View Full Version : Not enough after racking to fill the bottle

01-24-2010, 12:18 AM
I am new to mead making and this is my first post. This is probably a stupid question that has been answered before, I just couldn't find it posted.

I am making 1 gallon batches. After racking I obviously have less material than I had before. How do I keep it from oxidizing?

Thank you


01-24-2010, 01:11 AM
Mead is somewhat more resistant to oxidation than fruit-based wines. That said, I've heard of a few things you can do:

Potassium metabisulfite, if I remember correctly, has some anti-oxidation properties. I don't know that you'd want to rely on it alone, though.

You could top off the bottle with inert gas (nitrogen is the usual, I think). I think this is the most common method aside from stabilizing with potassium metabisulfite. I think there are even devices intended for preserving open bottles of wine that can be used as the nitrogen source.

Alternatively, I've heard of people putting sterilized glass beads of the sort you might get for decorative vases in the bottle to fill up the extra space.

Depending on the container, it might be possible to use a wine preservation device that creates a partial vacuum in the bottle. Again, there are widgets that do this to preserve bottles of wine after they've been open.

Lastly, you can move up to 5 to 5.5 gallon batches. :) Since the exposed surface area to volume ratio is smaller, they won't oxidize as quickly.

There may be other methods I'm not aware of as well. Depending on just how much headroom you have, how long it's sitting before bottling, and whether there's actual fruit or fruit juice, it may not even be worth worrying about.

Brad Dahlhofer
01-24-2010, 01:23 AM
I've also heard of the marble method. It always seemed like a good way to take up the extra head-space, though I've never taken the time to do it. I just always kept my airlock from drying out and everything worked out fine. Just don't keep it in there for too long. A month or two should probably be okay.

I'm assuming that if you're making 1 gallon batches, you don't have a co2 tank. Otherwise, I'd say top it up with co2 or another inert gas.

Brad Dahlhofer
01-24-2010, 01:25 AM
Oh, I forgot...


This is absolutely the best place to learn the art/science of meadmaking.


01-24-2010, 04:13 AM
You might be able to find 3 qt glass jugs. A lot of apple juice comes in 3 qt now instead of a gallon. I have a couple and when you rack you can completely fill the smaller container. Voila!

01-24-2010, 05:30 AM
Hum ? well I tend just to top it up, but with either red or white grape juice if it's a melomel/cyser/pyment etc and it just depends on colour of the product, if it's a traditional mead I'll make some honey syrup and do that.

The grape juice will be neat, but the honey syrup will be 1 honey to 2 water....

Then it just goes back under airlock.......

Medsen Fey
01-24-2010, 10:10 AM
Welcome to GotMead Dan!

There is a thread with some other discussion on topping off Here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12441).

01-24-2010, 04:14 PM
I just leave it that way, keep it under airlock and it should be fine. If you put it in a slightly warmer place and its not sulfited, it should generate CO that will take the place of the air, no?