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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > First Melomel: Is this thing going to end up all over the floor?
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default First Melomel: Is this thing going to end up all over the floor?

I have a 5 gal recipe in a 6 gal pail (20 lbs honey, 8 lbs blackberry). I'm temp controlling (62F). Using 71B-1122 yeast.

Will this sucker foam over? Or are meads tamer like wines and ciders? Need to know so I can prepare SWMBO for the impending disaster.

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Old 07-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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Meads generally are more calm than beers or wines. You are also a little low on the fruit so it should not foam over in a 6 gallon pail.

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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You are also a little low on the fruit...
Thanks. I've been wondering about the fruit amounts. Seems like 3-4 lbs/gallon is fairly standard. This is my first batch and I got the outline for the recipe from July-Aug13 Zymurgy, page 7. The recipe (from Moonlight Meadery's Michael Fairbrother), calls for 8 lbs of boysenberry puree, which I assume translates into 8 lbs of fresh blackberries. Is this correct? Is the recipe targeting a more subtle fruit essence than home mead makers enjoy?

Suppose I can add more fruit in the secondary if desired.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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Purée is always considered more pound for pound than fresh fruit. I think the ratio of purée to fresh is about 1.5 to 1. So 8lb of purée is about 12lb of fresh fruit.

Still you are not bad off. For most melomels we all like to add some fruit to primary and the rest to secondary which helps to impart a richer "non-fermented" fruit taste. So after you transfer to secondary add another 4lb of fruit and you will be golden.

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Old 07-07-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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Thanks a bunch. One more question concerning K-meta. I added 2.2g (equivalent of 5 Campden tabs). Any need to add more in the secondary with the berry addition?

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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Sulphites should be added before or after fermentation. I would just leave it to do its thing.

As for you other point....... if you aerate twice daily until you hit the 1/3rd sugar break but then swirl the fermenter so like wines from whole crushed grape you're basically doing "cap management". So the aeration gets air/O2 into the mix for yeast development but equally it prevents any cap from forming and stopping the escape of the gaseous CO2, which could get to the point where the gas breaks the cap and erupts.........

When its passed the 1/3rd point you don't need to air/O2 so swirling just keep the cap moist and loose.....

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpolis View Post
Purée is always considered more pound for pound than fresh fruit. I think the ratio of purée to fresh is about 1.5 to 1. So 8lb of purée is about 12lb of fresh fruit.

Still you are not bad off. For most melomels we all like to add some fruit to primary and the rest to secondary which helps to impart a richer "non-fermented" fruit taste. So after you transfer to secondary add another 4lb of fruit and you will be golden.
I used a mesh bag for the fruit. I wonder whether I should pull the fruit out before the primary is complete (i.e. after a week or so) or leave the bag in for the entire primary. I worry about excess tannin extraction.

And after the primary, I rack to a carboy, top up, and leave it at what temp? Primary ferment is at 62F. If possible, it's more convenient to hold the secondary between 68-70F. Will that work for the secondary fermentation?
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