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Old 03-18-2008, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Fruit left in secondary - should I re-rack?

This is my first mead, so I might not be 100% up on all the intricacies yet. However, I'm of the impression that itís important to keep the mead aging on top of very little sediment, especially when using fruit. Iím making the Barkshack Gingermead recipe from Joy of Homebrewing, but I was looking at making it with a bit of a holiday angle on it and serve it to friends and family this coming Christmas. So I added a decent amount of apple and cranberry, and added a half ounce of orange peel to it left over from a white ale I made last summer.

My problem is that a decent amount of the fruit got into the secondary. I was trying my best to make sure it didn't get through but I used a large amount of fruit (3 pounds apple and 2 pounds cranberries) so it was pretty much impossible. I tried using a makeshift strainer using a cloth hop sack on the end of the racking cane but it kept getting clogged and I had to take it off. It's about a month old now (2 weeks in primary and 2 in secondary), fermentation seems to have died out, and it's even starting to clear up. I haven't taken a gravity reading yet because I don't have a hydrometer tube or wine thief. As per the recipe, the OG was pretty low anyway, like 1.064 or so, so I'm tempted to let it be for another month and then bottle it up. Check these pics out, let me know your opinions.

Drinking: English Pub Ale
Conditioning: EdWort's Bee Cave Brewery IPA with my own twists, of course!
Secondary: MT
Primary: MT
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:21 AM   #2
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wow! that looks tasty, amazing how clear it gets. I had a similar question concerning fruit remnants and re-racking (as I added fruit to my secondary) no chance of spoilage is there? I figure that alcohol will keep anything bad out, but rotting fruit doesn't sound appetizing, how long can it keep in secondary?

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Old 03-19-2008, 12:23 AM   #3
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You have to re-rack that, IMHO. A couple of times, more than likely. Fruit is the devil.

Nice color on that!! WOW!
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:44 AM   #4
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I rack whenever I have 1/4 inch of lees or so. I rack about every 45-60 days until no more lees fall, or more often if needed.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:54 AM   #5
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It looks really good but I vote for racking too. If you're careful, you probably only need one racking though. Since you plan on it for Christmas, I would let it bulk age for a few more months before bottling.

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