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Old 06-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
StevenM
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I need some opinions. I am making a blueberry mead. 5 gallons water, 14 lbs of wildflower honey, 5 lbs blueberries (mashed / frozen / thawed) nutrient, and d47...primary will go about a week to 10 days i expect.

Can I take the blueberries from primary and put them thru a juicer and put that back into secondary? Any issue with putting new blueberries thru a juicer rather than whole berries? Is there any gain to leaving a primary in primary after the specific gravity has zero'd out? My primaries have not been the month that I have read others have. Any changes to the above recepie? With a 1-2 year turnaround the learning curve can be long.

Thanks for your help everyone.

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by StevenM View Post
I need some opinions. I am making a blueberry mead. 5 gallons water, 14 lbs of wildflower honey, 5 lbs blueberries (mashed / frozen / thawed) nutrient, and d47...primary will go about a week to 10 days i expect.

Can I take the blueberries from primary and put them thru a juicer and put that back into secondary? Any issue with putting new blueberries thru a juicer rather than whole berries? Is there any gain to leaving a primary in primary after the specific gravity has zero'd out? My primaries have not been the month that I have read others have. Any changes to the above recepie? With a 1-2 year turnaround the learning curve can be long.

Thanks for your help everyone.
Well, you could try, but I don't really see much point in doing so. Those berries have already been crushed, frozen & thawed; by the end of primary they're going to be lumpy mush mixed in with the lees, with little or nothing to add to your mead in secondary.

If you want more berry flavour, I'd rack onto more berries in secondary. A lot of people use whole berries, I always do a freeze/thaw/freeze thaw & either crush them or just dump them in, depends on the condition of the berries after final thaw. A little pectic enzyme helps too. You could always juice fresh berries & rack onto the juice, that works well too.

I've left mead on fruit in secondary as long as 7 months with great results; but I don't think there is much to be gained by leaving mead on the fruit longer than 2 or 3 months. I suppose it depends on the fruit & it's condition though; whole berries would likely need more time than crushed berries. I'd leave mead on fruit even less time for fruits that might add excess tannins, like blackberries.

Hope this helps. Regards, GF.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Actually for better flavor, I usually put in the blueberry in the secondary. Same method you use, roughly. I actually puree the blueberry after the thaw and run the blueberry puree through a screen to bring it down to more juice level. If you run some pectin enzyme in with the blueberries it will render even more juice. the screen is for removing the bulk of the pulp. I have had 3 successful blueberry batches, about 5-6 gallons.

I use 12 pounds honey in primary
6-8 pounds of blueberries in the secondary, rendered to juice.

Stabalize: run some potasium sorbate into it and wait a week.

Then backsweeten with 4-6 pounds of honey, mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water to disolve well. I also sometimes add a little more sorbate to the honey mix just to be certian that it doesn't have wild yeasties that will give a problem.

So my suggestion to you is use about 3 pounds of blueberries and do what you did with the blueberries, then blenderize with a touch of pectin enzyme, wait an hour, run through a screen with a rubber spatula and mix and press the juice through the screen. You will get a nice bit of pulp clumping together, keep the pulp for blueberry pankackes or muffins, but run the juice through the screen twice. Then the resulting, mostly juice, rack onto.

Rack off of the pulp after a month and stabalize and backsweeten to taste. Blueberry usually goes dry easily, even in the secondary. That is why the backsweetening. I also used Lavin D47 yeast. It's a good yeast.

Oh, and when it is near bottling, put in 1 oz of lightly toasted oak for 3 weeks to a month. It will make it smoother.

Also, If you add 1 cup of lemon juice to the mix it will brighten the blueberry a bit and make it a little lighter and more "Blueberry" tasting. It sounds odd but it works well.

Good Luck
Matrix

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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2 good bits of advice/ideas from Matrix and gratus fermentatio.

The only thing I'd add, would be after the freeze/thaw process on the berries, either just squidge them with your hands, or a potato masher. Don't blitz them as breaking the seeds can impart bitterness.

Me ? I just freeze/thaw, then put them in a muslin bag in secondary, but there's nothing wrong with putting them into primary and secondary. I don't do just primary as I find that too much of the taste of the original fruit is lost by the primary ferment.

Putting them in secondary makes for a batch that is ready for drinking sooner.

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Old 06-06-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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thanks everybody for the help

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #6
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I agree with the above posts, fruit in the secondary, either as fermentation has finished or just before. I find that too much of the aromatics and fruit character are lost when putting the fruit in the primary.

Just watch that the natural sugars (however much or little) in the fruit may kickstart a little more fermentation in the secondary, necessitating a little back sweetening.

Wether you use a bag for the fruit is up to you. If you don't, and you add a lot of mushed fruit, you might have to periodically open up the vessel and punch the fruit cap down to ensure a good infusion, degass the mead, and keep the yeast happy until it's officially done.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
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I have a mead in secondary that I started in March and want to make Schramm's Mambo in the Mouth. I have ~6 lbs blueberries that I froze and 7lbs frozen strawberries that I have ready to rack the mead onto for secondary.
Should I put the fruit into a large mesh bag or keep it loose?
And if I use the bag, how am I supposed to shove it into the neck of my carboy?
Should I rack into onto the fruit into another bucket?

Do I need to be concerned about ample air room for the fruit to ferment?

Thanks.

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Old 07-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Mesh bags are for buckets or wide top carboys. Trying to use one in a standard carboy is futile.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Mesh bags are for buckets or wide top carboys. Trying to use one in a standard carboy is futile.
Well, difficult anyway. I have come up with a solution. I had an old broken autosiphon. I cut off the broken bits, smothed out the sharp edges and then drilled 1/4 inch holes into it all along it. Then I took a mesh hops bag and tied it to one end, filled it with oak chips and then put a string on it for retrieval. I call it may oaking cane. It seems to work out well enough. A little tough to get the oak out once I am done with oaking. But I currently am oaking my blueberry vanilla with it now.

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Ok so am I supposed to rack the mead onto the fruit in a secondary (standard carboy) without putting the fruit into a mesh bag then?

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