Melomel – Meads and Fruit with Michael Fairbrother – BeerSmith Podcast #119

by Brad Smith on January 20, 2016 · 5 comments

BSRadioMichael Fairbrother, award winning mead maker and CEO of Moonlight Meadery joins me this week to discuss making fruit meads and melomels. Michael uses fruit in many of his top selling meads and has a unique perspective on what fruits to use and how to get the best mead from fruit and honey!

Editors Note: After some video hardware issues last week, I upgraded the video system to full HD now – so enjoy the new HD video podcast.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (43:49)

  • Michael Fairbrother joins me this week to discuss making meads with fruit (called Melomel). Michael is owner and founder of Moonlight Meadery as well as a nationally award winning mead maker. He started his meadery in 2010 in his garage and has grown to become one of the largest meaderies in the Northeast. Michael also joined us for three previous episodes where we discussed the basics of mead making including Episode #88, Episode #65 and Episode #43.
  • We briefly discuss some of the new things going on at Moonlight Meadery.
  • Michael talks about what’s different about making mead with fruit
  • He explains some of the major categories of Melomel, and we discuss the new BJCP mead guidelines
  • Michael tells us why some fruits provide more flavor and also shares some of his favorite flavors to work with
  • We talk about flavor combinations and how some fruit combinations can complement and enhance each other
  • Michael shares us why he prefers to work with fresh fruit instead of frozen or fruit concentrate
  • We talk about fruit preparation, including freezing some fruits, as well as when its best to add your fruit to the mead
  • He discusses how much fruit to use for a given quantity of mead
  • We talk about preserving the flavor of fruits and the use of certain chemicals
  • Michael shares his thoughts on finding a variety of honey that goes well with the fruit
  • We discuss dealing with high acidity fruits like citrus fruit
  • He provides some tips on finishing his melomels
  • Michael shares his closing thoughts and a few things that are new at Moonlight Meadery

Sponsors

Thanks to Michael Fairbrother for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jimmy bauyless January 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Great J.O.B. again, Much luv & light.
I really like hearing from thee~jimm

Ken Schramm January 25, 2016 at 6:27 am

A quick note – I have used (and detail in the book) fruit in secondary, but it is not something we have ever done at Schramm’s Mead. Using fruit in the secondary would mean starting the natural clarification again after secondary, and that is not economically viable for us. We love fruit. We put a lot of it in the primary to achieve the levels of flavor and aromatics that our mead delivers.

KDS

Brad Smith January 25, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Thanks Ken! I would still love to have you on the show sometime as well.

Doc Friz March 16, 2016 at 8:34 am

Yes Please!

reynier March 17, 2016 at 1:32 am

our wine industry in south africa has a problem with us making a alcaholic beverage out of raisans and rice.our econamy are poor and we were able to create a cheaper form of a product that taste like wine but is not wine.we are put in a very high tax groove so that we are forced to increase our selling price per litre is this how things work kind regards reynier britz

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