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Old 12-07-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
ErinRae
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Default Strawberry and blueberry melomels - interupting fermentation

Hi Everyone,

I started fermenting 5G of a basic mead. The plan was to make a off dry mead and then split into 2 batches: 1 blueberry and 1 strawberry-vanilla.

I'm using D47 yeast (temp around 65F) for the first time and have realized that it's fermenting really slow..the SG was 1.09 and I'm around 1.07 two weeks later. I did SNA for the first 3-4 days and have been stirring.

I just found out that I might have to move in Jan and Feb and am not sure if I have time for such a slow ferment before I even add in the fruit. Does it matter if I rack onto the fruit before it's totally done fermenting? I guess I'm asking also because I have the mead in a bucket right now and I'd like to move it into carboys especially if I cant move them with me and they have to sit at a friends for awhile.

Thanks! Erin.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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On a side note...how long has someone left mead to ferment in a primary bucket without stirring? I've been stirring for the first 2 weeks or so but have to go away for a week. Will the mead be okay in the bucket for a week unattended? The airlock I'm using is just a plastic sheet with an elastic holding it tight around the rim of the bucket. Ugg i should of just put this in a carboy to begin with!!

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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I'd say you should move this into a carboy before you go away. You might not get all the sugar content you wanted from the fruit, but they should have given a lot of flavour to your mead by now. If you really want more flavour, you can always add more fruit later. If you have a juicer, that makes it very easy to add your fruit in a carboy without making a big mess.

Good luck

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinRae
On a side note...how long has someone left mead to ferment in a primary bucket without stirring? I've been stirring for the first 2 weeks or so but have to go away for a week. Will the mead be okay in the bucket for a week unattended? The airlock I'm using is just a plastic sheet with an elastic holding it tight around the rim of the bucket. Ugg i should of just put this in a carboy to begin with!!
I am especially worried about you leaving it with such an unreliable airlock (if you can even call it that). I have visions of the gases pushing this plastic sheet right off of your bucket.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:38 AM   #5
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I always use plastic sheets with the pail...it's not as tight as an airlock so the gases can escape pretty easy. If the gases push the sheet to high then the sheet comes lose and deflates anyways. Since I'm not around though to notice if that happens I am gonna move the mead to carboys. Haven't added the fruit yet. Was wondering if it matters to add the fruit halfway thru primary??

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinRae
I always use plastic sheets with the pail...it's not as tight as an airlock so the gases can escape pretty easy. If the gases push the sheet to high then the sheet comes lose and deflates anyways. Since I'm not around though to notice if that happens I am gonna move the mead to carboys. Haven't added the fruit yet. Was wondering if it matters to add the fruit halfway thru primary??
Actually, if you add fruit in the secondary instead of the primary, it'll give you more noticeable flavour. Our at least that's what I'm told.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinRae
I always use plastic sheets with the pail...it's not as tight as an airlock so the gases can escape pretty easy. If the gases push the sheet to high then the sheet comes lose and deflates anyways. Since I'm not around though to notice if that happens I am gonna move the mead to carboys. Haven't added the fruit yet. Was wondering if it matters to add the fruit halfway thru primary??
If your primary is really going that slowly the nutrients in the fruit might actually help it to speed up.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:05 AM   #8
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Hi,

So just an update and an additional question....

So I added the fruit halfway during primary fermentation...the gravity was around 1.05. I split the batch into 2-3 gallon carboys and added 5kg of strawberries in one and 4 kg of blueberries in another. Fermentation really took off and dropped down to 1.01-1.00 over 2 weeks.

I've moved both carboys to secondary as the fruit looked pretty destroyed and I'm vacationing in a couple days.

Unfortunately the fruit only sat in fermentation for about 2 weeks...due to the fact that it was added in halfway thru fermentation. Is this going to cause the fruit flavour to be really weak? Time is def not on my side for these batches!!

ErinRae

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Daydreaming about......raspberry vanilla, wildberry mead
Brewing & Aging: Wildflower mead, Betrayal: A Stark Raving Cherry Mead
Bottled: sweet blueberry melomel, sparkling Cranberry/Blackberry melomel, fb apple cyser, wine, wine and more wine!

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Old 01-03-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinRae
Hi,

So just an update and an additional question....

So I added the fruit halfway during primary fermentation...the gravity was around 1.05. I split the batch into 2-3 gallon carboys and added 5kg of strawberries in one and 4 kg of blueberries in another. Fermentation really took off and dropped down to 1.01-1.00 over 2 weeks.

I've moved both carboys to secondary as the fruit looked pretty destroyed and I'm vacationing in a couple days.

Unfortunately the fruit only sat in fermentation for about 2 weeks...due to the fact that it was added in halfway thru fermentation. Is this going to cause the fruit flavour to be really weak? Time is def not on my side for these batches!!

ErinRae
Why did you remove the fruit? The alcohol in the mead would keep it from experiencing any spoilage or rotting.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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I'm regretting removing the fruit now...I didn't realize the fruit had been in there such a short time until after I removed it. The fruit looked like hell and the gravity was around 1.000 so I just decided it was time to move to secondary. Then last night I was reviewing my notes and realized it had only been about 2 weeks since I added the fruit.

I guess I may have to add fruit later to add in some extra flavor. I tasted the blueberry yesterday and could definitely taste blueberry but I guess I'll wait and see if this fades. I ferment in pails and then move to carboys for secondary. I have it suck in my head that I should move to secondary when the must reaches around 1.000...no clue if that's accurate though.

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Brewing & Aging: Wildflower mead, Betrayal: A Stark Raving Cherry Mead
Bottled: sweet blueberry melomel, sparkling Cranberry/Blackberry melomel, fb apple cyser, wine, wine and more wine!

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