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Old 02-29-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
DrVertebrae
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Default Fruit in mead

After reading some of the threads about fruit in mead I came up with a question or two.

I have a blueberry/blackberry mead going and will be racking it pretty soon. The fruit is mostly on top and hasn't settled yet. I was wondering if I could intensify the fruit flavor by grinding up the fruit from the primary and re-insert it in the secondary. To do this, should I pasteurize it a bit?

Also, I'm getting ready to put together a mango/pineapple mead and have been reading about folks putting the fruit in the secondary and not the primary. Same question, should the fruit be pasteurized a bit prior to addition to the secondary? The fruit is currently chopped into small bits and frozen.

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Old 03-01-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
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I am afraid your fruit in the primary is spent and won't do much in the secondary. I have done both and find that only putting fruit in the primary tends to not have as much flavor. This can be good though if you are dealing with a strong flavor and a light flavor as you can put the lighter flavor in the secondary to balance the strong flavor in the primary.
When putting fruit in the secondary I just rack out of the primary on to the fruit. The alcohol will take care of any bugs. Also freeze and thaw a few times to break down the cells of the fruit. I find organic juice works best in the primary. I just add it to the must and bring it to 140 degrees for 20mins, chill, rack, and pitch. I have never had a problem with this method. I also don't use camden, nutrient, or any other additives.

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Old 03-01-2012, 04:45 AM   #3
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The whole primary vs secondary thing for fruit can, I think be explained like this: think of how much wine tastes like grape juice. The process of fermentation changes the flavor characteristics, so if you want a recognizable fruit character, many times you need to add it to secondary, or as I often do, directly to the primary container after fermentation has slowed and almost finished. Some people like to have both primary and secondary fruit additions, feeling that this adds some depth of character that you can't get from either addition alone.

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Old 03-04-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Thanks. I can see the point. I will rack it and add some more fruit there.

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Old 03-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrVertebrae View Post
Thanks. I can see the point. I will rack it and add some more fruit there.
Just remember, if you grind/pulp/mash fruit, it can easy become very tiresome to remove the debris after its done its job. Stone fruit should be pitted, berry I'd pip fruit just left as is. The freeze/thaw process just helps rupture the cells to allow the liquid to get to the flavours/colours.

If you put the fruit in a mesh bag, its easily removed for staining and/or pressing.

Finally, pectolase not only helps with the pectin, but also helps with flavour and colour extraction and preservation.

p.s. if you grind/mill fruit with seeds or pips in it, you can release bittering agents from within
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