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K5MOW
03-27-2011, 06:59 PM
I just wanted to know how important it is to top off when you rack in to secondary? I am going to rack into secondary next week and I donít have some extra mead to top off the carboy.

Thanks Roger

AToE
03-27-2011, 08:38 PM
Hi, first off, if I could just recommend in the future keeping all questions about a given ferment in one thread, it just makes it more tidy and will stop people from asking over and over for your recipe and process! (For example, I know we've been discussing your mead, but I can't frankly remember what kind it is - different kinds of mead are vastly more or less in danger of oxidization).

But, how imporant? Very. Very important! I personally keep around a lot of fish-safe glass beads (safe for fish = safe for me) that I use to top up carboys whenever I have headspace so that I don't have to dilute my mead.

You could top it off with a honey/water mixture, just water, or wine, all kinds of options (note that if it turns out good this will be difficult to replicate).

This is why we normally make slightly more mead than we'll need in primary, so that when we rack to secondary we can fill it to the top.

wildoates
03-27-2011, 09:39 PM
We do that, and we also pour any we might have left over into a bottle in the fridge to possibly add back at the next racking.

K5MOW
03-27-2011, 09:58 PM
Hi, first off, if I could just recommend in the future keeping all questions about a given ferment in one thread, it just makes it more tidy and will stop people from asking over and over for your recipe and process! (For example, I know we've been discussing your mead, but I can't frankly remember what kind it is - different kinds of mead are vastly more or less in danger of oxidization).

But, how imporant? Very. Very important! I personally keep around a lot of fish-safe glass beads (safe for fish = safe for me) that I use to top up carboys whenever I have headspace so that I don't have to dilute my mead.

You could top it off with a honey/water mixture, just water, or wine, all kinds of options (note that if it turns out good this will be difficult to replicate).

This is why we normally make slightly more mead than we'll need in primary, so that when we rack to secondary we can fill it to the top.

Thanks for the info and sorry about all the posting. I will try and make all post with one mead in one message.

Thanks Roger

AToE
03-27-2011, 11:49 PM
Hey, no worries at all, it just keeps it simpler for everyone helping out. You're far from the first person to start a pile of new topics as part of essentially the same discussion!

We're happy to help.

akueck
03-28-2011, 12:17 AM
The other option is to remove oxygen from the headspace with CO2, N2, or other inert gas. Wine preserver sprays would work but you'd need the whole can to do one racking, not very economical. Admittedly a CO2 setup is not something most beginners have, but it's something to keep in the back of your mind.

Tip: you have to replace the entire gas volume with inert gas. The "blanket of CO2" concept is total bunk.

K5MOW
03-28-2011, 07:02 AM
Well I was thinking that I could go out and Buy a commercial mead and top off with this. What do all of you think.

Roger

tycoon
03-28-2011, 09:10 AM
I have used glass beads, sanitised corks, using a secondary aging carboy smaller than the primary, etc to solve the top off problem, but in the end I have decided to make an extra 3 liters of the same mead into Fanta returnable bottles so that I can top off after rackings. I put airlocks in the bottles and it was fine.

I am not so sure about the topping off with commercial mead. In your position would rather use the cork or glass beads options....

AToE
03-28-2011, 10:48 AM
Normally topping up with more mead could be a good idea, but when you're just starting out it might leave you wondering what came from your recipe and what from the pre-made mead.

I think you'd mentioned liking really sweet meads like Chaucers (was that you?) so I think a honey/water mixture might be a good option personally, one of your cheaper options too.

Medsen Fey
03-28-2011, 04:31 PM
Topping up is important to lessen the chance of spoilage and to prevent damage to sensitive batches.

Searching will bring you a lot of info:
This thread (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12441) for example.
Or this one on inert gas (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=141097&highlight=Topping+oil#post141097) in the Patron's area.

K5MOW
03-29-2011, 08:20 AM
Ok this is what I did. I also have a 3 gallon batch of Minnesota honey mead going. It is only fermented now about two weeks. I racked my 2 gallon Orange Blossom Honey mead to the secondary last night. I top off the Orange Blossom Honey with the Minnesota honey mead. I donít think it will be a lot of change in taste as I only needed only about 15 oz to top it off. I will rack the 3 gallon batch in a 2 gallon carboy so I have some left over for this batch

Roger

Soyala_Amaya
03-29-2011, 10:31 AM
My question with topping off with a finished mead, has it already been hit with sulphite/sorbate? Could that affect the current yeast even after it's been commercially bottled?

mmclean
03-29-2011, 02:17 PM
...and are the yeast strains the same or compatible? A killer yeast could change the profile of the mead.

K5MOW
03-29-2011, 02:20 PM
...and are the yeast strains the same or compatible? A killer yeast could change the profile of the mead.


Yeast is the same and I did not add any Chemicals to it yet as it is still fermenting.

Roger

AToE
03-29-2011, 02:37 PM
Even if it were stabilized I don't see it making much of an impact given that the top-up volume is probably pretty small compared to the whole, so we're talking about fairly good dilution.

I'll admit I still mis-calculate how much mead to make to properly fill each container after racking.

One edge I've found is that I have some 1 gallon jugs that are bigger than others by a small amount - so I use the bigger ones for secondary (after probably doing primary in a bucket) and the smaller ones for tertiary and later rackings.

I've also discovered that Italian 6 gallon carboys are a decent bit bigger than the Mexican ones - I only have one Mex one so far, but the difference between them is perfect for secondary to tertiary racking (and this way I lose practically nothing while being able to cleanly leave sediment behind).

When that all fails I have my glass beads to back me up.

K5MOW
03-31-2011, 07:40 AM
Thanks to all for all the great info.

Roger