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Diesel70 11-25-2012 07:47 AM

Attempting to Create a Recipe
Hello everyone,
I'm attempting to create a recipe but have a few questions:
  1. Just to be certain; When does primary ferment end and secondary begin?
  2. It's been two weeks in the growler; Is it too late to add Super Ferment? I have a handful of cut raisins in it right now.

It contains so far;
  • 3.5# of southern belle wildflower honey
  • Lalvin 71b yeast strain
  • Roughly 2/3rds of a gallon of water
  • and a handful of cut raisins that have been in since the beginning

I'm planning on racking this base mead onto the juice from 3# of peaches and 1# of pomegranate seeds.
My OG is 1.131

I think that covers everything. I'm new to this so I'm trying to learn as much as possible. Thanks for the help in advance.

~Diesel70 :mug:

fatbloke 11-25-2012 09:12 AM

Well as I have no idea what"superferment" actually is (presuming some sort of nutrients), you'd have to take a gravity reading.

Nutrients that contain di-ammonium phosphate a.k.a. DAP are usually front loaded up to 85 percent of the total with the final 15 percent at the 1/3rd sugar break.

I'd suggest that as you've only got raisins in there for nutrient at the moment, check the gravity and if its below half way then just give it a stir and wait.

You have a couple of options for the fruit, dont "juice" it as that can damage the seeds and they can impart bitterness.

Remove the stones/pits from the peaches then freeze them and just freeze the fruit segments of the pomegranate (not the skin).

Once the fruit has been frozen for 3 or 4 days you can either rack the brew onto it (defrosted of course) and if the ferment isnt finished it will help it finish, if it is finished then rack it onto the fruit without stabilising and you may get a bit of refermentation, or if its finished rack so as to leave as much sediment as possible and the fruit should then impart as much of the fruity tase as possible - the more exposure to fermentation the fruit gets, the more the fruity flavour is reduced as the fruit sugars get fermented too.

fatbloke 11-25-2012 09:16 AM

Oh, and as its likely that the current fruit ratio, the pomegranate will most likely get swamped by the peach, if you swapped them round with 3lb of pomegranate and 1lb of peach I'd have thought youd b3 able to taste them both in the finished product. ......

Diesel70 11-25-2012 06:59 PM

I figured since the pomegranates tend to be overtly sour that if I have more peaches it would balance in the middle? This is an experimental batch to try and get a recipe for a five gallon batch. I'm hoping the 3:1 ratio would balance so it's not too sweet but not sour either while keeping the flavor (sounds like I'm striving for the impossible, I know).

The Super Ferment is my local brew store's "Complete Nutrient and Energizer" powder, nothing on the jar as far as composition.

The peaches I'm planning on using were canned ones from my brewery store (that approximate to 3# of peaches for a 1.5 gallon batch) and using Pom Wonderful juice for the pomegranates since a medium pomegranate yielded a minimal weight in fruit and is overtly expensive to buy in the numbers I would need.

My batch went from bubbling every 5 seconds to roughly every 10 seconds, so I figure I'm on the down hill side of the ferment after two weeks. I thought I read that a typical ferment is around a month. Does that sound normal to you?

Pardon the shotgun approach, just trying to understand everything and make something tasty.

Thanks in advance,

fatbloke 11-25-2012 08:56 PM

Never had a sour pomegranate, the ones sold here are always sweet, with a lightish depth of flavour.

I would have suggested using POM if you hadnt mentioned it. Peaches can vary in the depth of flavour and would depend on whether they're in syrup, juice or what ? Plus the type/variety would make some difference.

Hence all the fruit might need increasing if youve got it all in primary.....fermented flavour differs greatly from unfermented. You could balance it to your preferred taste in secondary if its stabilised.

Don't depend on bubble rate to judge the ferment it might be getting along but it can take longer to finish. The yeast slows as the gravity drops/alcohol level increases. Check with hydrometer readings....

saramc 11-26-2012 12:48 AM

With a high gravity such as 1.131 you may see a stall, so you need to definitely monitor SG and be prepared. On your five gallon batch you will do much better if you add the fermentable in divided portions. Say if I want an OG of 1.130, I usually start at 1.090 and allow that to drop by 1/3 and then add 0.020 of remaining fermentable, allow the new SG, which should be 1.080 now, when that SG drops by 1/3 then I will add the final 0.020--knowing that I have now incorporated enough fermentable sugar to total 1.130. Makes for less stressed yeast and likely will not stall unless it reaches alcohol toxicity.

As far as primary v. secondary those terms are used in two ways. The most common is in terms of fermenting containers. The recommendation for primary being a food grade bucket with a lid covering, no airlock attached-- at least one gallon headspace if working with all liquid, and a headspace of 2 gallons or more if working with fruit. This allows yeast to access oxyfen and you easy access for stirring and punching down the cap/manipulating a straining bag. Then you transfer to secondary, the carboy and apply airlock. Some apply the airlock right to the bucket from day 1 or another fermentation day of their choice, for whatever reason. Some actually use fermenting bucket until the wine is dry and then transfer to carboy/airlock for clearing/ bulk aging. I personally use primary bucket with lid just resting on top and transfer to secondary, carboy plus airlock, when SG has dropped by 2/3.
The other primary v. secondary has to do with type of ferment. Primary being the ferment using wine yeast of your choice (wild or commercial) and then a secondary ferment that involves a malolactic fermentation(MLF). The ferment can occur spontaneously in grapes or some fruits high in malic acid OR you add a malolactic bacteria (MLB) culture. There are some requirements for a MLF to be able to occur, but I will not go there.

Hope that helps. Sara

Diesel70 01-26-2013 04:23 PM

So my batch finished ferment almost a month ago when I racked it off. OG of 1.131 and FG of 1.028 giving me a batch at 13.7%. I racked it onto a peach puree and pom wonderful juice mixture after adding pectic enzyme and it has now been sitting for almost a month. It was a real nice clear and deep red, but now it seems to be turning to a more amber color. Is this normal? I'm planning to rack the batch to new bottles off of the puree and take a FG reading to see where the batch is now. it's new OG after adding fruit was 1.040 and the yeast re-activated for about a week. Just figured I would update this thread and let you guys know how things were going considering all of you gave me solid information to create something tasty. I'll let you know how it tastes after I'm done with all of this.



fatbloke 01-27-2013 10:09 AM

Good on yer for the update.

71B is tolerant to about 14% - which is the published tolerance but that alludes to grape musts. So a bit of re-fermentation is no surprise.

Theres not a huge amount of pigmentation in pomegranate anyway so a bit of loss of colour is also not surprising. As long as it still tastes good then great.

Keep us informed.....

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