From the HBD Archive
From: gaia! (Jonathan Corbet)
Subject: Blueberry mead
Date: 1988-11-29 03:29:40 GMT

Ye Olde Batte says:

RE: the question last week about blueberry mead.
Be prepared for sweetness. Almost all fruit meads
are "dessert wine" sweetness.

I really have to say that this does not jive with my experience. The first
blueberry mead I ever made (entitled BlueBelly Mead, in honor of a minor
spill which discolored my brewing partner's torso), was fairly sweet; it
had a final gravity of about 1.020 -- quite high for a mead. The partially
fermented nature of the drink became apparent when we started opening the
bottles; the pressure was quite high.

Nonetheless, it was amazingly good stuff. I have one last bottle hidden away
for some very special occasion.

I have done two more blueberry meads since then, and they have both come out
quite dry. We even made a special effort to get the sweet effect on the last
one, to no avail. All of the other fruit/berry meads I have ever made (apple,
raspberry (yum!), peach, nectarine, crabapple (sour!) and cranberry) have all
turned out to be dry meads. Fortunately, I like them that way...

I don't have the blueberry mead recipe handy, but, as far as I can remember,
it goes something like this (6.5 gal batch):

7-10 lbs fresh blueberries. Buy them in mid-to-late summer when
they are cheap.
1-2 lbs corn sugar, to help the fermentation along.
An ounce or so of hops; we usually use cascades.
10 lbs (or so) of honey. I prefer the darker, wildflower honeys,
despite the fact that others recommend using the lightest
honey possible.

I have always taken Papazian's advice (try his mead sometime, and you'll
listen to him too) and boiled the honey, sugar, and hops for at least an
hour. Boiling the honey seems to be out of favor on this list; I may try
it without boiling sometime. Clean the blueberries, and mash them up
real good. Put the must, mashed berries, and sufficient water into the
primary fermenter; pitch with champagne yeast. Strain out the berries after
roughly a week, and rack to the secondary. Leave in the secondary for
a month or so; bottle with 1.5 cup or so of corn sugar, and maybe some
lemon grass tea.

Wait 6mos - 1 year, and enjoy!

Jonathan Corbet
{husc6 | rutgers | ames | gatech}!ncar!gaia!jon
{uunet | ucbvax | allegra | cbosgd}!nbires!gaia!jon

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