get your beans? Were they moist?

I get mine from Beanilla. The are fresh, moist, and vacuum packed. Full of flavor. 1 scraped bean is plenty for a good background in 6 gallons. How old is your mead right now? I'd be afraid of adding more vanilla and then having it all come roaring back in about 6 months. I think I would cover some good beans with vodka and leave for months, then add to taste when your melomel is just about done.
 

gratus_fermentatio

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My cherry melomel is not quite 2 years old & at 16%, still rather hot. Got the vanilla beans from the local organic store's bulk section. They weren't as fresh or moist as they could've been. I was a little concerned about the beans adding some bitterness after being in for so long. I'll have to have another taste & go from there I guess. Thanks for the info on Beanilla, I'll have to see about getting some good vanilla beans from them.
Regards, GF.
 

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