hist-brewing: Hello and questions!

bjm10 at cornell.edu bjm10 at cornell.edu
Tue Jun 26 11:18:50 PDT 2001

On Mon, 25 Jun 2001, Tara Sersen wrote:

> So, here are my questions:  I have found a bunch of recipes for
> raspberry mead, and they vary immensely.  I don't know which to try.
> How much raspberry should I use per gallon of mead?  I find recipes

That depends on two things:

How much you like raspberries and how "raspberry" the raspberries you 
have are.  All I can say is try a few different ratios and use what you 
end up liking.

> raspberries?  I find that one gallon of berries weighs about 4 pounds.

Except that you would mash the raspberries for this purpose.  So gallon 
whole vs. gallon mashed has to be considered.

> would mean I'd use about 12 pounds, or 3 gallons, of berries.  I assume
> they ultimately contribute somewhat to the volume of finished product...
> but not 3 gallons worth of volume.  I'm confused!  Also, I find recipes

That depends upon the recipe in question.  If it's more beer-ish (boiled 
to reduce volume), it's even more complicated.  Also, don't forget that 
the solids will mostly end up settling out and not contributing to final 
clarified volume.

> that call for letting the berries steep in the hot must, but removing
> them before starting the primary fermentation; For adding them for
> primary fermentation but straining them out for secondary; And for
> adding them only for secondary fermentation.  Any advice on what's
> best?  I wouldn't be offended if someone just gives me a recipe and says

Any of these methods can work, which is why you see all of them.  I 
suggest you try them all and use what works best for you.  Now, if you 
have an overriding need to replicate a certain historical time and place, 
what you can discover of the methods of that time and place should also 
make a difference.

Finally, on the question of sweetness:  Honey and raspberries pretty much 
only have fairly simple sugars.  Thus, a robust yeast will gobble them 
all up and make for a very *dry* product.  Sweetness is easiest to 
add (for me) by using a powerful yeast and then adding sugars of some sort 
shortly before bottling (but even that won't guarantee sweetness--you 
could end up with a dry, carbonated mead).  One can also try a less 
vigorous yeast and hope it gives out early enough.

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