View Full Version : Nitrogen

10-15-2015, 09:02 PM
I have a bit of headspace in a carboy and wanted to get the O2 out and away from my mead. I have some wine preservative, nitrogen gas, would that be a good thing or a bad thing to use on a mead set aside to age?

10-16-2015, 01:28 AM
A good thing.

10-16-2015, 07:48 AM
Nitrogen doesn't dissolve in water as regularly as CO2 does. Even when it does dissolve, it doesn't change the pH. And unlike oxygen, it doesn't react with your mead to change it into something different. In short, using nitrogen gas is a good thing for what you want.

Are you sure there's oxygen in the headspace? If it's all CO2 then there's no need to purge it with nitrogen. I doubt it would hurt anything to do so, but it could just be unnecessary.

A separate concern arises if the temperature you have your mead stored at fluctuates during the day enough to draw air in through the airlock. The more headspace you have the more likely that is to happen, and if it goes on for several months that could turn your mead into sherry. Don't ask me how I know. (Sherry can be very enjoyable too, by the way.) Flushing with nitrogen won't protect against that. If the temperature is stable enough then you don't need to worry. Check the airlock around the coldest time and you should be able to tell.

Fermented Fluid
10-17-2015, 01:16 AM
Guinness beer uses nitrogen for carbonation instead of CO2. Flavourless, colourless gas. Non toxic.

10-17-2015, 09:54 AM
Why do you have nitrogen gas laying around ;)

If you do though, you should know that its inert, and therefore pretty good if you want to stop other chemical reactions from taking place. But you will have to pressurise it with N2. Since it is lighter than O2, you need to be sure that it is sealed off, other wise it will "float away"


10-18-2015, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks.

Just a bit more background info to address some of those questions, in no particular order. The nitrogen comes via a can of wine preservative, thought I could repurpose it for my mead. This batch is sitting in a carboy with no airlock as fermentation is pretty much a done deal. I could probably just bottle it at this point, but I want to keep access to it in case I need to mix it with another batch or pour it over some fruit a bit later on.

I check the bung every month at this point and make sure I don't have any pressure build up, none for the last two months which is why I wanted to explore using the nitrogen wine preservative. Again, thanks for the input folks.

10-21-2015, 10:00 AM
Guinness beer uses nitrogen for carbonation instead of CO2. Flavourless, colourless gas. Non toxic.

Actually its a blend of both. 70/30 nitro/co2.

Even lagers ideally need a blend of the two. If memory serves its about 25/75

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

10-21-2015, 02:29 PM
Looks like a good spot in insert a thought I had recently. I also have some mead in primary in 5 gallon carboy but it's only a 3 gallon batch. I'm ready to move it to secondary but I don't have a three gallon carboy or any CO2 or nitrogen containers lying around to purge the oxygen that will get in when I rack.

What I do have is a couple of other batches of mead actively in primary ferment nearby. So would I be crazy to use a sanitized hose to pipe the CO2 being produced into the other carboy to purge the oxygen? Or would this risk cross contamination?


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10-21-2015, 04:21 PM
That's actually a good idea Mazer828. Could also minimize large headspace problems
Reminds me of aquarists who landscape their aquarium and don't yet have fish so as not to disturb the freshly planted plants. It was suggested that you might want to add co2 from a small batch of sugar water and bread yeast (personally I don't think this works for the average Joe)
I think you might want to research what is exactly expelled by an active ferment before you do this. I could imagine a #Madscientist creating a contraption to force carb an old batch with no viable yeast from a new active fermentation, especially since yeast could build up such huge pressure. Wish I were an engineer...

10-22-2015, 12:56 PM
Yeah my main concern is that the CO2 coming off a primary might carry airborne yeast too. Might not be an issue since the receiving carboy would be full of mead that had already been racked off it's own yeast cake, and high in alcohol. Probably wouldn't restart fermentation if a few foreign yeast cells were introduced. Certainly not if it were the same or similar yeast strain.

Hoping some far more experienced yeast-ologists will chime in.

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