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Wednesday
Oct062010

Two Melomels by Curt Stock

Meadmaker of the Year (2005) and Northern Brewer mead kit creator Curt Stock shares two of his favorite melomel recipes with Brewing TV. Now you can make your own! See Curt make a similar melomel in Brewing TV Episode 21. Both recipes scaled for five gallon yield.

Black Currant Cherry Melomel

  • 22 lbs   Wildflower Honey
  • 8 lbs     Black Currants
  • 12 lbs   Tart Cherries
  • 3 gal    Water
  • 3 tsp    Yeast Energizer/Nutrient Blend (Fermaid-K and DAP)
  • 10 g     Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)

Approximate OG:  1.161

Target FG:  1.030 - 1.040

Estimated ABV:  16.1%

 

Super Berry Melomel

  • 21 lbs   Wildflower Honey
  • 12 lbs   Triple Berry Mix (Blackberries/Raspberries/Blueberries)
  • 6 lbs     Strawberries
  • 96 oz   Black Currant Juice (free of preservatives)
  • 2.3 gal Water
  • 3 tsp    Yeast Energizer/Nutrient Blend (Fermaid-K and DAP)
  • 10 g     Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)

Approximate OG:  1.158

Target FG:  1.030 - 1.040

Estimated ABV:  15.8%

 

Staggered Nutrient Additions (SNA): I prefer to use Fermaid-K (yeast energizer) and diammonium phosphate or DAP (yeast nutrient) for adding the additional nutrient requirements of the yeast during fermentation.  One teaspoon of Fermaid-K and two teaspoons DAP should be adequate for a 5 gallon batch.  You can mix them together for a stock blend and add them using the following schedule:

  • Add ¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix immediately after pitching yeast.
  • Add ¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix 24 hours after fermentation begins.
  • Add ¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix 48 hours after fermentation begins.
  • Add ¾ teaspoon yeast energizer/nutrient mix after 30% of the sugar has been depleted.

 

Anyone who has ever stirred a fermenting beverage knows the foaming, triggered by the release of CO2, can make one heck of a mess!  To help minimize this, you should mix the nutrient blend into ½ cup of must and add it back to the fermenter.  Then begin to slowly stir the must to release the main portion of the CO2 gas.  After the foaming has subsided you can begin to stir more vigorously.  Mix the must well enough to introduce plenty of oxygen into the fermenting must.  Oxygen is needed by the yeast throughout the growth phase.  Oxidation is not a huge concern until you get past 50 percent sugar depletion.

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Reader Comments (24)

Is it not necessary to boil the must?

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

@Alex No it is not necessary to boil must, Honey is so dense that it does not harbor any bacterial growth. That is why honey has long been used as a preservative. As long as you keep it closed from the air, you don't need to worry about it. Same for the frozen fruit you saw Curt dunking the bags in sanitizer. Freezing breaks open cell walls as well as destroys most harmful bacteria and yeast. The small amount that remains will be overwhelmed by the yeast, then by the alcohol in the finished product. You do want to make sure everything else is sanitized that comes in contact with the must, but the honey and frozen fruit is safe. Brew for all!

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett Begani

OK...my mead curiosity is peaked. But I'm used to making only five gallon batches of brew....does one need to make such a large batch or is a five gallon batch ok. If a five gallon batch is ok is there a way to adjust the above recipes for five gallon? Farva's math ckills are a little lacking. Also...do i just use a six gallon carboy or do i need to invest in a bucket? And is bottling done in wine bottles or can 22 oz beer bottles be used? I think thats enough questions.

Farva's Number 1!

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOfficer Farva

are these recipes 5 gallon?

October 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkmorrison

I would like to do a light hopping of my mead allowing for the hops to be in the nose and the honey on the pallet. What is the best variety and what would the addition process be?

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenteriBob_va

These look like 5 Gallon recipes to me

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbill

I dunno. 3lbs of honey will generally fit in a qrt jar. 22lbs / 3lbs = 7.33 qrt jars. That's about 1.8 gallons of honey + 3 gallons of water = ~5 gallons. But you remove the fruit. But I'm sure it will impart SOME volume. I have no idea. It sounds like it may be 5 gallons.

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

I Just thought about this a bit more. I would say a bucket (much larger than 5 gallons) for the primary and transfer to a 6.5 gallon for secondary. That seems like it would work.

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Yes, this is a five gallon batch. He mentions 2 tsp of DAP for a give gallon batch, and if you look at the additions, they add up to 2 tsp. May just have to scale that first recipe down a little and make a melomel this weekend!!

October 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrobertjm

These are for five gallon yields. I added that into the introduction. Sorry about the confusion.
Cheers!
Chip W.

October 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterChip

They look like five gallon recipes, i think Curt just likes likes lots of flavor.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLee

For the Super Berry MeloMel does the fruit addition happen in the secondary or does any of the fruit go in the primary?

Jason

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I'm trying to figure out where to get the fruit. Where did you get your fruit if you made one of these??

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarlin

It looks like he used frozen berries from any grocery store. The fruit also appears to go into the primary.

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

My first attempt at an oak aged mead turned out great when I put it in my peach brandy barrel this past spring. On the heels of that tasty batch, I decided to try another melomel in the 5 gallon rum barrel I recently acquired. I've been curious about black currants in mead since watching the Viagra Vs Cialis TV episode where Curt Stock is interviewed.

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjosh

At what point do you rack to a secondary fermenter?

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohn w

Hi Brewing TV!

Brewing TV watcher from all the way over the Atlantic in Norway. Recently picked up your show and have watched over 40 episodes so far :)
I'm curious about trying one of these melomels recipes, but i might just lower the OG a bit. But before I start up, I wanted to check if anyone have tried to carbonate the mead?
I will be using regular beer bottles with a crown cap.

Keep up the good work with the show, really learned a lot from it!

Best regard,
Fredrik

Brew for all.

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik

Hi Frederik!

Yes, you certainly can carbonate your mead/melomel. Personally, I made a carbonated Cyser several years ago which was wonderful. You can either ferment it dry and then add priming sugar, or you can wait till it's semi-sweet, and then kill off the natural yeast, followed by force carbonation with CO2. Just make sure you're not going to create any bottle bombs with too much residual sugar left!

When I made my cyser, I let it sit in the secondary fermentor (glass carboy) for waaaaaaay too long (over a year!!) and then used the Cooper Carbonation drops, which are premeasured amounts of corn sugar that have been made into little rocks of sugar, similar in consistency with a cough drop. You add one of those per 12oz bottle (2 for a 22oz. bomber) and it comes out uniformly.

Good luck!!

Robert

November 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Marshall

Hi,

I've just watched Brewing TV - Episode 21: Making Mead with Curt Stock

I was aware of staggered yeast nutrient addition (from winemaking industry),
but I had never heard of staggered yeast addition before.

I was wondering how is the yeast addition staggered?
Is it evenly distributed?

For instance, let's say your pitching rate is 15g,
would you pitch 5g + yeast nutrient at the 3 stages?

Thanks!
Cheers,

Laurent

February 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlaurent

Hi,

Is there a general rule of thumb for substituting fruit juice for whole fruit?

Thanks

March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

WILLIAM: if you want to use juices, I would recommend using a brewing software application. First plug in Curt's values so you can see how much specific gravity he's getting from each ingredient, and then take a specific gravity of your juice variety. Then, you can play with your juice amounts within the software till you get close to the amount supplied by Curt's usage of fruit.

I know it's a lot of trial and error. But, it's the best way for you to control your melomel recipes, not to mention that you will have a record of what you did!!

Additionally, I'd recommend reading the juice ingredients very closely. Anything labeled "cocktail" is likely to have lots of water and sugar added to it, rather than 100% juice. But, don't be affraid of juices made from concentrate. They can be good quality, and usually allow you to save some money on it.

Good luck!!

Robert

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobertjm

*BUMP*

To those asking about the frozen fruit used..The bags of mixed berry fruit he uses are the EXACT brand and size sold at our local Sam's Club. My wife buys them all the time for general use. About $9/bag. Not sure where else they are sold but i'm sure you can buy any quality frozen fruit to do the same

August 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSkeller

how long does this usually take to mellow out? I made this about three months ago and just transferred to secondary, the sample that I took tasted hot with alcohol. for those that have made this did you backsweeten or leave it dry? if so what did you backsweeten with? more honey or more fruit?

thanks
Ben

July 14, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterben

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