View Full Version : How would you handle this racking mistake?

07-19-2015, 09:51 AM
Friday I racked my first mead into secondary (Ken Schramm's Traditional Mead Recipe). After I had siphoned about 4.5 gallons of the 5 gallon batch, the mead stopped flowing through the siphon, so I instinctively tilted the bucket to siphon the rest of the mead. I instantly realized my mistake as the bottom yeast started to mix with the mead left at the bottom of the primary bucket. I decided to tilt the primary bucket, and leave it to sit for another day or two, so the yeast could settle again. Meanwhile, I airlocked the secondary carboy that I had siphoned the 4.5 gallons of mead into. So, should I transfer the last 1/2 gallon into my secondary now that the yeast has settled again, or would it be better to just leave the secondary alone with the 4.5 gallons of mead? Thanks for your time!

07-19-2015, 11:56 AM
While the additional sediment won't hurt anything, it means you will have to rack again at some point in the future. I mean, that's the whole point of racking, right? Having said that, Fatbloke posted a technique of putting the dregs in a large soda bottle, letting it settle out, and then decanting it back into your batch. The cavities in the soda bottle hold the sediment. Either way, your batch is okay.

07-19-2015, 01:23 PM
Yep. No worries. Next time just find either a soda bottle or a very thin very tall bottle.

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07-21-2015, 11:26 AM
I would not transfer the rest due to oxidation of the mead left in the primary.

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Chevette Girl
07-21-2015, 10:30 PM
alanywiseman has a point, give that last bit a thorough sniff and maybe a taste before you rack it back into the rest of the batch... if it smells like sherry or wet cardboard, it's oxidized... now personally I like a slight amount of oxidation to my wines and meads, but only when it's sherry-like, you don't want wet cardboard taste in your traditional. Although if it was still degassing or still slightly fermenting, you're probably fine.

Also, re: racking, I made wedges to shove under my carboys to tilt them just a little. If I'm careful I can get most of the good stuff without all the lees when I rack.

07-23-2015, 06:24 PM
The lees are there. Always there. Always.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.