Recipe below for Tart Cherry Mead by Steve Fletty, two-time Meadmaker of the Year (2007 & 2017). Reprinted with his permission. See and hear more from Fletty in Chop & Brew – Episode 62. Also see this presentation for additional advice on Making Mead the Easy Way by fellow master meadmaker Steve Piatz.
Tart Cherry Mead
- 20 lbs tart cherries (frozen and thawed)
- 20 lbs good wildflower honey
- 2 gallons water
- Yeast: Lalvin 71B Narbonne or French Rhone strain
Add honey to water. OG of the must will be about 1.180.
Add cherries to must. This will drop the OG because of the water in the cherries. We want this high OG so it will ferment out but leave residual sweetness.
Rehydrate yeast with GoFerm. Add nutrients to the must. Pitch yeast.
This will ferment out in 2-3 weeks. Rack off cherries to secondary. It will be a high ABV mead, in the 14-16% range. I let it sit at this point for 3 months to mellow and come together. Rack to tertiary. Fine and package.
FG of my last batch, no back sweetening, was 1.034.