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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanum View Post
    A lees stirrer attached to a power drill is a pretty effective way to quickly get lots of air into the must. If you're not careful it's also a pretty effective way to get lots of must all over the floor, but that's why we're careful.

    It is also is a very quick way to trigger a degassing of the must.

    Links: This or this.
    I'm a fan of the method we use in India to aerate a pot of chai. We call it "pulling" -- basically it's pouring from about 3-5 feet above the receiving vessel. I guess I'm just old school like that.

    Question: does aerating the must have any bad consequenses (ex. oxidation) that I need to be aware of, and how can those problems be avoided?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelic Alchemist View Post
    I'm a fan of the method we use in India to aerate a pot of chai. We call it "pulling" -- basically it's pouring from about 3-5 feet above the receiving vessel. I guess I'm just old school like that.

    Question: does aerating the must have any bad consequenses (ex. oxidation) that I need to be aware of, and how can those problems be avoided?
    Aerating the must after the aerobic portion of fermentation will introduce more oxygen and eventually oxidation. During the anaerobic phase of fermentation it's my practice to stir slowly and not break the surface of the must. This is to keep the yeast in suspension for easier access to the remaining fermentable sugars. It also provides nucleation points, increases surface area and provides rudimentary fining of your mead as the dead cells drop out.

    Slow daily stirring also helps normalize pH, temperature and yeast distribution throughout the fermentation vessel which prevents stratification of your must, hot spots, fast/slow pockets of fermentation, and buildup of bacterial colonies.

    I do not like "boxing" which A.A. calls "pulling." When pouring from one container to the next you increase the likelihood of airborne contamination and mold infection, especially during pollen season, windy days, humid days, etc.

    I'm a believer in traditions that work and don't represent a risk to my batch. I'll keep traditional practices when they are effective and are part of a consistent production process that yields excellent end product.

    Hope that helps,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar View Post
    I do not like "boxing" which A.A. calls "pulling." When pouring from one container to the next you increase the likelihood of airborne contamination and mold infection, especially during pollen season, windy days, humid days, etc.

    I'm a believer in traditions that work and don't represent a risk to my batch. I'll keep traditional practices when they are effective and are part of a consistent production process that yields excellent end product.
    Again, good to know. Is pulling/boxing detrimental to a must even before yeast is introduced?

  4. #24
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    Dec 2004
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    The OC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelic Alchemist View Post
    Again, good to know. Is pulling/boxing detrimental to a must even before yeast is introduced?
    Remember that whatever spoilage yeast may be trying to take hold are also assisted by O2, just as your selected yeast would be. I think aeration is fine before inoculating with the yeast, but I'm not keen on the pouring back and forth in the conditions I noted below. Will it ruin your mead, nope probably not. My advice would be to get a lees stirrer or whip degasser and do a couple of test batches side-by-side. If you have a lab that does analysis (like Scott Labs, Vinquiry, etc,) close take a sample of each must before aeration, after aeration and at various stages (say every other day) through the fermentation and have them tested. That should provide some very substantial information about the difference (if any) between the two methods.

    I personally just don't like pouring my must out of the fermentation vessel and into another unless it's being controlled as in racking. Just one of my own personal peccadilloes.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Elk Grove, CA
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    It'd be okay to do with chai because you drink it right away (relatively speaking, compared to mead/beer) and any bacteria introduced to it wouldn't have a chance to do their naughty things.

    /Pete has peccadilloes? Who knew?

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildoates View Post
    It'd be okay to do with chai because you drink it right away (relatively speaking, compared to mead/beer) and any bacteria introduced to it wouldn't have a chance to do their naughty things.

    /Pete has peccadilloes? Who knew?
    I don't even know what a peccadillo is. Sounds like the name of a species of chile to me. Oh, and I had to google "whip degasser" too. I see I've reached the gadget crusade portion of this hobby. Yeesh, they never stay simple for long, do they? Ah, it's just as well, I suppose I asked for it showing up here with all these odd questions.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Evergreen, CO (west of and above the Denver smog!)
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    To answer every question, there is a tool -- or a technique. The tools generally cost money, but are easy to employ. The techniques cost time, but once mastered, are with you forever.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Elk Grove, CA
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    Exactly, Wayne, and both have their place.

    /more toys more toys

    A peccadillo is a little idiosyncrasy or fault--something that might be a mite odd, but doesn't hurt anyone, so who cares?! Sometimes naughty, but always minor.

  9. #29

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    Here's what we've done to try and save this one:

    -racked the must off the herbs into a carboy

    -soaked the herbs in a bucket with 3L of vodka to extract compounds

    -added 2 campden tablets to the must in the carboy and left uncovered

    -made a yeast starter with EC1118 that we'll pitch in 24h or so

    We'll eventually rack and blend the two end results from this mess and call it a damiana liquor.
    From the bonny bells of heather
    They brewed a drink long-syne,
    Was sweeter far than honey,
    Was stronger far than wine.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelic Alchemist View Post
    Nope! But it's probably a good idea.
    I learned during my big metheglin/herbal phase, that the best use of herbals/botanicals in my meads is in my secondary. I have used decoctions, extracts, absolutes, and just "dry hopping" in the secondary. There is something to be said about the alcohol extraction properties of mead and the tastes you will receive in secondary vs primary additions.

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