wild blueberry wild mead

Mead, wine, beer, and any other form of alcoholic beverages, as well as vinegar.

Moderator: Christopher Weeks

wild blueberry wild mead

Postby khoomeizhi on Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:29 pm

i thought i should post this here because it's such a good example of all-wild, no-bug, wild fermentation for mead:



i've cultured yeast off of blueberries, among other things, a few times, but never had enough to really play with until this year. we go picking wild blueberries in the high country near here, and it's been a really good year. all told i think i've brought 5 gallons of berries home.

while the majority of the berries are just getting stowed in the freezer for winter pies, i tossed this together 8/6 (3 gallon batch):

4.5 lbs wild blueberries, fresh
7 lbs local wildflower honey
a chunk of fresh ginger, grated
a chunk of fresh turmeric, grated
3 tsp yeast nutrient
well water to 3.3 or so gallons

started it in a bucket, just tossed it all together and stirred. no heat, no added yeast, no nothin'. by the next morning it was already rolling, so that started a week of punching down fruit (and smashing some for good measure) and active stirring, at the end of which, i strained the whole thing into a 3-gal carboy and put on an airlock. the color is now deep dark purple, and it's still vigorously fermenting, but less foamy. my plan is to let it roll for a few months and then rack it onto another 6lbs or so of thawed blueberries for a month or until the fruit drops, then rack off again (top with the cleared leftovers from the first racking) and let it clear and finish for however long it takes.

not sure if the yeast nutrient is really necessary, since i'm not sure what all is in the blueberries, yeast-nutrient-speaking, but i added it because that's my usual with mead.
khoomeizhi
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:15 pm
Location: wnc

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:56 am

Yum!
Christopher Weeks
Nuka Ninja
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:59 pm
Location: Jordan, MN

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby bluehorserefuge on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:05 pm

wow, sounds lovely, I would love to try this.
I like the way you make it sound so easy.

But sorry, what does "racking" mean?
bluehorserefuge
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:13 am

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:23 am

Siphoning (or, I suppose decanting, in the old days) the relatively clear liquid that makes up the bulk of a settled carboy off of the lees (dead yeast and yeast poop) that settles to the bottom, into a clean carboy.
Christopher Weeks
Nuka Ninja
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:59 pm
Location: Jordan, MN

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby bluehorserefuge on Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:54 pm

Thanks Christopher.
bluehorserefuge
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:13 am

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby khoomeizhi on Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:51 am

i doubt you've got access to so much wild blueberry where you are - i noticed you mention being in Nicaragua in that other post - but you've undoubtedly got something else in the way of native fruit that could work the same way as a yeast-bearer...
khoomeizhi
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:15 pm
Location: wnc

Re: wild blueberry wild mead

Postby khoomeizhi on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:39 pm

It's a little long, but here's the eventual update:

Back in November I racked this onto 5lb more blueberries (had been frozen, then thawed). I put everything that wouldn't fit in the carboy in jars in the fridge. It was a fair amount, 5 lbs of berries take up a bit of space.

In January, when the lees in those jars had resettled well, I started spooning out berries from the carboy that were still floating and making up for that loss of volume with the cleared Mead from the jars.

In March I racked it off the berries that were left and the rest of the trub and topped it off again with cleared mead from jars in the fridge.

By mid-April it was totally still and clear, so I bottled 2 gal of it and racked the remainder onto medium toast oak cubes (purchased from a homebrew store) that I had steamed for 10 min to make sure they weren't introducing any new bugs at this late stage of the game. Seeing how the oaky barrel-y taste mixes with the blueberries.

What I tasted from the first bottling was rich and a bit tart. The real test will be about a year after bottling, when it will have had a chance to meld and mellow a bit. Hoping to bottle the oaked gallon in the next few weeks.

I'm already agitating for an even bigger effort on picking this year so I can start a bigger (5 or 6 gal) batch.
khoomeizhi
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:15 pm
Location: wnc


Return to Alcohol Ferments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest