Sparkling Blackberry Mead

a mead flavored with blackberries and heather blossoms
trying out Ken Schramm's "No Heat Method"
(The compleat Meadmaker, p43)
Highland Castle label
Batch Number:
Starting Gravity:
    Final Gravity: .997

12 lbs Howell wildflower honey

Other 1:
4 lbs Spartan (store brand) frozen blackberries
Other 2:
2 lbs Spartan (store brand) frozen raspberries 
Other 3:
2 oz Brewer's Garden dried Heather Tips (Calluna vulgaris)
Other 4:
2 tsp Wyeast nutrient
Other 5:
1/2 Cup Howell wildflower honey for priming at bottling time (change this! - see notes)

2 packets (10g) Lalvin Bourgovin RC212

  • Put 3 gallons of room temperature water into sanitized (glass) fermenter
  • dissolve Wyeast nutrient in this water
  • add honey
  • add water to make 5 gallons (adjust temperature of water to keep within 5 degrees of ambient temperature of room)
  • rehydrate yeast (15 minutes in 1/2 cup warm water)
  • oxygenate (1 minute of O2 through stainless airstone in bottom of must)
  • pitch yeast
  • cap with airlock
  • wait until fermentation slows
  • place heather tips in muslin bag
  • place muslin bag and berries in secondary (plastic) fermenter
  • rack mead onto berries and heather
  • seal with fresh airlock
  • after 2 weeks, taste - if sufficient flavor has been picked up by mead, it is time to bottle.  If not, allow more time.  Repeat this step as necessary.
  • rack into 3rd (glass) fermenter if time is needed for clearing
  • When ready to bottle, rack into bottling bucket with 2/3C corn sugar
  • put into bottles and cap
  • put away for several months
  • taste on occasion until it is ready for sharing

8 July 2003 - In fact, I did use a little bit of heat - this honey has started to crystalize in its jars (the beekeeper had only 3 lb jars when I bought from him this time) so I set them in a bath of hot water for a while to liquefy it.

December '03 - This mead no longer sparkles - it gushes.