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How do you prepare fresh fruit for secondary?

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BeerIsGoodForYou

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:47 am

How do you prepare fresh fruit for secondary?

Good Morning, I have a few questions regarding fresh fruit and mead making.

1. Do you use "raw" fresh/frozen fruit?
2. Should the fruit be pasteurized before adding?
3. Puree & Strained?

I am using mulberries and targeting 2#/gallon for a three gallon carboy of mead. I have about half of what I need picked as of this mornings trip to the tree.

However, I think most fruits would be handled the same??? There is a Victoria Strainer in the house that I can just about seed any type of fruit if necessary but with a bit of effort. My 6gal of mead has been it the primary for three weeks now and is still going strong with the average temperature of 66f

As Always, Thanks!
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nicneufeld

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Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:56 am

These are only my ideas from my limited experience, but...

I'd say as long as you have a mead that has gone over 10% ABV at time of racking, don't worry about pasteurization. The alcohol should kill off anything wild at that point.

There may actually be advantages for freezing the fruit and then thawing it...the freezing and thawing process seems to break down the structure of the fruit (thus why thawed frozen fruit is mushy and fresh fruit is firm) and while that is unpleasant for eating, it helps the meadmaking process along, easier for the flavours to leach out and the yeast to get in there and do what they do. I think, at least.

As far as puree'ing and straining...I don't know. When I racked onto cherries in secondary, I mashed them with a potato masher, that was it. Mulberries may be similar to blackberries and thus have fibrous "hairs", so there might be benefit to pureeing and straining, but being a bit lazy, I'd be inclined just to mush up the thawed berries, and rack on top of the fruit. Or you could use a large fruit bag suspended in secondary (if you used a bucket, not a carboy). You may still get some "hairs" but the key will be to wait a long time for it to settle, and carefully rack once every month or two until it has cleared sufficiently.

My mulberry tree is still dormant I think...it came without any branches, just a big stem with roots basically. Hopefully when I get back from California it will have sprung to life, we'll see.
"For evil to flourish all that is required is for good men to spout clichés." - Hugh Laurie
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BeerIsGoodForYou

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:04 am

No hair, or seeds, just a short stem. . .which we eat? Yes, I agree that the rupturing of the cell walls by freezing the fruit should work in my favor for utilizing the fuctose present. Otherwise I would never put them in the icebox.

Fresh is Best with these jewels, for eating that is :lol:


NIC do you think the 2#/ gal will do? The tree is so prolific this year and my bride and I are out there twice a day right now. Of course some seem to disappear as we go. . .
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nicneufeld

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Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:47 am

I think 10 lbs in a 5 gal batch (2lb per gal) is fine...Ken Schramm has a chart in his book, and 10 lbs in a 5 gallon batch consistently lines up with "strong fruit character" as opposed to mild or medium fruit character. Its all personal preference...some people will be more interested in having a soft fruit counterpoint to the honey flavours, while others (hey, count me in) want the fruit to take center stage, with the honey sort of supporting it. If you're in the latter, 10 lbs should be plenty.
"For evil to flourish all that is required is for good men to spout clichés." - Hugh Laurie
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BeerIsGoodForYou

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:18 am

nicneufeld wrote:I think 10 lbs in a 5 gal batch (2lb per gal) is fine...Ken Schramm has a chart in his book, and 10 lbs in a 5 gallon batch consistently lines up with "strong fruit character" as opposed to mild or medium fruit character. Its all personal preference...some people will be more interested in having a soft fruit counterpoint to the honey flavours, while others (hey, count me in) want the fruit to take center stage, with the honey sort of supporting it. If you're in the latter, 10 lbs should be plenty.


I think I want the 2#/gallon "full fruit characters" on this first attempt. I will have three gallons of "traditional Mead" from the same primary 6 gallon batch as a cross reference and make that a reference foundation for future attempts.

NIC another question, is it a hard set rule to rack the mead at four weeks or should I allow the fermentation to drop off on its own? Next Tuesday is 4 weeks and my fruit collecting will be ready then as well. . . everything else is ready to go.
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nicneufeld

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Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:16 pm

Location: Kansas City, MO

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:40 am

BeerIsGoodForYou wrote:NIC another question, is it a hard set rule to rack the mead at four weeks or should I allow the fermentation to drop off on its own? Next Tuesday is 4 weeks and my fruit collecting will be ready then as well. . . everything else is ready to go.


Nope, no hard set rules on that. Let it finish, it won't hurt it. I don't think you'll necessarily hurt it by racking at 4 weeks (I usually rack around 3-4 weeks to primary) but it also won't hurt it to let it finish, if you're still getting bubbling from the airlock.
"For evil to flourish all that is required is for good men to spout clichés." - Hugh Laurie
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BeerIsGoodForYou

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:15 pm

nicneufeld wrote:
BeerIsGoodForYou wrote:NIC another question, is it a hard set rule to rack the mead at four weeks or should I allow the fermentation to drop off on its own? Next Tuesday is 4 weeks and my fruit collecting will be ready then as well. . . everything else is ready to go.


Nope, no hard set rules on that. Let it finish, it won't hurt it. I don't think you'll necessarily hurt it by racking at 4 weeks (I usually rack around 3-4 weeks to primary) but it also won't hurt it to let it finish, if you're still getting bubbling from the airlock.


Thanks, I'm really looking forward to making this Morat.

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