Help with proposed mead. Black Currant, Blackberry, and Black Cherry

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Mar 30, 2022
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SE Missouri
A local restaurant sells the owners mead. My favorite is a blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherry, but so far he has declined to share his recipe. I am trying to create something similar. The following is a proposed recipe for a 3 gallon batch.

32 oz Black currant concentrate. (1:5 = 5 qts regular strength juice)
2 qts Cherry juice (probably needs more)
**3-4 lbs Honey ( 1+ qt volume)
Water to 2.5+ gallons ( ~ 2+ qts)
**Sugar to Sg 1.103, (~3 ½ - 4 ½ lbs, maybe slightly more to account for dilution in secondary)
1 ½ tsp Pectinase
6 lbs blackberries in secondary (2-3 qts volume?)

Notes/thoughts and approximate volumes are in parentheses.
This year my wildflower honey is fairly strong flavored so I may use more or less to taste with enough sugar to reach potential ABV of 13.5%.
Looking for thoughts and suggestions. The hardest part will be achieving a balanced full fruit flavor with the honey secondary and in the background. I have the proposed ingredients and could probably find more blackberries/cherry juice but the black currant concentrate is probably not available locally.
- Can you describe the flavor you want? Do you have any test numbers on the local mead? ,,, in the food industry lots of time is spent sampling the competition.
- I make meads with a gravity target, ,,, the sugar is what ever it takes to make target alcohol and the fruit usually is 100% juice.
- black current is a dominant long/ musky flavor. Some folks are turned off by it so I would be careful, last year pH 3.30/ TA 4.26%( normal TA target is 0.5-0.7%~ pH of 3.2-3.5) ,,,, expect to dilute to get in the target
- cherry is fairly acidic. Last year pH 3.07/TA 2.07% ,,, expect to dilute to get in the flavor target
- I have had blackberry with pH from 3.4 to 3.9 and a good TA.
- shelf life both cherry and blackberry have polyphenols that can make astringent flavors with age
- l make the wine fit the size carboy I have. In this case I would add water to top off at three gallons.
- adding juice in the secondary is messy. For mold prevention fruit should be submerged or mixed every day. Pulling it out risks oxygenating the mead. Basically I add juice for topping off but never add fruit to a secondary
- do you have the ability to test wine? PM me if you don’t test and want numbers on your target.
First let me say that I am not familiar with black currants; I think my summers are too hot for them to do well. To my knowledge I have not tasted them. I will also confess that my palate is not very refined, like most people I know what I like but often can’t tell someone why.

The mead mostly tasted of blackberries with a musky/earthy background, honestly, I don’t taste much cherry. It’s tart with little alcohol bite. Only a very mild tannic astringency. It tast like it would be at the upper limit of semi sweet, but the SG is probably higher than perceived due to the acid. The label says ABV 13.5%. I hadn’t thought about buying a bottle and testing it, but that’s a good idea. Though the restaurant charges over $30 for a 375 ml bottle.

Adding blackberries in the primary is an easy fix. Since I was limited on the amount have, I thought I might get more blackberry flavor in the secondary

My blackberries have pH of 3.2 and TA was 1% (this is from a blackberry mead I mad in July. I checked the TA twice)

When you blend juices like I want to do, do you test/balance each juice then mix or mix them together then adjust?
cut your wildflower honey with something softer e.g. clover or alfalfa honey. Leave out the sugar. Get the seeds out 6 days after active ferment with nylon sieve. Amazon has it. If you want intensity use EC-1118 yeast. If you want softness with fragrance use 71B. If you want richness with spiciness use RC212. Add nutrient and pectic enzyme. Add honey to SG 1.085 to 1.090. Consider adding 2 yeasts e.g. RC212-71B. I did this yeast combo, this year, on blackberry-wild cherry and it tastes fine.
Ok- what does TA stand for?
The number of grams of acid per liter (%TA) is a good predictor for where the sugar should be put when the product is bottled.
A guideline for where to balance TA on wine;
after club contest this year I collected eight first place wines which are the red triangles
View attachment 81200
The sample set "cloud" is primarily commercial wines, with some collected in the vinters club and here on WineMakingTalk
NOTE: TA is one of several quality traits which a first place wine has as absence of flavor defect, appropriate aroma for the variety and clarity , , , etc.
NOTE 2: this is an easy test, if ya'll are interested in your wine ,,, PM me
I know this is an older forum, but if someone is considering using the OP's recipe; I have black current bushes in my orchard her in mid Missouri. Black currents are hard to eat. They have a very "tannic astringency" taste and it stays in your mouth way too long for me. They are like eating wild Black cherrys.
I believe b lack currents would be a good mix with other berries, but added at a small percentage or it could totally over power the other ingredients.

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