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Old 01-27-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
Psychonought
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Default Exposing Mead during Fermentation

Hey all,

I am brewing a 5-gallon batch of mead which I plan to separate into 1-gallon batches so I can play around with different mead types. One such type requires raisins to be added, heated, removed and juiced. I am hesitant to expose the mead for that long or heat it while it is in the middle of fermentation.
Any thoughts?

Namaste,
Brendan

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Old 01-28-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
ChessRockwell
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Maybe it's just me but I'm a little confused here... Can you be a little more clear on what it's telling you to do? Raisins added, heated, removed, and juiced... Do you mean raisins added to an already fermenting batch and the whole batch heated? That definitely wouldn't be a good idea as heating would kill the yeast. Then you remove the raisins and juice them? Do you put the raisin juice back in?
I'm not sure if I'm understanding correctly what your recipe is asking, but to accomplish something similar, why not just boil your raisins in a small amount of new water/honey mixture, juice them or whatever, cool and add the whole mix to your already fermenting batch? I think the raisins are often to add nutrients for the yeast, so in the middle of a fermentation would be a good time for this. This would minimize any exposure of your fermenting batch, prevent you from killing all your yeast by heating the batch, and the raisin juice would be nice and sterilized before pouring in. Does that make any sense?

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:05 PM   #3
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The original recipe wants me to boil the raisins in water, remove the raisins, and juice them adding the juice back to the water. Then go on preparing the mead in the usual way.
I was planning on freezing the raisins (to make it easier to extract sugars) before adding them to the mead, and then heating the 1-gallon batch up a little bit. I agree this would risk killing the yeast, let alone expose it to other bacterias.
I like your idea of preparing a small amount of must with the raisins and adding it to the already fermenting batch. This is exactly what I needed.

Thanks!

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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What do you (or anyone else) think of keeping the raisins in the mead? I hear that the yeast needs proteins so they can continue to grow, but I am already putting in yeast nutrients.

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Old 01-31-2012, 05:23 AM   #5
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I'm definitely not a mead expert, only just getting into it myself, but I don't think the raisins could hurt anything! Whether they're necessary or not, considering you're already using another yeast nutrient, is up for debate... If it were me I'd throw 'em in anyway, but maybe skip the juicing idea and just boil them whole and throw the cooled must in. That way they'll be sure to settle out when you transfer to secondary. Might be a little more difficult or at least take more time for juiced raisins to settle out completely and not cloud your mead or make it darker.
Either way, whether you choose to skip them entirely, juice 'em, or try my idea, it probably won't make a HUGE difference on the end result and you'll end up with something great either way!

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
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Yeah, I guess there is no danger if I boil the raisins. I just don't want the little yeasties to starve in there. I think I'm also going to try freezing the raisins beforehand, apparently that breaks cell walls and releases sugars.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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Sounds like a good idea! I did the opposite of you and started off with raisins only, so after 2 weeks I think I'm going to add some yeast nutrient to make sure they've got plenty of food... hopefully it works out for the best!

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