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  1. #1

    Default Adding Fruit in Secondary

    Hello all;

    Started my first batch of mead three weeks ago, and I just finished racking to secondary a few minutes ago. I was doublechecking what I thought I needed to do for secondary only to find about 15 different suggestions for it, so I decided to post and ask.

    3 Gal. Carboy (PET):
    • 8 Lb. generic honey
    • 2 Gal. Spring Water
    • 1.2 Lb. Mixed berries, Thawed (Blue-, Black-, Rasp-, Strawberries)
    • 1 Pkt. D-47 Lalvin


    Initial readings were nonexistent because I shattered my first Hydrometer tripping on my doorstep. Calculator tells me it should have been around SG 1.108.

    Reading on Thursday showed ~1.016 which seems to suggest an ABV of 12.3% according to the calculator.

    I originally thought I used EC-1118 Lalvin because the closet I've been keeping my carboy at tends to stay around 70-72*F, but I discovered about a week ago that it was, in fact, D-47 (my local supply shop doesn't carry 1118, haha!) and I rushed to cool it down. Tasted it Thursday and it seemed to be fine (Light, not overly sweet, and a smidge sulfury, like a "cheap" wine, definitely hit like a truck) so I added in 2 Campden Tablets, crushed, and yesterday I added in some K-Sorbate.

    This morning (about 30 minutes ago) I finished racking onto 6Lb. of frozen-thawed-frozen-thawed blueberries. I was originally planning on leaving it on the berries for a month, but it seems there has been a lot of back and forth over the years. The recipe I based mine off of did the berries for a month, but more recent posts recommend a few weeks, and still others say multiple months. I had basically the perfect amount of usable mead to come right up to the neck of my carboy with the blueberries in there.

    SG reading after adding in the blueberries seemed to show 1.012, but I may have been misreading it.

    Regardless, I'll be bottling by mid-July. I'd like a few to be ready to drink after my graduation early August, and some of it will age a few more months as my dad's birthday gift (blueberries are his favorite fruit). By my understanding of how this will work, I'll not want them in more than three weeks to prevent the seeds from adding a bitterness. I might do 2 weeks and siphon to tertiary with some oak, and fill with some sanitized glass balls to remove headspace.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2

    Default

    If your gravity was1016 and it went down to 1012 after you stabilized it that would seem to indicate that you didn't get your batch stabilized. If that's the case, then adding more sugar from the juice will cause it to start fermenting again. # weeks is fine on your fruit. If it's on the warmer side I would move off the fruit in 2 weeks. Try to put it in a cooler area.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3

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    I measured the SG immediately after I siphoned it onto the fruit. The SG while it was on the lees was 1016. Sorry if I confused you.

  4. #4

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    Its bubbling again this afternoon. Not sure if that's just gas escaping from the blueberries or if it started fermenting again. I'm inclined to think its just gas as the level dropped about half an inch from where I filled it and I can see bubbles clinging partially inside where the berries attached to the bush. I'll give it a couple of days before I jump to conclusions.

  5. #5

    Default

    Welp, nevermind. It started fermenting again.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CKRiker View Post
    Welp, nevermind. It started fermenting again.
    You might want to get rid of the Camden tabs and buy this instead. Camden tbs are not 100% Kmeta. This may have been where you miscalculated your dosage. Buy this instead. https://morewinemaking.com/products/...bisulfite.html

    And read this.... http://morewinemaking.com/public/pdf/so2.pdf
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7

    Default

    Will do. I get paid on the 31st, so I guess I'll just monitor carefully and rack a second time around then to get it off the fruit and start clearing.

    This will be a learning experience for me, at least!

  8. #8

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    Someone mentioned elsewhere that it could just be the fruit offgassing. That would make sense since the half liter or so I've drained off to make room hasn't pressurized the bottle or bubbled much at all. What do you think?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by CKRiker View Post
    Someone mentioned elsewhere that it could just be the fruit offgassing. That would make sense since the half liter or so I've drained off to make room hasn't pressurized the bottle or bubbled much at all. What do you think?
    Bubbles are not informative enough about things that really matter to use as any type of answer. Your hydrometer is your friend. Bubble or no bubbles don't change your gravity
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10

    Default

    It was just gassing. I think the water content in the blueberries messed with the SG a bit, but when I racked off them it was closer to the end-of-primary SG. Hasn't changed since I racked off the blueberries, and the flavor really came out well after only 6 days sitting on them. Looking forward to when I bottle these at the end of July as gifts!

  11. #11

    Default

    Do you know how to properly manage SO2 additions?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  12. #12

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    I don't. This was my first mead; I used some campden tablets and some K-sorbate after primary, which has some SO2 in from what I remember.

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