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  1. Default Fruit in secondary--rotting fruit?

    Last week(8 days ago), I transferred a mead to 2 secondary glass carboys. I had to use 2 carboys, a 5 gallon and 3 gallon, due to adding 18 lbs of strawberries and 4 pounds of bananas.

    There is about 6 inches of headspace in each carboy. The fruit on the top of the mead is turning a light brown color, which I would expect. My question is do I have to worry about the fruit rotting on the top of the mead or is it ok due to the high alcohol percentage?

  2. #2
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    Any time you have fruit floating on mead you need to punch it down (stir it to get it wet) at least once a day, preferably much more often. Otherwise spoilage definitely is a risk.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AToE View Post
    Any time you have fruit floating on mead you need to punch it down (stir it to get it wet) at least once a day, preferably much more often. Otherwise spoilage definitely is a risk.
    Ok, but what do you guys use to stir it? With the narrow neck of the carboy it is difficult at best to do this.

  4. #4
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    That's a part of why most people do fruit in a bucket - but I do have a couple suggestions. First would be to set the carboy down on carpeted floor and rock it in a circular motion that causes the contents to swirl, doing this for a while should do the trick, and you don't have to worry about opening it up or sanitizing a stirring object.

  5. #5
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    The handle of a sanitized long-handled spoon is what I use if I haven't enough headspace for swirling to be effective when I need to stir something in a carboy.

    Putting your fruit in a mesh bag in a bucket is vastly easier to manage for many reasons...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  6. #6
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    You also need to get rid of the headspace (or at least the oxygen in it). 6 inches is too much air exposure and even if you keep the fruit wet, it may still allow various spoilage organism (acetic acid bacteria, Brettanomyces, and others) to take hold. Unless your mead has about 18% ABV, which will keep these things suppressed, you should make sure to eliminate that headspace.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  7. #7

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    I just racked a strawberry melomel off of the fruit. To keep the fruit from floating to the top I put it in a mesh bag and then used a temperature probe tube (using a stopper with two hole, one for the tube and one for the airlock) to force the bag down into the mead. I was able to jam the stopper into the bucket lid well enough so that the upward force of the fruit didn't push it out of its hole.

    If you have this equipment, it's a good solution.

  8. #8

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    Is it possible for fruit in my case cucumber to rot even completely submerged? I am starting to think the cucumbers are decomposing while submerged.
    -Jerry

  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bowmanville, Ontario
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    sattlerjm,

    There isn't a whole lot of structure to a cucumber and after seeing how pliable they can become in vinegar I'd not be too surprised to see them breaking down over time in a 10+% solution. I don't think that they are decomposing per se as that generally implies some kind of rotting as opposed to just breaking down....I haven't used any yet but I would assume the same thing happens to strawberries and other softer fruits in melomels. I'm sure someone else will pipe up here shortly with much better information than my random thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Jord
    Last edited by Jord; 07-15-2010 at 02:05 PM. Reason: fixing an awkward sentence

  10. #10
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    I have no experience with cucumbers in mead, but virtually every fruit can start to throw some sulfur odors (or other off odors) as the cells of the fruit break down. I would think cucumber would have that potential as well, and I wouldn't plan on leaving them in there for an extended period.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

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