This recipe is from the 2003 AHA Mead Day and is a wonderful melomel that can be enjoyed anytime of year, refreshing in summer or warming in winter. This mead is all about the delicate balance between the sweetness of honey and the tartness of cherries, using equal amounts of each.
- 15 pounds medium-bodied honey
- 15 pounds frozen red tart cherries (pitted and thawed)
- 2 tsp yeast nutrient, preferably diammonium phosphate
- 1.5 tsp Fermaid K or other mead nutrient blend
- Water to top up to 5.5 gallons
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
- 15 grams Lalvin 71B-1122 Narbonne Yeast strain, rehydrated according to package instructions
Yield: 5.5 gallons (21 L)
- Place all ingredients in 7.5 gallon plastic fermenter, stir vigorously. Pitch rehydrated yeast.
- After primary fermentation slows, generally 2-3 weeks, rack off fruit into glass secondary. It is helpful but not necessary to blanket your secondary fermenter with carbon dioxide before racking.
- Bottle after 6-9 months, or when all signs of fermentation have ceased.
- If sweetening is desired, add 2.5 tsp potassium sorbate to secondary fermenter. Wait 24 hours, rack into bottling container and add 1-3 lbs honey, one cup at a time until desired sweetness level is attained. Bottle and cap. This mead will continue to improve for 4-5 years.
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