View Full Version : How important is doing secondary in glass?

09-23-2014, 03:31 AM
I've seen some people saying that mead should always be put in glass for secondary. Now that's all very well since so far I've only done very small batches and I have plenty of 1 gallon carboys, but I want to do a much bigger batch next. I do have some 6.5 gallon plastic fermenters that I've used for beer. Am I going to be wasting my time and money if I just go ahead and use those? I'd rather avoid unneccessary expenses (like getting a huge glass carboy), but a big batch of mead that's ruined by plastic is an even worse unneccesary expense!

09-23-2014, 06:23 AM
Secondary fermentation, in a "beer sense", is a bit of a misnomer.

While you can rack when it gets down low(er), by doing that, you can leave behind so much of the yeast colony, as to cause a stuck ferment, and without enough nutrition for the colony to rebuild, stuck it stays.....

Equally, some will do that to.remove fruit or spices (whole ones). Yet they'll stir up any lees and then just strain off fruit/spices, but moving the liquid.

Needs a smaller container if you have finished the main ferment to allow for racking loses.

Some will just finish in a bucket, doing most of the production processes, then rack to.glass for s final racking/clearing, so they can see what's happening.

Your only proviso being, that once the ferment is complete and any possible beneficial CO2 layer has been dispelled, minimum airspace is needed for aging, plus glass is necessary as it's completely impermeable to air/O2.

Mead, especially traditionals, doesn't oxidize quickly like beers, or wines with a fruit element, but it can with time........

Meads have a lot more leeway in the making stage, so it's more your choice.

Why not make in the bucket, then split it down for the finishing ?

Medsen Fey
09-23-2014, 06:41 AM
Since mead generally benefits from considerable aging, using containers that don't allow oxygen exposure is wise. That can mean glass, PET better bottles, or Corny kegs (my preference).

09-25-2014, 07:17 PM
Thanks! I think I was thinking about this all wrong... really need to get it into my head that mead and beer are not the same thing. I do think splitting it down for finishing will be a good solution for now.

I was reading about Corny kegs, and I'd love one, especially as a way to carbonate, but i'm just not sure where I'd put it. I live in an apartment and my equipment has taken over the second bedroom, and parts of the living room and kitchen already (the other reason I was hesitant to get a large glass carboy...). Something to put on the "someday" list, for sure.