PDA

View Full Version : Fruit fruit everywhere...a few questions



jasonj
08-21-2009, 10:14 AM
Hey everyone,
My first 5 gallon traditional mead is sitting in secondary at the moment, looking and smelling very good. In the mean time I've purchased a few smaller carboys and jugs (3 gallon carboy, two 1 gallon jugs).

My plan at the moment is to split this first traditional batch up into three.

I'd like to rack 3 gallons in to the smaller carboy to bulk age without additional flavor, I'd like to split the remainder off in to the smaller jugs along with some fruit additions.

I've got a gallon and a half of fresh frozen peaches and around 1 3/4 gallons of fresh frozen mixed berries(blackberry, blueberry and wineberry).

I know I've read some posts about adding fruit in secondary, but I can't seem to find them at the moment, so if anyone can help out with a few questions I'd be extremely grateful.

1. What (if any) prep is needed to get the fruit ready to be added? Should it be pasteurized? My plan at the moment is pretty much to thaw the fruit, mash the peaches to a pulp, leave the berries whole, add them to their respective jugs and rack the mead on top...problems? good idea?

2. How long should the mead sit on the fruit before being racked off?

3. Are there any additives that would be helpful in extracting all of the fruit flavor possible, or preventing any problems at this stage?


Thanks again for all the help!

Matrix4b
08-21-2009, 07:31 PM
Most of this is up to your own creativity and what you wish to do. Me personally, To keep it as mess free as possible, I like to juice the fruit. The primitive way to do so is to puree the fruit, run through a strainer, Keep the strianings too. Then freeze the pulp, thaw, put in blender and run through the blender again. When thawed I like to use a little pectin enzyme to break down the structure and get more juice. Then just rack on the the juice. Small fruits I would mash or puree if you don't want to go through all the fuss. But put in a mesh bag for easy removal.

Yo momma
08-22-2009, 07:03 AM
Alot of your small berries have tiny seeds which can be a pain when racking. The pulp also tends to clog your racking cane. I use a brew bag everythime I put fruit in, for ease of removal.

I am a primary fruit kinda guy. I am not versed in the additions to the secondary, although it would seem that the protocall would be the same as when you put it in the primary. I wash the fruit, freeze them and put them in...... Thats my protocal. LOL

The ABV in your batch will help with the other oranizms from reaching your fruit. Make sure to punch he cap down to keep them from taking hold. Also be careful with the oxygen influence. Again I am not versed in this but that would seem to be a good start.

jasonj
08-22-2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the responses folks, that all makes sense. I think my plan of attack is starting to come together. I'll thaw the fruit, break it up enough to get juices flowing, add pectic enzyme, add to jug and rack mead on top.


Question about pectic enzyme; is there any wait time required between adding it to the fruit and combining the fruit and mead? It doesn't seem like there should be...but if anyone knows differently, I'm all ears.

fatbloke
08-23-2009, 05:30 AM
As far as I can find out from "reading round the bazaars", you have the choice of 2, either add the fruit (or the juice if you extract it) to secondary, or let the ferment finish and then add the fruit/juice.

The difference is, as I understand it, the level of fruit flavour that you want to impart to the finished product. If it goes in secondary, there will be a reduction in the "fruitiness" and aroma, whereas the highest levels of fruit flavour addition will be achieved by adding it to the ferment after it's finished and letting the alcohol extract the colour/flavour/aroma.

Either way, as you're adding the fruit after the ferment has begun, you'd need to at least double up on the amount of pectic enzyme you use i.e 2 tsp per gallon instead of one etc.

As for how long ? Well if you use juice, then once it's there you ain't gonna get it out unless you distilled it are you... as for fruit either floating free or in a muslin bag or something, then it's up to you to judge the taste/colour/aroma - oh and the pectic enzyme should help with that anyway.....

good luck with your experiments and post the results so others can use it for guidance....

regards

fatbloke

Sasper
08-24-2009, 01:01 AM
Personally with all my melomels I prefer to fruit in primary and secondary. Generally speaking put one-third of the total fruit I plan on using into the primary, I'll rack it to a secondary after 7 days onto the other two-thirds of fruit, wait another 7 days and rack off the fruit again, then I'll let it sit for about 36 hours and rack it off the gross lees. The primary fruit give it good aroma and complexity and an essence of fruit. The secondary addition gives the real taste of fruit. I like this combo compared to using one or the other.

Tips for melomels!

* You must account for volume loss, I'll usually make 1.5 gallons if I want to finish with 1 gallon of mead. Fruit is very messy and a pain when racking. You don't wanna dilute your mead with water either. Have extra must for topping up with.

*Punch down the huge fruit cap multiple times daily. Bacteria and spoilage organisms can grow on the huge surface of rotting fruit if left to the air.

*Freeze and thaw and gently mash all your fruit to extract as much juice as you can.

*Always use pectic enzyme.

*Don't leave on fruity gross lees for too long, can create off flavors especially if it's a fruit with seeds!

jasonj
08-24-2009, 04:12 PM
As far as I can find out from "reading round the bazaars", you have the choice of 2, either add the fruit (or the juice if you extract it) to secondary, or let the ferment finish and then add the fruit/juice.

The difference is, as I understand it, the level of fruit flavour that you want to impart to the finished product. If it goes in secondary, there will be a reduction in the "fruitiness" and aroma, whereas the highest levels of fruit flavour addition will be achieved by adding it to the ferment after it's finished and letting the alcohol extract the colour/flavour/aroma.

Either way, as you're adding the fruit after the ferment has begun, you'd need to at least double up on the amount of pectic enzyme you use i.e 2 tsp per gallon instead of one etc.

As for how long ? Well if you use juice, then once it's there you ain't gonna get it out unless you distilled it are you... as for fruit either floating free or in a muslin bag or something, then it's up to you to judge the taste/colour/aroma - oh and the pectic enzyme should help with that anyway.....

good luck with your experiments and post the results so others can use it for guidance....

regards

fatbloke


Ahh, good suggestions. My base mead should be finished by this point, I haven't taken a hydrometer reading in a few weeks, but it was very nearly dry the last time that I did.

That means that this should essentially be an alcohol extraction rather than the addition of new fermentables...I hadn't looked at it quite that way before.