I read Hightest's faqs and did a bunch of searches in this forum but I would like to get some opinions on a variation.
I plan on making a 5 gallon batch of basic mead in a 6 gallon carboy.
I would be following the instructions here: http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/FAQ/BasicMead.pdf
But I want to try something a little different. Instead of having one mead I'd like to have five one gallon batches of mead/melomel at the end.
I plan on using 1 gallon glass jugs as carboys for my first racking:
Jug 1 - basic mead
Jug 2 - 1# frozen peaches
Jug 3 - 1# frozen blueberries
Jug 4 - 1# frozen sour cherries
Jug 5 - 1# frozen raspberries
(all the fruit will have no preservatives - as it's from my garden or the local farm).
I was thinking of adding the fruit to the 1 gallon jugs when I rack from my 6 gallon carboy when I reach close to 1.000. This way I can add all the nutrients to the master batch and let the yeast ferment out the fruit in the individual containers.
Is this a bad idea?
Sounds like a great plan to me. Though you may consider changing your fruit additions, I like all of your choices, but 1 lb per gallon will certainly be a hint of flavor rather then a main character. Also, if you are using frozen fruits, let them thaw, then refreeze them, then let them thaw again, it helps to break down the cell walls.
I think you will get better attentuation on the secondary if you don't wait for your priamry mead to clear.
1 month of fermentation, then rack onto fruit IMO.
I did a something quite similar with my first batch. I am only 3 months in so I can't say how it will come out, but I can suggest that you make sure to have some additional volume set aside for losses due to transfers, fruit, testing, etc. I ended up losing about a gallon by the time I transferred it off of the fruit (I used a lot more fruit), though I probably could have lost a little less with better planning. My next batches will be 5 gallons of the melomels that come out the best (strawberry and raspberry, both with a section of vanilia bean, appear to be the front runners).
We did our first 6 batches of mead this way.
here's a couple links that may help
Small batch question
Swamp Water Brewery
Let us know how it turns out
My links didn't work
Do search for "Small batch question"
that will get the thread
A google search of "Swamp Water Brewery" will provide more in depth info
Sorry about the links
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