How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead the Ultimate Guide

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide

You can let the secondary mead add the fruit for a fruity flavor. To get the right flavor, it can be difficult to determine how long to leave fruit in secondary mead. Here is everything you may need to know on how long you should leave the fruit in the mead.

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead

Fruit will help to fuel the secondary fermentation of mead when you add fruit to the primary mead. The fruit flavors from the fruit solids will also be extracted, giving the mead a fruity flavor. However, it’s important to note the following:

  • It will take one to two weeks to complete this sugar and flavor extraction. Less than a week will pass before the flavors and aromas are infused.
  • In order to ensure that the sugars ferment and that the fruit’s color, aroma, and flavor are fully extracted, it is best to wait for about two weeks.

The type and quantity of fruit will ultimately determine how long secondary fermentation should continue with the fruit present.

One pound of fresh fruit should be used to make one gallon of mead, according to general mead-making guidelines. If you add more, the mead will develop the flavor you want in five days.

If you add less, however, you might need to let the fruit sit for about two weeks. The length of time you leave fruit in your secondary mead depends on the following variables.

Type of the Fruit

Considering that some fruits have mild, medium, and strong flavors, leaving them for the same amount of time will result in different flavor effects on your secondary mead.

If you intend to leave your fruit for a week, the following recommendations on various fruit types to add to your secondary mead are provided. Just be aware that using this amount of fruit will yield a medium-flavor 5-gallon batch of mead; adjust to suit your preferences and the quantity of mead available.

Cherries

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide
Cherries

Seven to eight pounds of tart cherries can be added to the secondary mead. The amount of tart cherries in a gallon of mead will be between 1.4 and 1.6 pounds. Think about putting 1.8 pounds per gallon of secondary mead in if you want strong flavors in less than a week.

Around eight to nine pounds, or 1.4 to 1.8 pounds per gallon of secondary mead, should be added for the sweet cherries. Add about two pounds per gallon if you want a strong sweet cherry flavor after letting the cherries sit for a week.

Blueberry

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide
Blueberry

During secondary fermentation, you must add seven to ten pounds of blueberries to the mead. There will be 1.5 to 2 pounds in a gallon of that. A gallon of secondary mead can have about 2.2 pounds of blueberries added if you want a stronger blueberry flavor within a week.

Strawberry

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide
Strawberry

Add 1.2 to two pounds of strawberries per gallon for a medium strawberry flavor and 2.2 pounds per gallon for a strong strawberry flavor to your secondary mead.

Raspberry

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide
Raspberry

One to 1.6 pounds of raspberries should be added to one gallon of secondary mead if you want a medium raspberry flavor in a week. On the other hand, if you prefer a strong raspberry flavor, add about 1.8 pounds per gallon.

Melon

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead? the Ultimate Guide
Melon

Add 1.2 to 1.6 pounds of melon pulp per gallon of secondary mead if you prefer your secondary mead to have a medium melon flavor. On the other hand, if you prefer your secondary mead to have a strong melon flavor, you can add about 1.8 pounds per gallon.

Mead Style

When adding fruit during secondary fermentation, typically two-thirds of the base mead will have fermented by that point. However, the extra sugar in the fruit and the fruit’s excess water content, which dilutes the mead’s alcohol content, increase the likelihood that the fermentation process will restart when you add the fruit.

Due to the extra sugars and diluted alcohol, even a complete fermentation can restart. This means that adding fruit during secondary fermentation will enable you to tailor the mead’s fermentation process and final flavor to your preferences.

Many brewers decide how much fruit to add during secondary fermentation in order to control the mead’s style, but you can also control the style by deciding how long you let the fruit steep. Generally speaking, the more time you give the fruit in the secondary mead to ferment, the more fruity the flavor of the mead will be.

Size of the Fruit Pieces

Use a food processor, a potato masher, or a knife to chop, mash, or otherwise break down the fruit into smaller pieces before adding it to the secondary mead.

Usually, cutting the fruit into smaller pieces enhances the fruit’s ability to extract juice and sugars during secondary fermentation.

Nevertheless, depending on the type of fruit, various mashing techniques will produce different fruit sizes. Large fruit pieces may require leaving the fruit in the beer for up to two weeks in order to fully extract the juices and sugars from the fruit.

However, if the fruit pieces are smaller, the sugars and juices will be extracted more quickly, and you might only need to soak the fruit in the secondary mead for five days. It is not recommended to grind the fruits into a powder, though.

Fruit Concentrates

A fruit concentrate is a typical fruit that has had the water removed. Only the calories and sugars are left after the fruit loses its volume, fiber, and vitamin C. Fruit concentrates may be substituted for actual fruits. Using a fruit concentrate typically takes less time than using actual fruit to produce the desired fruit flavor.

Punching Down

Fruit solids added to a secondary mead typically float when mixed in. Their minimal contact with the fermenting mead while they are floating also means that very little juice and sugar are being extracted.

The extraction of the sugars and juices will therefore take much longer. However, using a spoon or a sanitized potato masher to punch them down will improve the contact.

This punching down enhances the juice and sugar extraction, shortening the time the fruit needs to soak in the beer. To prevent contamination, you should take great care to clean and sanitize the tool you are using to punch down.

FAQs

How Long Do I Leave Fruit in Mead?

Put the fruit puree in the fermentation jar. With care, transfer the mead from the carboy to the fermentation jar while leaving as much lees as you can in the bottom of the carboy. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks.

How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Cider?

One week is long enough to extract most of the fruit flavors, but not prolong the batch interminably. Let your fruit sit for a longer period of time to get the most flavor out of it. But keep in mind that flavor extraction gets worse over time.

Does Adding Fruit to Secondary Increase Alcohol?

In most cases fruit won’t increase the percent alcohol of a beer, and if you’re adding fruit to a strong beer it will actually lower the final alcohol content. The problem is that many individuals erroneously believe that by calculating the fruit’s sugar content, they can determine how much gravity it will add.

How Long Do You Leave Fruit in Primary?

Until the must’s specific gravity is 1.040 or less, let it ferment in the main fermenter. Usually this will be within 4 to 7 days. Put airlocks on both the glass wine bottle and carboy that you siphoned your must into after cleaning and sanitizing your primary fermentor.

How Long Can You Let Fruit Sit in Alcohol?

They will begin to lose their bright color and some flavor after one year but they will not “go bad” because the alcohol is the preservative. Usually I don’t have any trouble using them up in a year.

Conclusion: How Long to Leave Fruit in Secondary Mead?

Overall, the flavor character you want is what matters, not how long the fruit is left in the secondary mead. To find out if the mead’s flavor character is what you want, you must taste it. When the mead reaches the desired flavor, rack the fruit from the secondary mead.

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