View Full Version : Racking onto fruit...

02-23-2012, 02:43 PM
I recently racked my first mead (a JAO) out of the original container at 6 weeks (I know, voided warranty and all :p). I racked part of it (750 mL) into a separate container with a few handfuls of blueberries, and I'm wondering how long I should leave them there... everything I've read says a week or two, but this is also a much smaller quantity than a gallon or 5 gallon batch so I didn't know if I should scale the time down as well? I figure i'll taste every couple days to make sure it's still doing okay and not rotting/tasting like vegetables, and remove them at a week, unless I can leave them longer for stronger berry flavour.

Unfortunately, I forgot to put them in some kid of bag, so they're suspended in the mead and I'll probably end up losing some... will it be safe simply to run it through a strainer a few times and leave a lil bit of blueberry stuff in there? Or would the pulp just rot and ruin the mead?

Thanks for the help!

02-23-2012, 03:14 PM
I just racked a blueberry-maple syrup concoction. The blueberry was freeloading in a gallon container. What I did was just simply poured it through a strainer into another gallon container. Those blueberries keep clogging the racking cane.

I know about oxidation, but I plan to drink this one relativly soon. so pouring it into another container, is not the best way to do it, but since it will be drank soon. I figure there is no harm.

I tried to rack it using a copper chore boy (dish washing scouring pad) over a racking cane and a rubber band. It did not work so well. The copper chore boy came off and then it was a problem suck it out of the jug, so I just poured it like I said above. I read about this method and I must say that in the future I will try to either wrap the rubber band tighter.

The blueberries will eventually sink over time. Constant shaking or stirring will help them drop. Also I smashed the blueberry first before adding it to the primary. although I have not tried adding whole blueberries to the secondary. It might have a nice taste though. Let us know what happens.

02-23-2012, 06:59 PM
Awesome. So I have continued to use my improvised airlock (balloon duct-taped to the top, with a pinhole in the balloon) on the blueberry portion... to avoid oxidising the berries, should I simply cap the bottle instead? Or should I leave the balloon just in case it continues to ferment?

02-24-2012, 02:17 AM
Unless you're sure it won't ferment more, I would strongly advise against capping it. Even a drop of a few gravity points more than you expect is enough to turn your bottle into a grenade.

For just one bottle, you can probably do a rough strain and drink it soon. For larger amounts the solids will settle out and careful racking will avoid most of them.