08 February 2009
I've had a raspberry melomel and a braggot with cranberries going for a few months now, and today I racked them for the second time. Also, a cider racked for its first.
The melomel — just mead with fruit — is raspberry blossom honey, water, some champagne yeast (plus all the wild ones in the honey and on the fruit, since nothing was heated) and a few quarts of raspberries. The raspberries were added a pint at a time throughout the raspberry season at my farm share. Once those seemed spent, I racked the melomel and let that sit for a few months. And here we are. It tastes like — to be honest — a raspberry cough syrup, without sugar. It has a lot of punch, even with less fruit that many formulæ call for. This one will do well with aging. As in maybe a few years. (See bottom left: looks like Kool-Aid.)
The braggot — malted mead — is also raspberry blossom honey (got a bucket from Warm Colors) plus amber malt, some bog myrtle and a little fresh sage. I used some generic wine yeast with it, which has left some sweetness. After that had finished its primary fermentation I racked it into another carboy with some cranberries (frozen and thawed to soften them). That top photo is the spent cranberries flosting on the last bit to be sucked out into a clean carboy. They add some tannins to the braggot. This seemed to be the more far-fetched of the meads but already has a nice flavor. I'm hoping it'll be superb by the fall.
The cider is a basic cider. I added some champagne yeast this time, whereas my last two were all by spontaeous fermentation. I've also relly made cyser in the past, a mead-cider, so this tasted much cleaner. I'm not sure which I'll prefer. My cyser that's coming up on a year of aging is quite nice. I'll bottle and prime this in a month or two. And then we'll see.