After posting here this morning, I got to thinking about a specific recipe for my "morat"/cyser -- I just learned the term "morat" is used for mulberry mead, and that's sort of what I'm going for, except that I want about half my base fermentables from cider and not all honey. The 1 liter of mulberry should be sufficient for that flavor but if not I have a second liter that I could add in secondary. So here's what I've kind of figured out, for anyone interested -- this is for 3 gallons of "morat/cyser", planned OG of 1.057-ish and ABV 7.5%-ish:
2.5 lb local basswood and apple blossom honeys (about a 50/50 mix)
1.6 gallons local unpasteurized cider (most likely McIntosh, Cortland, Wealthy, and other local culinaries)
1 liter commercial mulberry juice
0.9 gallon municipal tap water (heated to eliminate chlorine)
1 pack Cote des Blancs yeast
I'm a heat pasteurization guy, as I trust nothing to chance or to sulfites, so I will heat treat the must to about 160 F for 15 minutes, then cool and pitch. I'm also a bit of a purist, so there will be no chemical additions of any kind, except for possible gelatin (see later) and possible traces of sorbate in the commercial mulberry juice. Ferment at around 55 F for a month or two, racking once per week to slow the fermentation even more and hopefully stall it out around 1.010. If proceeding too quickly (as is often the case!), I will hit with gelatin and chill further (probably in my garage in winter!) to knock out the yeast even further. Want this to finish above 1.000, and 1.005-1.010 would be best. Eventually after several months, bring up in temperature for a little bit and ensure fermentation is pretty much dead, then prime and bottle. If I absolutely have to, I'll add sorbate. Yummy mulberry apple honey wine-cooler!!!!!
I'll confess I'm not a snobbish mead guy at all, I just know what I like and I make it to suit my own tastes! And I believe this will do the trick VERY nicely. I can't wait! Should be heavenly, and not so dang strong so I can drink it like Kool-Aid -- I know -- blasphemy! It's gonna be great though.