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-   -   ? about when to rack the must (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/about-when-rack-must-345291/)

siroiszoo 08-02-2012 07:04 PM

? about when to rack the must
I'm a newbie to mead making. I'm on the fourth batch (1 gallon size) following the basic mead recipe from stormingthecastle.com.

Directions state that the 1st rack takes place between 14 & 30 days. For the life of me, I can't seem to get a must to bubble (rapidly - a bubble in the airlock every 30 seconds or less) beyond 13 to 14 days.

I've used Lalvin D47 and most recently (for a drier mead) Lalvin EC-1118. The EC-1118 took off bubbling like crazy but has died down to one bubble every 50 - 60 seconds by day 12. Going to wait the full 14 days per directions and rack tomorrow.

The temp has been kept at 72 - 75 degrees (best I can do in this 100 degree weather we are having).

Should I be worried about this? Is this typical?

bk0 08-02-2012 07:29 PM

Rack it when it's done. Confirm that gravity is stable over several days to make sure fermentation is done and rack. Your yeast should be fully flocculated and the mead should be starting to clear. If it's still very turbid wait longer. I usually wait a week or so more than strictly necessary just to make sure it's done and I'm getting as much of the yeast out as possible.

siroiszoo 08-02-2012 08:42 PM

ty. also, just noticed similar threads. read those as well. Thanks!

Golddiggie 08-02-2012 08:53 PM

Rack when it hits it's FG, and has been at that reading for at least a week. Mead can slow way down towards the end. I'd give it at least a few extra weeks before even thinking about racking. You could let it go a couple of months even before racking, without issue (with the yeasts you're using). You'll also want to rack it no more than once a month (every 2-3 months would be better) until it becomes crystal clear. I typically let mine go at least 9-12 months from pitching to final racking/bottling.

Keep in mind, mead is NOT like beer in it's time frame.

siroiszoo 08-02-2012 09:46 PM

just took a reading. it started at 1.120 two weeks ago. Today it is 0.996. (I sneaked a taste. completely different from the meads with D47. Not sweet at all or at least, not compared to a three week mead I made with D47 and the regular mead I started when racked at 14 days.) Hope this is not out of the ordinary and that I'm still on track.

Golddiggie 08-04-2012 02:30 PM

Going below 1.000 is not uncommon depending on how you mix the must. With EC-1118, it will go to 18%, or maybe a bit over. You're at 16.5% now, so if you add more honey to the must, you'll get additional fermenting, until the yeast has hit it's limit. Unless you stabilize the must that is.

BTW, I recall (haven't looked for it) posts from people who had mead ferment closer to .990 (or even lower). If you're just wanting a dry mead, then I would simply let it go until it's been a full month, then start your rackings. When it's about time to bottle, stabilize it so that you don't have to worry about bombs.

Personally, I don't want to stabilize my meads. I make them to hit the limit of the yeast selected, and then simply give them time to clear. It's less work for me (after mixing and after the 1/3 break), and I get a great mead out of it. :D

siroiszoo 08-05-2012 04:15 PM

Thank you for your input Golddiggie. It's greatly appreciated.

However, I do believe that I have messed up both of my JAOM batches. No one tells you about head space in their directions. So when I discovered this could cause a problem and that mead from other batches could be added to top of after racking....well, that's what I did. Was so proud of myself, then a day later I remembered something. The 3 week mead I used to top off the JAOM batches had potassium sorbate & pectic enzyme added to the batch before bottling. Now I am afraid that I have stopped fermentation WAY TOO EARLY on my JAOM batches (or JOAM which ever is correct).

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