View Full Version : 2 more questions.... thanks for the patience

11-20-2013, 07:21 PM
first question i am almost 2 weeks into a traditional mead and all the airlock activity has ended. at least for the 5 minutes i sat there. when i take a gravity reading with a triple scale hydrometer i lower it in till it is close to the 1.000 reading than i spin it trying not to bounce it. if i leave it sit for a few minutes the reading goes up and changes every few minutes but i get some fizzes or bubbles around the surface of the must. are they causing the hydrometer to rise? im sorry i did attempt to search this and i got lots of ways to read the hydrometer but not many on the exact process. also i am not using a thief just putting the hydrometer into the fermenter. if i check it as soon as it set it in and it stops spinning it reads 1.020 but if i let it sit for 5 minutes or more the reading is drastically different even higher than my starting gravity reading.

15 pounds Mt Adams Honey Snowberry
2 pkgs Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast
Ice Mountain Spring Water 4.5 gallons
2 Tsp Yeast Energizer stirred into must before yeast
5 Tsp Yeast Nutrient
Tsp Wine Tannin
100 Kroger Brand Raisins
SG/OG 1.118

second question

i hear alot of people talk about using co2 to take up the head space in the carboy after you stir/take gravity/aerate. i used to play paintball alot and i have some co2 tanks. they hold 1.25 lbs of co2 and have a on off valve. will those work for adding co2 and if so how would one do it in a carboy or fermenter.

thanks for the help and any advice

heath delashmit

11-20-2013, 08:17 PM
Heath, as you have found out starring at a carboy full of wine is mesmerizing. Its all a big science experiment, and you are witnessing CO2 bubbles attaching to your hydrometer and making it lighter, either that or you are twirling it the wrong direction in relation to the earth, where are you on earth?

The second question about CO2, never used it, better to top up with a similar wine or dilute some everyclear with water and top off with that. I think some C02 cartridges have oil in them that you wouldnt want in your mead that are used to help keep the barrel lubed? Is there a food grade CO2 dispenser vs one for everyday use?


11-20-2013, 11:36 PM
I wouldn't use paintball cylinders. Gas not designed for breathing or food is allowed a much higher contaminant level.

As for the bubbles, you have a lot of CO2 in solution. During fermentation, the little bubbles of CO2 will give you a blanket of protection automatically. It only really becomes a problem after racking.

Thieve a sample, shake it, and test it with your hydrometer, or, degas your fermenter.
If it's mostly clear, you can rack it into a smaller container, decreasing the headspace that way.

11-21-2013, 04:56 PM
i guess i am wanting to make sure i am going about reading my hydrometer correctly and that the reason it keeps rising is the bubbles from the co2?

11-21-2013, 09:09 PM
am I checking my gravity right? does it matter how long I let the hydrometer sit in the must? are the readings supposed to be the same whether I let it sit for 10 minutes in the must versus letting it sit a few seconds? does it matter if I drop it into my fermenter and it bobs up and down before settling? I am just wanting to make sure I am putting the hydrometer in right and going about checking it right.


11-21-2013, 09:18 PM
They say that you should take a reading of the height of your hydrometer after about 30 seconds. This allows the glass to stop spinning and to find its height after the initial contact with CO2 has been neutralized but if you are leaving the hydrometer in the mead or wine much longer then fermentation taking place even in the test tube and the gases in the liquid will give you a less accurate reading.

11-27-2013, 01:27 PM
so i have a few more questions. im getting ready to rack my first time. currently i have my 5 gallon traditional listed in my first posting here as well as a 1 gallon peach mead. they have been sitting on my back porch concrete floor at 45 degree F for a couple of days this sunday 12 1 13 will be 7 days of sitting back there and when i plan on racking. the tradtitional fg is 1.020 and the peach is at 1.030. the ph of the traditional is 4.2 and the ph from the peach is 3.8.

4 pounds Mt Adams Honey Snowberry
Wyeast 3787
1 gallon Ice Mountain spring water
tsp Yeast Energizer
1 tsp Nutrient
tsp Pectin
1 large satchel (nylon) containing 2/3 of 5 pounds peaches previously pitted and frozen.
SG/OG 1.112

Added 4 pounds honey to 1 gallon water mixed. Added energizer nutrient and pectin and added satchel of frozen peaches. Since peaches were frozen put fermenter in hot water in sink to bring up temperature. Than pitched yeast when temperature was around 68 degrees. Days 2 through 5 stirred with stirring stick. Days 6 and 7 stirred with a power drill and de gasser aerator.

from reading through the newbee guide this is what i have came up with. on saturday set both the fermenters onto a shelf so i can siphon them into a carboy on sunday, the day before allows sediment to re drop to bottom. take a small amount, like the amount from a full size thief and mix potassium sorbate (1/2 tsp per gallonof total must) and potassium metasulphite (not sure how much to add it says - to kill wild yeast 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons and to sanitize add 2 oz to 1 gallon water) to the sample of must from thief and mix well till it is absorbed and disolved thoroughly. than rack from fermenter onto mixed solution which was previously put into carboy. place airlock on and let sit for a cpl weeks than rerack. let sit for a cpl months until cleared up and rerack again into a small amount of must mixed with sulphite again every odd racking (meaning 3rd 5th 7th etc). after the first racking give it a couple of weeks and taste a sample and backsweeten to preference.

do i need to add any pectin to the peach? how will i know if i need to add any? how will i know if i need to add any sulphites past the first racking?

i want to attempt to use co2 to blanket the bottom of the carboy before i rack will this work?


and if it does do i just hold the trigger for a couple of seconds than insert hose and start siphon?

i want to rack the peach onto the final third of the frozen peaches i have. since the satchel i have wont fit inside the 1 gallon carboy should i blend it up after i have defrosted it some and put it into the carboy before i add the must and co2 and sulphite sorbate mix? or should i use another 2 gallon fermenter and use the satchel filled with peaches and rack onto it and fill with co2 before i siphon in must?

last question. i understand i need to degass before i siphon the must? i bought a degassing rod ( http://shop.thirdcoastdesignworks.com/Clean-Bottle-Express-Wine-Beer-DeGasser-CBE5.htm ) do i just use this for a minute or so before racking? i dont want to aerate the must but im not sure what the difference between the aerating and degassing really is. ive read on it and i understand the differences i just dont get it i guess with using the degassing rod becouse wont it aerate it as well.

thanks again for all your patience in helping me to become better. and for those of you in the states happy gobble gobble day.

heath delashmit

11-27-2013, 01:59 PM
Heath, I think some folk on this forum may have very different ideas but from what I think I know about fruit wines adding K-sorbate after a week makes very little sense. That is something you would do just before bottling if you intened to back sweeten. And you point about racking onto CO2 sounds like a beer makers idea. What protects wine (mead too I would assume) from oxidation is SO2. So if you had added K-meta (or campden tabs ) BEFORE fermentation then I don;t think you need to do anything more after a week and you you can simply rack the mead into a sanitized carboy. If you have not added added any Potassium metabisulfite (the campden tabs) before then you might make a solution and add some to the carboy and rack onto that. The SO2 helps prevent oxidation. Spoilage is prevented by a low pH and by the level (ABV) of alcohol in your wine. I believe an ABV above 10% will inhibit the reproduction of bacteria. BUT , all that said, if your recipe says to behave differently and the recipe comes from a tried and tested source, then ignore what I say and go with the recipe...

11-27-2013, 03:39 PM
Heath, slow down a little. You seem to be trying to make this harder than it is. So are you trying to cold crash your mead that is only 3 weeks old to get it to stop fermenting? I dont think 45 is cold enough?

Sulfites, dont confuse what you add to the wine to stabalize it by controlling bacteria and wild yeast and to help prevent oxidation with a sanitizing solution you add to equipment to kill anything growing on it. You DO NOT want to put a sanitizing amount of sulfites in your wine.

You might want to read up on BOMM style of making mead, I think you guys are trying for the same sort of fast meads.

Your peach needs pectinase probably, best to add it first but go ahead and add some if you want it to clear quicker.

You dont need to degass until right before you bottle, if you try to degass with a drill and there isnt much gass and you keep degassing you will instead oxigenate your mead, not good. Some people degass during the first week of fermentation trying to control the pH by driving off CO2, I stir the heck out of it just to get the yeast up off the bottom.

To make sulfite solution for your gallon batches, you can add 1/4 tsp KM to 5 teaspoons of water, stir it up until dissolved, and then add 1 teaspoon of that to your mead.


11-27-2013, 06:57 PM
@ WVMJack nope i took 3 seperate gravity readings of my mead 2 to 3 days apart and they did not change. so i was guessing off what i have been reading here that it was done. i put it on my back porch because i only have 1 fridge and the wife will kill me if i put a 6 gallon fermenter in our fridge. i am fine with letting it sit for a long time to clear and such im just trying to figure what to do next. i did add pectinese when i started the fermentation. does this mean i dont need to add anymore? the recipe for the sulfite solution is what i needed i guess becouse the directions on the bottle were a little vague. as far as degassing i appreciate the info sometimes it takes alot of telling to get something to sink in for me. thanks.

heath delashmit