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calicojack
05-13-2011, 06:43 PM
i have had a request to do a peach/mango mead.

a) how many pounds of each should i use for a 1 gallon batch
b) what size vessel do i need? to hold all the fruit, water, honey and not have it exploding through the air lock?

AToE
05-13-2011, 06:54 PM
Can't suggest amounts, but a bucket is the best way to go, makes getting the fruit in and out easier, aerating easier, less danger of it cause a mess by foaming over/into the airlock (as there might not even be an airlock depending on the style). It's really nice for fruit like this that seem liable to break down into a sludge, because you can put the fruit into a brewbag and just pull it all out when you don''t need it in there anymore.

If you have to use a carboy I'd go with a 3 gallon at a minimum.

Loadnabox
05-13-2011, 07:43 PM
Can't suggest amounts, but a bucket is the best way to go, makes getting the fruit in and out easier, aerating easier, less danger of it cause a mess by foaming over/into the airlock (as there might not even be an airlock depending on the style). It's really nice for fruit like this that seem liable to break down into a sludge, because you can put the fruit into a brewbag and just pull it all out when you don''t need it in there anymore.

If you have to use a carboy I'd go with a 3 gallon at a minimum.

I second the bucket; in fact I bought a bucket, and found I took the lid off so much that I didn't bother with the ferm lock until it was almost completely done with it's fermentation.

My current batch I'm letting ferment in a metal kitchen pot that doesn't even have a locking lid because I wasn't sure it was worth the effort, plus the kitchen pot is bigger than my small bucket AND doesn't hold scents like plastic does.

Mind you I'm a total newb too, so I leave it to more expert people here to possibly refute some or all of my current methods, but it seems right now that carboys are really only useful for aging, not fermenting.

AToE
05-13-2011, 07:47 PM
My big fermenting bucket is plastic and doesn't have anything even resembling a good seal around the edge when the lid is on, it's got a good half cm gap almost all the way around!

I actually want to get a couple extra lids, cut out most of the center and use them as rings to hold down a cloth cover so that I can have easier exchange of gasses.

calicojack
05-13-2011, 08:05 PM
what size bucket are you using? wouldn't a 5 gallon be to big due to head space? or does that only factor into the secondary fermenter?

AToE
05-13-2011, 08:24 PM
No such thing as too much headspace during fermentation, especially for the first 1/3 or 1/2, you want as much CO2 out and O2 in as possible. Lots of people ferment open (covered by cloth commonly) so your headroom in that case is the entire atmosphere of the planet! ;)

EDIT: My bucket is 10 gallons (it'd be really full to the brim though) so that it can handle most 6 gallon recipes.

tweak'e
05-13-2011, 10:25 PM
i use a standard 5 gallon food grade bucket and do 2-3 gallon brews. no need for air locks. just a cloth to keep things out and i usually loosly place the lid on top to stop anything big (eg mouse) from falling in.
that gives lots of room and easy access to get in and stir, punch caps down etc.

head space is only an issue after fermention has finished. so its racked into a carboy.

afaik a lot of winerys ferment with open top tanks.

akueck
05-13-2011, 11:50 PM
Yep, open top is common. At first I use cheesecloth, then I might set the lid on my bucket just to keep things from falling in. Airlock doesn't happen until about 1/2 way at the earliest.

Do not do fruit in a narrow neck container, you'll regret it at some point.

tweak'e
05-14-2011, 12:09 AM
Do not do fruit in a narrow neck container, you'll regret it at some point.

i wonder how high you could launch the fruit into the air ;D

RightHookCook
05-14-2011, 02:29 PM
Im definitely going to be going the bucket route next time, last time i made pineapple mel in a glass carboy i was cleaning the airlock 3 times a day as was getting so gunk up ! also as i only have 1 gallon demi johns i can get a massive brewing bucket and rack it into various demi johns and alter the flavours of different batches!

Chevette Girl
05-15-2011, 05:40 PM
i use a standard 5 gallon food grade bucket and do 2-3 gallon brews.

I do that as well, and if I'm making 5 gal with fruit I split the batch into two buckets (I often transfer must back and forth between the batches until they read the same SG) and then combine when I rack.

I've also got a couple of 2-3 gal honey buckets that are awesome for 1-gal batches, but before I found those, I just used the 5-gal buckets with no problems. Most of my bucket lids are drilled for airlocks but occasionally when I've got too much on the go at once, I just sit an unpunched lid on top of the bucket to keep stuff out.