This latest batch was a variation on the previous one, except that I used about a half gallon of wild black cherries given to me by a friend. These are wild fruits, so they had some bitterness to them. Imagine the cherry flavor we are all familiar with, the tanginess, but with an accompanying bitterness rather than a sweetness. Combined with the sweetness of the honey, I expect a VERY interesting brew.
Getting the pits out was extremely tedious. I worked for 45 minutes, and realized I was probably less than 10% of the way finished. A quick call to another friend with a food mill, and a 30-minute trip later, and I was home with a small jar of black cherry juice. Whew!
I used the same sumac methodology as last time (3 drupes steeped in warm chaga decoction overnight). This time I also used a full gallon of honey rather than 15 cups, to help counteract the bitterness of the cherries.
Beautiful color, not unlike the previous wild berry batch:
Bottling tonight. Here’s the label:
This mead turned out very sweet and quite delicious! It won First Place for Best Melomel at the first annual Maine Pagan Meaders’ Cup in early 2011. It was probably my favorite batch from all the berry meads I did in 2010.