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Old 05-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #11
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I didnt had much sleep in the first night, hoping that mine didnt erupt like yours lol.
Much darker, awesome color. I hope my next batch of bochet has a color like that, this batch is going to be red instead of black like i wanted.

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Old 05-05-2013, 03:08 AM   #12
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Funny, I want mine to be more red. It is more red than it looks in the picture. I saw it rising up into the airlock and it looked like blood. Who knows how it will look when it is done though.

Do you have a thick cap of berries on the top of your must? About the top inch of my jug is nothing but berries. When I break it up to stir the must it foams like mad. I'm going to have to stir it a couple times each day to keep it going.

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #13
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Guys, get some primary buckets then you wont have to worry about eruptions and loosing wine!

Cooking the honey with fire is the normal method, getting it to the toasted marshmellow stage is the main goal, some people use a white plate to take samples while they are cooking their honey to judge the darkness level, much more accurate than just looking into the pot. I only have 2 batches going and started this year, my first is so good its going to be a regular must make every year. Save a little of that cooked honey to backsweeten with, it refreshes the caramelized taste at the end.

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Old 05-05-2013, 02:53 PM   #14
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I got toasted marshmallow flavor on the electric stove. An open flame makes a difference with foods exposed directly to the heat source. But food in a pot doesn't know what's making the pot hot.

I wouldn't have had an explosion if I had set things up properly. I got stupid and paid the price. A bucket wouldn't have made a difference. I'd have still been stupid.

I can't save the cooked honey. It's too yummy. But I can always cook more if needed. I'm not sure I'll need to backsweeten at all. I'm counting on the unfermentable sugars created by the caramelization to carry through and sweeten the finished mead. Two of the three pounds of honey have been cooked.

Now that I think about it, I may have to add more raw honey at some point. Three pounds per gallon isn't much for the EC-1118 I used. And rendering some of that honey unfermentable means I have even less sugar for the yeast to convert. I guess when it slows down I'll rack it onto some more honey in the secondary.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernGorilla View Post
Do you have a thick cap of berries on the top of your must? About the top inch of my jug is nothing but berries.
Mine is like this:


HIRES Here

I also keep mine like this to maintain the temperature below 20ºC (Lalvin D-47 yeast)


You could step feed your mead to obtain the sweetness you want, just keep adding honey and taking hydrometer readings to know when the yeast is killed by alcohol
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:02 PM   #16
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If you look back at the picture of mine you'll see the layer of berries at the top. I think it's already created off flavors by blocking co2 from escaping. The must smells much more acidic than the other mead I have going with the same yeast.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:49 PM   #17
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SG, if you leave the seeds in to long it can lead to a bitterness that can take a long time to age out. If your berries were blocking the CO2 from escaping you would now that very quickly when your carboy popped its top and painted your ceiling red. Berries only take a couple of days to release everything, might be time to rack off of them? WVMJ

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
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SG, if you leave the seeds in to long it can lead to a bitterness that can take a long time to age out. If your berries were blocking the CO2 from escaping you would now that very quickly when your carboy popped its top and painted your ceiling red. Berries only take a couple of days to release everything, might be time to rack off of them? WVMJ
Popped the top? You mean like this?

You're the second person I've read in the past thirty minutes to suggest the seeds are causing issues. I hadn't realized berries were so "dangerous". I'll go and rack it off the berries. Since oxygen is a good thing at this point I'll just use the funnel with the screen in it. The berries are still floating so I can't really rack off of them. Plus I don't have a way of filtering the seeds out of my racking gear.

*EDIT*
Just finished "racking" off the berries. Man was that a pain. I think next time I'll try to filter out the seeds before adding the berries to the must. It took forever to drain the must through the screen in the funnel. And judging by the slowdown in the fermentation I probably lost some yeast in the process. It would have been easier to filter the seeds beforehand because I could have used water to thin the juice so it would flow through the screen easier.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #19
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If you use a bucket as a primary you can just put the fruit in a fermentation bag and squeeze it a little every day.

When I said flame I meant cooked over a flame or electric stovetop vs in a crock pot or pressure cooker. Cooking in an open pan might be the best way to put it. The water is evaporated during the caramelization process where in a pressure cooker it all stays in there. When you cook with an open pot you have to add water back to the honey, some people have said they keep a pot of hot water on the stove and think that doesnt explode as much hitting the hot honey as cold water.

I dont think you need any more O2 now that the fermentation has been going for a while.

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Old 05-07-2013, 12:50 AM   #20
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I'm still thinking about the pressure cooker technique. It just bothers me that you can't monitor the honey while it's cooking. Right now I cook the honey by smell. I bought a candy thermometer so I can start being more professional about it. A pressure cooker means you have to set things up and just hope for the best.

I'm surprised I couldn't detect any caramel or marshmallow flavors when I accidentally spilled some of the must on my tongue. There were plenty of those flavors in the honey when I cooked it. Maybe the blackberries are just overpowering the subtler flavors right now.

I think next time I use blackberries I'll puree them, strain out the seeds, and reduce the berries on the stove to form my own extract.

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