Beer Style: Other Fruit Melomel (25C)
Recipe Type: other
Yield: 5 US gallons
What an incredible mess I've made!!!
Sevananda, the local co-op, had some real nice orange blossom honey, and the idea here is to use fruits that will support and enhance the flavor of the honey. I thought the cranberries would make a nice counterpoint to all the sweet fruit, and that the t ea might add depth, or character, or something.
I heated 2 gallons of water, then added 5 quarts of the honey, got it all stirred in, then brought the temp. up to about 180F. Kept it there for 30 min. Everything went fine until I started adding the fruit to the must. I quickly realised that the pot I was cooking in was running out of room, and I still had plenty of fruit to go!
I grabbed my half-gallon pyrex cup & scooped out about 3 pints, and added the rest of the fruit to it, stuck it in the microwave & zapped it several times, stirring after each zap, while struggling to get a completely-full 4-gallon pot off the stove and i nto to sink to cool. *sigh* Not all the must made it.
The stuff was thick as anything and *extremely* sweet (apparently even more so than my first must (SG=1.1225)), so I figured I'd better dilute it some...oops, then I had 6.5 G of must filling up my 6.5 G fermenting bucket! *sigh* Now it's a two-carboy b atch...at least there was room for the yeast!
Ever try to pick up a *full* 6.5 G bucket & pour it *all* into a funnel perched on top of a carboy? *sigh* Of course you haven't, and neither have I: I started bailing into the funnel, and making an incredible wreck of the kitchen...which I managed to track all over the carpet....
By this time, I had fruit clogging the funnel, pools of fresh honey-glue creeping across my kitchen counters and floor, sticky spots on the floor throughout the house, and two open carboys, but I finally got the fruit distributed between the bottles, got the fruit *rammed* through the funnel and *into* the carboys (*grrr*), locks installed, and everything cleaned up (or at least, wiped down).
No, I'm fine, really...*pant*pant*pant*....
The result? I now have +/- 7 gallons of fruit-punch melomel producing CO2 in industrial quantities: bubbling about every 1.5 seconds. The stuff smells and tastes heavenly, but the must is really much too sweet for me to drink, even though the starting gravity is 'only' 1.090.
This batch was much more work than my first one, even though the first batch took me a full 2 days, what w/ the herbs and all. Partly, I was thrown by my mis-calculation of the must's volume, and that had me playing catch-up from then on.
03/04/96 - After 48 hours, it's bubbling once every second, and still smelling incredible!
03/05/96 - I just noticed what seems to be a crack in the 5-gallon carboy, and (very) minor seepage around it. Was this crack there before? Did I somehow knock the bottle against another, and if so, is there *loose* *glass* in my mead??? I suppose CARE FUL racking might take care of it.... I would *hate* to have to throw this out!