I have a fresh gallon of muscadine juice that I would like to use to make a batch of Meade. I would like to make a 5 gallon batch. Could someone give me some pointers on when and how to add the juice? I have only made a traditional batch of mead before. Any other help would sure be appreciated.
I've not done any melomel with grapes but when adding "stuff" (highly technical term) for flavoring I do it during the primary fermentation, essentially treat the juice as part of the liquid ingredients. I'm sure some of the other folks can give you some insight into the handling of tannins and acids.
Just a personal opinion. Consider bulk aging it for at least a few months, it gives you the opportunity to correct or tweek any issues. I made a blueberry melomel, added additional blueberries toward the end of fermentation and almost immediately bottled. It has such a blueberry tart bite that it's not really palatable. Since then I've bought into the bulk aging concept, it ties up jugs and carboys but does have advantages.
Just for the sake of argument, A melomel Is a fruit mead. when grapes are used be they red or white it is a Pyment! Although, when white grapes are used it is sometimes referred to as a White Mead, And don't even get me started on bochetomel:
pH is important in the preservation But can be adjusted post fermentation. It also accounts for mouth feel. If the fermented product results in a good taste the preservation can be managed with Potassium metabisulphite. When using Honey I am hesitant to add much acid pre fermentation, as honey often becomes more acidic during fermentation.
Ah then, what's the correct terms for sassafras and sumac?
Interesting on honey becoming more acidic during fermentation, how much does acidity change during aging?
Metheglin: Metheglin is traditional mead with herbs or spices added. Some of the most common metheglins are; ginger, tea, orange peel, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cloves or vanilla. Its name indicates that many metheglins were originally employed as ⦁ folk medicines
pH changes very little after fermentation. That being the main reason I adjust post fermentation. Once the desired pH or mouth feel is achieved it is generally good to go. Aging bonds flavors and imparts nuances through "slight" oxidation. Err go the reason to top up and utilize an airlock. Even slighter oxidation takes place through the cork. When bottled mead variants or wined reach a year in the bottle (if they make it that long). I replace the natural cork with a synthetic cork. Which allows for almost no Oxidation and preserved the wine for longer periods.