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Severian
10-09-2003, 09:56 AM
Ok, I can make this topic fit here as I'm not sure where else to post it.

With my scientific mind I have observed, after several experiments, that adding a honey/water solution to an actively brewing carboy of mead must creates, what in the scientific community is known as, a mess.

Whenever I add a honey/water solution to an actively brewing mead, say in the first week (churning ferment... airlock going every other second) it almost always causes an overflow. Is this because the must is somewhat under pressure due to its vigourous nature and the airlock not being able to relieve all pressure, ie supersaturated? Am I basically "seeding" the mead with the heavy honey solution and creating a "thunderstorm"?

any ideas as to why this happens and how to avoid it. (I suppose I could wait till after the primary to add the honey water, but with not boiling I had figured it was safer to add stuff during a strong ferment... now I am thinking with the mess and with the alcohol the primary creates I might as well wait till the secondary.)

-s

polarbearforge
10-09-2003, 05:12 PM
I've only had this happen with one batch, and it was a wine not a mead, but don't ask about that one. :-X

How much airspace is left when you pour the extra honey water into the carboy? In the unmentionable batch, there wasn't that much space and it was too much strain.

When I add, I don't necessarily only add when it's fermenting strongly. I usually add when I rack. Less chance of putting too much in, and I can use this method to control amount of residual sugar remaining in the drink.

Jamie

Mike
10-09-2003, 06:36 PM
Severian,

I have had this happen with meads and beer and wines. It happens when you add in just about anything. Last week I added in some yeast nutrient and energizer to a slowwwwwly fermenting carboy of pale ale, and it looked like a volcano was erupting out the top.

I can't scientifically explain it, but my theory is that whenever you add anything in, you're disruspting the equilibrium that has been established, and the liquid (be it beer, mead or wine) cannot hold the same amount of dissolved CO2, and thus it comes out by bubbling up and foaming over.

I find the best thing to do is add the stuff in slowly. It may take a half hour or so to slowly add in the honey and mix it in, but it's worth it to avoid the mess.

Dan McFeeley
10-19-2003, 02:57 PM
With my scientific mind I have observed, after several experiments, that adding a honey/water solution to an actively brewing carboy of mead must creates, what in the scientific community is known as, a mess.

Whenever I add a honey/water solution to an actively brewing mead, say in the first week (churning ferment... airlock going every other second) it almost always causes an overflow. Is this because the must is somewhat under pressure due to its vigourous nature and the airlock not being able to relieve all pressure, ie supersaturated? Am I basically "seeding" the mead with the heavy honey solution and creating a "thunderstorm"?

any ideas as to why this happens and how to avoid it


Usually a must supersaturated with CO2 requires a nucleation
point in order to bring the gas out of suspension. A scratch
in the carboy can do it, adding particulate matter to a
must can cause a small explosion. The sugar crystals in
a concentrated sugar solution can also provide nucleation
points. Apparently in sugar solutions with no crystals,
CO2 gas can form along solution concentration fronts.
That might be what is happening.

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Dan McFeeley

ThistyViking
11-15-2003, 09:13 AM
Agitation causes CO2 to collide with other CO2 forming bubbles too big to be held in suspension at a given pressure.

This can be seen when you shake a coke can. The can will be come very rigid with increased CO2 pressure... and we know what happens when the can is allowed to vent when you open it and the pressure of the Gass inside drops to the air pressure out side.

Any stiring of the mead has a similar effect, if no as drastic. Consider the way beer is added to a cup from a tap to minimize the formation of a head..