I would like to add a 4oz bottle of watermelon extract to my secondary, do I have to boil it or can I just add the extract?

  • How concentrated is the extract and how much volume is in your secondary? I've seen overuse (measured in drops) of extracts make a mead almost undrinkable (I think it mellowed a bit over time and was OK for sipping/mixing). Feb 21, 2013 at 16:38

2 Answers 2


If it is packaged in a shelf-stable way (i.e., not refrigerated) and has been handled properly, you won't need to boil it.

  • With handled properly do you mean pasteurized or UHT? Both methods should kill most of the micro organisms existing on the extract, but not all. Still, for a secondary addition it should be safe enough. UHT should be the most effective between the two. Feb 21, 2013 at 14:01

Boiling is only to sanitize whatever you are putting in the beer, if the product is completely sealed the solution inside will be fine. if you are worried about contamination you can soak the bottle in some sanitizer before you dump.

Make sure the extract contains no potassium sorbate as a preservative as that will stop all fermentation.

Good luck!

  • Ah I see, that does just come down to what the additive is and if fermentation needs to continue (for natural carbing or similar). I have had some secondary additives (specifically flavoring syrups) get destroyed by the yeast, so it can be a tricky situation.
    – thanby
    Feb 21, 2013 at 14:41
  • @thanby Right, if he's force carbing and wants the sweetness, go ahead and stop fermentation. Otherwise there are other things to consider. Feb 21, 2013 at 14:44

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