Raspberry Blossom Session Mead Recipe

One of my favorite types of meads to make are session meads. I like them for their quick turn around and that I can put them on tap for a nice refreshing drink.

I’ve some Raspbery Blossom honey that I’ve been told has a relatively low pH, so this batch will be a little more work than a normal recipe. I believe I’m going to have to bump up the pH with Potassium Carbonate so that the yeast have a smaller chance of becoming stressed and producing Hydrogen Sulfide and thus getting Mercaptans.


Recipe Formulation
The recipe goal is pretty straightforward. I’ll be making a 10 gallon batch. I’m shooting for around 5% alcohol. I plan on then sweeting it with 0.5lb to 1.0 lb of raspberry blossom honey per 5G and carbonating. For fun I’m going to clarify half the batch with sparkolloid and the other half with no clarifying agents.

So to get 5 alcohol in 10G I can either use prior knowledge to know that I need to shoot for around 1.035 original gravity, or I can use a calculator.  Either way gives me about 10 lbs of honey to get 1.035. Note that since honey is a natural product it can have quite a bit of variance, meaning you might have to use a little less or a little more honey.

Next is to figure out how much nutrients are needed. Now this depends on the yeast. I’m going to use a yeast with ‘medium’ nutrient needs: D21. This is a fun yeast and I’m thinking it will complement the honey well. For a medium nutrient yeast I generally shoot for 175 ppm YAN. I’ve found with lower than that I tend to start getting sulfur compounds. Honey has basically 0 YAN, so it has to be added from other sources. I’m choosing to use a combination of Fermaid O and DAP. Fermaid O is 6.5% N and DAP is 21% N (For reference Fermaid K is 13% N). Here is a decent reference on adding YAN to your wine. I tend to go with a 3:2 ratio of YAN from organic to inorganic (DAP). If I add 1.55g/L of Fermaid O that’ll provide 101ppm YAN, so I’ll add .32g/L of DAP for about 67ppm YAN. You’ll notice that is only 168ppm YAN. We’ll also get some YAN from the GoFerm we’ll use for rehydration, about 9 ppm worth.

Rehydration of yeast with GoFerm is a must. Without rehydration you lose up to 50% of your yeast cells, severely hampering your fermentation.

So, here’s the final recipe.

10lb Raspberry blossom honey (primary)
1-2lbs of Raspberry blossom honey (backsweetening)
10G Filtered water
58.9g Fermaid O (47.1g @Lag, 11.8g @1/3 sugar)
12.2 DAP (6.1g @Lag, 6.1g @1/3 sugar)
10g D21 yeast
12.5g GoFerm

Aiming for 1.035 OG.

That doesn’t look to bad does it? I’ll be brewing it at big brew.