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veritas
05-22-2011, 08:38 PM
with multiple rackings my head space is growing. I blanketed the head space with co2 actually I racked onto the co2 my mead sits just below the shoulder maybe a half inch. Interested in if people think this is adequate for bulk aging or if I need to make changes.

Thanks in advance.

AToE
05-22-2011, 08:51 PM
As long as you know "blanket" is a really bad term (it doesn'r form a neat layer, dispite being heavier than air. It will quickly disperse even with air movement (osmotic pressure I believe, could be wrong about the cause), and any turbulence will accelerate that process a lot) and what you've actually done is "purged" the headspace of O2 by pumping in much more than the volume of the headspace for a period of time and then airlocked it (sorry, don't know how much flow and how much time is needed, others will elaborate) that will work.

veritas
05-22-2011, 09:00 PM
Thanks. So in theory as long as I use enough CO2 to displace I should be okay.

kudapucat
05-22-2011, 11:55 PM
Thanks. So in theory as long as I use enough CO2 to displace I should be okay.

**Disclaimer** My experience is limited.

I racked 2 Mels I made.
One I added marbles to reduce the headspace
the other I stoppered and then degassed. there was considerable gas in the brew still, as it hadn't finished properly.

They both continued to bubble intermittantly over 2 days.
So I thought I'd expelled any air that may have been present.

Alas, the one with the larger headspace, whilst tasting just fine at bottling was a completely different and less pleasant colour.

I don't know if this helps. I know you're using CO2 from a bottle, it's just my experience for what it may be worth.

akueck
05-23-2011, 12:48 AM
Airspace isn't your enemy, oxygen is. If you can remove oxygen from the volume, and keep it out, you can pretty much have as much space in there as you want.

Blowing CO2 into a carboy isn't a very effective method of removing oxygen. Something like a keg would be best. But, you should be able to do a pretty good job with the setup you have. Be sure to purge the space every time you open it, and make sure the seal is good. I think you'll be fine.

veritas
05-23-2011, 01:15 AM
thanks for all the info folks! I plan to rack next into a keg. But I have to look into what information I can find on that. Last time i tried to bulk age in a corny I ended up with a sparkling mead when I didn't want one. That being said I would be thrilled for any links to info on the topic.

Medsen Fey
05-23-2011, 10:46 AM
Last time i tried to bulk age in a corny I ended up with a sparkling mead when I didn't want one. That being said I would be thrilled for any links to info on the topic.

One of the problems with filling the headspace with CO2, is the same one you experience with the keg - CO2 easily dissolves into solution, especially if the mead gets colder. When that happens the amount of CO2 in the headspace decreases and the pressure drops sucking air in through the airlock.

When in a keg, the problem is that it carbonates and it is hard to get rid of the CO2 (de-gassing is a pain).

One simple answer to these issues is to use a gas other than CO2 that won't dissolve in solution as easily. Nitrogen and Argon both work quite well for protecting meads and are usually readily available.

veritas
05-23-2011, 10:57 AM
One of the problems with filling the headspace with CO2, is the same one you experience with the keg - CO2 easily dissolves into solution, especially if the mead gets colder. When that happens the amount of CO2 in the headspace decreases and the pressure drops sucking air in through the airlock.

When in a keg, the problem is that it carbonates and it is hard to get rid of the CO2 (de-gassing is a pain).

One simple answer to these issues is to use a gas other than CO2 that won't dissolve in solution as easily. Nitrogen and Argon both work quite well for protecting meads and are usually readily available.

Thank you. I have been searching and reading on this same information. Im interested in making a switch to argon or nitrogen for keg aging mead as soon as I get a better handle on what if any equipment I need different from my CO2 stuff other than a tank of said gas. I had exactly what you described happen my airlock reversed on me for a couple bubbles from what must have been the smallest of temp changes.