So, this Thanksgiving Jessica ran off and left me. Luckily, I had friends that I could turn to, so I prepared to make my signature squash pie. Luckily, as she so often does, Freyja had other plans for me because the Goddess of fertility didn’t make the squash people have babies. Not finding any good pie squashes, I decided to buy cranberries planning to make a sauce. Still she planned, and my friends didn’t want cranberries. So, faced with a large amount of these small tart jewels, I had to come up with a use for them. Since I was in the middle of making a large amount of mead, I finally realized what Freyja wanted: cranberry mead!1
This is actually my first berry melomel, although I’ve made a blackberry mead using blackberry honey. It’ll be interesting to see how the brewing of berries goes because cranberries have one of the highest pectin concentrations ever; thus, I’m guessing that either this mead will clarify beautifully (not be cloudy) or it’ll be damn near opaque.
I deviated quite a bit from my basic procedures for this recipe. First, I heated one bag of the cranberries in water with all of the honey. I tried not to boil the water, which meant that the cranberries didn’t really pop. When they were as heated as they were going to be, I dumped this honey/cranberry liquid into the carboy, added 2 bottles of cranberry juice and water to bring it to 5 gallons and pitched the yeast. Three days later, I boiled two bags of cranberries to make basically a cranberry sauce and added this to the carboy.