I’ll often make a fruit mead the way you would make a second wine. I made a cherry mead like that last year, for example, and I’ll make an apple mead the same way. I saved the pulp from apples I juiced to make wine, put it in a ziplock bag, and froze it. That’s what I’ll use to make this mead.
1 liter (about a quart) honey
4 liters (about a gallon) water
0.25 tsp tannin
1 tsp diammonium phosphate (DAP, a yeast nutrient)
2 tsp pectic enzyme
yeast from fermenting apple wine
Mixing one part honey to four parts water will, depending on measurement accuracy and water content of the honey, yield a 1.085 specific gravity must. In goes the tannin, DAP, and sulfite (all dissolved in a little water first). Then, straight from the freezer, add the pulp and let it defrost overnight. By morning the pulp had thawed out, and I added the pectic enzyme. I stirred it all up and it had the consistency of runny apple sauce. I added the yeast, in the form of fermenting apple wine, in the evening.
No specific gravity reading?
The pulp will contribute to the sugar and acidity of the must, but that sugar and acid is bound up in the solids. That makes it very difficult to measure, so I’m making up a honey-water mixture that would ferment to 11-12% alcohol by itself. The sugar in the pulp will increase that by a small amount, and I’ll just call it a 12+% alcohol level.
No titratable acidity reading either
Once the mead has fermented out, all the acid contributed by the pulp will be in the mead. That’s when I’ll take my measurement. I’ll have the same problem measuring the acidity here as I would in any mead, but I’ll take that into account as best I can and make the adjustment then.
In the meantime, I get to watch my little yeasties turn some applesauce-like goo into apple mead!
Update 10/5/08 – I strained out the pulp using the same three-bucket press that I used on my cherry mead. I didn’t use the third bucket, the one filled with water that does the actual pressing, here because there isn’t enough pulp for the pressing action to be effective. Instead, I used the bottom half of the press like a giant cheesecloth-lined colander with a catch bucket. I now have a little over 1.25 gallons of fermenting mead under an airlock.
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