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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Default fermenting cappingss

    we recently extracted and being lazy, I didn't want to deal with my cappings. From 15 supers, I draine off the cappings, then I placed the cappings in two fermentation buckets, covered with water, stirred, and it read 16 brix. I tossed in a packet of 71b-1122 and it started rocking. After a couple days I gently stirred the wax, after a couple more days the wax rose in a cap that looked clean so I started scooping it off. I then rendered the fairly clean wax. An early taste indicates a decent final product. Just sharing for the potential of an easy way to get some mead and also clean some cappings...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    Last year I asked on the forum if this could be done. As you say, all you need is a hydrometer and you are apeing our long ago ancestors. Good information and a good warm weather yeast. Why not KIV-1116?

  3. #3
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    Have not tried the KIV-1116. Tried 1118 some time ago and it seemed to take a long time to clear out funky esters. The 71b seems to clean up fast
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    I like 71b too but it needs racked off the lees in a reasonable time or they can create some problems. ec-1118 and KIV are a little more user friendly but they go to a higher ABV and do need more aging. I like the 71B for fruit and cyser.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    After a couple batches, some drinking, I don't trust the brix reading with this method. It does seems that the cappings from one super, once drained, are good for about one gallon. So, if you uncapped five supers, drained for a couple days, you could make five gallons of mead of reasonable ABV from the cappings. Add more fermentables for higher ABV. I then pour through a 600 micron filter, to catch the wax. Process and dry the honey free wax
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    Next time, try adding some sulfite to the beginning.
    At the point when you read the Brix @ 16, you can add sulfite @ 1/4 tsp per 5-6 gallon

    This will keep fermentation from kicking off, since you've diluted the honey to a point where its susceptible
    Then you can continue to mix/mash/stir it up for 12-24 hrs

    Remeasure SG after 12-24 hours, before pitching the yeast & you should see some difference just from the extended time

  7. #7

    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    IMO, this is the best way to use cappings. :-) I do it slightly differently though; I wash the cappings then strain out the wax, and use a hydrometer to get the S.G. for sweetness. I nearly always need to add more honey to get the SG up high enough to make a sweet mead.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    We made a whole hive mead in a simlar way, after pressing the honey out of the combs from foundationless frames I put them in a bucket of warm water, propolis, wax, a few drone larva and whatever else was in there all went into the bucket. I added D47 to try for the first time, I am not kidding when I say it smelt like flowers coming out of the carboy! I wouldnt call this lazy, I call it the best way to make mead, the less manipulation of the honey the better. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  9. #9
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    The only downside of using capping wax wash for me is the tiny little specks of wax that survived four rackings to end up in my bottled mead anyway. I don't think anyone notices but me anyway.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2012
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    Ka'u Hawaii
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    I'm with Shelley on this. After draining the cappings, I press them to further remove honey. Then I heat filtered water to about 170 and pour over the remaining cappings to cover. Let it sit overnight then strain our the wax. The heat is necessary to get the honey out, but realize that the wax and honey quickly cools the liquid down.

    Then you can treat with campden tablets. Wait 24 hours, then adjust the spg to what you want. Then pitch the yeast into the strained and spg adjusted liquid. I've been amazed at how close the original liquid comes to the right spg. And appalled by all the potential mead I wasted in the past by not doing this.

    And you need to do this process right away, soon after processing the cappings.
    Last edited by Gino45; 09-07-2013 at 10:09 AM.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2012
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    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    Knee high stockings, fit right over the racking tube in the recieving carboy, dont stretch it, should pull them out easily (and cheaply). We just put them in the carboy, use a ruber band to hold them in place, run the hose into the stocking and then toss it when done. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    I do use a stainless steel "spoon" to get most of the wax out of the fermenter- a slotted ladle like you'd use when frying, say hush puppies. Our first racking, when fermentation is still going, we pour through a 600 micron plastic bucket top strainer, like Mann Lake offers.

    Keeps things pretty clean. Since fermentation is stilll going, and co2 being produced, I'm not worried about oxidation...just a thought to trap out the wax.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    Thumbs Up Re: fermenting cappingss

    ohhh....just read "receiving carboy"....I always tried the siphon end, and it clogged miserably...!!!thank you!!!
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
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    169

    Default Re: fermenting cappingss

    Another good cheap strainer is a paint straining bag---1 or 5 gallon nylon mesh found at ACE and the big boxes.

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