How to reduce rack loss?

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Baabaad00

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This has come to my mind as I am planning a blueberry melomel in the near future, but I've encountered this problem before. I have been unfortunate in not managing this problem well because I didn't have the foresight to see it until it was there :/ I have a peach melomel that cloged the heck outta my racking syphon so I did my best, but I think a fruit mesh bag would have worked wonders.

I always chop up all fruit minimally and freeze then thaw and toss in. With stonefruit, like cherries, this is easy enough to avoid them, even when quartered. Berries like raspberries, blueberries, blueberries, and other similar fruit are convenient to puree and it helps extract flavor well, but I'm curious about the mess. Even when not pureeing my blackberries, they fall apart and were everywhere.

What's the best way to minimize rack loss in both primary and secondary with various types of fruit already added, as I have mentioned? How do I avoid my peach/blackberry mishap with the blueberries?
 
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Baabaad00

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Figured it out i think:

I'll use my smaller polyester voile wilserbrewer to put all the blueberry puree in (after I blend it) then I'll sqeeze all the juice/flavor out and leave most of the pulp behind in the bag. Add the juice/flavor into the mead.

Any thoughts?
 

AlwaysBeeGoen

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I had a thought about this the other day. Just created an account here so I could share my experience in particular to this ask, as well as ask some questions in another post.

So, I finished fermenting my raspberry mead a couple of days ago, and it was time to rack it off the lees. I kept it in 3 gallon glass jugs. After siphoning it all out, I saw all this extra good mead just above lees... and I did NOT want to see it go to waste. So, I had this idea... (for wrong or for right... you be the judge, just sharing here)... I combined all of the 3 lees left overs into a plastic cylindrical pitcher, let it sit for a day (covered with plastic wrap) to settle some more. Then carefully placed it into the freezer. Once it was frozen, I put warm water over the plastic sides to loosen the ice up, and poured the ice cylinder mix out. I could see the definite difference between the lees/raspberry seed/crap and the clear mead I was after. I just took a serrated bread knife and cut the thing in half right down the lees line. Then tossed the lees crap part, and kept the rest of it to melt and add back into my mixture. (I still have to go through a fining process)

I have no idea if the alcohol is in the top or bottom portion, or in both. My intent was not to distill (insert warning legal disclaimer here if that is the case) the alcohol... just wanted to separate the lees, and a static frozen object is MUCH easier to manipulate instead of a dynamic liquid being siphoned off by hand.
 

bernardsmith

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Hiya AlwaysbeeGoen - and welcome to this forum. In my experience you really don't need to freeze the dregs from racking. I would use the cylindrical pitcher to pour in the lees and sediment along with whatever liquid is left and let it stand in the fridge for a few days. Solids will tend to settle and the liquid will rise through the solids. you can either rack this or pour out the liquid. Unless you use bread yeast , most other yeast will pack fairly tightly and you can easily separate the liquid from the lees. The taller and more narrow the pitcher the more PSI the liquid exerts on the solids and the solids on the liquids so the separation is better.
 
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