View Full Version : Bulk Aging in Corny Keg

01-14-2009, 10:37 PM
I am making a 5 gallon batch of Blueberry Mead

Champagne Yeast
20 LBS of Honey
Yeast Nutrient
Vintner's Harvest Fruit Base - Blueberry

It has been in the primary for about a month and the Gravity is down from 1.23 to 1.083 or so. I have added some more yeast nutrient.

My question is: I have a 5 gallon Corny Keg that I never use. I am thinking I will rack the mead onto the blue berries for a month or so after the gravity is down where it should be. After that I will send it to the Keg to bulk age for 6 months to a year. This way I can add CO2 to prevent Oxidation. Let me know if this plan seems alright

Also Can I dispense and bottle it in the standard way? I have never done anything like this with any of my other brews so I would appreciate any advice.

I was also wanting some advice on stabilizing. Also I have read about adding stuff to prevent oxidation. I didn't use anything on my last (and only other) batch of mead. I don't know if it is something I should think about or not.

01-15-2009, 01:02 AM
Hey there. I just wanted to double-check your listed starting gravity: 1.23. Is that correct? That's really really high.

01-15-2009, 09:06 AM
Just be careful to stabilize it before putting it into the keg or allow some mechanism by which excess pressure can be released if the batch continues to ferment.

01-15-2009, 09:20 AM
Hey there. I just wanted to double-check your listed starting gravity: 1.23. Is that correct? That's really really high.

Sorry I meant 1.123

Medsen Fey
01-15-2009, 10:38 AM
Using a keg to age and store meads is fantastic. The only problems I have with it is that you can't see the lees settling - but at least you know it is protected from light. The other problem is that it is so darned easy to take samples that sometimes it is all gone before it can be bottled.

Your batch, however, doesn't look like it is anywhere near ready for transfer. If you started at 1.123 and are now 1.083 you are only 1/3 of the way, and since a normal healthy fermentation is done in a couple of weeks, you batch is slow and/or stuck. Is the gravity dropping now that you added some nutrient?

The other thing that is really important is aeration during the first 1/3 of fermentation. Have you been aerating it? If not, you should whack the crap out of it to give the yeast as much oxygen as possible at least once now and perhaps tomorrow.

The pH can also be an issue with blueberries. Do you have a way to check the pH. If it is less than 3.0 it is part of the problem.

I hope your batch picks up quickly. Once it is done, the keg will be great for aging it.

Bon chance!

01-15-2009, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the reply. I havent added the blueberries yet. I had planned transfering it to a secondary after it is pretty much done fermenting with the blueberries for around a month and then put it in the keg.

I havent taken a hydro since I added the yeast nutrient but I will and see if it is still stuck.

I shook it a lot the first week or so but I quit because I was worried it would cause oxidation. I will do that a few more times though.

Thanks again.

Medsen Fey
01-15-2009, 03:10 PM
Okay. The pH may still be an issue. Traditional meads are sometimes prone to drops that stall the yeast. If you can check it, there are easy ways to fix it.

If your nutrient is DAP (diammonium phosphate - a white crystalline powder) you may need some other micronutrients that come in products like Fermaid K (or may be in products labeled "yeast energizer"). These contain some combination of DAP, amino nitrogen, yeast hulls, B-vitamins, and minerals that help the yeast. If you haven't use some of this it could be useful if the yeast aren't moving.

Also, what temp are you keeping it at?


01-15-2009, 05:38 PM
I dont have any yeast energizer, I am planning on going to a place that sells brewing stuff and i will pick some up. Also would it be a good idea to re-pitch some yeast?

It stays at a pretty constant 70 degrees in my basement.

01-15-2009, 06:06 PM
I wouldn't pitch new yeast yet. You need to first determine what is going on with the yeast you have. If the pH, oxygen, whatever is slightly off, correcting that problem could be enough to get you going. And if left uncorrected, new yeast are going to have trouble too.

If everything is fine, and still no activity, then we can help you get some new yeast acclimated to the must and partying hard.