PDA

View Full Version : That's quite a cap



EnsNentill
08-05-2009, 03:08 AM
Ok, just tried a metheglin/melomel I found in the recipe section. It seems I didn't put the grapes in the food processor long enough, and I now have one heck of a fruit cap, which is made worse because it's a one-gallon batch in a carboy. I had to set up a blow-off system instead of an airlock because of it.

At this point, should I just stick with the blow-off system while making sure to push down the cap every day? Would it be better to rack it to a new carboy to get rid of the debris? Or would racking this soon hurt my mead?

Dan McFeeley
08-05-2009, 09:46 AM
Ok, just tried a metheglin/melomel I found in the recipe section. It seems I didn't put the grapes in the food processor long enough, and I now have one heck of a fruit cap, which is made worse because it's a one-gallon batch in a carboy. I had to set up a blow-off system instead of an airlock because of it.

At this point, should I just stick with the blow-off system while making sure to push down the cap every day? Would it be better to rack it to a new carboy to get rid of the debris? Or would racking this soon hurt my mead?

It's difficult to say without seeing what it is you're working with.

Another possibility, if you have a food grade plastic bucket of reasonable size, enough for your one gallon batch and a bit of headspace for the cap and any foaming going on, it might be best to transfer to that. Keep the top covered with a sanitized plastic sheet, don't worry too much about exposure to air -- oxygen in the early stages of fermentation is helpful plus, there should be some CO2 blanketing.

EnsNentill
08-05-2009, 01:42 PM
I've got:
4 lbs wild desert honey
2 cups of chopped grapes
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 TBSP coffee
K1V-1116 yeast
(1 gallon batch)

Don't have a 1 gallon bucket. All I've got is an extra gallon carboy or two and a six gallon carboy.

wayneb
08-05-2009, 02:53 PM
If those are screw-thread carboys and you have a screw-on lid that is in good shape, then you can temporarily pull off the stopper/airlock, screw a sanitized lid in its place, SLOWLY slosh around the bottle to get the fruit cap submerged and wetted, and then EVER SO SLOWLY open up the screw-cap, replacing it with your stopper.

You will release LOTS of built-up CO2 during something like this, so you'll want to be careful and deliberate every time that you do it.

EnsNentill
08-05-2009, 05:14 PM
I do have a screw-top carboy with a lid that fits... unfortunately it's not the one my mead is in.

Would it work if I poured this batch through a strainer/funnel combination into a new carboy? I brewed it last night, so aeration isn't a problem at this point, right?

wayneb
08-05-2009, 06:57 PM
Yup - you are still OK with respect to aeration this early in the fermentation. But be careful - if things are going well then you have lots of CO2 already in solution in that must, and pouring through a funnel might be enough to turn most of that liquid into foam if you pour too fast.

Don't forget to sanitize the funnel and the new carboy first!

EnsNentill
08-05-2009, 07:09 PM
Ok, so I'm thinking I'll sanitize a carboy, funnel, and wire-mesh strainer. Stick the strainer in the funnel, then slowly pour in? This should work, right?

AToE
08-05-2009, 07:44 PM
I've done that with a couple batches, works fine for me, but I would swirl/shake it for at least 5 minutes first to avoid that foam wayne mentioned. Also, I would be ready to stop several times to clean the mesh, it clogs very fast for me.

EnsNentill
08-05-2009, 11:58 PM
Strained it tonight. Looks like I got most of the chunks out, and the airlock is still bubbling happily. So, looks like the worst case is that the final will have less grape flavor than it would have if I'd processed them better. Oh well, live and learn. Thanks for the help everyone.