View Full Version : Loose Airlock: how long to oxidize mead?

11-18-2014, 12:11 PM

I just racked a bochet from primary into a 5 gallon glass carboy. I topped it up completely; the mead was in the neck, about 1cm from the bottom of the airlock stopper.

The airlock appeared to seat, but after roughly 24 hours, I noticed that the airlock stopper had loosened; it was canted to one side in the neck, and was no longer properly sealed. Temp was roughly 65 for most of this time.

Here's my question: how long under these conditions do you think the mead could last without detectable oxidation?

After spending so many hours boiling the honey, it would be sad if this stupid mistake ruined the mead. I didn't degas before racking: could that help me, in any way? Tasting is the obvious way to detect oxidation, but I've never been super confident I could Identify the first stages of oxidation by taste.

Thanks very much for any advice you can give.

11-18-2014, 05:38 PM
Never made a bochet so I am speaking from ignorance but if I were a betting man (and I am not) I would bet the farm that it's going to take considerably longer than 24 hours for your mead to perceptibly oxidize. My guess is that it would take weeks of exposure to air...BUT you say that you just racked your bochet from the primary. I am guessing that you racked it after a few weeks of fermentation - you racked it while there is still some fermentable sugar being turned into CO2 and alcohol and if that is the case then the mouth of your carboy is probably full of CO2 so even if it would take months to oxidize perceptibly in contact with air, your mead has been blanketed with CO2. That blanket protects the mead from oxidation. My advice? Don't fret. Don't worry.

02-26-2015, 11:17 AM
Thanks very much for the reassuring words. I've got it bulk aging in a three gallon carboy now. It's been a few months since I made the mistake, and you're correct: it seems to taste fine- a bit tart at the moment, but I figure that's a separate issue of acidity caused by another procedural error somewhere. I bottled some as is, and have added cacao nibs and vanilla bean to the rest of the bochet.

Thanks again!