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Should I Rack?

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
OK Things are suddenly happening.

Batch No 1011210 has drastically slowed bubbling.
I took a sample and tested the gravity. So here's the data: *CG is current gravity at the date this was written

Prepared: 21/11/10
Volume: 1 gal
Style: Dry Show Mead
Yeast EC-1118
Honey: CB10 - mountain honey with gum, teatree, lavender and orchard influence.
Nutrient: 1 tsp DAP - added on day 4
OG: 1.085
CG: 1.000
ABV: 12% --not too sure on this calc.


So... does this mean it's time to rack?
I tasted it.
Wine like bouquet.
Rather dry, but not offensive.
Nasty twang of some sort - hopefully time will fix this
Definite hint of Lemon.

There are some plums falling off the trees in our street, so I'd like to rack it onto some of these... any ideas or procedures that would be advised?

Edit: The plums are very tart usually, more so than sour cherries. If this makes a difference.
 

fatbloke

good egg/snappy dresser.....
GotMead Patron
OK Things are suddenly happening.

Batch No 1011210 has drastically slowed bubbling.
I took a sample and tested the gravity. So here's the data: *CG is current gravity at the date this was written

Prepared: 21/11/10
Volume: 1 gal
Style: Dry Show Mead
Yeast EC-1118
Honey: CB10 - mountain honey with gum, teatree, lavender and orchard influence.
Nutrient: 1 tsp DAP - added on day 4
OG: 1.085
CG: 1.000
ABV: 12% --not too sure on this calc.


So... does this mean it's time to rack?
I tasted it.
Wine like bouquet.
Rather dry, but not offensive.
Nasty twang of some sort - hopefully time will fix this
Definite hint of Lemon.

There are some plums falling off the trees in our street, so I'd like to rack it onto some of these... any ideas or procedures that would be advised?

Edit: The plums are very tart usually, more so than sour cherries. If this makes a difference.
Whats the gravity currently ??? and yes, if it's down enough from the starting 1.085 then sure you can rack onto plums.....

regards

fatbloke

p.s. oh and if you achieved an 85 point drop (1.085 start and 1.000 finish/final, then it should be 11.54% ABV)
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
You should expect the gravity of this one to drop slightly below 1.000. But you should be safe to rack onto fruit now if you like.
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
Gravity is 1.0 down from 1.085
giving an ABV of 12% (I think)

it's still fermenting, albeit slowly, as the hydrometer gave a false reading after 3 mins, because of all the bubbles stuck to it.
 

YogiBearMead726

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 21, 2010
1,519
3
0
San Francisco, CA
If you want to rack that onto 2-3 pound of plums (pits removed and chopped up) you should get something tasty.
Ditto that. My first mead was made this way, a simple traditional that got racked onto plums and pluots in seperate jugs. A recent sampling of the pluot one tasted like I was eating the fruit off the tree. Very tasty. I'm sure the plum addition will be very pleasant. :)
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
OK 2 musts in question:

Brew: 1011190
Prepared: 19/11/10
Honey: CB10 - medium dark natural blend of lavender, orchard and mountain eucalyptus
Yeast: Bread
Style: JAO
Volume: 1 US Gal
OG: 1142
FG: 1050
ABV: 12.5%
Pitched rehydrated yeast again yesterday with DAP, without realising it was pretty well done - no effect, the FG sorta says why.
bubbling less than once every 30s
No offgassing when swirled.



Batch:1011270
Honey: CB10 - medium dark natural blend of lavender, orchard and mountain eucalyptus
Yeast: D47 - rehydrated
Nutrient: DAP 1tsp
Style: Dry Show Mead
Volume: 5 litres
OG: 1082
FG: 0994
ABV: 11.7%



I'm planning on racking half the Dry Show Mead onto mangoes.
what are your thoughts?
Should I? Should I now?
What about the JAO it's still filthy cloudy.
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
I actually have one more batch I need to ask about:

Batch:1012041
Prepared: 4/12/10 - so it's been on the berries 6 days now.
Honey: Racked from dry show mead
Yeast: EC-1118
Style: Boysenberry Melomel
Volume: 1.5 litres
OG: 0995 (1085 pre-primary)
FG: not measured
200g of boysenberries, whole, washed in metabisulphate

I was going to post a pic, but apparently I have no rights to do that :(
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Some thoughts, in no particular order:

Your JAO is still very young. Joe says rack when clear - and this one is less than a month old, so no surprise that it hasn't cleared yet. Give it more time.

If you rack your dry mead onto a source of fermentable sugars (any fruit), it may start to ferment again. Be prepared for that. Otherwise, you can rack your dry mead onto fruit pretty much at any time. I wouldn't leave it on the fruit any longer than about two weeks. You'll have extracted all the color that you can expect from the fruit within the first 4-5 days, you'll have most of the readily extractable phenolics into your mead within about 10 days, and after that time you might start to get reduced sulphur compounds (leading to undesirable vegetal aromas and flavors) as the fruit starts to break down.
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
Some thoughts, in no particular order:

Your JAO is still very young. Joe says rack when clear - and this one is less than a month old, so no surprise that it hasn't cleared yet. Give it more time.
OK NP, just eager and impatient
If you rack your dry mead onto a source of fermentable sugars (any fruit), it may start to ferment again. Be prepared for that. Otherwise, you can rack your dry mead onto fruit pretty much at any time.
Yup, as these are my first batches, I'm keeping a 'control' sample of show mead, and only racking half onto fruit. This way I can better decide what I like and don't like.
I wouldn't leave it on the fruit any longer than about two weeks. You'll have extracted all the color that you can expect from the fruit within the first 4-5 days, you'll have most of the readily extractable phenolics into your mead within about 10 days,
What are phenolics? Good? Bad? Only a little is good?
and after that time you might start to get reduced sulphur compounds (leading to undesirable vegetal aromas and flavors) as the fruit starts to break down.
OK so rack it off the fruit @ 10 days.
That means the boysenberries must be out by Wednesday.
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
Phenols are all sorts of things. Generally speaking, in "appropriate" amounts they add complexity and depth to your mead (smoky, spicy, etc). Too much, or the wrong ones, and you'll get off-flavors ("band-aid" is a common one, "medicinal" is another). Phenols can be present in the raw ingredients, and can also be modified or produced by yeast. Certain strains are known for phenol production (the flavor of cloves is a good example), though the extent to which these are produced depends on what you feed the yeast and the conditions in which the yeast are living.

In terms of fruit extraction, you are generally looking at pulling out the "good" phenols present in the skins and woody parts of the fruit (seeds and stems). Excessive contact with the fruit can pull out the more bitter, unpleasant compounds. Fruit contact is kept short (a matter of days) so that you get the good stuff without also getting the less-good stuff. Leave the fruit in for a month, and you'll know what phenols are. ;)

Also found this fun light reading about chemicals.
 
Last edited:

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
So does anybody got any ideas regarding how much mango to rack it onto?
The Compleat Meadmaker suggests 200g/litre of "melon" but mango's quite a bit different to your average 'melon'.

Edit: and do I want to use chunks of Mango, or puree? My wife is making batches of both...
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
Update

Well I put my mango in.
I lay the mead atop it.
and today I find HSM in the meadery.

As best I can tell:
I filled the flagon too high, right up to the 2 litre mark.
The mango decided to rise to the surface.
CO2 bubbles were trapped beneath the mango.
mead starts flowing up the vapour lock.
This I thought I could cope with so I left it until this morning.
Alas, it was worse. I picked up the bottle to have "BOOM!"
Thankfully I was using a bung, and not something with better grip.
The bung popped out, and mango mush shot out all over the kitchen - uh I mean meadery ;)
Now it has settled, the bung is replaced there is headspace, but there's very little mango.
Should I instead try pressing the mango for juice and just put a lesser amount of that in?
I feel I didn't lose much mead, just that which was trapped in with the mango.
Ideas?
 
Last edited:

AToE

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2009
4,066
3
0
Calgary AB Canada
Sorry to hear about your MEA! Used to have quite a few myself, then I switched to bucket fermenting. Not as much fun to watch, but 10 times easier to work with.
 

kudapucat

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 2, 2010
2,383
10
0
Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
Sorry to hear about your MEA! Used to have quite a few myself, then I switched to bucket fermenting. Not as much fun to watch, but 10 times easier to work with.
What do you mean by Bucket fermenting?
this is still a sealed bucket?
You mean a plastic fermenter?

I'm racking onto mango in the secondary remember...
I just didn't expect such a reaction after the blase effort with the boysenberries.
 

AToE

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2009
4,066
3
0
Calgary AB Canada
What do you mean by Bucket fermenting?
this is still a sealed bucket?
You mean a plastic fermenter?

I'm racking onto mango in the secondary remember...
I just didn't expect such a reaction after the blase effort with the boysenberries.
It's not really tightly sealed, the lid fits on fairly loosely, lets some air in and out. It's about 10 gallons, so perfect for making 5-7 gal worth of mead/beer/wine. I bought it at the wine kit store, it's basically just a foodsafe plastic garbage can.

Most people stop fermenting in carboys after not too long, because at the beginning it seems worth it, but pretty quickly it becomes clear how much easier a bucket makes aerating, nutrient additions, removing samples, lack of MEA is nice, makes getting fruit in and out actually not a giant pain...
 

AToE

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2009
4,066
3
0
Calgary AB Canada
Oh, and yeah, sorry about that - I totally missed that we were talking about secondary, I always add fruit in primary myself, so I tend to forget that other people do otherwise! Sorry about that.

If I was doing fruit in secondary, I guess I'd try to put a 5 gallon batch plus fruit into a 6 gallon carboy, then rack to a 5 gallon carboy off the fruit. Other than that, nothing really seems like it would work properly.

If it's a small batch, I'd split it into 2 carboys/jugs for the secondary fruit addition to give it some space to not blow up, then rack them into 1 for tertiary.
 

AToE

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2009
4,066
3
0
Calgary AB Canada
MEA? ???
Monoethanolamine?

I had thought it a typo the first time...

MEA wasn't highlighted and underligned, so I assumed it not to be a glossaried term.

Could you please expand?
Sorry, should have explained that! It's an inside gotmead joke - Mead Erruption Accident. :)