Strawberry Melomels #4, 9, 28

Author: LadySylvia


Strawberry melomel just sounds right, doesn’t it?  Well, I’ve had some issues with getting it right.  The first two were OK, but by all means nothing to write home about.  The last one, still in process, is more promising.  In fact, I had decided that #28 would be my third and final attempt, UNLESS it comes out OK.  I’m thinking I may do another one someday.  🙂

#4 made on 7/5/2001

15 lbs. clover honey

2 quarts fresh strawberries

6 T vanilla extract

1 tablet yeast nutrient

7 tablets yeast energizer

1 campden tablet

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122 (started in apple juice)

Notes:  Initial gravity = 1.090 (PA=11.5)  Racked 7/28/01, 8/10 /01, 9/13/01, 11/2/01, 1/6/02, 4/16/02, 8/02 all with positive comments about flavor.  Not clearing.  Added Isinglass on 9/1/02 and 9/18/03.  Racked 11/1/03.

Bottled: 3/6/2004  with no Final gravity recorded?  Still cloudy after almost 3 years

Hindsight: This melomel neede to be left alone.  Too many rackings and bottling it while still cloudy left it with a bitter flavor.  Every single bottle had sediment.  This batch was also not properlycorked.  (When did I finally learn?)  It certainly wasn’t my favorite, but it must have been decent enough to try again. 

#9 made on 7/7/2004

15 lbs. clover honey

3 quarts fresh strawberries

4 fl. oz. vanilla extract

3 sticks cinnamon

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Notes:  (PA=9 (really?  Hmmm….))  Racked 7/23/04, 10/3/04, 2/6/05, 5/29/05 all with positive comments about flavor. 

Bottled: 10/3/2005  Final Gravity 1.020 (PA=3)  Alcohol content 6% 

Hindsight:  The alcohol content can’t possibly be right.  My first reading must have been taken from the top of a must that had not been properly stirred.  This would explain the lower potential alcohol.  Again, I used fresh berries.  Later, I learned that frozen berries are better to use because the cell linings burst and release more sugars when they are frozen.  Hindsight is awesome!

#28 made on 3/16/2008

15 lbs. clover honey

3 quarts fresh strawberries

Yeast: Lalvin 71B-1122

Notes:  5 gallon batch; Initial Gravity = 1.106 (PA=14.5)  Now that’s more like it!  Racked 3/24/08, 8/14/08, 1/19/09, 12/5/09  Much better color and flavor than previous two recipes. 

Bottled: Not yet. 

Hindsight:  Freeze those berries!  Hindsight helped me make better decisions about my ingredients.  This one will be much better!