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spasticcp
05-28-2010, 05:11 PM
So I was wondering when adding fruit to the secondary if anyone has used a nylon bag for fruits that are very pulpy (orange, pineapple, etc) to reduce some of the inevitable sediment, pulpy sediment being the worst as it typically doesn't settle well and is a pain to try and filter out. My only concern with the bag in the secondary is that seeing as at least some of the mead would be being sucked through the holes in the bag during racking that this could cause some oxidation. Any experience with doing this or should I just not risk it and live with having some potentially pulpy mead in my tertiary?

AToE
05-28-2010, 05:41 PM
I think this is the most common method used, I've been doing this for primary (have never added fruit to secondary yet). Not sure I understand your question about oxidization though, to be clear, you're talking about putting the fruit into the bag, then removing it prior to racking, either letting the juice drip out or squeezing it out, then racking?

Chevette Girl
05-28-2010, 07:08 PM
I've never used fruit in secondary but I've been making wines using fruit in a mesh bag for six years, how different could it be...

If it's only going to be for a week or three (which is what I have inferred from what I've been reading around here so far) what I'd suggest is: when the mead is down to where you'd want to rack it from a plastic bucket into a glass carboy, I'd either rack it into another plastic bucket or just add the fruit bag right then, that way you're not worrying about trying to feed a fruit bag through the mouth of a carboy (I've done it with spice bags and lemon zest in a bag that's about 4" square and fits easily through the mouth of the carboy).

And when you go to siphon wine made with a fermented fruit bag, you fish out the fruit bag and let it drip (sanitized tongs or scrubbed and sanitized hands). I sometimes hang mine from a hook in the ceiling for a little while but for me, this is at the end of primary when you actually want just a bit more oxygen.

You may want to just squeeze the bag to limit exposure to oxygen since you're in secondary... when you squeeze the bag you will get all kinds of stuff out of it so I'd further recommend if you squeeze the bag to get it over with quickly and then give things a gentle stir to bring out some of the CO2 to displace the oxygen and then get the lid back on, do this the day before you rack so things have a chance to settle down so you don't have to rack it again too soon.

Any of you folks who do fruit bags in secondary have better procedures?

Medsen Fey
05-29-2010, 08:16 AM
The biggest issue with using a bag in secondary is trying to put a bag of fruit into a carboy. It just isn't very practical. You can use a bucket, and for a couple of weeks (which would allow most fruits to be extracted) that won't create excessive oxygen exposure in most cases. I use bags for secondary sometimes, but I'll have it in a keg, and the mouth of a keg is large enough to take bags in an out easily.

When taking the bag out, I let the free run liquid drain out, and whether I squeeze to extract more depends on what it is. If you squeeze a bag of elderberries, you may wind up with something so tannic it will take ages to become drinkable. If you squeeze a bunch of citrus skin, you may get some strange phenolics. Again, oxygen exposure of the free run liquid really isn't an issue if you don't go out of you way to aerate the mead. There are enough yeast in solution to maintain a reductive environment.

PitBull
05-29-2010, 10:18 AM
The biggest issue with using a bag in secondary is trying to put a bag of fruit into a carboy. It just isn't very practical. You can use a bucket, and for a couple of weeks (which would allow most fruits to be extracted) that won't create excessive oxygen exposure in most cases. I use bags for secondary sometimes, but I'll have it in a keg, and the mouth of a keg is large enough to take bags in an out easily.

Medsen,

What do you of this as a fermenter for melomels? It is designed for beer and holds 30 liters. So it could easily hold 6 gallons of must plus lots of fruit in a nylon bag. Its o-ring, wide mouth lid has a grommet to accommodate an air-lock. Maybe a bit of inert gas would be needed?

http://www.makebeer.net/images/Fermenter.jpg

I'm thinking of using it for a batch of Cherry-pomegranate melomel.

Medsen Fey
05-29-2010, 11:19 AM
It looks like it would work just fine.