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Old 03-27-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
YoungJames
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Default Adding Fruit to Secondary

Apologies if this has been covered a million times before, it seems i ask more questions than give answers on here.

I have a large batch of plain Mead just coming to the end of fermentation, if i were to rack it into a Secondary DJ and add fruit, say mixed berries, would i be best to wait for the Mead to clear? Or should i stabilise, clear and rack or just rack into a secondary drop in some Pectolase and just leave it be?

Sorry for this disjoint post, been working nights

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Old 03-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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Add the fruit before it clears, or else you have to wait for it to clear all over again.

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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And would that be before or after stabilisation?

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:19 AM   #4
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Either:

If you add it before stabilizing, some of the fruit juices may ferment, which can help mesh the flavors into the mead.

If you want a more upfront fruity flavor, you can add after stabilizing, This will ensure that those fruit juices keep true to their unfermented flavor.

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Old 03-28-2013, 03:22 AM   #5
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Thank you kindly Sir

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Old 03-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshmallowBlue
Either:

If you add it before stabilizing, some of the fruit juices may ferment, which can help mesh the flavors into the mead.

If you want a more upfront fruity flavor, you can add after stabilizing, This will ensure that those fruit juices keep true to their unfermented flavor.
Well put will the flavor of added spices be affected by whether you put them in when clear or cloudy?
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadiator View Post
Well put will the flavor of added spices be affected by whether you put them in when clear or cloudy?
No, because ultimately, the flavour tends to be extracted by the alcohol, and any cloudiness is most likely yeast debris.

Now if a batch that's had fruit as an ingredient somewhere didn't clear but stopped dropping sediment, it'd most likely need the pectic enzyme/pectolase to deal with that, as it would most likely be a pectin issue.

When using honey for back sweetening, I tend to add it to whatever my desired sweetness level is before it clears naturally. This is because there's a third type of possible hazing, that comes from proteins, often found in raw or unfiltered honey (but sometimes in filtered honey too). So rather than getting a batch clear and then getting a haze from the back sweetening honey, I prefer to stabilise a finished ferment, then back sweeten to my level (often in the 1.010 to 1.015 area) then just let it clear naturally. The proteins seem to be easily pulled out by the yeast sediment (yes there's probably some scientific reason for that, I just found that's how it seems to work by trial and error).

After all, cleared meads are basically clear for aesthetic reasons more than anything else. Yes, there would be some possible "yeasty" taste issues if there's too much sediment still in the brew, but not with pectins or proteins, it's just more pleasing to look at (which equally is probably an evolutionary thing i.e. clean/clear water is likely safer to drink than something that is cloudy etc).
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