Strawberry mead

I was asked by my sister to make a strawberry mead, so I did. Here’s what my recipe was and the end results..

15lbs Clover honey

3lbs fresh strawberries

White labs Sweet Mead yeast

water to make 5.5 gallons.

heat a gallon of water and dissolve the honey into it. bring the Must to 175F and hold at temp for 30 minutes. cover and add the crushed strawberries to the primary. pour the hot Must over the strawberries (this sterilizes them). Add the remaining water (you do keep it real cold right?) to bring the temps down to pitching range. Once cooled to 70-75F pitch the yeast. seal with an airlock and sit it in the corner. After 2 months I like to transfer to a secondary but that’s optional.

Let it ferment until there is no activity in the airlock and the FG remains the same for a week. Now, how long will it take (as my youngest likes to ask)? All I can say is, it might take 2 weeks, it might take a year. I have had both end of that spectrum. Once the fermentation is done (please check the FG we don’t need any bottle bombs or flying corks) and it has dropped completely clear (can you read newsprint through the carboy?) bottle into the bottle of your choice. I use 750ml wine bottles and prefer synthetic corks.

I also added strawberry flavoring to the bottling bucket before bottling to add back some of the flavors that were fermented away. The result? A nice sweet mead with a pronounced strawberry flavor and a nice straw gold color with just a hint of pink.  How long did this batch take to ferment and drop clear? 11 months from pitching yeast to bottling and it was worth every single day.

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