A strawberry mead recipe by Matt Williams.

This was my first fruit wine that I ever made. I used frozen strawberries from the grocery store and a local Colorado honey.

It took about 3 weeks to fully ferment and I recommend giving it a full six months or more to clear. I opted not to degas the mead as the tiny amount of carbonation added a nice touch to the finished product. The final alcohol content was 14.25% prior to back sweetening (optional).

Ingredients

Strawberry melomel equipment and ingredients.

Everything you need to make a 1 gallon batch of Matt’s Strawberry Melomel.

 

  • 4lbs frozen strawberries
  • 48 oz Raw, Unfiltered Honey
  • Water (enough to total 1.25 gallons of total liquids)
  • 1 tsp Acid Blend
  • ¼ tsp Tannin
  • ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
  • 1 tsp Yeast Nutrients
  • 1 pkg Premier Cuvee Yeast
  • Potassium Metabisulfite / campden tablets (measure per manufacturers recommendation)

Optional if back sweetening

  • Additional honey to taste
  • Potassium sorbate (measure per manufacturers recommendation)

Always refer to the additive manufacturers instructions on how much to add as concentrations may vary.

Making Strawberry Melomel

Starting Fermentation

Begin by setting out the frozen strawberries to thaw in the packaging they came in. Once the fruit has thawed sanitize your wine making equipment including: a hydrometer, test jar, a mixing bowl, primary fermenter, and a stirring spoon.

Line the mixing bowl with a sanitized nylon bag (like this one). Open the bag of strawberries and empty the contents into the lined bowl. Lift up on the bag and allow the juice to drain into the bowl. Place the bag of strawberries into the primary fermenter.

Pour the honey and enough water into the mixing bowl so that you have a total of 1.25 gallons of must. It can be helpful to heat the honey slightly so that it is easier to pour and mix in. There’s no need to boil the honey though, it is naturally anti-microbial.

Once all the liquids have been thoroughly mixed in measure the specific gravity and temperature of the must and calculate the temperature corrected specific gravity. Record this in your wine making log. Here’s a free wine making log you can print if you need it.

Next measure the appropriate amount of acid blend, tannins, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients for the 1.25 gallons of must you have. Different additive manufacturers make additives of different concentrations so be sure to go by what your specific container has labeled on it. The potassium metabisulfite is added after fermentation, not now.

The last thing to do at this stage is hydrate your yeast and add it to the must. I recommend hydrating over adding the yeast in a dry form in order to help it get going. Honey is already hard for yeast to ferment and hydrating helps them get started.

During the first five days squeeze the mesh bag of fruit daily to help extract flavor, color, and aroma compounds. Check the specific gravity every other day. Rack your mead to the secondary fermenter and discard the fruit once the mead reaches a specific gravity of 1.030.

Secondary Fermentation

Allow your strawberry melomel to continue fermenting for six weeks. Check the specific gravity and record your results. Check the specific gravity again at eight weeks. If the six and eight week gravity readings are the same fermentation is over and you can rack off of the lees. If the two measurements are not the same allow your mead to continue fermenting.

Strawberry melomel in 375ml bottles.Once fermentation has ceased rack into a clean carboy. You may optionally add a clarifier at this time. After the strawberry melomel has cleared you may stabilize with potassium metabisulfite. Be sure to add potassium sorbate if you plan on back sweetening. Bottle your mead.

Aging

Most meads and melomels benefit from extended amounts of time in the bottle. Three years is ideal, however, few can wait this long. Try to give it at lease six months if you’ve back sweetened or one year if you did not.

Creative Commons License
The recipe presented on this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • anonymous

    In the recipe, you don’t say to add the yeast 24 hours after adding the “additives,” which include potassium metabisulfite. Won’t adding all at once significantly hamper the ability of the yeast to reproduce? Most recipes say to wait a while after adding the sulfites to pitch the yeast.

    • You’re absolutely correct!

      I meant to specify that the potassium metabisulfite should be left for the end. Because the strawberries were frozen and because honey is naturally anti-microbial it’s not necessary to use potassium metabisulfite in the beginning.

      Thank you for pointing this out. I have since updated the post to avoid future confusion.

      Cheers!

      Matt