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Thread: Second Fermentation

  1. #1

    Default Second Fermentation

    First of all, sorry for the many questions I'm making, but I really want to make this right, and honey isnt very cheap. I'm a student, and students are poor

    Secondly, my question is:

    Is it okay to do the second fermentation (and even let it age) in a food-grade bucket? I've seen websites that said it is okay, and others who say specificaly not to use them. I can't get my hands on a 5 gallon glass carboy (dont even know where to find them).

    Sorry again, and thank you for your patience!!

  2. #2

    Default

    It would be better for sure if you could get your hands on some kind of glass to age in. Although, I'm betting this won't last long enough to make much of a difference. Make sure to sulfite when your fermentation is over and that will help.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    A couple of sources for 5 gallon carboys are to see if there is a homebrew store near you, or alternatively look at Amazon, where you can find carboys starting at less than $30. Consider plastic carboys that are made for brewing rather than glass, for various reasons: lower cost, lighter weight, avoiding shattering if dropped, while being oxygen-resistant for up to a year.

  4. #4

    Default

    Where can I find these glass 5 gallon carboys?
    The nearest homebrew store (60km away ) only sells fermentation buckets, not glass carboys. I think they are not a thing here in Portugal...
    And ordering from the internet can be really expensive because of the shipping.

    I guess I ll have to look harder here on Portugal.
    Thank you for the patience!

  5. #5
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    Check out sources for bottled water in your area. Like for office water coolers.
    Dave from New Haven County

  6. #6

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    That was a really nice tip!! already found something at an affordable price!
    Is it something like this? http://www.escritoriopronto.pt/compr...na-902014-9796

    The only con is that it is made of plastic... is that ok?

  7. #7
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    Plastics can be permeable to oxygen. OK for short term, but not for bulk aging. As Squatchy said, use some sulfite for insurance and it'll be fine.
    Dave from New Haven County

  8. #8

    Default

    Just another question: do I need to fill the vessel? Or is there a problem if I, for example, only use half of the carboy?

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hpereira98 View Post
    Just another question: do I need to fill the vessel? Or is there a problem if I, for example, only use half of the carboy?
    It's best to have filled vessels. But like I said. You will probably drink this fairly soon. Just learn how to do SO2 additions and you should be ok, as it won't be in there for tons of time.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10

    Default

    The recipes I'm seeing are for 1 (3,8L) gallon batch. But I have a 5L demijohn. Do I need to adapt the recipe?

  11. #11

    Default

    Well if you can. That would be best. I make a little more than what I plan to bulk age. That way I still have a full vessel after racking to age with. Just scale up your recipe accordingly
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Yeah... The problem with using a bucket to age is that the surface area is very large and if this is your secondary then the yeast is not producing CO2 and that means the gas that will fill the headroom is air. Oxidation is a likely result although oxidation - like rust - does not take place instantly. It can take many weeks (or longer) to become perceptible but it WILL spoil the pleasure of your mead and it WILL continue to get worse (again, think rust - That after all is exactly the same chemical process). This is why aging is normally done in a carboy (could be plastic) - a vessel with a very narrow neck which means that if you fill the vessel to the very top - INTO the neck there is only a few square centimeters of surface and only a few centimeters depth that can fill with air.

  13. #13

    Default

    Water vessels are not necessarily good for mead fermentation or storage. Make sure the plastic used is of good enough grade. It's possible that the plastic used for those vessels was not intended to store something slightly acidic like mead or miht be intended for one time or limited use. I don't think this is the case but I wouldn't take it for granted

    EDIT: Translating the page seems to reveal that the containers are made of polycarbonate. Reading up on this plastic tells me that it should be safe for mead fermentation. But do your own research just to be double sure. You're portuguese and you're not relying on google translate like me. You can also probably check the bottom of the vessel for marking which indicate which plastic was used, don't take the site's or my word for something when you can check for yourself. While I might seem overly cautious it has not been the first time that mead makers found out their intended vessel was not fit for fermentation (not all food grade plastics are fit for fermentation). sometimes it wasn't even food grade
    Last edited by Stasis; 12-25-2017 at 10:42 PM.
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  14. #14

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    The site actually says it can be reused, but we can never know. Thank you all for the time you wasted with me

  15. #15

    Default

    It can be reused but not necessarily reused for mead fermentation purposes. There are vessels that can be reused for water use but if the plastic is exposed to acidic liquids I think they might eventually leech out some chemical. I'm not an expert on this by any means and this is why I suggested you do your homework to always be on the safe side. Let me be clearer: I think those are safe but I don't want anyone to use something as a fermentation vessel just because the site says it can be reused. First of all "it can be reused" is vague. We need to know the exact quality of plastic to know for sure if it is suitable for what we want to do with it. Don't take the sites word for it, check the material used and the seal at the bottom of the vessel which tells you exactly what type of plastic is used.

    Even if those were completely safe I wanted to make that suggestion so that we don't have users reading this thread who think that anything suitable for water use is automatically good as a fermentation vessel. I think those are safe (and again don't simply take my word for it) but they possibly could have not been

    Don't worry about time wasted. I think this is a very valid point. I hope that at least some mazers out there will read this thread and will check their vessels for their food grade because I'm sure at least some people have made this mistake because it's a very easy mistake to do and not at all an obvious one
    Last edited by Stasis; 12-26-2017 at 09:17 AM.
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  16. #16

    Default

    You really made a point there!! Very important info.

    meanwhile, i found out the same site sells 5 gallon carboys (like the ones I sent you), but made of glass!! they cost the double, but I think they are better in durability and safety!

  17. #17
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    So here's the thing about glass: bump it and it can crack or break. And glass is much heavier than plastic but it is easier to clean and does not scratch (easily) so it cannot harbor bacteria in the same way that plastic can. You can use a vacuum pump to transfer (rack) or bottle if you use glass but plastic will deform if subjected to a vacuum. So which is better - plastic or glass?. In fact there is what I would call a persistent debate or argument between those who favor glass and those who prefer plastic. The thing is that you need to look for plastic that is designed not to leach chemicals in the presence of alcohol or in contact with liquids with a low pH (wines and meads might have a pH of 3.2 or thereabouts. Water is typically close to 7). For that I think you want to look for a plastic that is known as PET. For the record - I sometimes use plastic and sometimes glass. I use what I have at hand.

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