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Black Currant Melomel
I am enclosing this here as I can't seem to get it to post in the recipe section.  This is my recipe for Black Currant Melomel which recently took second place in the New Mexico Homebrew Competition.

Black Currant Melomel

12lb. Good quality honey, (I used Minnesota Clover Honey because I had it on hand)
16 lbs. of fresh black currants, alternatively you can use 1 large can of Black Currant Extract
Pectic enzyme
Yeast nutrient
Yeast energizer
Lalvin Narbonne 71B yeast

Start by making up a medium dry show mead in the primary fermenter to  volume of 4 gallons; I use reverse osmosis water and the honey without heating it. Follow the directions for the yeast nutrient and energizer  and pitch the yeast.  After 3- 4 days in the primary fermenter Rack into secondary and add the fruit.  If using the canned extract just add to the must. Top off to 6gallons and install airlock.  Ferment for 2-3 weeks until dry.  I like to stabilize at this point with potassium sorbate and degas after racking into a clean carboy and add isinglass finings.  I like to give it one additional week and then rack once more into a clean carboy for final polishing for one week.  It should be crystal clear by this point and then you can bottle.  The mead I submitted had been in the bottle for 14 months. If you are planning on keeping it for any length of time you should add sulfite  to give it some longevity.

 If using fresh fruit I heat it to 150degrees F with just enough water to cover in a large kettle and hold for 15 minutes. Don't boil the fruit or you will boil off the volatile flavors.  Note:  If using fresh fruit you may need a larger fermenter to accomodate the volume, ( you are going to rack it off the fruit later). The theory here is to avoid beating up the fruit too much in the primary and losing too much of the flavorful esters.  The alcohol in the must after the first few days will also help avoid infection.  After sitting on the fruit for a week or two, rack into a secondary carboy and top up to 6gallons. 

A simpler method is to add your fruit extract to your honey at the beginning and ferment them together.  I find I get better fruit backbone by adding the fruit after the initial vigorous primary fermentation.  This method seems to work well with most fruits.  

A great resource is Ken Schramm's book  The Compleat Mead Maker

I currently have a Prickly Pear Mead going right now using the same basic recipe.

Happy Brewing,
Dan Beggs
Thanks Dan,

I have corrected the forum and moved your post to the recipes section.


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