Cherry Melomel … sort of

I had some old left over honey from a group brew of medium sweet mead several years ago.  It had crystallized and darkened somewhat, but still had a very pleasant smell and flavor.
I was bored and wondering what I could do to use the honey so I can give the giant honey containers that I have to my father to fill with fresh honey from his hives.
I kicked around some ideas and just decided to wing it with a kitchen sink of stuff and hope for the best.
I went to the grocery store and shopped around for some concentrate or juice that had no preservatives, was not too expensive, and sounded good in a mead/wine as I had some wine yeast left over from my Perry.
After spending time between the juice and frozen food isles, I decided on a Cherry Melomel using honey, sugar, frozen concentrate, and fruit.  This is a work in progress and will probably get additional doses of fruit and even concentrate if the flavor is lacking after primary fermentation.
Recipe:

  • 3 lbs frozen pitted sweet dark cherries
  • 4 lbs 8 oz (old) orange blossom honey
  • 1 lb table sugar
  • 4 cans (12 oz) Old Orchard Apple Cherry Juice (makes 48 oz 100% juice)
  • 15 drops pectin
  • 2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 2 tsp yeast energizer
  • 4 campden tablets
  • wine yeast

The Old Orchard Apple Cherry Juice lists as it’s ingredients:

  • Apple Juice Concentrate
  • Water
  • Pear Juice Concentrate
  • White Grape Juice Concentrate
  • Black Currant Juice Concentrate
  • Aronia Berry Concentrate (WTF is this?)
  • Cherry Juice Concentrate

And indicates that after adding 36 oz fresh water the resulting juice is 100% juice (which means that there are no additional sweeteners or sugars (I can’t stand that juice is labeled as juice if it’s only 10% fruit juice and high fructose corn syrup as the remainder)).
I put the frozen fruit through a food mill into a nylon bag, added the remainder of the ingredients (minus the yeast) and enough water to equal 4 gallons and will let it sit on the sulfates (campden tables) for 24 hours and will pitch yeast tonight.
My OG was 1.072.
My plan is to let the primary finish and rack to secondary where I will add 5 lbs of milled frozen cherries and potentially another can of concentrate.
I’ll post updates as I have them.

2 thoughts on “Cherry Melomel … sort of”

  1. The initial 3 lbs. of fruit was in a grain bag suspended in the primary fermenter. I checked it last night (14 days in primary) and most there wasn’t a whole lot left of the fruit. I guess it either fermented or disolved. I added 5 lbs. of cherries run through the food mill directly to the fermenter. The SG prior to that 1.000. I’ll let it ferment out that fruit addition for another 10 or so days and rack to a secondary to clear. I’m hoping that the milled cherries will mostly dissolve again and I won’t have a bunch of mush to rack around, but only time will tell.

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