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View Full Version : Racking/Stabilizing/Fining Strategy?



VikeMan
07-24-2013, 10:04 PM
Hello All,
This is my first post here. I'm about a week into fermentation of my first batch, a 5 gallon batch of Melomel. Here are the specifics...

20 lb Clover Honey
49 oz Blackberry Puree
49 oz Blueberry Puree
49 oz Raspberry Puree
Water to 5 gallons
3 packs rehydrated Narbonne yeast
1.5 tsp Go-Ferm and 1.5 tsp Fermaid-K
Fermenting at 68F

My question is about strategy for when to rack and what to do at each racking. e.g. stabilize first, then fine, then age and bottle? And how much K-Meta (if any) should be used at each racking (or certain rackings?) to control oxidation? And what finings work best for meads (or melomels in particular)? I have read The Complete Meadmaker and think I understand much of the basics (I also have a lot of beer homebrewing experience and a little wine experience), but I'm looking for a typical strategy that's likely to yield good results. Thanks in Advance!

Vance G
07-25-2013, 10:06 AM
That is a lot of sugars in a five gallon must! Is the fermentation starting? You might consider going to the mead calculator and crunching those numbers and looking at the ABV tolerance of your yeast and the sweetness you like in a beverage.

VikeMan
07-25-2013, 11:28 AM
That is a lot of sugars in a five gallon must! Is the fermentation starting? You might consider going to the mead calculator and crunching those numbers and looking at the ABV tolerance of your yeast and the sweetness you like in a beverage.

Yes, already considered the gravity and yeast strain. I'm counting on the yeast to get tired @ ~ 14% ABV, and leave quite a bit of sugars.

What I need to know is asked in my original post. Thanks!

Edit: Yes, fermentation is coming right along.

Chevette Girl
07-25-2013, 11:48 PM
Well, with any luck this won't stop a lot earlier than you want it to from a high starting gravity, I prefer to start a little more conservative (no higher than 1.120) and if it goes dry, feed it more honey later...

Some folks always do the same thing - Fatbloke stabilizes and backsweetens, then fines and ages... I age, then if it needs fining, I'll fine it... and if it needs backsweetening, I'll stabilize and backsweeten it.

As for what works best as a fining agent, it's a good idea to have one that attracts positively charged particles and one that attracts negatively charged particles, I start with Bentonite and if that doesn't do the trick in a week or two I'll hit it with Sparkolloid, but I don't bother fining if I don't need to.

What you decide to do for you will depend on how tightly you want to control everything... I don't like to take unnecessary steps, so I treat each batch differently, whereas you may find it's easier for you if you always do everything in a particular order.