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bluestone
04-04-2015, 06:45 PM
I got a few projects going and now wanted to make a raspberry melomel with froozen raspberries...

The recipee I was going to use is a modification of a raspberry wine recipe that called for about 3.5 kg(~7.5 lbs ) of froozen rasberries, 0.75 quart water, 2 lbs sugar for 4.5-5.5 liter(1.2-1.5 gallon) finnished mead.

The question(s) is how should I get the juice and flavour out of the berries if using them in the primary? -Should I use a brew bag, pulp them, leave them in there whole?
-I guess that using that big quantities of berries pr gallon will lock in substantial amount of liquid so should I press the juice out of the berries before or after fermentation?

Squatchy
04-04-2015, 08:20 PM
I would suggest doing two things. Put the fruit in a bag to ferment in. Squeeze the juice out of the bag sometime during the ferment. I have found I like the fruit flavors best if I add half in the primary during fermentation, and add the second half in your Mead once it has stopped fermenting. It might cause fermentation to start again because it will water down the Mead/alcohol content. Normally I back feed until the yeast die of alcohol poisoning. Once that happens I know I can add the fruit and it shouldn't cause any more fermentation.

bluestone
04-05-2015, 07:16 AM
I would suggest doing two things. Put the fruit in a bag to ferment in. Squeeze the juice out of the bag sometime during the ferment. I have found I like the fruit flavors best if I add half in the primary during fermentation, and add the second half in your Mead once it has stopped fermenting. It might cause fermentation to start again because it will water down the Mead/alcohol content. Normally I back feed until the yeast die of alcohol poisoning. Once that happens I know I can add the fruit and it shouldn't cause any more fermentation.

How long do you leave the fruit in there in the primary and secondary?
Do you generally aerate the mead every time you back feed?
Acctually I was planning on a gravity not to overpowering of around 1.09+-0.005 so I will land on abv around 12. So I guess that rules out backfeeding.

Thanks for help.:)

Squatchy
04-05-2015, 09:31 PM
Your fruit will give it's all in 2 weeks time. Aeration is different than degassing. I ententionally aerate 2 times a day until about 1/2 sugar break. After that I degas/slight stir once a day to re suspend the yeast and to let gasses escape from the must.

Chevette Girl
04-06-2015, 01:40 AM
I've made raspberry wine a number of times (with frozen fruit, 2-3 lb per gallon) and it's pretty flavourful and may overpower your honey so I'd recommend you 1) take a look for a raspberry melomel recipe around here and read the comments on whether the honey and fruit are balanced, or 2) start with maybe 2 lb raspberries per gallon and maybe 1.5-2 lb honey and see what you get for a starting gravity, adjust higher with more honey if necessary to get to a potential alcohol level you're comfortable with, give it two weeks on the fruit unless the SG drops below 1.000 before that, have a taste and see if it's at all balanced... if it needs more fruit, add more then, if the honey's nowhere to be found, it'll take some time and maybe some backsweetening to bring it back.

If you don't want it to continue to ferment if you add more berries for secondary, hit it with stabilizing chemicals. It's a safer bet than Squatchy's step-feed-it-to-death system because the dilution by adding more fruit can sometimes reactivate yeast that's gotten too drunk. I like that method better for batches where all the fruit was in primary and I want it to finish strong and a little sweet.

I typically use raspberries for a wine with sugar because I like it strongly raspberry flavoured and don't want to waste the money on honey if I won't be able to tell the difference anyway. What I will do is take the fruit bag from a 2 or 5 gal wine batch that's fermented on the fruit for a week, dump a kg of honey over it and add water up to a gallon, and do a second run melomel, then the fruit flavours are more muted and the honey shines too.

bluestone
04-06-2015, 12:53 PM
...start with maybe 2 lb raspberries per gallon and maybe 1.5-2 lb honey and see what you get for a starting gravity...
How would I know the real gravity with liquid and sugars locked up in the berries?

...I typically use raspberries for a wine with sugar because I like it strongly raspberry flavoured and don't want to waste the money on honey if I won't be able to tell the difference anyway. What I will do is take the fruit bag from a 2 or 5 gal wine batch that's fermented on the fruit for a week, dump a kg of honey over it and add water up to a gallon, and do a second run melomel, then the fruit flavours are more muted and the honey shines too....Do you ever press the berries or just let the yeast do the work and dump the rest?


...After that I degas/slight stir once a day to re suspend the yeast and to let gasses escape from the must...
How long do you keep degassing?

Chevette Girl
04-06-2015, 02:58 PM
I find if I mash the fruit well (just to break the skins, not to break the seeds) and give it 24 hours with pectic enzyme before I pitch the yeast, between freezing, maceration and pectinase, most of the juice will be released from the fruit by that point and it gives me as accurate a reading on the must's SG as I'm likely to get, then if I need to adjust the SG by adding water to dilute it or honey to strengthen it, I do that and mix it well, check the SG again, before I pitch the yeast.

After you've done one or two bagged batches you'll see when you pull the bag out how much of the original volume is left. It's going to depend on the fruit and how much of it by volume is seed, but you'll see a marked difference in the "before" volume and the "after" volume if you let it drain (especially with strawberries and pumpkin, you end up with a bag of fibers after all the juice drains out). I sometimes get impatient and squeeze or twist the bag with a sanitized hand to get it drained out faster, but generally the only fruit I press before I ferment is apples because they take up such a huge volume in the fermenter.

I find as long as the fruit's skin is broken, the yeast can get in and do their thing with relative ease.