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Old 10-29-2006, 02:00 PM   #1
docbee
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Default Suggestions for next step

I am doing my first mead (well melomel sp?) from a kit from my LHBS. It starts with 10 lbs honey and then later stated this would be dry so add sugar if wanted. So what I did was get another 5lbs of honey for a total off 15 lbs. The instructions state that after 10 days the airlock should be slowed down or stopped and that is when I am supposed to add the blackberry puree, pectin enyzyme, and another package of yeast(Red Star Cote des Blancs).

Of course now it is 10 days later and the airlock is still bubbling along nicely(started the day I put the yeast in the carboy). My concern is with the extra 5 lbs of honey there is going to be more fermentation, but should I go ahead and add the Puree now along with the extra yeast package and pectin enzyme or wait a few more days.

I do not know the alcohol tolerance of this yeast and if the additional 5 lbs of honey once fermented will inhibit further fermentation of the fruit puree sugars so as to have a too sweet mead.

Suggestion would be appreciated.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:50 AM   #2
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First off, congratulations, you are making mead (and yes, if you add fruit it is a melomel). Unless you like really dry wines you made a good choice getting the extra honey. Without knowing the type of yeast that they used in the kit it is impossible to give you specifics but here are some thoughts. First, mead is more like wine than beer. In other words a 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in bottle isn't going to cut it.

Let your mead tell you when it is done with primary fermentation. When it gets to 1 to 2 bubbles a minute in your airlock you know you are close. Transfer it to a secondary container to get it off the yeast trub and then add the puree (and pectic enzymes if you choose). You do not have to add the second package of yeast. In fact, I probably wouldn't. Take a hydrometer reading and see what it is. If is above 1.035 or so I would add the yeast, otherwise I wouldn't worry.

Yes, fermentation will probably restart when you add the fruit but that is no problem (that is what yeasts do). The fruit will not add that much sugar to the mead so don't worry about it making it too sweet. Let it sit on the puree for at least two weeks before transfering it off the fruit to age.

Ideally you want to let your mead age for a year before bottling (take gravity readings and if there is no change over a month or two you can bottle). Check it about every 3 months and if it throws lees then transfer it again. If not, let it sit. I know that seems like forever but it will be worth the wait.

Good luck, let us know if you have any further questions.

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Old 10-30-2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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The extra honey made it harder (osmotic pressure) for the yeast to process the sugar AND gave them more sugar to process. It will add 2-6 weeks to the primary ferment.

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Old 10-30-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. Yesterday I let my impatience get the best of me and added the puree and there was an immediate explosion of bubbling right out of the carboy that lasted about 2 min and then settled down. Had to clean up a bit (didnt loose much TG) It smelled good so far.

Lesson learned .......wait for the mead to tell me when it is ready!!!!

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