Homemade Blueberry Mead
Well, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival has been canceled for this year - FINALLY. It was really looking like they were going to try to recreate some of the less fun aspects of the period.
What a weird lead in to a post about mead, right?
The thing is, it was the response to the final cancellation of the event that got my mind on mead, and prompted me to write this post!
SO many of my friends back in Minnesota are huge into fest, but all were relieved to see it canceled. I don’t blame them - many are performers and artisans there.
... but there was an interesting theme that carried across so many of the posts and comments about it - mentions of mead, that they were happy to be able to order mead outside of fest - from the fest vendor - etc.
As I mentioned in my Savoury Alligator Pie recipe, fest food was 100% about the alligator sausage, to me. For many of my friends, though, it seems as though that mead was a huge deal.
Anyway, in honour of my friends not being forced to re-live plague rat days... I'm posting my recipe for homemade blueberry mead!
A few things to mention, first:
What is Mead?
Mead is basically a wine, but instead of being made from fruit, it’s made from honey. Technically, this recipe is a melomel - a mead that’s been fermented with the addition of fruit - but “mead” is a much better-known term.
You can use fresh or frozen blueberries, there are just a few differences in how to use them, and things to keep in mind:
Using fresh, be sure to use ripe blueberries, picking through to remove anything that's not ripe, is moldy, etc. I like to chop the blueberries and let them sit in the honey for a couple hours before starting on the wine making, as it - maceration - draws the juices out of the berries
When using frozen blueberries, you can skip the maceration process. Freezing and thawing blueberries breaks them down in a way that ends up with a result similar to maceration.
Unlike many of my fruit wines, this homemade blueberry mead works well either dry or sweet. As with the rest of my wines, I prefer sweet ... but at least the blueberry flavour comes through a bit, even when dry.
If your fermentation takes it a bit too dry for your liking, read my Homemade Strawberry Wine post for information on how to back sweeten it.
FWIW - I’m currently working on a post about back sweetening, and it will be up long before any batch put on now will even be close to being ready to worry about back sweetening!
As with most wine or mead recipes, feel free to tinker with the flavours on this one, to suit your tastes. A few ideas:
Clementines: My favourite variation on this recipe is to add the juice and peel of a few clementines in the heating step. I just find that they work SO well, not only with blueberries, but with mead in general. It’s a great combo!
Wildflower Honey: While I usually like to use a fairly neutral honey - many of the other honey types compete with the blueberry flavour - wildflower honey works beautifully with the blueberry flavour of this mead.
Ginger: Peel and slice up about 1" of ginger root, and toss it in with the heating step
Basics of Wine - and Mead - Making
If you haven't attempted making wine before, don't be intimidated! Check out our primer to home brewing, it starts here, with parts 2 and 3 here and here. Just a small handful of entries, and you'll be good to go!
More Wine Recipes
While you've got your Homemade Blueberry Mead fermenting away, why not consider putting a batch of something else on, to occupy your wait time?
Here are a few of my other wine recipes:
Homemade Banana Wine Recipe
Homemade Blackberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Blueberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Cherry Recipe
Homemade Clementine Mead Recipe
Homemade Cranberry Clementine Christmas Wine Recipe
Homemade Faux Lingonberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Hard Apple Cider Recipe
Homemade Mango Wine Recipe
Homemade Mint Wine Recipe
Homemade Newfoundland Partridgeberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Strawberry Wine Recipe
Homemade Watermelon Wine Recipe
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