View Full Version : Fruit in Primary... When exactly to take it out?

09-13-2015, 11:49 AM
Hello all, this is my first post! 4 days ago I started my first 1 gal batch of melomel. I can't seem to find a specific answer of when I'm supposed to take my fruit out, I've seen a month, two weeks, 8 days, and wait until the fruit falls to the bottom.... and for that matter should I rack it, or just fish the fruit out? Unfortunately regardless of what I do it's going to be a pain to get the fruit out because I started it all in my carboy. Next time I'll be using a bucket for Primary ;)

09-13-2015, 01:13 PM
What kind of fruit was it? As long as it isn't anything that might have seeds that could add bitterness then you can just leave it till its done fermenting and rack the mead out of there

09-13-2015, 01:48 PM
Black Plums and Oranges

09-13-2015, 06:58 PM
I leave my fruit in the primary carboy until the mead starts to clear - usually a couple of months - before I rack off into secondary. Some have said that fruit in the primary (especially a small-necked carboy) is a PIA but to be honest I haven't had much trouble with it. I DO add more fruit in the secondary because it seems that you get better fruit flavors in the final mead.

09-14-2015, 01:56 PM
I pitched a strawberry mead/fruit wine last weekend. Small 1gal batch- I took 5lb strawberries and heated them up (not boiling) in water for about 20 min or so until the color was taken out of the berries. So then I was left with some nice strawberry flavored juice. I put the pulp in a nylon bag. Then, added 2lb honey, and probably another 2lb or so 1/2 granulated sugar, 1/2 light brown sugar. Added the chemicals (don't have the recipe in front, but some acid, a bit of tannin, and yeast food) and waited 24hr and pitched Lalvin k1-v1116. This is only my 2nd wine ever so I'm a newbie, but so far that has been a great high-gravity producing mead. After about a week it had gone from O.G. 1.118 to .996 which is 16.1% abv. I can tell I did a better job with this one than my 1st batch. Even though this is not quite a standard melomel, since I'm only using 1/2 honey to sweeten, I hope that it ends up having some interesting complexity say a year from now lol. I went ahead and racked out of primary into secondary this weekend. I took the bag of strawberry pulp and squeezed a lot of the juice out and got rid of it when I racked to 2ndary. It is strong and a bit harsh, but I've heard this yeast will age very nicely. I'll bulk age for quite a long time probably. I can tell I did a lot better with this one b/c even though it's harsh, there are no strong "off" flavors as with my first batch of mead where I had to pitch yeast twice, and kept it on the lees way too long. I'm sure I'll end up trying others and may try to add some fruit back in during secondary in order to try to get as much flavor packed in there as possible.

09-14-2015, 03:43 PM
I'm thinking about racking it a bit sooner than a couple of months. My fermentation is slowing down pretty quickly and I plan on back sweetening with pomegranates. From what I've read orange rinds can give off some undesirable flavors if in primary for too long...not too sure how long "too long" really is, guess I'll have to figure that out.