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Old 03-29-2013, 07:51 PM   #1
Smiddy1488
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Default Fruit in primary question

Hey guys i've read various things about fruit in primary well basically i have some cherries in a straining bag and for the first couple of days it sunk and I could way it down with a mixing spoon in the barrel, I checked today and it now floats like a bag of air. Various people say it may begin to rot if it isn't submerged but some say the co2 produced pushes the oxygen out and it can't. Which is it please?

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Old 03-29-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Fruit will always float during fermentation. It will drop when it ceases fully. This is often when people choose to bottle their mead.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply mate. I shall leave it be then. Can't wait to taste this batch.

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Old 03-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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You can liken this to "punching down the cap" in wine making.

Just keep pushing it below the surface to keep the fruit wet/moist, so that it can't dry out. As there's possibilities of flavour issues if it does.

Plus the continues slight agitation of helps to knock any CO2 out of it where the yeast is getting to the fruit sugars, but gets held inside the skins.

People often thing that if they puree the fruit, it will make their lives easier and that the yeast can get to the fruit sugars quicker or more easily. They then find out that it's a complete PITA as the puree will cause a high level of sediment/sludge (oh, and of course, they will have pitted/stoned the fruit first as you wouldn't want smashed or broken stones/pips, that can cause bitterness issues), and the fruit sludge can be a bugger to remove, requiring extra rackings and the consequent racking losses.

Hence it's usually suggested that if you just freeze the fruit, then defrost it before adding to a batch (with all the juice that comes out of it) then the freeze/thaw action will have broken enough of the fruit cells to let the yeast in to get the flavour/colour etc quick enough for the yeast and that it doesn't hold as much CO2 during the ferment, and theoretically at least, should sink quicker.

Plus it doesn't matter about pitting the fruit, though I prefer to where possible.

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Old 03-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
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I got the fruit frozen and without seeds and sliced them in quarters. I shall keep poking it though every so often thanks mate

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:08 AM   #6
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Plus, what I heard from a couple of mead-makers at the recent Mazer cup, the worry about rot or infection is pretty much gone when your mead reaches 10% ABV. If you are past that then I would just let it be.

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Old 04-07-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
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Alright thanks mate. Almost ready to rack now not sure to add fruit in secondary i guess i'll have a taste and see what I think

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