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BCRanger
10-29-2013, 01:01 AM
All right, let's read some stories. I don't de-gas my mead, but many people do. What are the pros and cons?

bernardsmith
10-29-2013, 09:09 AM
Here are my two cents, for what they're worth.
As a novice mazer but a slightly more experienced maker of fruit wines it seems to me that over time all wines naturally degas. The question then is whether to wait for the wine or mead to degas itself or whether to take the bull by the horns and force the CO2 out. In my opinion, there are no pros or cons just preferences: is it better to wait or to pull a vacuum (for example) and remove the CO2 artificially. Your call.

The alternative - to bottle before the CO2 has dissipated means that your mead will not be clear as the gas will keep any particles in suspension. I guess you could filter to solve that problem. But I prefer bright and shiny wines so I wait or I degas.

The other downside is that if you bottle before the CO2 has been expelled you always risk creating bottle bombs and either the bottle explodes or the corks pop. Both will lead to a loss of precious wine/mead. Of course, the solution to that is to bottle in sparkling wine bottles and cork with caps and wire cages. But that said, however much you might enjoy sparkling mead, my sense is that it is always better to have some control over the amount of CO2 in each bottle and by simply bottling before the CO2 has been expelled you have no control over that. If you want the mead to be sparkling I would degas after the mead has fermented dry then add more yeast and a known quantity of honey and then bottle, so that the pressure that builds up inside the bottle is known and is within the limits the bottle can safely manage AND which produces the right amount of bubbles in the glass

anir dendroica
10-29-2013, 03:28 PM
You won't get sparkling mead or bottle bombs from failure to degas; that requires renewed or continued fermentation in the bottle. The agitation of bottling will effectively degas mead, and any remaining dissolved CO2 will be barely noticeable.

The main reason I have seen cited for degassing is that high dissolved CO2 levels are stressful for yeast. That said, during active fermentation degassing only reduces dissolved CO2 for about an hour so I'm not sure if it makes much difference. Continuous degassing (e.g. fermenting on a stir plate) might have more noticeable benefits.

I've been degassing lately by swirling carboys once a day during active fermentation. Can't say yet if it makes a difference.

GntlKnigt1
10-30-2013, 12:49 PM
Here are my two cents, for what they're worth.
As a novice mazer but a slightly more experienced maker of fruit wines it seems to me that over time all wines naturally degas. The question then is whether to wait for the wine or mead to degas itself or whether to take the bull by the horns and force the CO2 out. In my opinion, there are no pros or cons just preferences: is it better to wait or to pull a vacuum (for example) and remove the CO2 artificially. Your call.

The alternative - to bottle before the CO2 has dissipated means that your mead will not be clear as the gas will keep any particles in suspension. I guess you could filter to solve that problem. But I prefer bright and shiny wines so I wait or I degas.

The other downside is that if you bottle before the CO2 has been expelled you always risk creating bottle bombs and either the bottle explodes or the corks pop. Both will lead to a loss of precious wine/mead. Of course, the solution to that is to bottle in sparkling wine bottles and cork with caps and wire cages. But that said, however much you might enjoy sparkling mead, my sense is that it is always better to have some control over the amount of CO2 in each bottle and by simply bottling before the CO2 has been expelled you have no control over that. If you want the mead to be sparkling I would degas after the mead has fermented dry then add more yeast and a known quantity of honey and then bottle, so that the pressure that builds up inside the bottle is known and is within the limits the bottle can safely manage AND which produces the right amount of bubbles in the glass

This prompted an interesting thought. If one were to get champagne bottles with corks and wire cages, is there an optimal SG that one would use to bottle? Like... when it hit 1.018 or some such number?

Who among us has attempted a sparkling mead? I will admit that I have not...

StuckTiger11
10-30-2013, 04:19 PM
This prompted an interesting thought. If one were to get champagne bottles with corks and wire cages, is there an optimal SG that one would use to bottle? Like... when it hit 1.018 or some such number?

Who among us has attempted a sparkling mead? I will admit that I have not...
I made a blueberry vanilla sparkling mead over last winter. I took ChevetteGirl's advice and made my mead so that it would be a lower gravity than the yeast was capabale of (roughly 3-4% below). Then when it came time to bottle, I added 1/4 cup of honey to my bottling bucket and racked the mead on to it. I stirred it and made sure the new honey was well dissolved then bottled it with plastic stoppers and wire cages. I'm unsure of how long I left them, but after one blew the cork (yes, with a stopper and a cage) I put them in a mini fridge I have so they could finish and maybe have finer bubbles from the cold ferment (not sure if that's how the bubbles are fine or not).

bernardsmith
10-30-2013, 05:07 PM
If wine making is both an art and a science I want the art to come out of the science and not the science to be the result of the art. That means I want to have as much control over the processes as the yeast and honey will allow me. And that means if I am going to make sparkling mead I want to add a known amount of sugars to the fermented mead. And THAT means that I need to ferment the mead dry and then add a known and specific quantity of diluted honey (or dextrose) into which I have added additional yeast. After three or four weeks that honey will have fermented to dry also, but all the CO2 that was produced will be trapped in the bottle. I think brewers look for something like 2.5 volumes of CO2 in their beer (so 1 gallon of mead would have 2.5 gallons of CO2 which I think is about 25 PSI at about 60deg and that comes from about 1 oz of dextrose (or equiv) per gallon)

Medsen Fey
10-30-2013, 07:39 PM
This prompted an interesting thought. If one were to get champagne bottles with corks and wire cages, is there an optimal SG that one would use to bottle? Like... when it hit 1.018 or some such number?...

NO!!!

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PRACTICE!

If you want to bottle carbonate meads, let them go dry. Then add the amount of sugar you want to get the carbonation level you desire (4 g/L of sugar produces 1 volumes of CO2 ). Beer usually gets 2-3 volumes; Champagne 4-6.

You can see a thread entitled "pressure crashing" in the patron's area to see why you don't want to bottle a fermenting batch. The pressure generated by the yeast in a cool environment was greater than 120 PSI and triggered the pressure release valve on the keg. This could potentially blow sparkling wine bottles. Visit any champagne producer and ask about broken glass. You don't want that happening in your face, and you cannot predict how much fermentation the yeast will do.

GntlKnigt1
10-31-2013, 03:14 AM
NO!!!

THIS IS NOT A SAFE PRACTICE!

If you want to bottle carbonate meads, let them go dry. Then add the amount of sugar you want to get the carbonation level you desire (4 g/L of sugar produces 1 volumes of CO2 ). Beer usually gets 2-3 volumes; Champagne 4-6.

You can see a thread entitled "pressure crashing" in the patron's area to see why you don't want to bottle a fermenting batch. The pressure generated by the yeast in a cool environment was greater than 120 PSI and triggered the pressure release valve on the keg. This could potentially blow sparkling wine bottles. Visit any champagne producer and ask about broken glass. You don't want that happening in your face, and you cannot predict how much fermentation the yeast will do.

Ah.... you mean... this thread?
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13550&highlight=pressure+crashing

I would say that Anything involving glass and pressure could be hazardous. Have only made 1 batch of sparkling wine, and that was when I took my first wine making class decades ago. But WOW !!! 120 PSI !!!! Holy airlock, Batman!! I never would have thought you could produce those kinds of pressures with just yeast. Amazing !!!