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Old 08-23-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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If I were to use half, and hold the other half for later, is keeping the puree in a sanitized jar in the refrigerator sufficient? I'd like to keep the puree on hand in the event we decide that we do need more flavor, but not another whole 3# can's worth of flavor.

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Old 08-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #12
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I'm sure that depends on how long you plan on keeping it in there, how much headspace is in the jar etc. If you're going to hold it a week or so, I think you'd be okay if it was a nice tight container.

Honestly though, I think the 3lb Can in a full 5 gal batch would be far from dominating.

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Old 08-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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So from an overall processing standpoint then, I would be looking at something like this?

1. Primary fermentation of honey, nutrients and yeast only. Ferment this to terminal gravity?

2. Rack to a secondary on the 3# can of puree.

3. Once fermentation subsides, cold crash then rack to a tertiary container on an amount of Kmeta and potassium sorbate sufficient for 5 gallons.

4. Leave until clear, then bottle. Adjust prior to bottling to taste with either acid or honey (to back sweeten if needed)

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Old 08-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Sounds about right to me, and what I would do in your shoes. But this is Mead-world and everyone has a different way to view it.

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Old 08-23-2013, 07:58 PM   #15
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What about kicking off additional fermentation when racking onto the fruit? Would you stabilize before racking onto the fruit (i.e., stabilizing agents and fruit at the same time)? Or would you let the yeast that transferred over ferment out some of the fruit sugars before stunning the yeast?

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Old 08-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #16
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Couple choices here:
1. If you want it to ferment, Go forward with the 3 lbs. The thing about a second phase of fermentation like this is that your yeast are settled down so a you wouldnt blow off your flavors / aromas from a vigorous ferment like a primary.

2. If you stabilize first, I would hold back on the full three pounds since all of that sugar will go to sweetening it. That you add a bit at a time, taste, add a bit more taste, repeat until its where you want it to be.

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Old 08-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #17
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If I go with option 1, should I expect that the yeast will ferment the fruit sugars completely, or is there a likelihood it will "give up" before consuming the fruit sugar?

For 5 gallons, I will be using 10g of properly rehydrated icv-d47. The initial 5 gal ferment will be water mixed with approx 15 lbs of honey. I plan on doing the staggered nutrient additions from this forum.

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Old 08-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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Its really hard to predict when yeast will pucker out. Sometimes they can go 1-3% above their listed tolerance. You will see a lot of newer members math it out so that they have enough honey in there to have X residual sweetness based on listed tolerances and one of two things will happen.

1. It will stall because 1.145 or what have you is too high a starting gravity for a healthy fermentation.
2. It will ferment everything leaving it dry and not sweet as they had planned.

With this: the best thing you can do is ferment it dry, and back-sweeten it. This way you have control over the batch. I'd start to backsweeten with the puree. Then if it gets to the lvel of apricot you want, switch over to honey if it still needs more sweetening.

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Old 09-06-2013, 03:52 AM   #19
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OK. So I actually have this thing in the fermenter and I have a few follow up questions. Before the questions, a couple of notes on the progress so far:

I went with 14# and approximately 4 ounces of honey. I skimmed a bit for non-mead use as it was from my friend's apiary and he told me that I'd be sorry if I didn't. He was right. This is better than any store bought honey I've tasted. It has a light, fruity taste and a real floral nose. And it's out of this world on toast.

Since my tap water is horrible (I don't even make beer with it) I went with 4 gallons of store bought "purified drinking water". Prepped everything per Hightest's instuctions for a basic mead in the sticky.

I wound up with 5.5 gallons of 1.092 must. I was expecting a touch over 1.100, but my friend told me his honey seemed lighter and less dense than the honey from another of his friends who raises bees. So I guess it's possible that there was a lower overall sugar content.

Mixed and cooled everything to a touch under 80F while I was rehydrating the yeast. I added the first nutrient charge and the yeast and sealed it up. I had active fermentation in about 7 hrs. At 24 hrs I added the second nutrient charge.

I checked the gravity tonight (day 5) and I was at 1.042, so I added the final nutrient charge and sealed it back up.

Once it ferments to completion, I intend to stabilize and then add the apricot puree.

Here's where my questions come in:

1. What should I expect for terminal gravity, i.e.when is considered done on what is at this point, a straight mead? Should I anticipate 1.000? Lower?

2. What's a rough time frame that I should expect it to get there? Another 2 weeks, considering I went with 10g of healthy, rehydrated yeast and staggered nutrients?

2a. How long is too long on the primary yeast cake? I know there's a bunch of debate on the beer boards about autolysis vs. long primaries. If it takes me 4-6 weeks to reach terminal gravity, am I fine staying in the primary that long?

2b. Once I reach terminal, should I give it another week or so like I do with my beers for the yeast to clean up any byproducts? Or with the longer ferment time, should I try to move away from the primary yeast once I get to my FG?

3. Stabilizing and fruit additions. It seems like the conventional wisdom on these boards is to rack from the primary into a secondary that already contains my sorbate and kmeta stabilizers. Should I rack to a mixture of my stabilizing agents and apricot puree in the secondary? Or would you recommend racking only to the stabilizing agents in the secondary. Give a bit of time to let them work. Then add the apricot in secondary (or even rack to a third container that contains the fruit)?

I should note that I am not trying to ferment any of the sugars in the fruit. I am looking to allow the stabilized mead some contact time with the fruit for flavor, sweetness, aroma and color contribution. I've decided that I want the essence of the apricot, not the alcohol produced by fermenting the fruit's sugars.

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Old 09-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winvarin View Post
1. What should I expect for terminal gravity, i.e.when is considered done on what is at this point, a straight mead? Should I anticipate 1.000? Lower?

2. What's a rough time frame that I should expect it to get there? Another 2 weeks, considering I went with 10g of healthy, rehydrated yeast and staggered nutrients?

2a. How long is too long on the primary yeast cake? I know there's a bunch of debate on the beer boards about autolysis vs. long primaries. If it takes me 4-6 weeks to reach terminal gravity, am I fine staying in the primary that long?

2b. Once I reach terminal, should I give it another week or so like I do with my beers for the yeast to clean up any byproducts? Or with the longer ferment time, should I try to move away from the primary yeast once I get to my FG?

3. Stabilizing and fruit additions. It seems like the conventional wisdom on these boards is to rack from the primary into a secondary that already contains my sorbate and kmeta stabilizers. Should I rack to a mixture of my stabilizing agents and apricot puree in the secondary? Or would you recommend racking only to the stabilizing agents in the secondary. Give a bit of time to let them work. Then add the apricot in secondary (or even rack to a third container that contains the fruit)?

I should note that I am not trying to ferment any of the sugars in the fruit. I am looking to allow the stabilized mead some contact time with the fruit for flavor, sweetness, aroma and color contribution. I've decided that I want the essence of the apricot, not the alcohol produced by fermenting the fruit's sugars.
1. 1.000 or below.

2.I'd say 2 weeks tops will get you to final gravity. Especially with the use of SNA. That helps give it a good boost for the finish.

2a. Depends on what yeast you used. I think 71B is the one that you need to rack off ASAP after fermentation is done. Most other yeasts are good 8-12 weeks with no issues for me.

2b. You're cleaning up in mead is called bulk aging. Its just aging and aging. It doesnt need yeast to workto clean itself up. As it ages it will continue to drop fine sediment that wont be in your final product.

3. Wait a week or so to let the stabilizers work. Then add your fruit.

I just added strawberry to one of my gallons for back sweetening and now I need to wait for it to clear again.
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