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Hey guys! I made my first batch of mead (melomel) about a month ago with some summer fruits. I went to rack it today and saw the fruits had turned this gross grey colour. It smelled normal so I racked it anyway but I have a feeling I’m going to need to make another batch not adding the fruit till the first or second rack. I’ve linked the pictures of before I racked it and after. I’d really appreciate some guidance guys!!
thanks
63319
63320
 

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I have always used fruit in my primary fermentation using a 3 gallon pail and not attaching a vapor lock. A lot of times I’ll just cover with a towel until the primary fermentation has settled down at which time I’ll rack to a gallon jug with vapor lock for secondary fermentation to run its course. The fruit in the primary will leach out most of its color and look pretty grungy. I do remove it following the primary fermentation.
 

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Same here, have always put the fruit in the primary fermentation stage. Use a cloth over the primary fermenter. After a approx one week, remove the fruit and put the melomel into carboys.

One can crush the fruit(don't crush the seeds and stones, as they can impart a bitter taste) and put in a mesh bag. I usually just dump the mashed fruit in and run the melomel through a fine strainer prior to putting into carboy. With the mashing, one gets nearly all the colour and taste. With oranges, I cut them into wedges and put them in the primary. When the wedges are removed, I squeeze each wedge to remove most of the juices. Squeeze before the straining.

Yours doesn't look very appetizing and it may be best to start over.
 

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My methodology is to use a brewing bucket. I start my fermentation and a week later add the fruit. Ten days or two weeks later, the yeasties have done all they need with that fruit and it basically starts to decompose and add strange off flavors to things. Then I rack the mead off into a carboy introducing as little splashes and oxygen as possible. Then I keep it air locked for months or years until it is fully cleared and bottle it. I still have and drink the sediment loaded early runs. Stone fruit melomels do not age well though. The flavor just fades away. Apple, pear, cherry and grape usually improves by long term aging in the carboy. Another advantage of aging in the carboy is that you can still tweak your flavor adding acidity or more sugar to get the taste you want. Bear in mind that if you add that sugar to get what you want, you will need to sulfate and sulfite your product to avoid bottle bombs.
 

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Yes, by all means rack to a secondary. The fruit turning color is not a problem.

I have found that one gets a better fruit flavor by adding the fruit to the secondary after first making a mead base. In addition, depending on the fruit, it should not be left in the fermentation for too long a time. I'd say a few days, perhaps a week, is best.
Good luck. Be patient.
 

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It may look gross, but it is fine. Rack and let it settle.You may need to rack again for clarity, if that matters to you. Brewers add the fruit in primary and secondary and a lot depends on the fruit. I have become a fan of adding fruit in the secondary in a mesh paint bag that we all use for filtering honey. I do not speak from experience, but to me it seems the fruit flavor is better in the secondary. I leave my fruit in for weeks because it often kicks off a secondary fermentation. Did you take a reading? The higher the alcohol level, the less concern over potential "nasties". The crud you see looks like the krausen, the natural by product of yeast fermentation. J
 

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I have left pears and oranges in the primary untiil they sink, two + months. Then rake to keg and drink from it. After 6 months drinkable. Making batch 36 today, third year. I do staggered feed day 0, 1, 3 and 5. Friends all agree it's very drinkable.
 

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Kkmrk. I am interested in why you feed. I see it is very popular these days, but I have never done it and have not found a good explanation on when and why to feed. I see lots of guys feeding fermo, staggered feedings etc. Why? Is it to prevent stalling of fermentation due to lack of " nutrients"? Never had it happen to me. J
 

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My first year meads/melomels always made from my honey and what ever fruit was being harvested. Teasted good but had jet fuel kick. Researched fusel alcohol seems you can make less by controlling temperature, I did not have the option, and feeding yeast to shorten fermentation time seemed to be worth a try. I use 2 tsp energizer, 2 tsp nutrient 4.5 gallon batch. Feed on a day 0, day 1, day 3 and day 5. (Ken Schramm method). Mix well day 0,1,3. Air lock on after day 3 feed. For me usally sg 1.05ish by that time. SSG normally 1.1. Yeast Red Star and 71B.
 
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