I find myself with an excess of peaches and a jug of raw honey, so I'm going to throw together some melomel and see what happens. No fancy brew-store ingredients, just peaches, honey, water, yeast, and time. I plan to leave the honey raw, but I can't decide if I should cook the peaches before adding them, to avoid any problematic fungus or bacteria they might carry, or if I should leave them raw to let their natural yeasts play with the yeasts in the honey.
I'm leaning towards cooking the peaches to be on the safe side, but very open to hearing from experience because I'm shooting entirely from the hip here.
Update, for anyone wondering: I went with the raw honey and cooked puree. 1.5 lbs peach chunks, cooked and blended, 1.5 lbs honey, water to within about 3" of the top of a glass gallon jug, then a little champagne yeast I had in the fridge. I've been stirring the cap in three times a day, and all is fizzy, yummy-smelling goodness so far. I figure I'll strain the remainder of the fruit off after a month or so and then let it keep going until it's still. Then... age? I read that a lot of melomels need 6 months to a year to come around to deliciousness.
I think I might have gone with the raw fruit but your way was safer and sounds utterly delicious.
If you used champagne yeast I would expect this to ferment out rather dry, which means the honey and peach flavors will be fairly subdued. All of the dry meads I ever made were pretty rough and I've seen advice for aging (in the fermenter after racking off of sediments, or in the bottles) for time periods up to several years. Mine never lasted that long; I drank them sooner. They were always good but never awesome. So if it were me doing it, I'd bottle in little bottles (the 7 oz Corona bottles with beer caps are great for this) and sample one every six months until the awesomeness arrives.)
Thanks Dan! I wanted to be into brewing for a long time, but it all felt too intense with the weird specialty ingredients and tools. EZ-caps actually got me into brewing for myself - juice plus yeast plus cap given 5-7 days on the counter and a couple more in the fridge = almost always yum. This year I've gotten a little more adventurous, bolstered by my EZ-cap successes and reading on historical brewing methods which often boil down to, "Mix up some sugary stuff into a liquid solution, let it fizz for a while, skim off any ick, bottle."
I've got a spruce tip mead, I guess that would more properly be a metheglin, aging in the pantry now. It's okay, but I'm hoping for improvement over time. I've been re-using screw top booze bottles so that I can open, taste, and re-seal. Any reason that's a terrible idea?
I moved the brew from the fermenter to a bottle the other day, but the last bit with all the peach goo wouldn't fit. I strained that into a glass and put it in the fridge to settle. I'm drinking it right now, and I'm pretty pleased. Notes of the fruit and honey, but not sickly sweet or syrupy. I'm buzzed, so that bit worked. ;P Curious to see what aging does to/for it.
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