View Full Version : My airlock came off my mead...how much to worry?

08-10-2010, 12:05 PM
I made an orange blossom mead on March 28th, 2010. It has been in the secondary for 2 months now and has cleared nicely.

I went to check on it today and the airlock was off. Now, I check it often to make sure the airlock isn't drying out. The last time that I checked it was maybe 2 days ago...3 at the most and the airlock was on it. I have no idea how it came out but it did.

I want to know how concerned should I be that it was exposed to oxygen for 2-3 days? I did notice a tiny bit off "stuff" floating on top. I used my sanitized eye dropper and got it off the mead. I am planning on transfering it to another carboy tomorrow.

The starting gravity was 1.136 and FG was 1.006-17%ABV.

Any thoughts?

08-10-2010, 12:08 PM
Just keep an eye on it, you should be fine. This is a traditional right? Did you have a lot of headspace or was it right up to the neck? Sounds like the latter from your eyedropper comment.

Traditionals can be oxidized but are very resistant to this. You are right in worrying about spoilage as your first concern, but you should be ok.

08-10-2010, 12:32 PM
I agree with AToE's assessment and recommendations. Just watch it carefully for the next several weeks and if nothing suggesting an infection starts up, then you should be fine. Oxidation is always a concern, but as he said, traditionals are more immune to minor oxygen exposure than are fruit wines.

08-10-2010, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the input. Yes, it is a traditional mead. I will watch it closely. Should I add some potassium metabisulfite to it?

08-10-2010, 05:04 PM
Although you can if you wish, it isn't absolutely necessary at this point. It depends on how much you are worried about potential infections or oxidation, and I wouldn't be too worried about either at this time.

Medsen Fey
08-10-2010, 06:32 PM
At 17% ABV, infection is highly unlikely. While the oxidation risk is relatively low with traditional meads, a little SO2 (from KMeta) offers some added protection and has little in the way of downside.