M2C: Triple Berry Sack

I used whole berries and not just juice. I made this with my 2-year-old daughter and will be saving one of each bottles till she is of age. I made this at the same time as my current mead.

Recipe:

  • 0.75 kg frozen raspberries
  • 0.5 kg frozen blueberries
  • 0.3 kg frozen black currants
  • 1.33 liters of wildflower honey
  • ~2 liters of clean, filtered tap water (up to 4 liters total)
  • 5g of 71B-1122
  • 1/2 tsp of energizer and DAP
  • 1 gram potassium bicarbonate

kingston

Specs:

  • Fermented at 62°F
  • SG: 1.128
  • Target FG: 1.020
  • Actual FG: 1.018

Procedure:

  • Put thawed fruit through food processor till chunky.
  • Given 1/4 tsp of energizer and dap in must. Mixed heavily with drill and aerated. Strained out the juice in bucket and put remains in mesh bags.
  • Pitched with 5g of 71B-1122, using a starter for 1.5 hours. 

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Fermentation:

  • +24h had white foam on top. Added  2/3*1/4 tsp dap 2/3*1/4 tsp energizer. Mixed with drill to aerate. Added potassium bicarbonate. Smelled sweet.
  • + 48 hours 1/2*1/4 tsp of DAP and energizer
  • + 72 hours current is at 1.086 and tasted amazing.
  • Swirled bucket every morning and evening for first first three weeks.

After Fermentation:

  • + 3 Weeks:  transferred to one gallon carboy. Had a musty smell and alcohol heat on back end.
  • + 4 weeks: car boy was bubbling away. Lots of sediment on the bottom almost two inches. They all cleared up quite a bit.
  • +5 weeks: transferred to 1g carboy and cleared out well in a few weeks.
  • + 2 months:  bottled. Super clear. Tasted alcohol heat, strong fruit balanced honey well. Could of added clarifier.

 

2017-08-12 19.10.46

Impressions:

I really liked the fruit blend as it gave it a complex, rounded flavor. I could have added more berries, but there just the right amount to have the honey character shine through.

Won Gold at Winnipeg  2017 Pro/ Am Brew Challenge competition October 2017 (mead was 9 months old). Scored 44/50 from two judges. Scoresheets.

2017-10-31 07.54.08

I had this mead judged at three and four months and it only scored a 32 and a 39, respectively, by the judges. The mead definitely improved with age, but I also made other mistakes submitting for the competition at three months. When I submitted it to the first comp (at three months), I didn’t specify the berries used and just said triple berry. The judges got all hung up on not being able to discern the three berries themselves. Lession learned: always spell out the berries used as it helps the judges look for the flavors.

Also, there was a muskyness in the honey (you could taste it in the raw honey) that is common of late season wildflower honey from my region. This aged out after six months or so and I should of waited. I graphed the scores over time to see how much the scores improved with the age of the mead. I extrapolated between months 4 and 9. The first observation could be downward biased from the description.

AgeScore.png

 

One of my biggest regrets is sending the mead out too early, and only making a one gallon batch of this mead. While I still have a bottle left, I would have liked to send it to more comps and see how the mead improved with age. I will make a three gallon batch of this mead again soon.

 

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