View Full Version : Cap on Melomel a problem?

03-12-2012, 10:49 AM
Working on a raspberry melomel. To start, 3lb honey to 0.75gal water, 24oz frozen raspberries, 1 stick cinnemon plus yeast food/energizer and some lemon zest.

I left the primary fermenter alone for 2 weeks, by which time I wasn't seeing bubbles so I racked it into a secondary with 10 more oz frozen raspberries.

At this point (several days later) I'm seeing a large cap at the top of my bottle. I know that it's bad to let it dry out, but if I punch it each day I'll risk contamination that way too right?

Should I leave it alone? Punch it every day? Scoop out the fruit from the top? Re-rack?


03-12-2012, 11:27 AM
Just gently swirl the whole fermenter if you're worried about infections etc. It's a mead afterall, not a beer wort........

03-12-2012, 12:49 PM
Definitely keep the cap wet somehow. Either by swirling gently as per fatbloke's suggestion, or by punching down with a sanitized object. As long as the thing doing the punching down is sanitized, and your hands are reasonably clean, risk of infection is pretty darn low. Think of the mead getting the cap wet as a dilute alcohol you're using to keep unwanted stuff from growing in the fruit. :)

Dan McFeeley
03-12-2012, 01:25 PM
If you do a general 'net search for winemaking and cap management, you'll turn up a lot of information on the subject.

Home meadmaking operates on a small scale, however, so sloshing the carboy a bit will work. So will sanitizing a stirring rod and using that to push down the cap. In any case, you don't want the cap to dry out, allowing microorganisms a chance to gain a foothold, or lessen exposure of the fermenting must to the entire amount of fruit.


03-13-2012, 07:35 AM
Thank you all for the suggestions. I'll give it a little swirl now and then but otherwise leave it alone and trust that the mead knows best.