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Q2XL
03-31-2010, 10:07 AM
I am very new to mead making. I have been brewing beer for awhile now but when it comes to mead I am a beginner. One quick question.....Should I be opening my bottling bucket everyday and aerating the must either by whisking or an oxygen stone? I brewed a mead on Sunday and it seems to be fermenting slow compared to how a beer ferments.

Any thoughts?

Dan McFeeley
03-31-2010, 10:48 AM
Hello and welcome to the forums!

If you use the search function, you'll find all kinds of posts on this subject, but this thread should get you going:

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15206

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wayneb
03-31-2010, 10:49 AM
The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is that it is good for your yeast if you keep adding oxygen to your must throughout the first 1/3 of fermentation, which is also called the 1/3 sugar break. You should be regularly (at least once daily) tracking either the change in SG with a hydrometer, or the change in brix with a refractometer, to monitor how much sugar has been consumed by the yeast. Armed with that knowledge you will know with certainty whether the fermentation is slow, fast, or about average.

Just for reference, using the aeration and nutrient addition management protocols that you'll find discussed both in the Newbee Guide (a link is on the left side of this page) and in other forum threads, if your initial gravity is in a nominal range between 1.090 and 1.120, a healthy fermentation rate will be seen as a change in gravity of between 10 and 20 points per day. For example, if you measured 1.110 in the morning one day, and if you then measured 1.100 the next day, you're doing fine. The reason that there is a range is that each yeast strain performs slightly differently, and that there are differences based on the temperature of your must as well. Sometimes I even think the phase of the moon has an effect, too. ;)

Q2XL
03-31-2010, 11:40 AM
Just checked it. I started of at 1.136 on Sunday(original gravity), I am now-3 days later- at 1.110. I guess that seems like a good drop? I also added pure oxygen.

wayneb
03-31-2010, 11:44 AM
Yes, you're doing fine. Especially considering that 1.136 is a moderately high initial gravity, which will mean you should expect a slightly slower fermentation rate relative to that I'd expect from the SG range I cited earlier.