Author Topic: Watermelon mead  (Read 1720 times)

Offline erockrph

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Watermelon mead
« on: July 24, 2016, 02:56:23 PM »
I've been on a big watermelon kick this summer, and got to thinking about brewing a watermelon mead. Has anyone here ever brewed one? My thought was to handle it like a cyser - replace all the water in the mead recipe with watermelon juice. My only concern is that watermelon is so subtle that even at 100% of the liquid content it might not be particularly flavorful.

I'm thinking of targeting the 8-10% ABV range, and using lemon juice if needed to boost the acidity at the end.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 03:08:18 PM »
Just had some fantastic water melon here in Italy. The idea is mouth watering but I'm afraid the taste will dissipate...
Frank P.

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 03:27:51 PM »
Your plan sounds good to me. Maybe add some more juice late in fermentation when the activity is lower.

Offline pete b

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 12:29:54 AM »
Hi Eric!
I love the idea. However, I have to say that I agree with you that even with 100% watermelon juice I fear it won't taste as watermelony as you would like. This reminds me of the time Jerry wanted to date the roommate of the woman he was dating. He and George agreed it was an impossible maneuver but eventually came up with a foolproof plan ( the threesome).
So this is my brainstorming.
1. No extracts etc.: smells like perfume.
2.: How about reducing the juice by boiling down. Maybe 5/1.
3. Does the rind have any oils? You could put it all through a macerating juicer and add to tertiary.
4. You could dehydrate slices of watermelon and dry watermelon in secondary.
5. For acid, instead of just lemons add some raspberry or macerated cranberries. This will be a complementary flavor but also turn it more pink. I find with subtle fruit flavors that being the "right" color tricks the mind a bit.
6. What's the watermelon hops? El Dorado?
7. Serve with a slice of watermelon over watermelon ice cubes.


Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 12:39:48 AM »
Hi Eric!
I love the idea. However, I have to say that I agree with you that even with 100% watermelon juice I fear it won't taste as watermelony as you would like. This reminds me of the time Jerry wanted to date the roommate of the woman he was dating. He and George agreed it was an impossible maneuver but eventually came up with a foolproof plan ( the threesome).
So this is my brainstorming.
1. No extracts etc.: smells like perfume.
2.: How about reducing the juice by boiling down. Maybe 5/1.
3. Does the rind have any oils? You could put it all through a macerating juicer and add to tertiary.
4. You could dehydrate slices of watermelon and dry watermelon in secondary.
5. For acid, instead of just lemons add some raspberry or macerated cranberries. This will be a complementary flavor but also turn it more pink. I find with subtle fruit flavors that being the "right" color tricks the mind a bit.
6. What's the watermelon hops? El Dorado?
7. Serve with a slice of watermelon over watermelon ice cubes.

Good thoughts. I had considered the reduction, but I'm always afraid that you'll get "cooked" flavors that just aren't the same as fresh fruit. If the rind has oils, it doesn't remind me of the fresh fruit character I'm looking for. The rind always seems to have a "green" note that doesn't interest me. Same with dry hopping - I've tried it in cider and I'm not a huge fan because of the other hop flavors and bitterness that carry over.

As far as the berries go, that sounds like a good idea, but I think they would take over the melon too quickly.  I like lemon here because it can give a citric tang without too much flavor impact. The dry-meloning sounds like a great idea if I can find the opportunity to dry out some melon slices.

The real winner sounds like melon cubes. It kind of fits the sangria vibe I'd hope to get out of this. I'm also thinking of backsweetening with more melon juice, since I'm sure this would end up bone dry. This is sort of how I make sweet ciders - target a higher ABV than where you want to finish, then backsweeten by diluting with fresh juice.

I really wish I could sample the brix on melons in the market. I've heard that they can range from 10-15 brix. Obviously, the super-ripe ones would be way better for this application.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Stevie

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 12:46:48 AM »
I've always used me the knock to test for ripeness, but I recently heard that an inspection of the stem end is needed as well. Flat or convex means ripened after picking, concave means ripened on the vine.

Offline pete b

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 01:10:43 AM »
I might try this myself. Agreed  that cooking the juice might not work nor the rinds. I'm into dehydrating some watermelon and adding for a few days before racking into tertiary for a short ageing. I'm still into a very small raspberry addition. I do it with rhodamels and it doesn't take over but adds a nice color and acidic note.
If I do this I will wait for the local watermelon crop. I think the drought we are having will be to our advantage in that the melons will have less water and more concentrated flavor.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 12:17:38 PM »
I might try this myself. Agreed  that cooking the juice might not work nor the rinds. I'm into dehydrating some watermelon and adding for a few days before racking into tertiary for a short ageing. I'm still into a very small raspberry addition. I do it with rhodamels and it doesn't take over but adds a nice color and acidic note.
If I do this I will wait for the local watermelon crop. I think the drought we are having will be to our advantage in that the melons will have less water and more concentrated flavor.
Yep, I think it will be a good year for melons in our area. I find that you need a string of 90+ degree days for the best results with melons, and not too much rain as they are ripening. And we're certainly in the middle of both situations right now.
Eric B.

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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Watermelon mead
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 04:06:42 PM »
I think the rinds are necessary - old southern recipes for watermelon wine ferment just the rinds (some are skinned, some not) with sugar, and the juice in the must.


Now I think I might have to try to make some.