View Full Version : tricks to eliminate headspace?

10-03-2012, 09:57 PM
Cheers! ok, so a few days ago I racked my 5 gal batch into a secondary(5gal glass carboy with airlock) and have waaay too much headspace. Probably a half gallon or more. Now the mead is still fermenting slightly it seems, as the airlock still bubble every few minutes. How worried should I be of oxidation at this point? Should I go ahead and maybe purchase a smaller carboy, or maybe food safe marbles to fill the space? Or will this be ok as long as I bottle once fermentation is totally done?

10-03-2012, 10:04 PM
My semi-educated opinion. If your mead is still fermenting a little, you may be ok. The CO2 should expel most of the O2 that got in. If you are really paranoid, you could use some marbles to increase the volume. I just probably wouldn't rack it again into a smaller carboy, because that would probably put more oxygen in the mead than leaving it as is..

10-03-2012, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the reply! that sounds a bit like what I've read. I'm just slightly paranoid that I'm going to end up with a nice acid vinigar lol.I may have to invest in some marbles just for piece of mind. Everything has gone so well thus far, id hate to blow it over a simple issue.

Chevette Girl
10-03-2012, 11:30 PM
If it's still fermenting you should be fine for now unless you're popping the airlock off every day...

Since it is still fermenting slowly, you should be able to top it off with honey water, just don't exceed the original SG for the batch. Apple juice works too, just make sure it's not sorbated. And if you add something with the same SG as your OG for the batch, it should ferment out to where it was going to ferment to anyway.

10-03-2012, 11:53 PM
Haven't touched the lock since racking. I don't have imediate access to that particular honey at the moment, and don't really want to alter the flavor from its original state. If I. Let it ferment out and give it a couple weeks, it shouldn't be affected negatively?

Chevette Girl
10-03-2012, 11:55 PM
Should be fine for a few weeks... heck, my 6 gal chocolate pear batch had half a gallon of headspace for a month or two after it was done fermenting, no problems with it...

10-04-2012, 12:08 AM
Really? This makes me feel a lot better about things. It seems like most every solution that helped avoid oxidation had a chance of adding oxygen! I think I may just brew a slightly oversize batch on the next one here so I can avoid this all together lol. Thank you for your help! Btw, chocolate pear? That definately sounds like an intriging drink!

10-04-2012, 06:43 AM
As long as it's producing CO2 you should be fine. CO2 is heavier than air, so it'll completely fill the headspace without any air coming in. And even when the fermentation stops, the airlock will prevent much air entering the fermenter...

10-04-2012, 07:50 AM
Merely type "headspace" in to the search engine and you will likely find numerous discussions on the topic.

Chevette Girl
10-04-2012, 08:49 AM
I think I may just brew a slightly oversize batch on the next one here so I can avoid this all together lol.

That's the beauty of primary in a bucket - no fruit losses and you can make a little extra so at least after your first racking, your carboy will be full.

Yeah, it's still a little sharp but coming along nicely, here's the brewlog (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16468).