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Thread: Not enough headspace?

  1. Default Not enough headspace?

    So I racked my first mead today--the SG got down to 1.01, and it was tasting pretty close to what I wanted, so I figured I'd get it off the yeast and such before it got an off flavor.

    I racked it to a gallon jug, and was able to get more in there than I expected. I've read plenty on not enough headspace, but in my jug it's about a half inch from the bottom of the stopper. Should I have more room in there, or is that ok?

    Thanks,
    Dan


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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    When asking a question like that, you should probably mention what type of mead it is. Traditional? Melomel? Metheglin?

    Regardless, it's fine.

  3. #3

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    When ageing you want the least headspace. An active ferment needs more space. Is this finished with tweaking and now you just want to age it?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. Default Not enough headspace?

    Thanks for the advice. The recipe I'm using is very close to JAOM, and so far it's worked pretty well. I used a different yeast than I'd planned on, and the ferment ended before I expected (there's very little activity in the airlock--it's not stuck based on the SG and taste--it's pretty dry), but the taste is right where I want it to be. So at this point I'm just waiting for it to age a bit and clarify as more drops out--I don't want to use any fining if I can avoid it. I'm going to let it sit for at least 6 weeks and see where it is then.


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    Last edited by Jonas Calhoun; 09-03-2017 at 12:25 AM.

  5. #5

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    So fill it up to the top. I doubt 6 weeks will be too much different. Can you put it in the fridge? Thst will help a lot
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6
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    He did say it was only 1/2 inch from the bottom of the stopper on his jug......... If it's like most jugs, that really not a lot of head space :-)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    He did say it was only 1/2 inch from the bottom of the stopper on his jug......... If it's like most jugs, that really not a lot of head space :-)
    You are correct. I didn't bother to go back to the original post to reread it.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. Default

    Heh. That's kinda what I was wondering--if 1/2" isn't enough. I'll pull a little off this afternoon. It'll give me a chance for another taste test.


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  9. #9

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    A half of an inche is fine.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10

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    Too little headspace would be that same amount of headspace in a larger carboy since temperature swings would make the liquid below the neck expand more. If this were the start of spring and you were planning to age this over summer then the temp rise might be a problem but as this is I think it should be ok.
    Btw I find little use in racking before the ferment is over. In many cases you're just making it tougher and longer for the yeast to finish their job and you're also racking off less compact yeast (more waste). There are times when I want to rack early though, namely a late harvest of prickly pears where the fruit has started to already taste a bit... unusual. I want to rack off that pulp as soon as possible to make sure there is the least flavor impact. I think this is what you were worrying about but if you used fresh fruit and the ferment was quick you might have waited a but longer and the end result might even be better. Racking off spices and oak also warrants racking early sometimes. It's hard for me to tell which was definitely the best approach but it's something for you to consider
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

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