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View Full Version : Making melomel: fruit to secondary?



Mencken
04-29-2009, 10:28 AM
Hey, sorry to come and ask a question on my very first post. A quick intro is I'm a guy from Philly. I've been brewing beer for about 5 months now, and just decided to brew a mead as well. I just had a quick question about going from primary to secondary.

I'm making a blackberry melomel. I have fruit in my primary now, with pectic enzyme in there as well. It's happily fermenting away as I write. I'm considering adding some more blackberries in my secondary. A few questions I have are:

1) My OG was 1.082, and my expected FG is .994 (so I was told). What SG should I transfer to secondary, if I'm going to add the fruit? Should I wait for fermentation to end in the primary, or should I transfer at a middle SG (e.g. 1.020)?

2) I added the requisite amount of pectic enzyme for 5g. Should I add more when transferring to the secondary to account for the new fruit?

3) I used 1 campden tablet per gallon in in my primary. Should I add the same amount when I transfer to the secondary?

Thanks very much

capoeirista13
04-29-2009, 12:08 PM
hooray another philly brewer! woot woot!

1.) Yeah transfer to secondary when the fermentation is pretty much complete, not at any particular SG.

I don't know about 2-3 but I was wondering about 2 myself.

wayneb
04-29-2009, 01:05 PM
Pectic enzyme doesn't deactivate with time -- only with temperature. So the enzyme that you added initially should be all that you need in the secondary. But, it works much more slowly in the presence of ethanol, so don't expect quick clearing from any pectins that are added with that secondary fruit.

I don't generally use any metabisulfite when transferring from primary to secondary. It is not necessary if you are scrupulous about sanitization, and sulfites can actually act as a mild bleach that will remove some of the color from red melomels (there's another active thread on this subject elsewhere on the forum). It would be a good idea to use it only if, 1) you aren't sure about your racking environment, or what might be on the additional fruit, and you're worried that you might get some infection started in the mead, or 2) you want to minimize the potential for oxidation, since SO2 acts as an antioxidant in musts. If you're careful with racking, so you don't introduce any unnecessary air during the transfer, you don't need additional sulfites in there since residual CO2 from primary fermentation should keep most incidental exposure to oxygen down to an acceptable level.

Xixist
04-30-2009, 05:10 PM
And most importantly...Welcome to Gotmead!
Great folk here with oceans of knowledge. The only stupid questions are the ones not asked, (that is, after you check the search tool).

Flower sperm, bee spit, and bacteria... Who woulda thunk? -Xixist