Mead Makers- looking for some guidance on making small batch (3-gal?) of mead for first time.
I'd like to make blueberry mead I think. Don't want to screw it up so any recipe, process or other detailed guidance would be much appreciated
Here's one i found on my LHBS site-perhaps advise on whats good, bad or the wrong way with this:
• 49 ozBlueberry Puree
• 6 lbsClover Honey
• 6 tspAcid Blend
• 3 tspYeast Nutrient
• 3 tspPectic Enzyme
• 5 tabletsCampden Tablets
Combine honey with one gallon of water in a stock pot and heat to 180 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim any white film off of the surface. Do not boil.
Remove pot from the heat and place it in a sink of cold water to reduce its temperature. Stir every 10 minutes and change the sink water, do this two or three times.
Add 1 gallon of water, acid blend, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme and grape tannin. Stir well.
Pour the blueberry puree into the kettle and stir well.
Clean and sanitize your fermenter pail, lid and airlock.
Open the packet of wine yeast and pour it into the fermenter pail. Pour the must into the fermenter. Add water to make a full 3 gallons.
Close the fermenter pail, attach the airlock and ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks.
1st Racking: Racking mead should be done by gently siphoning. We do not recommend using wine pumps or filters. Mead is very susceptible to oxidation. Move the fermenter pail into racking position at least 2 days before actually transferring the mead. This will allow time for the sediment to settle.
Clean and sanitize a 3 gallon carboy, stopper, air lock and siphon set up.
Crush 3 Campden Tablets and place them into the carboy. Gently siphon the blueberry melomel into the carboy. Be careful not to disturb the sediment.
Add water to bring the level of the mead up to the bottom of the carboy neck.
Close the carboy with an air lock and ferment in a dark place for at least 30 days but not more than 45 days.
2nd Racking: Clean and sanitize the fermenter pail then siphon the mead from the carboy to the pail.
Clean and sanitize the carboy and repeat the 1st racking step, but this time only use 2 crushed Campden tablets.
Allow the blueberry wine mead to rest in a dark place at least 30 to 45 days or until it clears.
3rd Racking: There is no substitute for time when making mead. The more mature the mead is prior to bottling the better it will be. A third racking will allow the mead to brighten and age.
All recipes except Sweet Mead do not use any additives on this racking.
Bottling: blueberry melomel can be bottled as you would wine or beer. I prefer to bottle in 375ml wine bottles or 7oz clear beer bottles. These smaller sizes reduce waste caused by leftovers. If the beer bottle method is used the caps must be the oxygen barrier type. Wine bottles should be closed with a 1-3/4 inch cork.
Gently fill each bottle but do not cap until all are filled.
Cap or cork the bottles. Store them upright in a dark cool place. Mead will take time to age and in my experience it will undergo many changes. A batch which tastes great a bottling time may taste bad after 3 months in the bottle and then fabulous at 6 months.