Originally Posted by turtlescales
Edit- I am sorry, I need to check my notes before posting! This is using Lalvin 71B-1122, not the KV-1116. My apologies!
I was wondering if there is a good rule of thumb with 71B concerning when to rack it. I am making raspberry melomel with this, and racked it the first time after 2 or 3 weeks. I have to check my brew notes for the exact date, but it is already sitting on at least a 1/4 inch of lees. (Yeast pitched 12/28/11)
I used pectic enzyme with this batch, so that could be contributing to it as well. All but a few bits of berries were left behind with the first racking. Going for a very subtle berry taste with this one, used 10oz of raspberries.
Sorry I don't have the specific dates, I just noticed this on the way out the door to work this morning, and had been cautioned against letting 71B to sit on the lees for too long. Not really sure what counts as too long, is it as simple as noticing how built up they are on the bottom? Don't want to over do it and oxidize my mead either.
If it's finished fermenting, then rack it off the lees. Simple as that.
71B isn't good for "sur lie"/batonnage. As for how long is too long? A month or two shouldn't be an issue, as long as the ferment has finished.
If you post your full recipe, method/technique etc, then it's easier to offer suggestions.
But, in a 1 gallon batch, with only 10oz of fruit, the fruit flavour is likely to be just about non-existent. I'd suggest that you rack it once it's finished the ferment, stabilise it i.e. sorbate and sulphite, then add further 10oz of fruit and pectic enzyme. Leave it on the fruit for a month, then rack it off and back sweeten it - raspberry has a habit of being quite over powering a flavour on its own, the fruit in it's natural state, masks the flavour and acidity, but once the sugars have been fermented the acid can come to the forefront in quite a dramatic way.