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RCP
12-28-2009, 10:20 PM
I have my first batch in a 7 gallon carboy at the moment. I have about 5 gallons of mead, so there is a lot of surface area in the carboy at this moment.

I'm planning on transferring it to a 5 gallon carboy in the next day or two, but it's been in this carboy for about a month and half. It was previously in my fermenting bucket, but once it finished fermenting, I couldn't just leaving it in there since I have other things that needed brewing.

So I guess my question is this - My mead is about two months old at what point in time does oxidation really start to set in?

wayneb
12-28-2009, 11:29 PM
It is highly dependent on the exact recipe that you used, on how much residual CO2 (if any) was in the mead when you racked over to the carboy, and how sensitive you are to the changes in aroma and taste that happen when oxidation occurs. Traditional meads (without fruit adjuncts) tend to be fairly resistant to the effects of oxidation as compared to most fruit and grape wines, and the sherry-like flavors that occur from slight oxidation are not objectionable as long as they don't dominate the flavor profile. You may be OK with your current batch, but to be safe I would suggest racking to a smaller carboy as soon as you possibly can.

Welcome to "Gotmead?" by the way!

RCP
12-29-2009, 08:59 PM
thanks wayne for the info and welcome.

There was no fruit in this recipe. Pretty basic really (honey, water, nutrients, yeast). So that's good.

I've never even had mead before, so I'm guessing that my sensitivity to off-flavors is minimal. Doesn't mean I don't what to make the best mead I can though.

I'll be racking it this weekend I guess.

Dan McFeeley
12-30-2009, 10:43 AM
Type of varietal honey/s is also a factor in oxidation. In general, the darker honeys have higher levels of anti-oxidants. That will also affect how a mead reacts to O2.

Just a personal observation, I've noticed increased bitterness levels in some meads that had been exposed to O2 for too long a period of time.

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RCP
12-30-2009, 04:53 PM
Type of varietal honey/s is also a factor in oxidation. In general, the darker honeys have higher levels of anti-oxidants. That will also affect how a mead reacts to O2.

Just a personal observation, I've noticed increased bitterness levels in some meads that had been exposed to O2 for too long a period of time.

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But how long is too long?

akueck
12-30-2009, 05:02 PM
There is no simple answer to this question. It depends too much on the ingredients, the temperature, the level of oxygen, and most importantly your own sensitivity to oxidation products. There are countless stories of one person saying "this wine/beer/cabbage is bad" and the person next to them saying "tastes great!". Just look at kimchee or Toasted Head Chardonnay (neither one is an oxidation issue per se, but both are products I detest yet other people seem to love).

If this batch tastes like wet cardboard to you, it was exposed to air for too long. If not, then it's fine.

JamesP
12-30-2009, 05:29 PM
If it is under air-lock since fermentation, then oxygen hasn't really gotten in and CO2 is still coming out of solution (natural degassing).

Once you rack a finished fermentation, it is a different story.

From my experience, I would avoid more than a couple of days with that much headspace unless you have sulfited. A week at the max.