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otherchuck
08-13-2012, 05:59 PM
Greetings all!

Well, despite some newbie screw-ups (regarding, for instance, yeast hydration pitching procedures, and the fact that my hand was in must because my stirring spoon way too short), things seem to be going well. OG was 1.100, and now...after 3 wks in primary...the gravity is around .995! The ferment process seemed bizarre -- a few days with no apparent activity, so I hydrated the small amount of yeast I had left (maybe 5 ounces), and repitched. Then the airlock bubbled like crazy for about 36 or 48 hours, and then I didn't see much obvious airlock activity after that furious period. I didn't check the primary often at all, so maybe it was more active than I thought because this seems to be a pretty thorough ferment to me. I tasted it today, and it tastes like a dry petillant champagne. It might have a very slight dry cider tone, but nothing I'd consider an 'off flavor.' Certainly feels like there is a significant alcohol kick to it.

I am going to rack to a glass secondary soon, and I am thinking about adding either a peach or ginger flavoring element. I chose not to add anything to the primary since...as a newbie...I wanted to be sure I got the basics down first, and I didn't want to risk messing with the acidity of the must.

Can I add peach puree directly into the secondary (with the only sanitation element being to sanitize the outside of the can)? If so, how many pounds of puree are reasonable for a 5 gallon batch?

Alternately, I might just make some kind of tea...like a ginger tea...and put that into the secondary. The advantage to the tea paradigm seems to me that I'd get less sludge settling out.

I presume the puree paradigm would restart fermentation a bit, but the tea paradigm would not...is that a correct assumption?

Any advice as to the relative merits of the above paradigms is much appreciated. As a newbie, I kind of want to avoid things that are gonna present awkward complications to the process, but a hint of peach or ginger flavor would be a nice addition to the champagne-y character of this mead. I could also add flavoring elements after the secondary, just as the the mead is being put into bottles, but if any additions are gonna restart fermentation at all, then of course I'd rather that happen in the secondary than in the bottles. Plus, by adding puree or tea in the secondary, I can use that addition as a way to manage an appropriate headspace.

Thanks!

Otherchuck

akueck
08-13-2012, 08:48 PM
You can definitely add either. I'd say the range of peach addition is probably somewhere between 5 and 25 lbs for a 5-gallon batch. Obviously, the more you add the more peach-y it will be. 1 lb/gallon of peaches is going to be very, very slight as peach is a rather subtle flavor. Personally I would recommend going with at least 2 lb/gal. You will get a lot of solids, though you can try and minimize it with a mesh bag.

The tea won't restart fermentation if you don't add any sugar with it (small amounts of ginger are going to have basically negligible sugar). Peaches of course have sugar and you'll probably restart it a bit.

Peach and ginger is a good combo too, you could always consider adding some of both. ;D