View Full Version : first-time melomel Qs---the fruit cap!

09-25-2014, 02:29 PM
Hello all,

I've been into making mead for two months now, and it's been a lot of fun to jump in and learn something new! With that said, I do have questions when it comes to melomel, which was the first mead I made back in July. It did well in primary and took ~2 weeks and a few days (till around 8/8/2014) to get to 1.000. I didn't have a hydrometer when I was first getting started so I wasn't able to measure the OG. When I racked to secondary, I added frozen and thawed raspberries, put the airlock and stopper back on, and let it sit through today.

Here's the issue---before today, I didn't know anything about the fruit cap and am worried that my lack of management of it (I haven't punched it down or even moved the carboy) has allowed for bacteria to grow on it and ruin the mead. What do you think, and how can I avoid this next time?

Recipe is loosely as follows--from http://www.makemead.net/recipes.aspx

2lb honey
a little less than a lb raspberries
1 gal H2O
1 package Lalvin D-47
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient

primary is a 5 gal food-safe bucket, secondary is a 1 gal glass carboy.

Thanks for your help!

09-25-2014, 08:02 PM
If there is nothing growing on it, it's fine. All I do to manage the fruit cap is to rock the carboy a bit. Usually some of the fruit at the bottom of the cap drops to the bottom of the carboy and the fruit sinks lower into the must. Unless there is something fuzzy growing on it I say your golden.

Medsen Fey
09-25-2014, 08:54 PM
...Unless there is something fuzzy growing on it I say your golden.

Even if something is growing on it, if you rack underneath it, sulfite and top-up the new container your mead will usually be fine.

10-03-2014, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the replies all. I will give it a rock tonight.

10-03-2014, 05:57 PM
Biggest problem with not managing your fruit cap is when it gets pushed into your airlock and causes your primary bottle to explode...
Sounds like you're fine.

10-03-2014, 10:50 PM
What I have done before with bulging fruit caps is take a sanitized implement of some kind and create a hole in the center of the cap it might not be totally clear but it will create a weak spot where CO2 can escape and it won't push the fruit into the airlock.