- 10 lbs honey
- 1 oz Saaz hops
- 2 lbs frozen blueberries
- 1 gallon apple juice (buy the no-preservatives kind)
- 1 pack champagne yeast (I used Red Star)
- Bring about 3 gallons of water to a boil.
- Add the honey, stirring until it's dissolved.
- Bring the must back to a boil, being careful not to boil it over. You can do this by stirring it. If it starts to boil over, turn down the heat.
- Add 1/2 oz Saaz hops.
- Boil for 15 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms (it'll be beeswax, bee parts, and such from the honey, not anything you'll want to drink).
- While it's boiling, you can get the blueberries ready, by putting them in a hop-boiling bag.
- Reduce the heat to keep it at a simmer. It shouldn't boil again from this point on.
- Add the blueberries, mashing the bag around a bit over the pot before you dump it in--you want to break the fruit up, to extract the juice more easily.
- Simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Add the remaining hops (about 1/2 oz).
- Simmer for 5 more minutes, getting the fermenter ready by putting the apple cider in it.
- Add the hot must to the cider, and bring the fermenter up to 5 gallons total by adding cool water. When you pour the must into the fermenter, it'll splash, which will aerate the must. This gives the yeast the oxygen they need to get started.
- Seal up the fermenter and wait for it to cool (overnight, perhaps).
- When the must in the fermenter has reached about 70 degrees F, toss in the yeast, put the airlock back on the fermenter and wait.
This recipe will take about a month to ferment at 65 degrees or so. If the area you have set aside for your fermenter is warmer or cooler than that, your time will vary. Warmer temps make for faster fermentation. Cooler temps make for slower. If you've got a hydrometer, you can wait for the specific gravity to drop below 1.0. If not, just wait for it to bubble no more than once every five or ten minutes. If it's bubbling more often than that, let it sit longer. If the airlock goes dry, put more water in it. If you get a real vigorous fermentation and it either fills the airlock with foam or blows it clear off, don't worry. Just find the airlock, clean it up, refill it with water, and pop it back on the fermenter.
A couple notes here while you're waiting for your melomel to ferment: when I brewed this, the original gravity was 1.075. This is a chance to use your hydrometer if you bought one. If not, don't worry about it.
When fermentation slows, it's time to bottle.