View Full Version : Fruit in Primary or Secondary?

06-04-2011, 10:15 PM
Just finished a Strawberry Pizzazz batch and I added 18lbs of strawberries in my primary but I didn't taste enough strawberry in finished product. Before I continue here is recipe

18lbs of honey
18lbs of Strawberries
Water to 5 gal

I had a very active fermentation that resulted in a disaster in my spare bathroom. After the fermentation was complete and I tasted the mead at this stage besides being hot (16%) there was very little hot so I stabilized and added 12lbs more of strawberries for 2 weeks. I put the strawberries in a blender and dumped them in the mead. I racked and filtered the mead and then backsweetened and the taste is good.

I have enough strawberries fro another batch and we are nearing peach season so here are my questions.

1. if I had not added the extra strawberries would the initial batch of strawberry flavor have come through as it ages?

2. Would it be better to add a small amount of fruit at beginning for color and a small amount of flavor and then most of fruit in secondary?

3. Would it be easier and cleaner to skip the fruit in primary and just go straight to secondary?

I know a lot of this comes down to preference but thats why we are all here cuz the rest of y'all have the experience and I have no desire to spend my money to make the same mistakes the rest of y'all have already made.;D

06-05-2011, 12:09 AM
For that specific recipe I'm not sure, you'd have to refer to the original, I'm sure whatever it says is fine. I put all my fruit in primary, always, but lots of people put it in secondary (to me adding it in secondary would be a giant headache (easier to add fruit into a bucket than into a carboy... and then try to figure out how to split the batch into multiple carboys to compensate for the extra room the fruit need, but still have no headroom, and then somehow end up with just the right volume to rack it all back into one carboy for tertiary... yuck, what a hassle!) and also I personally am not after making mead+fruitjuice, I want mead+fruitwine, therefor into primary it goes).

If your question is about all fruit meads in general, check the search function for threads containing "primary" in the title, someone started a thread about that probably a week ago and there were lots of great responses, I'm sure this is a topic that has probably had 20+ threads dedicated to it. :)

06-05-2011, 12:29 AM
Yo published his recipe because it's tried and true.
I have just made a batch, and definitely noticed the 'strawberryness' decline as it fermented.
This is normal IMHO.
Honey 'character', especially in dry meads is said to come back after 12 months.
I believe it is the sane with fruit character.
I have had VERY few batches nearing a year old, as I'm only a year or so into this gambit myself.
But those that have aged appear to be fruitier.
IMHO, let it go and follow the recipe. This way it gives you a 'control' experiment from which to better understand what the author means by sweet, dry, strong fruit, etc actually means to you.
This goes for any recipe, not just yo's. What I've said above is also strongly recommended for JAO's too.