View Full Version : So is this going to kill me?

02-27-2008, 01:01 AM
So I was sitting around bored this evening and happened to have 6 lbs of random honey 3 lbs of frozen strawberries, 2 lbs of blackberries frozen, and 1 lb of frozen rasberries and decided to whip up 2 1 gallon batches of mead real quick. Anyways so I threw it all together under the usual way i suppose (i.e. not heated sanitized everything and rehydrated the 71b yeast in some go ferm and water with about 3g of goferm and yeast per 40 mL water for each batch) and mixed everything with the 3lbs of berries for each batch. After I pitched the yeast and tucked everything away for both seperate batches I realized that I had neglected to do anything to sanitize the berries for either batch. So (sorry for the long backstory) my question is, is this batch going to kill me and what problems am I facing coming down the road. Anyways needless to say i'm not terribly worried if this batch ends up coming out like shit since I just rammed it together this afternoon out of boredom and it's just 2 one gallon batches but I am curious if i'm facing any potential dangers.

Thx as always,

02-27-2008, 01:15 AM
itll be fine as long as you do something to resubmerge the fruit as often as possible. during the first few days you can just shake the whole thing up, after that you should use something to "punch down the cap" without introducing any oxygen if possible. i just swirl the whole thing around, which isnt ideal since it likely adds some oxygen.

02-27-2008, 02:04 AM
ok can do. So in the future though should I boil frozen fruit or just give it as best a cleaning as I can give it and hope that the honey keeps everything legitimate if i can keep fruit from exposing to oxygen for too long?

02-27-2008, 02:06 AM
As UCF noted make sure you're punching down the cap often, see my Oskaarz Blue Berriez Cyser recipe. There is a section specifically on Cap Management.



02-27-2008, 09:29 AM

In answer to your question...no, it will not kill you. Unless you drink it all in one go and get alcohol poisoning :icon_puke_r:.

The fear of having unwanted "bugs" on the fruit that has contaminated the Must is fairly small, although not impossible. Was the fruit store bought frozen? If so, then they usually wash them fairly well as they do not want their product going bad too quickly once defrosted. If this was home frozen by you, then you should have washed the fruit first and things should be fine.

Should you have boiled the fruit? In my opinion, no. You can, but then you will have to deal with the whole pectic haze issue. Not worth the hassle.

Do a search on the 71B yeast you used and read up on the competitive factor. You should have pitched a fairly large amount of healthy yeast that will out compete any natural yeasts that may have still been on the fruit. This will improve your chances of this batch not killing you.

Good luck, and post your brewlog in the correct section.


02-27-2008, 10:33 AM
Sounds great thx guys for all the info and on a side this morning i woke up to find that the blackberry and rasberry had exploded and the strawberry nad filled the airlock with itself so that's always fun.

02-27-2008, 05:47 PM
ok can do. So in the future though should I boil frozen fruit or just give it as best a cleaning as I can give it and hope that the honey keeps everything legitimate if i can keep fruit from exposing to oxygen for too long?

When I do anything with berries in the primary, I usually add campden tablets to kill off wild yeasts, add pectic enzyme 12 hours later, and pitch the yeast 12 hours after that. I'm not sure what other people do but this has worked well for me.

02-27-2008, 09:21 PM
ya well so the rasberry one after it's initial eruption in the middle of the night has steadied off and is just blurping along like it's happy however the Strawberry one started going off like a volcanoe all day so around mid day I had to give up and just let it sit open with a cheesecloth put on top with a rubber band so that hopefully all the air could escape. So now about 6 hours later and it's still erupting along and I have it still just chilling in the shower with a cheesecloth on top any suggestions ?

02-27-2008, 09:24 PM
ps and is 3 lbs of berries too much for the primary in a 1 gallon jug ?

02-27-2008, 09:29 PM
An open ferment (often covered with a sanitized cheesecloth) is not uncommon for a primary fermentation's first days. I've already used a (app 1 1/2 gal) plastic pretzel/snack "barrel" for primary, racking to a 1 gal glass carboy for secondary. This allows more room for fruit and expansion.