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Thread: Too much aeration = spoiled/oxidated mead?

  1. Default Too much aeration = spoiled/oxidated mead?

    Hello all, first post here.

    I'm making a BOMM 5 Gallon Batch, I used clover honey from BJ's and followed the SNA schedule set in the BOMM recipe. I made a liter starter with the Wyeast 1388 yeast and the ferment started right away.

    I have a big mouth bubbler 6.5 gallon glass fermenter and I used a spoon to stir in some O2 and degas it daily. I started on the 10th of this month and my original gravity was 1.100. I missed the first sugar break; on 03/12/2015 it was already down to 1.060. I added my nutrients anyway and stirred.

    My main worry is that I've done too much stirring. Yesterday on 03/14/2015 I bought one of the stainless steel wine degasser/stirrers that can be used with an electric drill. I aerated the heck out of it with my drill, because I thought it was so cool. That was with the gravity at 1.010. Have I ruined my mead by stirring it that much with the electric drill at the home stretch of the fermentation?

    Today it's at 1.001, and i'm planning on racking it off into some 1 gallon secondaries to try some different flavors in each. Is it a lost cause or should I just roll with it and hope for the best?

    Thanks for all the info that's available here, I love this forum!

    Jeremy

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MullisMan View Post
    Hello all, first post here.

    I'm making a BOMM 5 Gallon Batch, I used clover honey from BJ's and followed the SNA schedule set in the BOMM recipe. I made a liter starter with the Wyeast 1388 yeast and the ferment started right away.

    I have a big mouth bubbler 6.5 gallon glass fermenter and I used a spoon to stir in some O2 and degas it daily. I started on the 10th of this month and my original gravity was 1.100. I missed the first sugar break; on 03/12/2015 it was already down to 1.060. I added my nutrients anyway and stirred.

    My main worry is that I've done too much stirring. Yesterday on 03/14/2015 I bought one of the stainless steel wine degasser/stirrers that can be used with an electric drill. I aerated the heck out of it with my drill, because I thought it was so cool. That was with the gravity at 1.010. Have I ruined my mead by stirring it that much with the electric drill at the home stretch of the fermentation?

    Today it's at 1.001, and i'm planning on racking it off into some 1 gallon secondaries to try some different flavors in each. Is it a lost cause or should I just roll with it and hope for the best?

    Thanks for all the info that's available here, I love this forum!

    Jeremy
    No, probably not. It's unusual to aerate that late in the ferment, so why you might have done so is a little mysterious.

    Anyway, you aerated it at 1.010 and it's still dropped lower so the O2 will have been used up by the yeast and any residual air in the fermenter will have been forced out by the developing CO2.

    Plus if it's just a straight BOMM (no fruit etc) then the honey will still have some remaining anti-oxidant ability.

    So now just leave it be and let it finish bubbling and for the gravity to stabilise.

    Have a dig around - the "newbie" guide is still available somewhere (sorry, haven't looked at it for some time, so don't know where it lives), then you have some guidance for finishing off and getting it clear - back sweetening etc if need be.....
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  3. Default

    Thanks fatbloke. I guess I should have said I was degassing more so than aerating. I had the blades farther down in the mead, and I didn't splash so much. The last BOMM I made had a lot of CO2 that I had to let out every day.

    For future reference, when should I leave the mead alone and stop degassing? I added some vodka into my airlock yesterday and I'm not seeing any bubbles whatsoever today. The liquid levels look about even in the S airlock so I'm wondering if there's much CO2 left in the mead.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    While it is possible to oxidize mead, it is hard to do it during active fermentation. The yeast keep the must in a very reductive state. Just be sure to protect it from air exposure once fermentation is done.

    Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

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    You usually want to stop splashing around by the time you get to the halfway point... but stirring gently beyond that is a good idea, as you said, it releases the CO2.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by MullisMan View Post
    Thanks fatbloke. I guess I should have said I was degassing more so than aerating. I had the blades farther down in the mead, and I didn't splash so much. The last BOMM I made had a lot of CO2 that I had to let out every day.

    For future reference, when should I leave the mead alone and stop degassing? I added some vodka into my airlock yesterday and I'm not seeing any bubbles whatsoever today. The liquid levels look about even in the S airlock so I'm wondering if there's much CO2 left in the mead.

    Thanks again.
    For a typical mead, aerating and nutrient additions usually stop at the 1/3 sugar break - i.e. after your specific gravity has dropped about one third of the way from your original gravity to your target final gravity. Your continued bubbling was due to an active fermentation, not because the mead needed to be degassed.

    I have never needed to degas my mead, although I usually let it age for a while with an airlock. I believe that any remaining CO2 is taken care of when I rack the mead. My suggestion would be if you do degas in the future, wait until fermentation is complete and then degas by gentle stirring, not aggressive aerating. Someone with BOMM experience could probably provide some additional insight.

    Congratulations on your mead and welcome to GotMead!

    Dan

    edit - I see CG replied while I was typing (and petting my dog). I will defer to her expertise.

  7. Default

    Thank you all for the information. I think I got a little carried away with my new toy and used it without thinking about what I was doing. Oh well, live and learn. I have it sealed tight now and vodka is in the airlock. I'm going to rack to gallon secondaries for a few different flavors, and try my best to let it age a bit. I believe i've read from Loveofrose's posts that the BOMM ages well up to a year, with not much improvement after that.

    I doubt this mead will live that long.

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