View Full Version : Fermenting the fruit before adding honey

11-04-2012, 12:03 AM
Hi guys,

This is my first time posting and my first time brewing mead (actually anything for that matter). I am in need of advice and/or guidance from you guys!

Here is some background....
I followed this recipe that I found online...

"Homemade Pear Mead Recipe (Perry)

1 gallon water
5 lbs very ripe pears
6 cups honey
1 teaspoon acid blend
1 Campden tablet
teaspoon pectic enzyme
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 package wine yeast

Boil water in large pot. Crush pears and place in primary fermentation container. Pour water over fruit. Crush Campden tablet and add to container. Add acid blend and pectic enzyme and stir. Let rest one day. Add yeast and yeast nutrient, stir and cover. Stir once a day for one week. On the 7th day, strain and throw out pulp. Add honey and stir. Pour into secondary fermentation container and attach airlock. Rack every three months for one year. Rack into bottles at one year, and let rest for one additional year."

I had roughly 9lbs of pears so I doubled the recipe. I started this last Sunday so currently I have the cut up pears in a nylon bag in a plastic bucket (with airlock) with 2 gallons of water and all of the other stuff specified in the recipe (I still only used 1 package of yeast though) that I have been stirring once a day.

24 hours after I added the yeast the airlock started to bubble. This continued for about a day or two then stopped. Now that batch has a sulfur smell when I open the bucket to stir.

Here are my questions...
Is this what is called a "rhino fart"? or did my batch go bad?

The recipe calls to add the honey right before I transfer to the secondary. All the recipes I have read so far in the forums have added the honey right off the bat when they add the fruit. How can I get the honey to dissolve completely in my batch without aerating it too heavily?



11-04-2012, 03:54 AM
Not tried a fruit batch that way round, its usual to either add all the fruit to the honey and water mix and ferment or some of the fruit to all the honey and water, ferment, then rack and add the rest of the fruit. Of course, if there's still some "yeast tolerance space" then you may want to rack then stabilise, because fruit in secondary gives a more fruity taste.

As for the sulphur/H2S smell, give it a good stir to aerate and get some more nutrient in there quickly. The stink is a sign of stressed yeast low on nutrient (preferably the combined type, like fermaidk, fermax, tronozymol, or similar).

11-04-2012, 06:07 PM
So here is an update....

I squeezed as much juice from the pears as I could before removing the nylon bag. I then transferred the liquid from the primary bucket into my secondary 3 gallon carboy and added 9lbs of honey. I shook the hell out of the carboy in an attempt to aerate the liquid (get rid of the sulfur smell) and dissolve the honey. I then added 2 tsp of yeast nutrient. I left about 2in of head space below the neck of the carboy because I figured the addition of all the honey will cause alot of fermentation and I did not want it to over flow.

I did all of this about 6 hours ago and it looks like no fermentation is happening. Do I need to add more yeast or just wait longer?


Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 01:53 AM
Give it 24 hours before panicking, sometimes the yeast have a mind of their own... when fermentation happens, CO2 gets trapped in the water and it'll only start bubbling when the amount produced exceeds the amount the liquid can store, and by shaking the hell out of it, you've knocked the CO2 out of the must so it may take a few hours to build up enough to be starting to make your airlock bubble.

Did the aeration help with the rhino fart? :)

11-05-2012, 10:21 AM
The rhino fart is gone completely!

There is still no activity in carboy though. A lot of solids have settled at the bottom which I think is probably some honey I added yesterday falling out of solution as we as some of the gunk from the initial pears that I have added.

How long should I wait before taking action? It has sat for about 24 hours in the carboy with no signs of fermentation.

Thanks again! the help is wonderful!

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 11:05 AM
Well, try giving it another good stir/aeration... if it's not doing something by tonight, you might want to try adding more yeast, I'd recommend an acclimated starter. Did you stir up the must before transferring it from primary to secondary vessels? It's possibly you left most of the yeast behind if it was very clear when you transferred it.

What yeast did you use, anyway?

Oh, and reading your recipe, did you let it cool down before adding pectic enzyme or campden tablet? Heat will destroy the effectiveness of both.

11-05-2012, 12:06 PM
I did not stir the must before transferring to the secondary. I did siphon from the bottom, however. The liquid was opaque. I very well could have left most of the yeast in the primary.

I did wait for the solution to cool before adding the pectic enzyme, but I added the campden tablets while it was still very hot. Is this a big issue?

For yeast I used 1 package of Red Star Montrachet Active Dry Wine Yeast.


11-06-2012, 10:57 PM

I added an acclimated starter and now it is fermenting very nicely!

11-07-2012, 01:54 AM
That is excellent news! Go yeasties!!!!

Chevette Girl
11-07-2012, 01:58 AM
I did wait for the solution to cool before adding the pectic enzyme, but I added the campden tablets while it was still very hot. Is this a big issue?

Well, yes and no. Yes because it probably denatured the campden tablet. No, because it's not really needed if your water was hot enough and your pears weren't as spotty as mine always end up being :).