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  1. Default Adding extra fruit to melomel secondary

    I started a cherry melomel on 6/10 that will be ready to rack in a couple of days. Right now it's at 1.004 and I plan to let it go completely dry. I was thinking about adding an additional 2 lbs of cherries to the secondary to bring up some of that cherry sweetness that was there two days ago at my previous reading/sampling. Would it have the intended effect? And I'm assuming I should stabilize it first? The yeast used was K1-V1116, and if the primary ferments completely it should be right at 15% ABV.

  2. #2

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    Yea. Stabilize first. Then do as you said.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. Default

    Thanks! Should I add a little pectic enzyme as well?

  4. #4

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    If you want to do that. Add it just to the fruit for 24 hours and then toss it in
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  5. Default

    Awesome, thanks for responding 👍

  6. Default

    I have a question about when to add fruit to the secondary. I've settled on a method were I use 10-12 lbs. honey and I'm aiming for under 9% ABV at bottling & add the fruit only to the secondary at 10-12 lbs. (regardless on what kind of fruit, I have my own trees/bushes on 1/2 acre plot so it has always been strawberry, peach, sweet cherry, pie cherry, blueberry, red raspberry and/or blackcaps) for a 6 gal. bucket. One thing I have found through random experimentation is that I lose 1-3% ABV adding fruit only to the secondary, which is just fine by me. I'm not trying to get ripped after a 750 ml bottle lol. I like a pretty healthy fruit character. I've read anywhere from 1.03 - 1.00 to rack into secondary onto the fruit. I've been doing 1.00 but thinking of trying a higher SG. My recipe amost always starts at abt. 1.060 and finishes at abt. 0.997-0.998. I use D47 and SNA so 1/3 sugar break is usually at 1.050. I've also read SNA @ 24 hours, and when SG = 1/3 and 2/3 sugar break (using the dumb-dumb OG-FG x 0.66 and 0.33). For some reason my batches always race to the finish line, I'm guessing because I have no way to control the temp which is always between 68 (winter) and 72 (summer). I usually get 1/3 sugar at 72-96 hrs., 1.00 in 11-12 days, rerack, bottling @ .997-.998 around 48 days). I'm not sure how compatible this is with fruit only in the secondary. I am guessing that it really doesn't matter. Any thoughts on trying a higher SG than 1.00 to re-rack and add fruit, and what the pros/cons are?

  7. #7

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    You need to not use D47 at that temps because it's too high and makes off flavors.

    You need to stabilize before you add the fruit. Otherwise, it will just continue to eat sugar.

    Pick an ABV that is higher than you want to finish at. You're doing that because once you add the fruit the water in the fruit dilutes your ABV. So if you want to make 10 % start at 1074. Run it dry. Stabilize with Sulfites and sorbate. Then add the fruit. Different fruits have more water in them than do others. There are charts you can find for this.

    You don't feed past the 1/3rd sugar break. Get all your food in before that.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. Default

    Thanks a million for that, a couple more questions for you. By stabilize do you mean add campdens plus something else? Won't this make a really sweet mead after I add the fruit? I've been doing 6 lbs. in the secondary.

    Is there a different yeast I should use? My local brew shop guy said use MO2, and I use Wyeast Cider 4766 or White Labs WL775 for my ciders. I've never tried the Wyeast with mead but the one time I listened to the brew shop guy and used MO2 the buckets practically blew off their lids (I did put 1/2 the fruit in the primary though). I looked at WLP720 but I couldn't find it local. I think I settled on the D47 per a question I asked on one forum or another after the MO2 disaster. I arrived at the SNA based on someone's comment that D47 can be painfully slow. I agree lol.

    Starting at 1.074 obviously means more honey. I know this is sacrelege but will corn sugar produce off tastes? I'm not concerned with the "purity" of the mead, only the final product needs to taste good lol. I've only used it with my ciders to get the ABV up past Miller. Given that I usually get about 1.05 with 12 lbs. honey in 6 gal. water would 14 lbs. do it? I should have said that I like it dry with pronounced fruity flavor, but not syrupy sweet. The commercial sweet meads taste like corn syrup to me lol.

  9. #9

    Default

    So if you pick,,, let's say a 10 percent ABV and run it dry now it's not going to have any sugar left in it at all.
    So now you find the sweetness level by adding fruit. Start out adding an amount of 1/3rd or half of what you think might work. After ten days to two weeks, all of the goodness will be out of the fruit and into the mead. If you want it even sweeter, just add some more and wait a couple of weeks more. Eventually, you will learn how to get your portions all where you like it. However, each mead with different ingredients will differ some. You can dry out a mead if it's too sweet by adding oak for the tannin fraction. And you will always want to do acid adjustments on every mead you make so that helps to dial in the sweetness level some too.

    This is a great time in your mead making career to do a side by side experiment. I make all my students do this.

    We will be making 3 meads. All identical except when you add your fruit.
    Batch one add all the fruit up front.
    Batch two add half the fruit upfront and the other half on the backside of stabilization.
    Batch 3 all the fruit goes in the back.
    Batch 4 blend half and half equal portions of batch 1 and three. And comp[are that to batch two.
    Use the same amount of fruit and start at the same gravity prior to adding fruit.
    Each batch will taste different even though they all contain the exact same amounts of ingredients.
    This way you will learn the difference that each approach will contribute and you will have that as a mead making tool the rest of your life

    You could also take and force carb a few of them to see how the carbonic acid melds with the different sweetness levels and different alcohol levels
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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