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Tiwas
03-03-2011, 03:19 AM
Would it be an idea to fill the carboy with co2 when racking and bottling? I noticed that seems to be what the beer people are doing...From what I read about regular mead it shouldn't be a problem, but next batch will be honey+blackcurrant, honey+blueberry and honey+apple...

icedmetal
03-03-2011, 03:30 AM
It's certainly a good idea to do if you have any headspace after racking. And, it's fairly common practice with the mazers of these boards. That, or using inert objects to fill up the space. Personally, I use CO2.

Tiwas
03-03-2011, 06:29 AM
I don't think I'll get much spare room in the carboy as I made 24,5+l of must for a 23l carboy. I was thinking more about not getting *any* air in it when racking...

RightHookCook
03-03-2011, 06:34 AM
is it not ok to just top up with water or a honey water mix? i know you have to wait till its finished fermenting or stabilize etc

moonie
03-03-2011, 08:48 AM
I've been wondering the same sort of things. I have my third batch almost finished fermenting and my first 2 have finished waiting to clear. Should I use CO2 when I rack?

First 2 batches are straight mead, third is a pyment with Concord grape concentrate.

TDMooney
03-03-2011, 11:24 AM
is it not ok to just top up with water or a honey water mix? i know you have to wait till its finished fermenting or stabilize etc

you dont want to top of with just water or honey because it will throw your SG off, if you want to top off your head space with a liquid you'll want to make a batch of mead with a similar SG of the batch you are topping off and top off with that. I personally use C02 though its just easier and cheaper. You can also use glass beads but that may get expensive as well and you loose alot of volume when racking off of them.

RightHookCook
03-03-2011, 11:34 AM
right, makes sense. well i did top up with basicly pure honey slightly watered down , SG was at 0.990 now gone up to 1.220. and i think its fermenting slightly as well as got 1 little bubble in airlock every 30 seconds.

whats the worst case scenario for this? i presume i just wont be able to guess the alchohol content?

TDMooney
03-03-2011, 11:48 AM
right, makes sense. well i did top up with basicly pure honey slightly watered down , SG was at 0.990 now gone up to 1.220. and i think its fermenting slightly as well as got 1 little bubble in airlock every 30 seconds.

whats the worst case scenario for this? i presume i just wont be able to guess the alchohol content?

if its at 1.220 and its done fermenting it is going to be sickly sweet, that is basically the OG that alot of people initially start with before pitching yeast, you could wait it out and see if it the yeast restart and ferment it to a lower gravity, you could re-pitch some yeast and re-ferment to lower your gravity, or save the batch for topping up low gravity meads in the future.

RightHookCook
03-03-2011, 12:26 PM
yeah had a taste, its pretty sweet but not to over powering. think the yeast has kicked back in so im just going to let it do its own thing for a few months before i bottle it up. my point was, how do i work out the alchohol content?

sorry trying hard not to commandeer this thread, SG Was 1.072, then fell to a consistent 0.990 for 3-4 weeks before i attemted to back sweeten with the honey and is now at 1.220.

wayneb
03-03-2011, 12:26 PM
Your SG after the top up doesn't seem right to me. Honey, on average, has a SG of around 1.417 or so. To bring your 0.990 batch up to 1.220 (roughly half way in-between the finish gravity of your mead and raw honey), you would have had to mix an equal volume of pure honey in with your mead. You didn't "top up" to that extent, did you?

RightHookCook
03-03-2011, 12:29 PM
ok maybe im being an idiot with the hydrometer? i should have said its 1.022?

moonie
03-03-2011, 12:34 PM
ok maybe im being an idiot with the hydrometer? i should have said its 1.022?

That makes more sense, at 1.220 I was thinking desert topping :o

wayneb
03-03-2011, 12:34 PM
Ahh... better!

That definitely is in the sweet to dessert range, but if fermentation has started up again, let it get to a final SG and then we can show you how to estimate the net ABV.

RightHookCook
03-03-2011, 12:37 PM
haha good stuff, sorry for the confusion! thanks guys :)

TDMooney
03-03-2011, 12:53 PM
That SG makes alot more sense lol

AToE
03-03-2011, 01:39 PM
Back to the OP, Tiwas isn't talking about using CO2 to purge whatever headspace is left, he/she/etc is talking about pumping CO2 into the empty carboy before racking (and to be effective I think you'd have to keep pumping whilst racking, CO2 will dissapate out of there pretty darned fast, especially with a liquid flowing into the carboy and creating currents in the gasses) in order to prevent any oxidization during the racking process itself.

2 thoughts on this. 1, yes you could do this and yes it will help prevent oxidization if you can manage to keep the carboy full of CO2 the whole time. 2, is it necessary for a melomel? Not really. For centuries people have been racking wines (which are very O2 sensitive) without anything like this, and have been making excellent wine. A small amount of oxidization can help the clearing process, and can add complexity to a wine/mead. The amount of oxidization that will occur during racking (assuming there is no splashing) is very negligable.

Now beer (or braggots) is another matter. Beer is very sensitive to oxidization, far more than mead or wine - so that's why you'll see some beer makers taking extra precautions.


So - nothing wrong with doing it, but it is not necessary to do this to make the best mead possible.

jayich
03-03-2011, 02:03 PM
Well said, AToE. I use a continous flow of CO2 into the carboy into which I am racking my meads- because this is how I always do beers- but it is probably not necessary- I am just compulsive about preventing oxidation. One small advantage of using CO2 for racking, is that, by using a carboy cap, you can very easily start the siphon with the positive CO2 pressure.

Pack Mom
03-03-2011, 03:46 PM
right, makes sense. well i did top up with basicly pure honey slightly watered down , SG was at 0.990 now gone up to 1.220. and i think its fermenting slightly as well as got 1 little bubble in airlock every 30 seconds.

whats the worst case scenario for this? i presume i just wont be able to guess the alchohol content?

I tend to be hydrometer challenged, so when my I make additions that change my gravities I use a vinometer to determine the alcohol in the finished mead. Its a handy little gadget your brew supply store should carry and costs about $6-$7 dollars. Well worth it! Note, though, it only works on still meads.

wayneb
03-04-2011, 01:00 AM
I tend to be hydrometer challenged, so when my I make additions that change my gravities I use a vinometer to determine the alcohol in the finished mead. Its a handy little gadget your brew supply store should carry and costs about $6-$7 dollars. Well worth it! Note, though, it only works on still meads.
One other thing to point out is that it only works accurately on dry meads/wines. Any residual sugar remaining in the mead will add error to the vinometer measurements, so from my perspective, the tool has limited usefulness.

Tiwas
03-04-2011, 02:22 AM
Back to the OP, Tiwas isn't talking about using CO2 to purge whatever headspace is left, he/she/etc is talking about pumping CO2 into the empty carboy before racking

Thanks (both for clarifying it to the others and the answer) :)

I still have an urge to be anal about the process after my one failure (but - like you say - plain meads are recillient (sp?), which was proven by the fact that my first mead was actually drinkable :p )

AToE
03-04-2011, 01:39 PM
Resilient, pretty close!

Nothing wrong with wanting to be anal for sure, heck I've grown lax and need to become stricter with my processes again! I sometimes warn newbies off certain paths off analness because I think it's unnecessary and might distract/discourage them, but certainly nothing wrong with doing it anyways!

EDIT: the other reason I discourage being too paranoid about oxidization is that some newbies are afraid to aerate, to rack, to stir, to do pretty much any of the things that will help the mead improve!

Tiwas
03-04-2011, 02:53 PM
Side note: PLEASE correct me if my grammar or anything is incorrect. I don't take offense, I don't go "whatever", and I actually like getting better. There's always room for more foreign languages :)

I aerate like crazy. Don't have anything to attach to my drill yet, but I'm actually working on a design that I'll share with you if it works. If so, it'll even work in carboys...I'm just afraid that everything will look good, taste ok, then wait for almost two years only to find it spoiled :S

AToE
03-04-2011, 03:15 PM
Frankly your English is better than many native speakers.

wildoates
03-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Frankly your English is better than many native speakers.

Yeah it is. I didn't meet a single person in Norway who didn't speak excellent English (even the guy from Texas ;)). Granted, I was only in 3 cities, but I was impressed nevertheless.

And if it's any consolation, my son's learning Norwegian, and having a hard time of it. :)

Tiwas
03-04-2011, 03:38 PM
Thanks, but...if you catch anything, please let me know :)

Wildoates: if he needs any help, tell him to ask me. I'd say my Norwegian is decent ;)

wildoates
03-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Chortle! He brews, too, beer, not mead. With the price of potables in Norway, he's very popular with his friends. He's always on my case about how I brew the mead, because he's used to beer, which is more persnickety about things like oxidation. He is sure I'm going to ruin a batch someday, and if that ever happens (so far so good), I daren't tell him for fear of having to listen to him say "I told you so, Mom..."

I really miss him, and his lovely lady. I wish Oslo weren't so far away.