Monday, July 16, 2012

More about Banana mead......

Ok, so after yesterday, I racked all of the banana meads. The two 1 gallon jars on the left, were the first batch, where I read up and asked on some forums about how to use banana. The recipes and other guidance suggested that the fruit should be boiled for 20 minutes and then the fruit debris is strained out and just the liquor is used for the ferment.

Now I was a little concerned, because that's the same as putting the fruit in primary, which I prefer not to do, as the harsh, primary ferment can throw a lot of the aromatics out the airlock and can have a bleaching effect on the colour. So after the ferment had finished and it had had it's initial racking off the gross lees, I just racked it over the the water cooler bottle on the right and sliced about a dozen peeled bananas into it.

Yesterday, I just racked it off the fruit debris and hit it with sulphites (campden tablets) and some pectolase. The nice golden brown colour, probably comes from the blackening of the skins when I was boiling the bananas in the first instance.

I'm very pleased with how it's come out. It's quite sweet (haven't measured the gravity yet) and it has a very "in your face" strong banana flavour. So now I'm just leaving it to see if it will clear.

The water cooler bottle on the right ? Well after I'd racked the other batch out of it, I just washed and sanitised it, then if you recall the picture of the batch in a 19 litre cooler bottle, you will remember there was a hell of a lot of fruit, sliced into the batch, but not boiled/cooked in any way.

Yesterday was a bit of a PITA, as it was a bugger to rack off the fruit debris/pulp. The racking cane kept clogging, so in the end, I just poured it through my plastic funnel that has a plastic straining piece in it (even then that kept clogging as well, but it was easier to just stir the liquid through and then remove the straining piece and rinse it out under cold water to continue).

The cooler bottle is a 13 litre one, I got about 12.5 litres of finished ferment from the pulp etc and then topped it off with boiled banana syrup. It's all had sulphites, sorbate and pectolase (I don't know if banana's do produce pectin or not - if it doesn't clear, I might have to add some amylase to sort out any starches that might be causing a haze - I'll have to wait and see).

This second batch isn't sweet at all. There is some banana flavour, but not enough for my liking, so I may have to add some fruit to it as it clears and then possibly back sweeten later on.