Blueberry/Vanilla Melomel(s) #3, 8, 21, 29, 34

Author: LadySylvia

Why so many?  Mistress Brita says it’s her favorite and that is enough for me to continue making it.   In addition, I have found that when a person doesn’t like mead, the blueberry melomel can sometimes change their mind.   I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites too. 🙂

#3 made on 1/19/2000

15 lbs. clover honey

6  lbs. blueberries (I did not note what kind, but I suspect they were frozen, Wyman’s)

4 fl. oz. vanilla extract

4 t. cinnamon

1 tab yeast nutrient

5 tabs yeast energizer

Yeast: WYeast Vinter’s Choice – 3021 Pasture Champagne

Notes:  On 1/20/2000 I took the specific gravity (1.100 plus a little; PA=13).  Racked: 1/26, 2/11, 2/27, 3/18  All with positive notes about flavor. 

Bottled: 10/13/2000  with Final gravity at 1.164 PA=7  (Must have miswrote the SG – should have been 1.064) “Probably coiuld have been racked a few more times”

Hindsight:  At this point, I was still unsure how clear mead should be prior to bottling.  Sediment settled to the bottom of every bottle.  Yet, it was still very good to drink.  This was the batch that encouraged me to continue this hobby.  It was good.  I think I have one bottle left.  It was poorly corked, so I have no idea how it has fared, but I will find out at an Endewearde Brewers Guild meeting someday soon.

#8 made on 3/6/2004

15 lbs. clover honey

8  lbs. frozen wild blueberries

8 fl. oz. vanilla extract

3 sticks cinnamon

no additives (nutrients or enigizer)

Yeast: WYeast Vinter’s Choice – dry mead 

Notes:  The yeast I used used was “old”  but still fermented.  Starting specific gravity (1.060; PA=15).  Racked: 3/31/04 and added water to bring batch to 6 1/2 gallons, 7/23, 2/6/05, 5/29/05, 10/2/05 (scum film on top-racked into a small carboy w/no air exposier to limit whatever the contaminent  was.  (I had kept steeling mead form this batch because I couldn’t wait for it to finish to drink it…)  All with positive notes about flavor. 

Bottled: 6/19/2006  with Final gravity at 1.040 PA=5  (My calculations for alcohol content are probably off because I had added water.) 

Hindsight: I so should not have been steeling mead from the carboy as it finished.  I exposed this mead to all kinds of stuff.  On the bright side, I was able to save it and drank it happily.  Noone died!  🙂

#21 made on 2/21/2007

15 lbs. clover honey

9  lbs. frozen wild blueberries

4 fl. oz. vanilla extract

4 sticks cinnamon

no additives (nutrients or enigizer)

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Notes:  6 gallon batch;  Original gravity = 1.096, PA=13; Racked on 3/2/07 and added 1 gallon of water; racked 7/1/07 (SG = 1.050; PA – 7), 10/27/07

Bottled: 3/9/08; Final gravity 1.033, PA=5

Hindsight: Well, it must have been decent, because it won the Mead category at GNEW in 2008.  Yay!  (Ludwig must have been gone that year.) 🙂  I’m wondering how valid my specific gravity readings are since much of the sugars are still in the berries on the first reading and fermentation has already begun on the second reading.  Also, when I add water, that MUST effect the alcohol content.  Someone sciencey could probably figure it all out…

#29 made on 8/27/2008  (In process)

Which henceforth shall be dubbed “MEAD-TASTROPHY”  (see notes)

15 lbs. clover honey (very crystalized)

10 – 15 oz bags of Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries 

8 fl. oz. vanilla extract

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Notes:   Put about 2 gallons of H2O in the bottom of a glass carboy, along with the vanilla.  Brought the honey and about 1 gallon of water up to 180 degrees and then turned off the heat.  I added the blueberries and crushed them with a strainer spoon against the wall of the pot.  Since they were frozen, I had to bring the must back up to 150 degrees to make sure I killed off any ambient yuck that may have been introduced by the berries.  I combined the must with the cold water mixture and then topped off the carboy to 6 1/2 gallons.  I gave it a great stir and then added the yeast.   

     Original gravity: 1.078 (PA=10 1/2), Racked on 9/8/08 to seperate must from berries, 1/19/09, and sometime in the spring (see “mead-tastrophy”)

Bottled: Not yet.

Hindsight: So here’s the mead-tastrophy story:  There once was a slightly fermenting methaglin in a weak, recycled bottled.  It was hiding in a box on the shelf.  On day, it exploded, hit the side of the box, which bumped a bottle of cordial, that hit another bottle of blueberry cordial, that fell off the shelf and on to a 6 and a half gallon carboy full of lovely, near finished, quite yummy (if I do say so myself) blueberry mead.  There was a big crash, which I couldn’t identify until later.  (This was later discovered in the middle of preparing to go horseback riding with my good friends Jean and Sorcha.  I think I almost cried.)  And though I lost about a gallon of mead all over the basement floor, much of it remained in the carboy – along with several large chunks of class and an unspecified amount of blueberry cordial.  Fortunatley, glass sinks.  I racked it and several weeks later racked and filtered it.  I think I’ll be bottling it soon.  I’m pretty sure, it’s still good!  I plan to drink it anyway…  🙂

#34 made on 6/23/2009  (In process)

15 lbs. clover honey

6  lbs. frozen wild blueberries in the initial fermentation,

(7/8/09 added 3 more lbs. of blueberries and H2O to bring it up to 6 1/2 gallons.)

3 split vanilla beans

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Notes:  Racked on 9/13/09 – seems dry and alcoholic  (too dry for my tastes???)

Bottled: Not Yet