• PATRONS: Did you know we've a chat function for you now? Look to the bottom of the screen, you can chat, set up rooms, talk to each other individually or in groups! Click 'Chat' at the right side of the chat window to open the chat up.
  • Love Gotmead and want to see it grow? Then consider supporting the site and becoming a Patron! If you're logged in, click on your username to the right of the menu to see how as little as $30/year can get you access to the patron areas and the patron Facebook group and to support Gotmead!
  • We now have a Patron-exclusive Facebook group! Patrons my join at The Gotmead Patron Group. You MUST answer the questions, providing your Patron membership, when you request to join so I can verify your Patron membership. If the questions aren't answered, the request will be turned down.

Second Yeast Pitch with added honey and blueberries

Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members

jahnesta8

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 19, 2017
9
0
0
I racked my mead to a carboy after it reached roughly 1.000-1.002 FG. It was around 16.5% when it finished fermenting. I am not entirely happy with where I think it is headed and want to add some fruit and possibly more honey. It was suggested to me that I repitch a new batch of yeast and add that, the honey and blueberries to the carboy. I want it to have a bit more body and flavor and think this seems like a great way to do this.

I am not entirely sure how to add the pitched yeast and honey however. Should I siphon back into a bucket where I can mix everything? And then back into the carboy or leave in the plastic buckets (food grade)?

Thank you for the help.
 

Dadux

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 5, 2016
725
2
0
Spain, Europe
got a comment to do then i'll answer to your question
You only want to pitch more yeast IF you want to ferment the new honey and blueberries. you did not specify this was so, im just saying because you can add some sweetening and flavour adding honey and blueberries to the finished mead, no need to add more yeast.
In case you do want to add more yeast to ferment the newly added honey and blueberries you got some options
Treat it like a stuck ferment. Buy some yeast that can handle up to 18%, such as EC1118, M05, SN9...etc. YOu are going to make some sort of starter. Rehidrate the yeast in a big container (that can hold up to 1/2 or 1/3 of the total batch volume). Ideally use the least water posible to rehidrate for the ammount of yeast you are using (for 5g 100-150ml will do just fine). After the rehidration is complete add some of the mead (50-100ml) and some honey (1/2 tsp). After 12h or so, add the same volume of mead you have now in your container with the yeast and add some more honey (little!), after 12h repeat , and the repeat as many times as necesary to fill the volume (to be clear, if you start with 100ml rehidrated yeast, then you add 50 and have 150ml. then after 12h you add another 150ml, and you have 300. After 12h add 300ml. And so on. remember to add some honey each time, like a TBSP). When that is done, pitch all that into your original bucket (this should take you 2 days), add the remaining honey and blueberries, and it will referment. This is a very safe way to do this and what i definetely recommend. Keep the starter warm (20ºC or so) for the first 24h.
All this is because if you dont let the yeast acclimate to the 16.5% ABV you have now, the alcohol will kill the yeast instantly when you pitch it, and it wont work.
 

jahnesta8

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 19, 2017
9
0
0
Thank you for the very very detailed response! And wow, just adding some honey and fruit seems like a much simpler option! The new yeast pitch was suggested as adding the blueberries and honey would lower the ABV. Then again, if add yeast, it may defeat the purpose of adding honey and fruit - for body, flavor and a bit of sweetness. Obviously sweetness is subjective, but If I am adding about 1.5 kg blueberries to a fairly dry mead, how much honey would you recommend throwing in? It was originally fermented with 15 lbs as a 5 gallon batch.
 

dingurth

NewBee
Registered Member
May 23, 2012
489
3
0
Brooklyn , NY
Thank you for the very very detailed response! And wow, just adding some honey and fruit seems like a much simpler option! The new yeast pitch was suggested as adding the blueberries and honey would lower the ABV. Then again, if add yeast, it may defeat the purpose of adding honey and fruit - for body, flavor and a bit of sweetness. Obviously sweetness is subjective, but If I am adding about 1.5 kg blueberries to a fairly dry mead, how much honey would you recommend throwing in? It was originally fermented with 15 lbs as a 5 gallon batch.
It's very common to add fruit and honey to secondary. This will dilute the must however, both lowering the abv and giving more sugar for the yeast to eat. So even without pitching more yeast, fermentation could restart for a time. If you don't want that to happen, you should stabilize with potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate (one kills yeast, the other castrates the survivors). If you're fine with the possibility of a restart, no worries then.

As for the honey addition; at this point you'll be back sweetening. Usually this should be done to your own personal taste. Add a little, see if its good, if not add more. Or to be more precise, take small measured amounts of must, and add increasing levels of honey to the different samples. Pick the one you like and add that amount of honey scaled up to your batch. If you do not stabilize, keep in mind that some of this added sweetness will likely be fermented again.

If you're looking for a target FG though, 1lbs of honey will add ~35 points to 1 gallon of must. So if you're at a SG of 1.000 and add 1lbs of honey to 1 gallon, you'll go from very dry, to very sweet at 1.035.
 

Dadux

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 5, 2016
725
2
0
Spain, Europe
Yes if you want to add more honey and blueberries you should stabilize first. This kills any yeast still alive to make sure it does not referment.
If i were you, i would add the blueberries then after a few days take them out and taste the mead. Those can add sweetness and acidity. After that balance with honey to your taste. I would add honey to raise the FG by 0.003-0.005 points. This is just a personal suggestion and estimate, it dependa on how much sweetness you want but if you want the blueberry flavour to dominate keep the FG at or below 1.010.
Keep in mind what you want. Reading your post i would add little honey, just enough to mask the abv and the acidity added by the blueberries and rise the body a bit. But you seem to want the main flavour to be blueberries, if this is so dont overdo the honey
But as dingurth said, its a personal taste. Add some and then taste. If you want more add until you feel its to your liking.
As he said too, make sure to stabilize before adding any more fermentables. You dont want bottle bombs.
 

jahnesta8

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 19, 2017
9
0
0
So, I am pretty sure the yeast was done fermenting when I added the honey and blueberries. I haven't taken a reading, but its been close to a week and I don't see any evidence of activity. With that in mind, how long would you recommend leaving the blueberries in the carboy?

Thank you for your help so far.
 

caduseus

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Aug 20, 2016
674
0
0
Cincinnati
So, I am pretty sure the yeast was done fermenting when I added the honey and blueberries. I haven't taken a reading, but its been close to a week and I don't see any evidence of activity. With that in mind, how long would you recommend leaving the blueberries in the carboy?

Thank you for your help so far.
Have you taken gravity readings?
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,160
12
38
Denver
I would have also thought to ask what the OP didn't like. And also see what it was he did. We could have seen something that would have shed some light on the situation. And as Caduseus said a gravity reading is like taking a pulse. :)
 

jahnesta8

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 19, 2017
9
0
0
I haven't. But would that impact the time I leave the berries in? It has been 3 weeks and the berries aren't breaking down as I had anticipated.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,160
12
38
Denver
I haven't. But would that impact the time I leave the berries in? It has been 3 weeks and the berries aren't breaking down as I had anticipated.
I always freeze fruit first. I breaks the cell walls when it expands when frozen. And with thing like your blueberries I would gently crush them when they are partially thawed out. Do you have the fruit in a strainer bag? If so just squeeze it several times and then a couple times a day there after. If they are just floating loosely you're going to figure a way to crush them enough to expose the flesh. If the berries had been broken usually 2 weeks is long enough to extract the goodness from the berries.
 
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members
Etowah Meadery - Drink Unique