View Full Version : Where's the FRUIT??

12-08-2004, 08:49 AM
I am in the process of brewing a fine Melomel... The must S.G. is at 1.105 with a p.a.v. of 14%. I have used Lalvin D-47 and this should take the S.G. to 1.000 ;D

Considering the above... ???
I would like the F.G. to be 1.020... and I have come to a fork in the road.

Question??...Do I take the S.G. down to 1.000 and then add honey to raise the S.G. to 1.020 or should I chill the mead and stop fermentation at desired S.G. Which is better??

Question #2- While yeast is consuming the sugars from the fruit, is it also disolving the flavors and the essence, in other word is the sugar the flavor of the fruit??

If the S.G. drops to 1.000 how much fruit flavor still exists?

For the latter I know it is possible to adjust the S.G. for the use of this particular yeast or visa versa.

??? :-/

12-08-2004, 10:50 AM
Hey Skunkdude!

I'd personally start out with a bit higher gravity and let it come down to 1.020 to finish, but, as a fall back position I would stop it at 1.020. Put it in the fridge and let it drop clear, rack it, stablize it and bottle it. Backsweeting works fine, but it's better IMHO to watch the gravity fall and stop it where you want it.

Can't really answer number two without an exact recipe and knowing what kind of fruit you're using, and how much. But, to answer the question #2:

Yes you lose a large amount of the fruit flavor if you add the fruit during primary fermentation, and yes, sugar available in the fruit is fermented by the yeast during primary.

I prefer to allow my primary to finish, and then rack onto my fruit and watch for secondary activity along with the gravity.

If the SG drops to 1.000 you will have a dry mead with some of the fruit flavor, but not a lot, if any sweetness.

If you start out up front with the correct gravity and match your yeast correctly, you can have it end up very close to your end goal. Then you can watch and top-up or cold stabilze to the gravity you want.



12-08-2004, 07:49 PM
Skunk Wrote
(snip)If the S.G. drops to 1.000 how much fruit flavor still exists? (snip)

The majority of the flavor doesn't actually go away as you make mead dryer but you can get a better feel for what is happening by taking a little glass of warm water and dissolve in 1/8teaspoon of cinnamon. Now taste it. Has a bit of a bitter bite and doesn't seem like a whole lot of cinnamon flavor. Now put in a teaspoon of sugar, stir and taste again. Notice how it taste like more cinnamon flavor. Put in another and taste a 2nd time. Notice what happens. The bite is completely gone away and the flavor seems even stronger. Flavor, of course, is a perception and sweetness seems to bring it out to a point. But the flavor of the cinnamon was always at the same strength.

One can do the same with orange peel or lemon peel. Flavor is there but usually masked by bitterness. Hope this helps.


12-08-2004, 08:10 PM

i will give this a try. my son and i have about 35 gallons going at this time and all the recipes are different.

our learning curve is in a vertical climb right now, each day brings new questions and a hunger or should i say thirst for learning more.

we don't want to wait a year to see how bad we messed up!

seems some of the old timers like to let the yeast run it's course and then add what ever necessary to bring it back to to or adjust to taste. adding and adjusting at each and every racking.

others do almost all adjusting up front to leave the exact residual sugar when the yeast gives up, or stop it by chilling and then stabilize.

we have batches in progress at his time that will do or need both treatments.

we would like to maintain a truer original taste or blending of the natural ingredients rather than be adding down the road or at least to keep the adjusting to a minimum.

i like the fruitier taste and my son likes the honey taste. so we debate for hours on end watching the airlocks bubble away and wonder....

are they bubbling away the fruit flavor, the taste of honey, as we let them head towards dry? should we cook to 1.000 then add or always try to stop the lil critters at the number we originally wanted?

good debate, we see it both ways, it seems such a waste to spend money for fine fruit and if you're off on your calculations a little to let it cook away.

last night we put 5 gals of blueberry in the fridge as oskaar suggested, we wanted to stop it at .020 and it didn't look like it had any intentions of doing that even though we calculated it should.

if any others have some input or would like to join this debate, we would love to hear your thoughts!

as usual, THANK YOU! we like to learn!!! 8)

12-08-2004, 08:18 PM
foot note:

all the store bought mead that we have tested has a reading of between 10 and 15 brix!!

we haven't had the oportunity to taste home made mead or a brix of less than 10 with decent alcohol in it.

any sealed bottles of mead will be excepted for sampling... or even half bottles.... shot glass???...???

12-09-2004, 03:25 AM
Yes Idaho,
It is always superior to plan ahead and not to have to mess with sweetening at the tail end. To hit it right on takes experience with yeasts and different honeys. The sweetness of each honey is different. If you can put the right amount in to start where it stops by itself where you want, it will taste differently than if you stop it and backsweeten. Yeast ferment the different types of sugars in honey at different times. (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.) They do it in a particular order. Adding at the end of fermentation leaves more of a raw honey sugar taste since it remains in the same proportions as the original honey rather than the residual proportions of sugar normally left at the end of fermentation.