Sunday, May 13, 2012
Banana Mead Part 7
I've just racked it off the lees into another 3 gallon (US) water cooler bottle, to which I added 4lb of banana (approximately 3lb when skinned), which was sliced - the object of which, is to make this brew more "bananery" tasting.
I took a gravity measurement before starting and it was sitting at 1.002, now as well as the banana that was added for flavour, I also added 4 vanilla pods - taken from my home made vanilla essence jar (the vanilla pods in the essence jar are just about 100 vanilla pods in high strength alcohol), so while they might not be as strong flavoured as "fresh" vanilla pods, they should be fine. I then added 5 ladles of "Blossom" (a.k.a. wild flower) honey, which has brought the gravity up to 1.022 - of course, that doesn't include the sugars in the banana, but I'm not fussed if it does carry on fermenting some, though I do suspect it might take a bit of time for that too occur.
The intention is to keep swirling the batch until the banana sinks and hopefully the batch will have cleared some as well.
So far, I haven't treated it with any sulphite or sorbate (as above to my current thoughts on any further fermentation), and I haven't treated it with any pectolase or even amylase (don't know whether banana has much, if any, pectin, but I'll keep amylase in mind as I understand that banana does have some starch - so if it doesn't clear, then I'll think about hitting it with one or both.....
Now I'm also hoping that taking the batch off the gross lees, will reduce any problems that can be caused by keeping a brew on 71B lees (I think I used 71B, I'll have to read back to check!). As I'm well aware that 71B isn't good for ageing on the lees and is known to impart some off flavours (from autolysis ?), so if it drops too much I'll have to rack it again, which would mean that I'd have to take it off the fruit etc and into glass.
Hence it's a bit "watch this space" for the next development.
Oh, and before I forget, when I washed out the original fermenter, I noticed that the lees wasn't very well compacted, and it was mainly of a granular appearance, and not just the usual "yeast coloured slime" that I'm familiar with. Why that might be I don't know, but I thought I'd better note it - I don't know whether it's of any import or not, or whether it's just something that occurs when banana is used in a primary ferment........