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Blueberry Honey Wine

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:19 pm
by triple-oh_six
I'm looking for a recipe to make a Blueberry Honey Wine.
I've never done a mead before so as much detail as you can give me will be great.

Here's some of what I'd like:

12-14% ABV
Local honey (specify brand if you have used some before)
More on the dry side, some sweetness but not too much

and as expensive as fresh blueberries are, I'd like to go cheaper,
extract or frozen, (from what I've learned about fruit beers, frozen berries, should be better since the cell walls have been broken down some, but you tell me)

I've searched the interweb a bit but haven't found quite what I want.

Your help and guidance is appreciated
Prost,
tripple-oh_six

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:54 am
by GuitarLord5000
Hey Triple Oh!

I've made mead before, but never a blueberry melomel. For all my melomels, I put fresh fruit in the secondary, which produces a very nice fruit flavor. However, if you would prefer to use fruit juice, here's what I would do, for what it's worth.
Apple Juice has a specific gravity somewhere between 1.05 to 1.055. Im going to figure that Blueberry juice is in the same category though I cant really be sure.
Get 4 gallons Blueberry Juice, or enough concentrate to make that amount. You will dilute this amount with 1 gallon water (assuming a 5 gallon batch). For a 1.05 fruit juice, this should bring your specific gravity down to around 1.04.
Obtain 10 lbs. of Honey. You can call around and see what the local apiaries have right now. You'll probably only be able to get clover honey, but if you can get wildflower honey, thats what I'd use.
Mix your cut back Blueberry Juice with your Honey. Your starting gravity should be in the neighborhood of 1.10 to 1.15.
Add a bit of yeast nutrient.
If you have aeration equipment:
Add wort to your fermenter, pitch your yeast, and aerate the bejeezus out of it, for about 4 hours or so.
If you do NOT have aeration equipment:
Add wort to an open top bucket. Pitch your yeast. Stir vigorously for 15 minutes with a large sanitized spoon, then cover the bucket with a sanitized lid. Do this once an hour until signs of vigorous fermentation begin. Transfer your wort to your fermenter.

Again, this is just one way of going about it. If you use the frozen fruit, which is what I would probably do, just allow it to thaw and crush it up a bit, then add it to your fermenter after you rack your mead to secondary. These two approaches will produce drastically different tasting meads.

OK. Enough novel writing.

Cheers
Dave

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:03 am
by Mob_Barley
http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/ Here is a link to Hightest's Honey Haven, one of the best sites I've found for making mead. He has a Mead Calculator Spreadsheet that helps calculate your mead recipe based on SG's of various additives. Hope this helps.

Bobby Johnson

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:28 pm
by aleguy
I'm told that Wyler's frozen wild blueberries are the best. I haven't looked, but they should be available at a local supermarket. I used to pick wild blueberries in Minnesota when I was a kid, and I can tell you right now they are far more blueberry-ie than the hybrid varieties they sell fresh.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:27 pm
by triple-oh_six
Thanks for the input guys, looking forward to getting this going.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:29 pm
by triple-oh_six
Alright, 8 mos. later and I am finally gonna do this,.......don't ask.

This is what I'm going with:

1gal (11.75lb) clover honey
2.5gal water
1.5gal blueberry/cranberry juice (couldn't find straight blueberry)
Fermax yeast nutrient
Wyeast Dry Mead/Cider yeast

2lbs 8oz crushed frozen blueberry in the secondary

Any idea what kind of OG I'll get?
and how long should I leave the blueberries in?

I would go with the 4 gals of juice as suggested by Guitarlord5000 but I'm scared that the cranberry will come through.

Oh and I do have aeration equipment.

Thanks,
0006

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:52 am
by Mob_Barley
The OG should be 1.110. Here is a link to one of my favorite mead sites:
http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/
Look for the Mead Calculator Spreadsheet (RS) You can save a copy and use it whenever you need to. Plug in your weight of honey, adjust the volume of water and volume of juice (and SG of juice if needed) and it gives you the OG. Plus amount of nutrient additions Goferm needed for dry yeasts.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:51 am
by aleguy
I know this is obvious, but make sure your juice doesn't have any preservatives in it. Otherwise, just go with the flow. Fermented beverages have a way of being awesome, eventually. Enough time cures everything (or so I believe). If it doesn't taste right, just put it up for ten years and taste it again every five years or so until it's ready.