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Passion Fruit Melomel 1.0

Yesterday, I brewed a Passion Fruit Milkshake IPA.  In the process of doing so, I opened a container of natural passion fruit flavoring I had purchased.  Since I didn't want that to go to waste, and I had been wanting to make a Passion Fruit flavored mead anyway, I decided to put that together while I was in the brewing area working on something else.

Ingredients

5 pounds of Wildflower Honey
2.9 ounces of Amoretti Natural Passion Fruit Flavoring
0.5 tsp. Fermaid K
0.5 tsp. DAP
1 packet Lalvin K1V 1116 dry yeast
Spring water to the 2-gallon level in the fermenter

This should yield a melomel with the following qualities:
  • Batch Size: 2.0 gallons (1.87 gallons, approximately, in fermenter)
  • Original Gravity: 1.075 SG estimated (1.108 SG actual)
  • Final Gravity: 0.984 SG estimated
  • ABV: 12.3%
  • Fermenter:  Yoda
  • Bottling Wand: Stainless 2
  • Carbonation Method: none for part of the batch, 4 Brewer's Best conditioning tablets (medium carbonation) for the rest
Brewing method is pretty straightforward:
  • Sanitize fermentation bucket, degassing wand, and airlock
  • Soak honey container in hot tap water for a few minutes to loosen up the honey
  • Pour a little spring water in the fermentation bucket
  • Pour in the honey
  • Add yeast nutrient
  • Add passion fruit flavoring
  • Fill with water to the 2 gallon mark
  • Attach degassing wand to battery powered drill
  • Use the degassing wand to oxygenate the wort and mix all the ingredients
  • Gently sprinkle the yeast across the surface of the must
  • Snap on the lid and insert airlock
Fermentation plan is to leave the mead out at ambient temperature (62-65F) until the completion of fermentation.

After fermentation, my plan is to let the mead condition on its yeast cake for at least 2-3 weeks before bottling.  Depending on the clarity, I may pull it off the yeast and let it go a few months.

To bottle, I plan to do a few bottles with no carbonation (still), and the rest with three Brewer's Best carbonation tablets per bottle (medium carbonation).  I'll allow it condition in the bottle for at least two more weeks 

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

02/09/2020:  Putting the must together was extremely easy.  It became clear that I couldn't really fill the fermenter to the two-gallon mark without risking a problem with blowing out the airlock or the lid, so I stopped between the 1.75 gallon and 2.0 gallon marks.  I can always dilute it later if I like.  The initial gravity read 1.108 SG with a temperature of 66F.

02/10/2020:  Gravity is down to 1.107 SG and the temperature has dropped to 65F.  I don't see significant signs of activity in the airlock at this point, but didn't really expect to for another 12 hours or so.

02/11/2020:  Gravity is down to 1.106 SG and the temperature is up to 66F.  There were clear signs of active yeast when I peeked into the bucket last night, so I'm looking forward to seeing the gravity start dropping off more rapidly, soon.

02/12/2020:  Gravity is all over the place for the past several hours, registering as high as 1.112 SG and as low as 1.103 SG.  Temperature has been between 64-66F.  Around 10pm, I degassed the melomel, added more yeast nutrient, and pitched a second package of the same yeast.  I'm hoping this will get fermentation going strong again and allow it to finish out.

02/13/2010:  Gravity is reading 1.090 SG today, which represents 13% attenuation, and 2.7% ABV.  I'll plan to go down tonight or tomorrow night and degas it again, and possibly hit it with more nutrients to keep fermentation going.

02/14/2020:  Gravity 1.070 SG and 65F.

02/16/2020:  Gravity is down to 1.051.  Earlier in the day I degassed the must, oxygenated it a little at the same time, and added yeast nutrients to help keep fermentation going.

02/18/2020:  Gravity 1.028 SG and 64F.  11.8% ABV.

02/20/2020:  Gravity 1.009 SG and 64F.  14.4% ABV.

02/22/2020:  Gravity 1.008 SG and 64F, 15.1% ABV.  Fermentation is definitely slowing but does not appear to have stopped yet.

02/25/2020:  Gravity 0.998 SG, 63F, and 15.8% ABV.

02/26/2020:  Gravity 0.997 SG, 62F, and 15.9% ABV.

02/28/2020:  Gravity 0.996 SG, 63F, and 16.0% ABV.

03/07/2020:  Gravity 0.996 still.  A sample from the fermenter last night was kind of harsh with a significant bitterness from the passion fruit.  I think it's going to need some backsweetening and probably some extended aging to really mellow out and taste good.

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