Watermelon Melomel is a variation on a mead, where Watermelon or fruit juice is fermented together with honey.
5 gallon yield
12 lbs. wildflower honey (other types of honey will do)
juice of one large watermelon (about one gallon)
White Labs English Ale Yeast – WLP002
tap & bottled water.
When I made this mead, I juiced a large watermelon (about 12 lbs.) using a Champion Juicer, but any other method ought to work just as well.
Start by heating up about two gallons of tap water to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the honey until completely dissolved. Next stir in the watermelon juice. Check the temperature to make sure it is at least 150 degrees for sanitation purposes. A temperature between 150 and 170 for five minutes should suffice to sanitize the honey and the juice. At over 170 degrees, you will “set the pectin” in the juice throwing a pectin haze in the mead (as I did) that will not clarify without the use of pectic enzyme. Don’t worry, at least it won’t affect the flavor. Consider adding pectic enzyme to the must once it has cooled to 100 degrees, as a precautionary measure.
Once you’re satisfied that the must is sanitized, cool it down to 70 degrees, top up to 5.25 gallons with cool bottled water, pitch the yeast, aerate and ferment. Check the mead daily – a gravity reading is nice, but the flavor is the critical factor – and when it has only the amount of residual sugar that you desire, cool it down to 35 degrees or so and don’t let it warm up ever again.
Just for info: the terminal gravity on mine was 1.022 ; I didn’t bother with an OG, lazy brewer that I am. I’d guess it was around 1.090, and that my ABV was around 9%.