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Marcut79
12-15-2011, 05:32 AM
Hello!
the fermentation is almost over...!! after 6 weeks of fermentation the bubbles are almost over :D
i would like to clarify with bentonite the mead.
I was thinking to avoid the first rack and introduce the bentonite as soon as the fermentation is completed.
I would like to avoid to rack too many times as i am afraid of oxydation...
what do you think?
can i add the bentonite after the fermentation avoiding the first rack? is only one rack with bentonite enough for clarify?

bye!

Soyala_Amaya
12-15-2011, 11:05 AM
It will depend on what this particular mead is doing. I.E. on my work bench I have 4 meads I started all relatively right after another either on the same day, or three days later. One, the traditional, is murky as all get out and looks like mud. The pumpkin cyser already looks about 3/4 clear without me doing a thing to it. The other two are in different stages between the two levels.

It all depends on what kind of fermentables you're using, what kind of yeast, what temperature, and in the end...what the mead decides.

Time between racking helps, I rack once out of primary, about 3-4 months later I'll rack again (again depending on yeast, 71-b I'll rack more), and again 3-4 months after that. At that point I'll start thinking about clarifiers, or more time, somewhere in the 6-8 month range, after everything has settled.

Now, don't worry about the racking and oxygen too much. It sounds to me like you might be a beer brewer? Mead is MUCH more resilient to oxygenation than beer or wine, especially traditionals. I think most people on the board rack 3-4 times a batch, usually on the same kind of schedule I outlined. Some do it more, especially if they think an issue happened (i.e. a bug got in the airlock, or some contamination)

I would only use a clarifier after one rack if I waited at least 4-6 months to see if it would clear naturally. But right after fermentation has ended (commonly called secondary) there's still too much CO2 in the mead, particles floating around, and what not, for bentonite to do much good.

Welcome to the addiction...er, hobby. ;D Have patience and see what the mead will do on it's own before you fiddle with it (literally the hardest lesson in mead making, I swear)

Marcut79
12-15-2011, 11:50 AM
mmmmm thank u soyala! :D but i planned to bottle the mead already after the fermentation...
i am keeping it now in carboy. Should i leave it in the carboy for 6 months?? i think is much better to bottle it as soon as possible... what do you think?:confused:

Boogaloo
12-15-2011, 11:52 AM
Bulk aging is better for the mead. Unless you need the carboy of course! Then bottle bottle bottle!

Marcut79
12-15-2011, 12:02 PM
thanks boogalooo!
anyway the carboy right now is not full till the top. Can it couse any problem to the mead?
In the freezer i have 1,5 liters of most wich i kept it just in case i need to refill the carboy.
Can i add that most in the mead almost fermented completly?
i would like to keep the carboy full almost till the top...

Soyala_Amaya
12-15-2011, 07:47 PM
As long as it's still fermenting, the headspace isn't an issue. The yeast releasing CO2 will protect the mead from any oxygen during primary. After it's completely finished (had consistent hydrometer readings for at least a week straight), then you can stabilize the mead with a sulphite/sorbate combo. Wait 24 hours, THEN top off with your leftover must as a way to fill headspace, and backsweeten. It's a common practice actually.

And some people keep their meads in carboys for YEARS, let alone 6 months. :) If I had more of them I'd use longer batch aging myself. It doesn't neccesarily make a better product from what I can tell, but it makes a more consistant one. The longer you age it all together, the more it all tastes the same. Make sense?

Also, don't rely on JUST bentonite before bottling to stabilize your mead. Use the sulphite/sorbate or the yeast could reactivate in bottle and create bottle bombs. I had a friend who was gifted a beautiful etched wine bottle of homebrew not too long ago...that exploded all over his bookshelf before he was able to drink it. (IT WAS NOT MY BREW! I DID NOT MAKE A BOMB...yet)

So, wait till the meads done fermenting, stabilize it, then top off with your leftover must, let it sit for a bit, then clarify, then bottle...I guess is I my long winded advice. :)

Marcut79
12-16-2011, 06:50 AM
As long as it's still fermenting, the headspace isn't an issue. The yeast releasing CO2 will protect the mead from any oxygen during primary. After it's completely finished (had consistent hydrometer readings for at least a week straight), then you can stabilize the mead with a sulphite/sorbate combo. Wait 24 hours, THEN top off with your leftover must as a way to fill headspace, and backsweeten. It's a common practice actually.

And some people keep their meads in carboys for YEARS, let alone 6 months. :) If I had more of them I'd use longer batch aging myself. It doesn't neccesarily make a better product from what I can tell, but it makes a more consistant one. The longer you age it all together, the more it all tastes the same. Make sense?

Also, don't rely on JUST bentonite before bottling to stabilize your mead. Use the sulphite/sorbate or the yeast could reactivate in bottle and create bottle bombs. I had a friend who was gifted a beautiful etched wine bottle of homebrew not too long ago...that exploded all over his bookshelf before he was able to drink it. (IT WAS NOT MY BREW! I DID NOT MAKE A BOMB...yet)

So, wait till the meads done fermenting, stabilize it, then top off with your leftover must, let it sit for a bit, then clarify, then bottle...I guess is I my long winded advice.

i thought:

rack in new carboy
sulphite
fill with most till the top
aging for 6 months
.....how do i seal the carboy? i am scared about oxygen!!!!!!!!!!!
treatment with bentonite
rack
bottle :)

Lawpaw
12-16-2011, 07:35 AM
i thought:

rack in new carboy
sulphite
fill with most till the top
aging for 6 months
.....how do i seal the carboy? i am scared about oxygen!!!!!!!!!!!
treatment with bentonite
rack
bottle :)

I'd wait several months after stabilizing before sealing in a glass carboy unless you manually degas. It will let off C02 already dissolved in solution as it slowly degasses for a long time after stabilization.

I have many batches in PETE bottles right now and I'm amazed that they keep slightly pressurizing the bottles. It's easy to tell in plastic because the level of the liquid drops as the sides expand under the pressure. Glass doesn't have any give so you can break the bottle or blow a top.

Marcut79
12-16-2011, 08:19 AM
I'd wait several months after stabilizing before sealing in a glass carboy unless you manually degas. It will let off C02 already dissolved in solution as it slowly degasses for a long time after stabilization.

I have many batches in PETE bottles right now and I'm amazed that they keep slightly pressurizing the bottles. It's easy to tell in plastic because the level of the liquid drops as the sides expand under the pressure. Glass doesn't have any give so you can break the bottle or blow a top.

good, so i will leave just the carboy lid... it is not sealed at 100%. by the way the lid has 0,5 mm hole... this is from the factory.
Should i add some vaseline oil in the mead or not?

fatbloke
12-16-2011, 09:34 AM
I'm surprised that you don't have a bung that is holed to take an airlock. Or even a safety bung that allows excess pressure to vent, but not allow ingress of air/O2, as that's usually the best way to stopper a carboy for ageing etc.

If you're set on bottling it quickly, then stabilise it with sorbate and sulphite, then top it up with the "spare" must and then use 2 part finings to clear it in a couple of days. Then bottle it and age it.

Personally, I prefer to "bulk age" my meads, topped up to about half an inch below the stopper.......

Soyala_Amaya
12-16-2011, 10:30 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Drilled-Rubber-Stopper-Carboy-Bung/dp/B000E62PXA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324045518&sr=8-1

This is what Fatbloke was talking about. You use the rubber stopper in the carboy, and then use an airlock to seal it off.

Marcut79
12-16-2011, 10:55 AM
sorry guys, i think we missunderstood.
Of course i used the airlock for fermentation...
but after the fermentation i suppose to close the carboy with a lid... the lid has a very small hole like 0,5 mm which comes from factory. this is a standard wine carboy with standard lids and all lids are with this little hole.
So... if i age in carboy i supposed to remove the airlock and close the carboy with this holed lid. thats why i wanted to age in bottle.
As far as i understood you all use to age in carboy and airlock... even without fermentation in progress.... is it correct?

Soyala_Amaya
12-16-2011, 11:32 AM
Yep, you leave the bung and airlock on the carboy while batch aging. I don't know what 'lid' you're talking about, none of the carboys I buy here in America have them.

There are several threads about aging and airlocks and who does what what way. I use vodka in my airlock because things don't grow in it, but it evaporates faster and I have to check my airlocks about once a week to make sure they're all still full to the line.

The reason you use an airlock while aging is the same reason I wouldn't bottle too early. There is still CO2 trapped in the liquid after fermentation is over, and it needs a period of degassing before it's completely still and safe. The airlock is tight enough that oxygen can't get in, but when enough CO2 builds up, it can bubble out safely instead of building up pressure.

Marcut79
12-16-2011, 11:39 AM
Yep, you leave the bung and airlock on the carboy while batch aging. I don't know what 'lid' you're talking about, none of the carboys I buy here in America have them.

There are several threads about aging and airlocks and who does what what way. I use vodka in my airlock because things don't grow in it, but it evaporates faster and I have to check my airlocks about once a week to make sure they're all still full to the line.

The reason you use an airlock while aging is the same reason I wouldn't bottle too early. There is still CO2 trapped in the liquid after fermentation is over, and it needs a period of degassing before it's completely still and safe. The airlock is tight enough that oxygen can't get in, but when enough CO2 builds up, it can bubble out safely instead of building up pressure.

:) very good now it is clear...