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MightyParched
03-29-2013, 01:28 AM
Hey all! I've been lurking around gathering as much information as I could before starting my 1st batch. Thank you all for sharing your experiences!! This weekend I will be doing just that! My question is this... Would it be better to make 1 batch in a 2 gal bucket then split into (2) 1 gal jugs or just 2 separate 1 gal jugs? I like my mead a touch sweeter and my GF likes it a little dryer so trying to keep both of us happy.
In part I kinda wanted to play with back sweetening but part of me thinks I should keep it simple until I get a few batches under my belt. Suggestions?
Thanks!

Grimm312
03-29-2013, 03:19 AM
Depends on what you're making.

For something like a JAOM the gallon jugs will be fine. Otherwise I'd go with the bucket.

MightyParched
03-29-2013, 05:18 AM
Thanks for the response. I do plan on doing a JAOM and 1 other like a pumpkin mead. Thanks again!

fatbloke
03-29-2013, 05:50 AM
Go with what you think is best for the batch, but consider the downsides more.

Glass looks great, you can see whats going on, it's easily cleaned/sanitised, etc etc.

Whereas the shape of most glass fermenters, should be considered, because in the early stages of the ferment, when its at the most "lively" stage, you can easily end up with a mead fountain/eruption. Damn! the mess means you think about buckets having been a better option.

Sure if its relatively benign recipes like JAO, when you can fill a glass jug to the shoulders and it does its thing only getting topped up safely when the ferment calms down and then you let it finish.

Whereas batches that need more "management" say staggered nutrients or early stage aeration.......stuff like that, then its better to start a batch in a bucket.

There are many considerations that become more important with experience, plus you often aim for methods, techniques or kit that will make your life easier.

So it really depends on what kit is easily available to you.

I'd say that if you can get a 3 gallon sized bucket, then a 2 gallon batch has room for any foaming or other possible issues (not oxidation though as all the air/O2 would be displaced by the CO2 produced by the ferment).

Then if you have the means you could give a final aeration at the 1/3rd point and split it or you could finish the batch in the bucket only racking too glass once its dropped a sediment and is part way to clearing. ...

See what I mean ? Mead can be annoying as it seems to generate so many vatibles.....

Hence a bucket with a lid/hole/grommet for airlock is probably a good place too start.

Soyala_Amaya
03-29-2013, 10:15 AM
I'd say that if you can get a 3 gallon sized bucket, then a 2 gallon batch has room for any foaming or other possible issues (not oxidation though as all the air/O2 would be displaced by the CO2 produced by the ferment).



This. Or, if you want to do two individual one gallon batches, do each one gallon in a separate 2 gallon bucket. That extra room for aeration, nutrient additions, krausen, and everything else is really just so nice.

MightyParched
03-29-2013, 06:37 PM
Hmm I'm glad I asked. Great ideas and reasoning. Thank you

Cal
04-06-2013, 12:44 PM
I'd say both. Bucket for primary especially if you are using fruit. Glass jug for secondary.

Meldin
04-06-2013, 06:55 PM
I'm with Cal on this one. Having done a peach melomel in a glass jug and a berry melomel in a bucket, I will always primary my mels in buckets from now on. The risk of an MEA just isn't worth it with a glass jug/carboy. On the other hand, I've had no problems so far with primary-ing non-fruit meads in carboys.

MightyParched
04-20-2013, 12:59 AM
Is the head space in the primary as important with mead as it is with beer during primary fermentation? Say I only wanted or had the ingredients for 3 gallons but have a 5 gallon bucket?

fatbloke
04-20-2013, 03:40 AM
Is the head space in the primary as important with mead as it is with beer during primary fermentation? Say I only wanted or had the ingredients for 3 gallons but have a 5 gallon bucket?
beer worts, by their very nature are more susceptible to O2/air damage.

not only are meads less problematic, but they also don't oxidise like a fruit wine can.

Notwithstanding that, a melomel with fruit in primary is still reasonably protected i.e. take a grape wine on the pulp type ferment as an example. You would routinely "punch down the cap" of skins and flesh, to make sure that it can all be extracted properly, but to also prevent hard to manage cap formation/solidification and to keep the uppermost skins/flesh moist. Of course, large scale set ups would likely have sealed fermenters with stirring attachments/devices, yet a lot of us, as well as smaller commercial makers have to open a fermenter and stir with a paddle or something. The active ferment will continue to produce CO2 past when the batch may have been racked to get it off the flesh/skins/etc so remains protected by the natural CO2 blanket.

Now if you are putting fruit into secondary, there's a possibility that you may have to get the liquid level up high enough to reduce the airspace to a minimum yet still have to find a way of swirling the liquid to keep the top level of the fruit moist during the extraction/flavouring part of the process.

So yes, airspace is still important, but in a different way. Just not as critical as with beers.

Chevette Girl
04-28-2013, 12:44 PM
Short answer, yeah, you're fine to start a 3 gal batch in a 5 gal bucket, I did all my 1 gal batches of fruit wine in a 5 gal bucket until I found some 2-3 gal buckets, it makes aerating it a lot easier in the early stages of fermentation, and as long as you rack it while it's still fermenting a little bit or it's degassing, you shouldn't have any oxidation issues as the CO2 it's releasing continuously will chase most of the oxygen you let in when you check the SG right back out the airlock.