View Full Version : Racking & breaking up melomel

08-04-2011, 08:41 PM
I just started two batches of strawberry mel and I had a couple (Stupid) questions. Im planning on racking one of them and Im not sure what to do with the strawberries from the primary... do I transfer them in to the secondary? I know racking is supposed to help clear things but I want to get all the strawberry flavor I can out of 'em.

My SG started at ~1.110 should I still wait to rack around 1.030?

Also... I've heard you need to push the strawberries back down a few times a day as they collect at the top... do I just push them back or do I stir them around? Willl this hurt the yeast and slow the fermentation?

08-05-2011, 04:09 AM
Ok, so as long as the berries are mashed up you'll get everything you possibly can out of them in around 8 days - and yes, when you rack into secondary you will want to leave them behind. (EDIT: if this is being done in a bucket, you may want to strain the berries out out a santized nylon bag and either let the liquid drip out, or squeeze it out. This will make your life easier and will help you get all the flavour you can)

"Punching the cap" - here's the deal, but have you checked out the newbee guide? If not I highly recommend it, it's linked to in the menu on the left side of this site. Stirring is excellent for fermentation, especially very agressive stirring during the first 1/3 of fermentation to help aerate the must (yeast need O2 for that stage of the ferment), then after that point make it just a gentle stiring, no splashing after that. (After that you're just trying to keep stirring the yeast up into suspension and to keep the fruit wet with alcohol so nothing grows there).

Racking - rack when it's done fermenting. Just keep taking hydrometer readings, and when it goes a day or so with no change at all, then fermentation is likely done, and you're safe to rack (unless it's way sweeter than it should be, then it's stuck, report back here if this happens).

Also, most people here's first response will always be "could you please tell us the exact recipe and proceedure?", as every batch is different in how it needs to be treated. As such, the best thing to do is just have one single dedicated thread for your particular recipe, and then ask all your questions in that one thread, this will be a huge help to anyone helping you out, and will make sure you get the best possible advice! :)

08-05-2011, 10:12 AM
Thanks AToE, that helps out a lot! Yes I read the newbie guide and ken schramms book and more posts on this forum than I can count... I guess I just had a bit of an information overload... maybe I should have taken notes :) Ill have to re-read I suppose.

I guess with racking I got confused with people talking about racking at a break point 1/3 or 2/3... and ken schramms book says it should be less than 1.030 as I recall... but what you said makes sense... just let it run it course.

I figured my questions were generic enough that I didn't need to post a recipe but If I have any further questions I will defiantly do so.

08-05-2011, 01:31 PM
No worries, it's a lot of info to take in! Generally the 1/3 and 2/3 marks are discussed more as just major divisions of the fermentation, for example generally at the 1/3 mark is when the last nutrients are added, and the last aeration is done, and the 2/3 is a point where some people will add some yeast hulls to help a ferment get to the end (only certain kinds of "nutrients" should be used past the 1/3 or 1/2 point).