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Old 08-20-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
hunter6190
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Default Few questions about my first mead.

MY first question is about fermenting, my mead is in 5 gallon carboy for primary fermentation and its a sweet mead 18lbs of wildflower honey and spring water basically. i threw in a handful of raisins for the yeast to eat on. It's been about 20 hours since i put it all together and I'm getting about 2 bubbles of c02 a second from my airlock. is this a normal amount to be seeing or should there be more? there is also some yeast nutrient in there, And how to i Know when its ready for secondary fermentation?

My second question is about the secondary. after the primary is finished i was going to rack into five 1 gallon carboys and add fruits.
1-strawberry
2-peach
3-watermelon
4-pear
5-no added fruit

Is there anything i need to add other than the fruit? or is it ok to sterilize the fruit, cut it up, put it into the empty 1 gallon carboy then rack onto it?

here are some pics of my mead in primary if it helps any answers,

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter6190 View Post
is this a normal amount to be seeing or should there be more? there is also some yeast nutrient in there, And how to i Know when its ready for secondary fermentation?

My second question is about the secondary. after the primary is finished i was going to rack into five 1 gallon carboys and add fruits.
Is there anything i need to add other than the fruit? or is it ok to sterilize the fruit, cut it up, put it into the empty 1 gallon carboy then rack onto it?
Should be fine. It may speed up and it may stay that way for a month or so. To answer on when it's done: Hydrometer. When readings on the hydrometer stay the same for 3 weeks in a row then rack to secondary. Lacking that wait until you can see no activity in the air lock for 2 minutes or so. That is no bubbles. That should be fairly close to what you need. Also another indication is that the lees (sediment) piles up and doesn't get much bigger over a weeks time.

Your second quesion: No need to steralize the fruit. I do recomend that you put in a larger container than 1 gal, such as a brew bucket.

1: Strawberries, chop fine or even puree: Best in a mesh bag.
2: Peach, chop into at least 1/4 peices and in a mesh bag or puree and put in a mesh bag.
3: Watermellon: I like putting this through a blender and then the resulting puree through a screen to get most of the peices out. You should end up with juice or close to it. From experience: Don't put in the watermellon foam that is blended. It wont taste good.
4: Pear: Blend and through a screen and then put in. It will oxidize a bit and turn brown.

On the fruit: I recomend also putting in a bit of pectic enzyme to help it clear and freeze/thaw the fruit to help break up the cel walls and render more juice.

Good luck.

Matrix
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advise! How fine of a strainer do you typically use? and are you freezing before or after you blend the fruits? and unfortunately I only have the 1 gallon carboys to work with so i guess i could just scale back how much i put in them and clean m big carboy to keep whats leftover.
this is the one that I have.
[img=http://s17.postimage.org/n9q057s3f/2012_08_20_19_40_14_284.jpg]

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Old 08-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter6190 View Post
Thanks for the advise! How fine of a strainer do you typically use? and are you freezing before or after you blend the fruits? and unfortunately I only have the 1 gallon carboys to work with so i guess i could just scale back how much i put in them and clean m big carboy to keep whats leftover.
this is the one that I have.
[img=http://s17.postimage.org/n9q057s3f/2012_08_20_19_40_14_284.jpg]
I just personally have a metal screen that is a standard kitchen thing for noodles. I have the same strainer that you have. Now it may not take out too much pulp in the case of the peach and strawberry. Since you don't have the room for a mesh bag I would recomend that you still use the same amount of fruit as you were planing but put it into two different carboys. When you rack off of the fruit you should have enough for a gallon again. Expect the strawberry pulp and the peach pulp to be so mushy and fine that the screen will not take out much. The Watermellon will render down to just juice almost perfectly. The pear you will need to run it through with a spatula a few times and you will end up with juice and a nice pulp that will clump together nicely as the moisture leaves it. The pear will be almost like apple sauce at first but be patient and stir it in the screen strainger.

If I am making extract I run it through the screen first and then run it through the screen again with a coffee filter in it but with your fruit you don't want to go that far.

Don't for get to put in some pectic enzyme as you blend it. It helps.

How much fruit are you using?

Matrix
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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I haven't looked at the ratios for fruit yet.
ive been looking around to try and figure out how much I need so I can end up with a mead that really has the flavor of the fruit. I did order some pectic enzyme yesterday so I will have it by the time primary is finished.

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Old 08-21-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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Let me see from my experience:

Strawberries: Did a 5 gal batch with 14 pounds: So that's a ratio of about 2.8 pounds of fruit for 1 galon. That was a strong strawberry flavor so it worked out well. I would use maybe 2 1/2 pounds in yours.

Pears: I did a Pear Nutmeg with 12 pounds of Pears in a 5 gal batch with 1/2 of a whole nutmeg. The nutmeg overtook the pears but before it did I had a great pear flavor. So that is a 2.4 ratio so the 2 1/2 pounds would be good.

Watermellon: My watermellon batch was a failure due to an off flavor in it. The flavor was due to letting the watermellon juice sit in the fridge for about 2 days after I blended it. It seperated out into a foam and a juice layer. I just put it all in. I got 1 1/2 gal of juice out of 2 basket ball size watermellons. You aren't going to get much flavor out of watermellons. And becareful or you will get funky juice.

Peach: I used 12 pounds in a 5 gal batch and got a light peach flavor. So I would actually up it to 3 pounds of peaches and you would have a good peach flavor going.

You can vary that a little but about 2-3 pounds of fruit would work for you. If you de-pulp the fruit then keep the pulp. It tastes great in pancakes, muphins and the like. Yum.

Hope it goes well.
Matrix

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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That makes me nervous about going with the watermelon. Any suggestion for a different fruit?

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Old 08-21-2012, 11:52 PM   #8
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Raspberry !

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Old 08-22-2012, 12:16 AM   #9
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Deathly allergic to raspberries lol

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Old 08-22-2012, 01:32 AM   #10
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ooh too bad. I've made a few great raspberry melomels.

Blueberry, or tart cherry maybe.

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