This blueberry mead recipe is from was my first ever brew. Pitched it January 25, 2016. 5 Gallon batch.
Ingredients – Primary
- 15 lbs Clover Honey
- Lavlin 71B Yeast, rehydrated with yeast starter
- 12 lbs blueberries – frozen
- Nutrients – Staggered addition over the course of 3 or 4 days
- Water to fill
Ingredients – Secondary
- 6 lbs blueberries
- 3 lbs honey to backsweeten
Original Gravity: 1.142
Final Gravity: 1.002
Alcohol % Prior to backsweetening: 18.37%
This stuff turned out strong! Adding in the honey increased the volume a bit, decreasing the abv, but it still packs a wallop. It’s very sweet too.
To help break up the berries and hopefully allow the flavor to be extracted better, I hit them while still in the bag with a hammer. This fermentation was a bit slow to get started, as the frozen berries cooled everything down quite a bit. Letting them thaw first would have sped this up considerably.
It is incredibly sweet. If I were to do this again, I’d probably use fewer blueberries, and only add them in for the secondary. Also use a bit less honey to backsweeten. The honey flavor is strong and it kind of overshadows the blueberries a little bit. Now that I have a keg, I think this would be really good a bit drier with some carbonation. That said, everyone who has tried it has enjoyed it. But half the fun of this hobby is tweaking things. Also, these never really cleared. The blueberry coloring was stripped off the skin of the berries, and a lot of it is still floating around in the mixture as they are very fine particles. Holding it up to the light, this drink is nearly opaque with a very dark purple hue to it. Using a fining agent could have helped clear this up. It actually leaves a small amount of the particulate on the inside of the bottle which takes some extra cleaning.
This batch is a great example of how much of a cost savings brewing your own drinks can be. I got roughly 25 wine bottles out of this batch. The cost per bottle (including the bottle itself which is reusable unless you give them away) was about $12. That’s what you could get one at the market for, and this was by far my most expensive batch as all those blueberries were the main culprit.
This isn’t factoring in the start up equipment cost, as that will decrease with each use.