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Tyred
12-13-2005, 08:02 AM
I've got a simple cyser which contains about 3.625 l of apple juice (close to 1 us gallon), 1kg of honey (2.2 lbs) and 5g all purpose wine yeast (First brewshop I tried didn't have much in the way of yeasts, I've since been to 2 others which have a wider variety). From what I've read about racking (Racking/lee height http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=174.0), I should wait until the cyser is down to 1 bubble per minute or 4 weeks have passed until I rack. What I'm thinking of trying to do is to attach a plastic bottle cap to the siphon (probably with cable ties) to minimise the amount of lees taken up and to maximise the amount of liquid taken out. Has anyone else tried this sort of thing ?

Once racked and clear I'm thinking of bulk aging (i.e. leaving the gallon or so in a demijohn) for about another 5 months. Would it be best to use an airlock or to use a demijohn clip-stopper to do the bulk aging with ? This, of course, is some time away. I'm just trying to work it out in my head what needs to be done.

Tomorrow night, I'm hoping to start an ancient orange mead. It will be interesting to see how this goes as at the moment I'm brewing in temperatures ranging beween 24 celcius (night) and 36 celcius (68F -> 95F).

So far, I've learnt alot from lurking here (and looking all over the web) and I think I've got the brewing bug. Strangely enough, my wife seems to be quite happy for me to have this interest. It may change, depending on whether I let her have any mead or not.

Mu
12-13-2005, 08:25 AM
If you know it has stopped fermenting I guess you could use the stopper, but either way air shouldn’t get in <so I figure, than again im new to this> but at least with the air lock you know if it does decide to let of some gas you wont have anything breaking.

In terms of racking you could always put a sterile bit of cloth <muslin> into the siphon hose to limit the flow to stop the suction of to much lees, it might be simpler?

With those temps sounds like your in Australia. Perhaps place your mead in a water bath, liquid doesn’t fluctuate as much so it might help keep the mead at a more constant temperature <when it’s fermenting that is, perhaps an idea for the ancient orange?>

Anywho, im new to this, so take my advice with a pinch of salt!

Mu.

memento
12-13-2005, 09:38 AM
I prefer to use an S shaped airlock when bulk aging. Temperature differences will be accomodated by the water level, but if you just use a clip, then air will pass.

Personally, I rack very little if at all. My opinion is that the more you expose the mead, the greater the chance of oxidation or contamination. So far my best mead was racked once, and only to make sure that the bottles were crystal clear with no sediment. But I've also read here that people will rack 3+ times.

Tyred
12-14-2005, 08:44 AM
I'd actually been considering keeping the brews in a water bath, I just didn't have anything to do that with. I've since found a foam box which I put the mead and the cyser in. This main difference will be during the day when it's hotter. Still, they live under the house where it is a fair bit cooler.

I hadn't thought of putting something in the siphon to slow the flow. I'd have to rinse it after sterilization tho. I'll check the medicine cabinet to see what lurks in there. I'm quite sure that there were some surgical dressings that haven't been used.

Thanks for the advice.

Brewbear
12-15-2005, 01:15 AM
Welcome to the forums ;D
First off, I have a mead that I thought had stopped fermenting, it was the third racking. I used a large stopper on the bottle. A little while ago I decided to rack it again and when I tryed to pull the stopper....It came off with a huge bang! The moral of the story, and the reason I'm telling it to you, is that you would be safer to use an airlock, at least for a few months.
As for the Ancient Orange, it will benefit from a steady temperature, high 80's will make the yeasties very happy.

Cheers,
Brewbear

Tyred
12-15-2005, 06:13 AM
I think the yeasties are very very happy at the moment. Last night they made a spirited attempt at escape. I had to wash the air lock out this morning and wash down the sides of the bottle. It's happily gurgling away at the moment. The main problem will be refraining for excessive sampling when I've finished making batches. That's one of the reasons I'm thinking of doing bulk storage (although 5 litres is hardly bulk). The other is that I don't have any corkable bottles yet.

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-15-2005, 01:35 PM
I'd recommend a bubble trap for bulk aging since even a bubble per hour can build up significant pressure over several months..

I also find that the difference in the level on both sides of the S traps I use gives me an indication that the batch is still airtight and being protected...

memento
12-15-2005, 02:17 PM
with the 3-piece design, I've had it suck water into the mead. not good. That won't happen with s-locks.

storm1969
12-15-2005, 02:39 PM
with the 3-piece design, I've had it suck water into the mead. not good. That won't happen with s-locks.


Actually, I've had more than s-locks suck liquid back into the mead/wine.

If you get enough of a pressure change, it will happen....

memento
12-15-2005, 03:01 PM
Unless something extreme is going on, the s-lock would just bubble backwards. Not that you want air getting in, but it's better than the airlock juice.

lostnbronx
12-15-2005, 06:17 PM
I've had the S-locks suck water back into the fermenter too -- it actually depends how much water you've got in there. Even a little too much, and it can make a complete syphon action. 3-piece and S-lock styles can both do this under the right (wrong?) conditions. Blow-off tubes won't do this since the amount of space that the water must travel inside the tube is generally much too great. That fancy-schmancy solid rubber airlock that, I think it was, Dmntd posted about some time ago (check it out here (http://shop.piwine.com/shopsite/prwc/product177.html)) won't do this either, of course, since it doesn't use a fluid barrier of any kind. There are probably other products that are safe this way as well, not to mention a few improvised methods (balloon with a hole in it, wet cork set loosely, etc.) that still see action.

-David

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-16-2005, 01:01 PM
A handy hint... Use cheap vodka instead of water in the traps. It means that if it gets sucked into the batch, you are still sterile...

Tyred
12-19-2005, 08:49 PM
I ended up racking the cyser. I think it had finished as it's SG was down to 1.002. At the moment it tastes like very alcoholic apple juice. Stuck a airlock back on top and will let it sit for another 1 or two months depending on lees or how it clears up.

SteveT
12-19-2005, 09:00 PM
I ended up racking the cyser. I think it had finished as it's SG was down to 1.002. At the moment it tastes like very alcoholic apple juice. Stuck a airlock back on top and will let it sit for another 1 or two months depending on lees or how it clears up.


That's how Cyser tastes when it is very young -- let it age a year or so!