View Full Version : Air Poisoning

11-03-2005, 11:25 AM
Ok, I've made two batches thus far. I don't have a siphoning hose, and no carboys (just those little sun tea jars (3.8 L)) To rack, I pour the liquid through cheese cloth into bottles and let it age like that. (I put ballons airlocks on the bottles.) Then, if I do subsequent rackings, I'll pour from bottle to bottle.

I'm wondering if that process would expose the mead to too much oxygen... Most are fine; one has a 'funny smell'. I'm hoping they don't act fine all the way until the end, then decide to puke on me.

So I guess what I'm really inquiring about is how much exposure is too much?

11-03-2005, 12:09 PM
I would wager that you are getting quite a bit of aeration with your transfer method. When you use a siphon/ hose, significant aeration only happens until the the fluid level in your target bottle covers the end of your hose. Keeping the hose submerged below the surface of the liquid limits aeration during the rest of your transfer.

Pouring your fluids over will create a lot of splashing/ aeration. Pouring through cheesecloth will separate the fluids even further creating even more aeration. A quick way to determine this is by noting how much foam is forming when you transfer. As a general rule, if you are forming foam you are aerating and the amount of foam formed is proportional to the amount of aeration. You are also increasing your chances of contamination by pouring vs. siphoning, especially if you are not sanitizing your cheesecloth beforehand.

In either case, flushing the target bottle with CO2 will reduce or eliminate aeration. Unfortunately, this requires additional investment in equipment.


11-03-2005, 02:02 PM
A small hose for siphoning will cost you a few bucks and is worth the investment. A racking cane will cost a buck or two more but again will pay for itself...

11-03-2005, 06:40 PM
Thanks. I will get a siphoning hose, and only hadn't out of my ignorance of where to get one. Though I now know, so when I find some coin I'll get on it. Guess I should get some real carboys, but you know... ;)

11-03-2005, 10:32 PM
My first carboy was a 1 gal Crystal Geyser plastic jug :-X
Most places (including Home Depot) sell plastic hose of various diameters. Fill the hose with filtered water, immerse one end in the mead while *plugging* the other end with your finger, place the other end in the new *carboy* and let gravity do its thing. Search the forum, I remember a long discussion about racking arund here somewhere.


11-04-2005, 07:17 PM
Thanks man. I was planning to go out and get some there same time I go get honey. I bought two more jars earlier in the week.

11-07-2005, 06:39 PM
Ok, I finally broke down and bought some real jugs, stoppers, airlocks, and a siphoning hose. I know the jugs I'm using now aren't air tight, so all of my batches thus far are likely to be ruined.

Oh, and I totally forgot to buy yeast. Jeeze, I'm so thick sometimes.

11-07-2005, 07:26 PM
Don't throw your batches out. They are probably OK, just not really good (except maybe for the funny smelling one).

Give it time before you do anything radical like throw them out.

11-07-2005, 08:04 PM
Oh, I would never throw them out. I would just check them every other day or so for a few months.

(Man, of all the hobbies for an impatient person to choose from, and I get interested in this!)

11-07-2005, 08:57 PM
(Man, of all the hobbies for an impatient person to choose from, and I get interested in this!)

Yeah, last time I checked, they still weren't selling that patience stuff at the LHBS.

They'd make a killing if they did :D

11-07-2005, 10:58 PM
Yeah, by looking at some of the posts, this forum alone would be paying for their vacations.

11-08-2005, 02:02 AM
You're not thick, just too excited. I've been known to make 2 trips to my LHBS on the same day ::)
As long as the batches are still bubbling, even slightly, put them in the new carboys and they'll be fine. The CO2 being produced will protect the mead. Make sure you sanitize the new carboys first and rack into them.