View Full Version : Racking, Carboys, and hints--oh my!

03-29-2005, 02:16 PM
Im a newbee and had a couple of quick questions. I started my mead about a month ago, and I was wondering when the best time to rack. I was fermenting in a 5 gallon glass carboy, and Im still getting a bubble every 7 seconds or so in my airlock. I was bad and never checked my hydrometer reading at first.

I also have a small batch (1 gallon) of a cranberry-juice based mead that has never seen more activity than 1 bubble/8 seconds in the airlock...I threw some yeast energizer in to try to get things going. Do smaller batches take less time, or is it all in the recipe?

any hints?


03-29-2005, 03:37 PM
Time of racking was recently under friendly debate here on gotmead. I personally like to wait until my meads have almost completed fermentation and have begun to clear before I rack. This is usually between 6 and 12 weeks old. I've even waited as long as 6 months. However, I can tell you that many here would argue that you should rack earlier for fear of off flavors from autolysis (break down of dead yeast). Others have argued that a small amount of autolysis is GOOD for the mead. Whose right? Its hard to say.

Anyway my point is not to bog you down in details; I just want to give you a perspective on how subjective these things can be. It sounds like your mead has started to slow down a bit, so if you like you could certainly rack now…there would also be no harm in waiting a few more weeks. Personally I would probably wait a bit, but do whatever is convenient for you and listen to the mead…it will tell you when it’s ready!

Batch size has little to do with how long a mead takes to finish…it has more to do with the amount of sugars, the type of yeast, and the temp of the ferment.

03-29-2005, 04:26 PM
Personally, I rack at 1 month, then 2 months after that.

After than only as needed if there's a lot of accumulation for some reason.