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Planning Next Melomel

maxmurder

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2012
63
0
0
Bethlehem, Pa.
Thanks to the helpful advice of everyone on this board I decided to plan out my next batch a little more carefully with the info I have gathered for my next melomel. I won't start it for another month or so, but was just wondering if anyone would change any processes/tweek any ingredients or anything else that may help.

Anyhoo,
I plan on doing a pretty basic 5 gallon batch of either blueberry, blackberry or raspberry. I'll let my wife pick :)
I'm looking for it to be semi-sweet.
I was thinking:

18 lbs honey (not sure which variety yet)
8-10 lb fruit
energizer (3 tsp)
nutrient (5 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 pack D47 or 71B (I hear D47 is better for mels)
Debating vanilla, but may save that for an experimental 1 G batch
Water to 5.5 Gallons

  • Thaw berries, mash, put in primary bucket (maybe 1/3 of fruit) mixed with pectin
  • Rehydrate yeast
  • Mix honey in warm water
  • Pour some honey/water solution in fermenter
  • Add energizer and nutrient
  • Add rest of solution to 5.5 Gallons
  • Pitch yeast when at below 80 degress
  • Aerate
  • After primary fermentation, rack onto subsequent fruit in secondary
  • Bottle excess .5 Gallons or so and keep in fridge to top off carboy later
  • Rack off fruit after another month or so.

Try to wait patiently...

Since I'm still pretty new, trying to keep it basic.

Any thoughts/suggestions?
 

maxmurder

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2012
63
0
0
Bethlehem, Pa.
On second thought, I guess 18 lbs of honey would be a little heavy for a semi-sweet mel, huh? Maybe 15 or 16 lbs plus the fruit should suffice?
 

Alien1099

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 25, 2012
15
0
0
As you mentioned, I see you really are doing something similar to what I did. I hope yours turns out well too!

On second thought, I guess 18 lbs of honey would be a little heavy for a semi-sweet mel, huh? Maybe 15 or 16 lbs plus the fruit should suffice?
I think it would depend on the type of yeast you use. Lavlin 71B and D-47 are supposed to peter out around 14% ABV (if I recall correctly) and 3.5 pounds of honey for those yeasts should yield a sweet mead with those yeasts from what I've read. If you want a semi-sweet mead, I think you'll want to use less than 3.5 pounds of honey per gallon.

As for what type of yeast to use, I have read 71B is works well with melomels because it adds a slight fruity flavor from accounts I've read. D-47 I have not tried nor read much about. I went with 71B because of the temperature range it works best at. My house is kept at around 76-78 and the room the carboys are in can sometimes reach 80+ due to a computer going in the room. 71B is supposed to be great for that temperature range so that's mainly why I went with it.

ICV D-47 Origin
This strain was isolated from grapes grown in the Côtes-du-Rhône region of France by Dr. Dominique Delteil, head of the Microbiology Department, Institut coopératif du vin (ICV), in Montpellier. ICV D-47 strain was selected from 450 isolates collected between 1986 and 1990.

Oenological properties and applications
The ICV D-47 is a low-foaming quick fermenter that settles well, forming a compact lees at the end of fermentation. This strain tolerates fermentation temperatures ranging from 15° to 20°C (59° to 68°F) and enhances mouthfeel due to complex carbohydrates. Malolactic fermentation proceeds well in wine made with ICV D-47.

Recommended for making wines from white varieties such as Chardonnay and rosé wines. An excellent choice for producing mead, however be sure to supplement with yeast nutrients, especially usable nitrogen.
71B-1122 Origin
Selected in Narbonne at the Institut national de recherche en agriculture (INRA) by J. Maugenet. The selection was designed to isolate yeasts that would produce a fruity yet fresh character in wine that would live long after fermentation.

Oenological properties and applications
The 71B strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) that has the ability to metabolize high amounts (20% to 40%) of malic acid. In addition to producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature quickly, it does not extract a great deal of phenols from the must so the maturation time is further decreased.

The 71B is used primarily by professional winemakers for young wines such as vin nouveau and has been found to be very suitable for blush and residual sugar whites. For grapes in regions naturally high in acid, the partial metabolism of malic acid helps soften the wine. The 71B also has the ability to produce significant esters and higher alcohols, making it an excellent choice for fermenting concentrates.

An excellent choice for blush & residual sugar whites, nouveau & young red wines. Also a good choice for late harvest wines.
 

maxmurder

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2012
63
0
0
Bethlehem, Pa.
Yes, you're right about 71B. I was mixing the two up in my head. Convenient, cause I have a pack or two of 71B. And yea, I think I 'll stick with about 15-16 lb for 5.5 gallons. I don't want it too sweet.
 

Midnight Sun

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 13, 2010
436
5
0
Anchorage, Alaska
For mels you might also consider RC212. 71B does give a pleasant "fruit salad" flavor, but I think RC212 yields a superior mead in the end especially for dark fruits. The nutrient requirements for RC212 are rather high, though.

I favor D47 for metheglins and traditionals, although kv1116 is also a good choice.

Anyway, you might consider taking a look at Oskaar's blueberry recipe in the Patron's section, here. Lots of good info in the comments that follow. The recipe would probably work well if you decided to sub in blackberries or raspberries.
 

maxmurder

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2012
63
0
0
Bethlehem, Pa.
RC212 it is. I never tried it before, so it will be good to see how it turns out. I will probably be doing blackberries for this.

Thank you for the link. On my way now.
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
38
Ottawa, ON
RC-212 is a whiny, needy mopey-pants yeast sometimes but if you feed it until it stops whining, it really does yield very nice results, I've used it a couple of times for very fruity things and have been quite happy with it once it's out of primary. While it's in primary, I do tend to say a lot of words one doesn't say in front of Grandma. Whatever nutrients you'd planned to give, add 50% and be prepared to add even more energizer if it makes a stink...