18 lbs of orange blossom honey
I sourced a 60# pail from Olive Hill Company down in Fallbrook. James Frazer is the beekeeper. Contact him at 760-304-2061 or at email@example.com. We found their booth at the Vista farmer's market.
Bring 2-1/2 gallons of Glendale's finest carbon-filtered tap water to a boil in a 5 gallon pot. Cut the flame. Add one WhirlFloc tablet, 1/2 tsp. of grape tannin and one vial of the Super Yeast food from John's shop. Stir in 18 lb of honey (that's 6 quarts). Stir well. Stir some more. Be careful. That's now nearly 4 gallons in a 5 gallon pot.
One three pound can of the red raspberry puree from John's shop.
Three 10 oz. packages of frozen mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry and blackberry) from Whole Foods.
Pour the raspberry puree and the now thawed mixed berries into the bottom of the cleaned and sanitized fermenter. Cover with 1 gallon of cold tap water. My primary fermenter for this batch is a 10 gal. white plastic food grade bucket with a lid. The lid doesn't have to fit tightly; it just has to keep insects and critters out while allowing CO2 to escape.
Two 5 gram packages of Red Star dried wine yeast, Cote des Blancs.
I prepared a yeast starter the day before and left 750 ml of starter solution going on my stir plate until ready to pitch on brew day.
Pour the honey/water mixture over the berries already in the fermenter. Top with enough cold tap water to reach 6 gallons. Because it was at 120F, I used an immersion chiller to get it down to about 80F. That's the limit with the temperature of the local tap water these days. Stir some more. Took a reading with my refractometer: 23.2 brix. Pitched the yeast slurry and oxygenated for 2 minutes. It was actively fermenting the next morning when I punched down the must cap and oxygenated for another minute. Fermentation is taking place in warm ambient temperature in my garage. I plan to leave it in primary for about two weeks and then rack out from under the must into a glass carboy to continue fermenting for as long as it takes, racking occasionally. Let's hope I can bring a sample to taste at next year's mead tasting event at the shop.