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scottv
07-11-2012, 10:21 AM
My mead is finished fermenting and I am ready to stabilize. Should I rack to a new jug first and then stabilize or stabilize and then rack?

Thanks!

PitBull
07-11-2012, 10:51 AM
My mead is finished fermenting and I am ready to stabilize. Should I rack to a new jug first and then stabilize or stabilize and then rack?

Thanks!
Rack then stabilize. No need to bring sediment to the new carboy.

However, if this mead has been racked once already, you may want to left it clarify naturally for a while before doing either. If you are in a real hurry to bottle, as most newbees are, you might wish to use a clarifying agent before the final racking and stabilization.

It's very easy to be patient if you have 100+ bottles of aged mead in your wine cellar.

scottv
07-11-2012, 11:11 AM
Rack then stabilize. No need to bring sediment to the new carboy. However, if this mead has been racked once already, you may want to left it clarify a while before doing either.

I racked it for the first time on July 1 and added strawberries. Since it has been 10 days, I want to get it off the strawberries (as they have turned white). Should I rack, then wait to clear before stabilizing?

PitBull
07-11-2012, 11:28 AM
I racked it for the first time on July 1 and added strawberries. Since it has been 10 days, I want to get it off the strawberries (as they have turned white). Should I rack, then wait to clear before stabilizing?
Definately get if off the strawberries.

Rack, clarify, rack again, and then stabilize is the way to go.

scottv
07-11-2012, 11:59 AM
Definately get if off the strawberries.

Rack, clarify, rack again, and then stabilize is the way to go.

now, about 1/4 of the gallon jug is all sediment, should I rack it to another jug and add more honey/water?

PitBull
07-11-2012, 12:21 PM
now, about 1/4 of the gallon jug is all sediment, should I rack it to another jug and add more honey/water?
Adding more honey & water will likely cause fermentation to restart. It will also dilute the strawberry flavor. You could also add some strawberries with the addition, but you'll be sort of starting over.

Meads containing fruit should not be allowed to have a lot of headspace as oxidation will result. The best way to reduce headspace is to rack to smaller containers. For example, you could rack a gallon to a pair of 1.5 liter wide-mouth wine bottles. Of course you'll need another airlock.

You can also use aquarium marbles to take up headspace, but you will need a quite a few packets. Do a search for "headspace" and you will likely find quite a few discussions on this topic.

scottv
07-11-2012, 12:59 PM
Adding more honey & water will likely cause fermentation to restart. It will also dilute the strawberry flavor. You could also add some strawberries with the addition, but you'll be sort of starting over.

Meads containing fruit should not be allowed to have a lot of headspace as oxidation will result. The best way to reduce headspace is to rack to smaller containers. For example, you could rack a gallon to a pair of 1.5 liter wide-mouth wine bottles. Of course you'll need another airlock.

You can also use aquarium marbles to take up headspace, but you will need a quite a few packets. Do a search for "headspace" and you will likely find quite a few discussions on this topic.

gotcha, well this is my second batch of mead ever made so I'm still learning! But thanks for the tips. I'll figure out something to rack to because I really don't want to start all over with this batch.

Chevette Girl
07-11-2012, 01:46 PM
I find the honey-water mixture to be the lesser of the evils when topping up, I try to mix it to the original SG, that way in theory the yeast SHOULD take it back down to whatever SG you're at before you top up, and often they'll do this without breeding a whole lot more yeast (and the associated sediment), it just might bubble away for another week or two. And you could include some strawberry juice into it to not dilute the flavour... Oh, and I do suggest sitting your strawberries in a strainer fro a few minutes when you remove them, they will probably release a lot of liquid so you won't have to make up quite so much headspace, just try not to leave it sitting around too long or you risk oxidation like Pitbull warns. I always do my strawberries in a brew bag, I end up with very little volume left after letting the bag drain for a minute or two.

scottv
12-02-2012, 08:40 PM
So, I stabilized the mead and then back-sweetened on 8/7/12. It is still quite cloudy and I will try to post a picture tomorrow. Any idea why it hasn't cleared at all? Will it ever clear?

Thanks!