Another inquiry for you experienced mead makers:
Regarding melomels, what's your preference: Do you prefer to add fruit initially before primary fermentation or do you usually wait until secondary fermentation phase to add the fruit? Thanks for your input.
First one I did was all in primary, turned out ok.
Second and third were half and half. Also ok, better than first.
Since then, its been 1/3 and 2/3. Which seems to give me the level of fruit flavour I like. Along with back sweetening to about 1.015
here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
and don't forget
What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....
I've only done one batch so far, but I did a regular JAO and racked some over blueberries, and that bottle is very, very nice.
I've only ever done fruit in primary. I've liked most things I've made unless they're really dry.
"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
I do most in the primary, with maybe a little in the secondary to tweak flavors if needed/desired. You definitly get a different profile from during and post main fermentation...
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I've only added fruit to the primary ferment.
“Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime!”
Done both. Both with good results. Usually if I do fruit in primary, I like to also do it in the secondary, just to boost some unfermented fruit flavor in the final.
I done both but my melomels still bulk aging. Seems like I get best flavor if I add half fruit in primary and half to secondary. The reason I like to add at least some fruit in primary is because its aids in fermentation and nutrients. Most of my melomels ferment out below 1.000 in less than a week. K1V, 1118, 71B and D47 all can completely ferment out in week or two if you add juice or fruit to primary. If you just ferment honey it can take month to finish.
I rack from the lees on sorbate + campden and then rack on fruit to secondary for a week. I do not let yeast ferment my fruit in secondary, I trying to preserve as much fruit flavor as possible. I have really good results doing that way.
One time I made raspberry melomel and used 1.5 lb/gal of fruit in primary and it was in your face, so I didn't added any to secondary. It turned out really good also
lol. ask 100 mead makers which is best and get 100 opinions!
So basically there are different factors to each way and you can make good (or bad...) results from any of them. They are definitely different, you will have to try them out!
in my opinion
primary: will integrate more of the fruit juice as it will ferment with the honey. It will also augment your SG and may require a little management (look up "cap management" for the gory details)
secondary: more of an infusion, may ferment some as well--keep that in mind if your batch is not necessarily finished and stable.
For your first mel, dont sweat it too much, there are much bigger details to focus on.
good luck, happy meading.
Go On, Take The Honey and Run
I have always put my fruit in the secondary. My reasoning, right or wrong, are two fold. First, because I like to have a strong fruit flavor. Although I do realize that I could put some fruit in the primary and than add more later in the secondary. Secondly I can make up like 5 gallons of a base mead and when it finishes I then divide it up into 1 gallon batches experimenting with different fruits/spices/insert wierdomel ingredient here.
Bees stole my signature file!