Using Honeyberries in a Mead

Reads 2123 • Replies 11 • Started Friday, June 5, 2015 11:58:25 AM CT

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JStax
beers 10651 º places 821 º 11:58 Fri 6/5/2015

So my wife’s family just started growing Honeyberries on their farm, and I want to use them in a mead, mostly just because of their name. They taste kind of like blueberries, and sort of look like elongated blueberries. I picked about two pounds of them and they are in the freezer. I want to make a small batch (2ish gallons) using some wildflower honey.

Has anybody tried this? Google searches have come up blank. Aside from finding that they are related to honeysuckle, there isn’t much info out there.

Any tips people are able to share would be appreciated.

 
CLevar
places 23 º 12:06 Fri 6/5/2015

I’ve got a bunch planted too, but it will be a few years before yields are useful.

I wish I could be helpful, but I am interested in what you do and how you find the final product! Keep us posted.

 
wchesser
beers 2433 º places 44 º 13:20 Fri 6/5/2015

You may already know this, but Schramm’s Compleat Meadmaker book has these recommendations for blueberries in secondary for a 5 gallon batch:
Mild Fruit Character 5-7 lbs 120-168 g/L
Medium 7-10 lbs 168-240 g/L
Strong 11+ lbs 265 g/L

So sounds like your two pounds might be right on the low end for the ’mild’ character for a 2 gallon batch. Might think about doing as small as one gallon just to really get the fruit character you want out of it.

Use a mild honey and maybe some blueberry juice in primary if you really want blueberry character or just water if you really want to see what the honeyberries bring. I followed Schramm’s cherry melomel recipe with a bunch of Montmorency cherries and it turned out incredible. A scaled down version of that subbing blueberries would be for a ONE gallon batch, maybe something like this:

3.4 lbs of honey
0.6 gallons blueberry juice (pasteurized)
0.2 gallons water
0.25 teaspoon yeast energizer
0.5 teaspoon yeast nutrient
Dry mead yeast

Add your 2 lbs blueberries in secondary for ~3-6 months.

 
berntholer
beers 1619 º places 22 º 14:11 Fri 6/5/2015

I have nothing useful to say about (dry-)berrying your mead. But I would like to know how you plan on making your mead :) BOMM method with orange blossom honey?

Sorry for this rather off-topic question ...

 
JStax
beers 10651 º places 821 º 19:56 Fri 6/5/2015

Originally posted by berntholer
I have nothing useful to say about (dry-)berrying your mead. But I would like to know how you plan on making your mead :) BOMM method with orange blossom honey?

Sorry for this rather off-topic question ...


The plan is to add my honey and water together in a carboy along with the berries. Pitch my yeast and energizer, and let it go. Based on my brief google search, that is similar to BOMM, but I will use wine yeast instead of belgian ale yeast.

My buddy is trying to convince me to do a pyment instead, replacing the water with Welch’s grape juice. All the rest would be the same. Maybe we will do a split batch to see which is better and maybe scale up next year when the fruit is more abundant.

 
wchesser
beers 2433 º places 44 º 22:44 Fri 6/5/2015

Just my two cents but please don’t go with Welch’s. You’ll loose anything of the other fruit in a concord bomb.

 
HornyDevil
07:20 Sat 6/6/2015

Originally posted by JStax
Originally posted by berntholer
I have nothing useful to say about (dry-)berrying your mead. But I would like to know how you plan on making your mead :) BOMM method with orange blossom honey?

Sorry for this rather off-topic question ...


The plan is to add my honey and water together in a carboy along with the berries. Pitch my yeast and energizer, and let it go. Based on my brief google search, that is similar to BOMM, but I will use wine yeast instead of belgian ale yeast.

My buddy is trying to convince me to do a pyment instead, replacing the water with Welch’s grape juice. All the rest would be the same. Maybe we will do a split batch to see which is better and maybe scale up next year when the fruit is more abundant.


Good idea.

 
JStax
beers 10651 º places 821 º 08:43 Sat 6/6/2015

Originally posted by wchesser
Just my two cents but please don’t go with Welch’s. You’ll loose anything of the other fruit in a concord bomb.


That’s one of my concerns as well. I’m not sure we can do a pyment at all and still be able to taste the fruit, which is the point since it is fairly unknown how thd fruit will turn out.

Maybe the best thing would be to keep all the honeyberries together in a single, straight up mead, and make a pyment by itself.

Do you have a recommended grape juice, or do you make your pyments some other way?

Thanks for the tips, so far!

 
HornyDevil
10:05 Sat 6/6/2015

Though I don’t know what honeyberries taste like or how they ferment, I HAVE used blueberries in the past, and they are rather subtle, so if you want them to be the dominant flavor, I’d use a lot of them and use them on their own.

 
wchesser
beers 2433 º places 44 º 10:28 Sat 6/6/2015

Maybe Welch’s white grape juice for a pyment that isn’t grape jelly? I use fresh wine grapes just bled off from making wine, but that is a seasonal thing and this ain’t the season.

I like the idea of a split batch, but with blueberry juice (you should be able to get a high quality one at a natural grocer type place). I agree with HornyDevil that they will probably be subtle. I still would recommend not adding them until the secondary and aging it on the berries for a few months. I think you’ll get more fruit, especially on the nose.

 
User52877
places 3 º 08:46 Thu 9/3/2015

Originally posted by JStax

Do you have a recommended grape juice, or do you make your pyments some other way?



Just be sure that whatever you use in the primary it does not contain preservatives, it will seriously hinder fermentation. If the honeyberries are anything like Blueberries they are already hard enough to ferment on their own. If adding to the secondary and you are NOT looking to continue fermentation it will not matter.

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