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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started a 5 gal. batch of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry and strawberry must with 15 lbs of clover honey and Lalvin Prise de Mousse yeast exactly 2 weeks ago to the day. I completely forgot to punch the cap until today. :doh: Signs of fermentation stopped after one week, but when fermenting was active, it was a vigorously bubbling fermentation. Since I have punched the cap, there have been no signs of fermentation starting up again. Any ideas on where to go from here? Should I remove the fruit and repitch the yeast? Is this just ruined (God, I hope not-my fiancee will kill me if it is)? Any ideas/help would be much appreciated!
 

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"punching the cap" ?? not sure what you mean, if you mean you didn't have an airlock?

check your SG, doubtful the fermentation is over, you can always cross your fingers and repitch more yeast and hope for the best...you can always tell SWMBO that mead takes A LONG time to age, and slowly dump it all, while making a new batch to substitute ;)...good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I fermented with whole fruits and I read that when you do this, you need to push down the fruit every day up to 3 times daily, or else the fruit will float up and create a "cap" over the liquid, blocking oxygen. "Punching the cap" was what it was referred in the info that I had. HTH! And Thank you so much!
 

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You could maybe add some DAP, but I'm thinking you probably have enough fruit in there to make for some adequate yeast nutrients. I have had batches before produce CO2 like mad at first then slow to a real crawl in a few days' time. I doubt fermentation has completely stopped. Punching down the cap should have opened it up for releasing gases and helped aerate during primary. That said, I have to admit I've fermented with fruit in primary and let it (fruit) in for the duration with no or little punching down ever. Did the fruit make a real solid lid covering the must or was there more or less a floating sea of fruit with any space at all between or around the pieces of fruit? If the latter, then punching down probably wasn't a real concern.

If it's not too soon to rack making sure you got plenty of fruit time for maximum flavor, maybe try that and see if fermentation restarts or at least speeds up again. I like to let the fruit sit for a long time and will probably add fruit only in the secondary fermentation from now on. My wife said our melomel meads needed more fruit flavoring, so adding during secondary for a long haul may be what I need. Racking may be your best bet if you haven't already done so. I'll bet it isn't ruined. Re-pitching may help after racking, but again I've had meads stop seemingly dead in their tracks and produce some good alcohol content after all. Did you take SG readings early on and now to determine if much fermentation has happened?
 

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did you take a gravity reading?
if not do and if the mead is at terminal gravity then stirring the mead will only introduce oxygen in to it.

in wineries the punch down is used to get even extraction of flavor and sugar, but it also prevent the fruit from molding, wineries generally do open fermentation in their maceration tanks. the punch down now is generally done with a pump and rooster tail but they also use a giant potato masher like device. this is done to extract color and flavor before the fruit hits the press. things are different in the homebrew world, but the purpose is the same, so if the mead is at terminal gravity it would be pointless.

stir it in, you may still get a small fermentation, most fruit does not have a lot of sugar in it, to me its more about the flavor and acids that are extracted.
 
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