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I would say that it depends upon how you mean "count as fruit juice." If you meant that in the purpose of catagorizing your mead for melo/meth/etc, I would say that it definately counts as a (tropical) fruit juice.
As for ingrediant/yeast food purpose, I would think it should get its own grouping. Coconut milk is quite different chemically from "typical" fruit juice. I don't remember all the particulars off hand, but I remember something about its high oil content and its odd mineral content(high P,Mg, K). That is the reason why if trapped on a desert isle with no water, you should NOT drink coconut milk as it will only make things get worse a lot faster. It might be ok blended with something else, but straight coconut milk would need some tweaking to keep it within the yeast's tolerances for some things.
I am not sure how you meant the "count as fruit juice", so if I misunderstood you, let us know how you meant it and i will ramble further on what i know...
hope that helps,
Commercial coconut milks and creams. If the fat content is 17%, it is called "coconut milk." If the fat content is 24%, it is called "coconut cream." But most of what you are purchasing is water.
I've just ordered some of this for experimenting with... http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/coconut_cream_concentrate.htm
I'm planning on mixing it with 180 (f) water, stirring well, letting the oils separate, putting it in the freezer to harden the oils for removal, then mixing with the must for fermentation. This won't be a Mead but an experiment for a Pina Colada alcohol to use for making same.
I'll do it. I didn't want to for fear of starting a dangerous trend, but, anyone else besides me ever made a chocolate coconut mead? Well, I was going for a Mounds bar kind of taste and it was pretty close.
Now, don't anyone point a finger at me after they decorate the ceiling trying this, but it was the basic chocolate recipe, with coconut cream in the primary, and more chocolate in the secondary to balance the coconut.
It was a very "lively" primary with the chocolate, but the secondary was not too bad. I've been looking for any notes that I have on this batch, but they're not to be found. I suspect they are on the "Dead Three Tapes" as I call them now that will not work for a restore to my backup server.
Note: I made this stuff during the time that I was using corny kegs as primary vessels, so that would mean I was using a blow off tube, and I remember that I did change the water pretty frequently in the first couple of days.
Interesting to hear of a successful batch including coconut. I should have thought that something with so high a fat content wouldn't work. Oskaar, did the fat separate out during fermentation? Or did it stay homogenous?