Tofi's Recipes: Dry Strawberry Melomel

(brewed September 4th, 1995)

Ingredients (for two gallons):

Smack yeast pack (perhaps a day ahead), or make sure your culture is going nicely.

Boil the honey in about 1 gal. water, skimming until no more scum riseth.

Cut stems and bad parts off of strawberries. Put these in a pot with 1/2 gal. water, and bring to a boil. Peel and squeeze the lemon, then add all of it to the strawberries. Simmer fruit with the lid on for about 1/2 hour.

Combine both pots into the primary and cool overnight, then pitch the yeast. (Actually, this is bad practice; you should cool it with a chiller, aerate it well, and pitch the yeast right away.)

After about two weeks, strain into the secondary (using a sanitized strainer). Then boil the oak chips in some water, discard the water, and add to the secondary. Also add the pectic enzyme.

"Dry" does no adequately describe this mead. "Arid" is probably closer. It had a starting gravity of 1.074, which is too low for a mead, and in two months was down to 0.994 (!), and a pH of 3.8. The strawberry taste doesn't come through at all without sweetening it first. It is fairly decent if mixed with the Dark Sweet Mead.

Good modifications would include: using at least 3, perhaps 3 1/2 lbs of honey per gallon; using more strawberries and letting it ferment on the fruit for a longer period (like 2 months).


Digbie, K, The Closet of the eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, kt., Opened..., 1669, in Miscellany from D. Friedman & E. Cook

Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, pwp+ (AT) cs dot cmu dot edu