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A glass of black cherry mead, next to a pile of black cherries.
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Black Cherry Mead

Black cherry mead - or, more accurately, black cherry melomel - is wine made with honey and cherries. Here's how to make this tasty beverage!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time40 mins
Resting time365 d
Total Time365 d 2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: British, Greek
Servings: 1 Gallon
Calories: 4477kcal
Author: Marie Porter

Equipment

2 gallon fermenter bucket and lid
1 air lock and stopper
Siphon, siphon tubing.
1 - 2 1 gallon glass carboys

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If using fresh cherries, rinse and pick through them, removing any that are moldy, etc. Remove stems, chop them up.
  • Place in a large pot, along with the honey. Using a potato masher or VERY clean hands, stir and mash cherries. Let sit for an hour.
  • Add water, stir well. Heat to ALMOST boiling, then simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, and acid blend
  • Pour mixture into a freshly sanitized fermenting bucket. Cover with sanitized lid and air lock, allow to cool to room temperature (overnight).
  • The next morning, give the mixture a quick stir with a long, sanitized spoon, and – using sanitized equipment – take a gravity reading of the liquid (strain out any cherries). Keep track of the number! (This is an optional step, but will allow you to calculate your final ABV %)
  • Sprinkle yeast into fermenter, cover with sanitized cover and air lock. Within 48 hours, you should notice fermentation activity – bubbles in the airlock, carbonation and /or swirling in the mead must. This means you’re good to go!
  • After a week or so, use your sanitized siphon setup to rack the must into a freshly sanitized carboy. Put the carboy somewhere cool (not cold!), and leave it alone for a month or so.
  • Using sanitized equipment, rack the mead off the sediment, into a clean, freshly sanitized carboy. Cap with sanitized airlock, leave it alone for another 2-3 months.
  • Rack one more time, leave it for another 3 months or so.
  • When your mead has been racked a few times and shows NO more fermenting activity for a month or so (no bubbles in the airlock, no more sediment being produced, you can move on to bottling. **
  • If stabilizing, follow the instructions on your selected type of wine stabilizer to stop fermentation. For potassium sorbate, this needs to be done 2-3 days before bottling.
  • Back sweetened your mead, if desired. (See post for details)
  • Using sanitized equipment, take a gravity reading, then rack the mead into clean, sanitized bottles. Cork.

Notes

* If using frozen cherries, allow them to thaw. Don't bother straining them - just skip the sorting/pitting step!
IMPORTANT:
Software generates nutritional information based on the ingredients as they start, and is unable to account for the sugars consumed in the fermentation process. As such, the calories, sugars, and carbs are shown WAY higher than reality.
Additionally, the listed value is for the entire recipe, NOT per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 4477kcal | Carbohydrates: 1204g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 1885mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 1175g | Vitamin A: 8729IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 8mg