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View Full Version : Is it necessary to mess with Mead during Primary



Jmattioli
10-25-2003, 07:43 AM
:)Many of the Plain Mead Recipies I have read have instructions during primary fermentation to agitate or stir Must daily and skim off the suds or scum on top. Is this all really necessary? Will it be just as well if I just leave it alone in the primary fermentator for 3-7 days once it takes off by itself? Has anybody here tried this? It would seem that the more times I open the cover or lid and introduce a tea skimmer the more chances I have of trouble. Shouldn't I only stir the Must up at the beginning or if it fails to take off?

Dan McFeeley
10-25-2003, 01:38 PM
:)Many of the Plain Mead Recipies I have read have instructions during primary fermentation to agitate or stir Must daily and skim off the suds or scum on top. Is this all really necessary? Will it be just as well if I just leave it alone in the primary fermentator for 3-7 days once it takes off by itself? Has anybody here tried this? It would seem that the more times I open the cover or lid and introduce a tea skimmer the more chances I have of trouble. Shouldn't I only stir the Must up at the beginning or if it fails to take off?


No, there's no need to skim the top of the fermenting honeymust while in the primary. I think that may even be harmful to the fermentation, since there may be nutrients in the colloidal material being skimmed off.

It is helpful to aerate the honeymust approx. 12 to 14 hours after pitching the yeast. At this stage the yeasts need oxygen in order to produce needed sterols, a vital component in building cell walls. The yeast will be healthier and better able to see the ferment through to the finish. Agitation will work, but an airstone with an aquarium pump works better.

chuckwm
10-29-2003, 01:42 AM
:)Many of the Plain Mead Recipies I have read have instructions during primary fermentation to agitate or stir Must daily and skim off the suds or scum on top. Is this all really necessary? Will it be just as well if I just leave it alone in the primary fermentator for 3-7 days once it takes off by itself? Has anybody here tried this? It would seem that the more times I open the cover or lid and introduce a tea skimmer the more chances I have of trouble. Shouldn't I only stir the Must up at the beginning or if it fails to take off?
Joe,

Dan has given good advice here. I don't oxygenate at 12 to 14 hours, though. I personally don't do anything to my meads until they display that it is time to rack. I see no need to skim or remove anything from my meads. And, as you point out, you're just increasing the potential for nasties.

Of course I am not talking about fruit melomels where I usually take the fruit out after about a week. But, for example, this past weekend I started a cyser. That cyser will sit in that carboy unil it displays that it's time to rack.

What do I mean by "they display that it is time to rack"? I mean that fermentation is finished (no or very few bubbles through the airlock), a check of the final gravity is where I want it to be and I don't intend on adding any more honey, and a lot of the yeast has fallen out of solution. IOW the mead is where I want it to be and it's time to start the clearing process.

Cheers,

Chuck

MeadMkr
12-08-2003, 09:46 PM
Like Dan said making sure your must is well oxegenated is a good idea. I normally use pure O2 with a sintered SS stone and hit the must for about 30 seconds. If I remember I'll sometimes hit it again with O2 at 12-14 hours but normally I don't have a problem with fermentation. The problem I sometimes have is watching the temperature which at times is either too warm/cool in my basement. I try to keep ferments around 68 but its not always possible without a temp controlled closet/room.