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Old 01-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default to degas or not to degas that is the question

I am new to making mead and have been looking all over this forum and the internet for a simple answer. some people say degas some say no need to degas, some say it is just as important as nutrient additions and some say if you don't degas it will not harm or change the outcome of your mead. i have read to degas through full fermentation and i have read to degas only through the first third of fermentation.

does anyone have any information about this through first hand experience, it seams there is alot of hearsay about this topic on the net. thanks for the help



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Old 01-26-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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The newest information I have was from this year's National Homebrew Conference, when there were several seminars on degassing during fermentation. There is a sticky here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/what-i-learned-nhc-183897/

I think they are definitely more experienced than I am but I'm not really changing anything I'm already doing. Aside from stirring in nutrient additions and stirring during primary I never degas.



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Old 01-26-2011, 01:43 PM   #3
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how often do you stir when its in primary

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #4
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how often do you stir when its in primary
All the time. I mean, not all day long of course, but often and whenever I walk by the primary.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #5
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wow just gave my six gallon carboy a good shake and when i put it down it blew the stopper off the top like a bottle rocket and over flowed with foam. next time im gonna be a little gentler so i dont end up with a nine grade science class volcano ha, mission accomplished though.

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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Antifoam drops can go a long way to prevent Mead Eruption Accidents (MEAs). Of course, using a larger primary is also very effective.

I aerate my musts with a whisk in most cases, and this does produce some de-gassing, though the CO2 comes right back. When I aerate, I do so for maybe a minute at a time, so the mead is not fully degassed, just well stirred and aerated. I'll do this once or twice a day for the first couple of days (longer if it is a high-gravity must). With that I get fast, clean, complete fermentations and I don't have to spend extended periods of time trying to fully de-gas an active fermentation which takes quite a bit of effort. There is no data that anyone has produced that suggest spending more time de-gassing produces any improvement in fermentation kinetics or organoleptic evaluation.

If you have the time to fully de-gas meads during fermentation, I don't think it will harm them.

Medsen

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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I have tried the degas during first week of primary and I'm sold on the idea. Better fermentation, less yeast stress (as evidenced by the total drinkability of the mead right out of primary), and its not hard.

Drill mounted degasser, done 2-3 times a day for just a short burst or two.

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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All the time. I mean, not all day long of course, but often and whenever I walk by the primary.
Me too...just a good swirl when I take the dogs out...

@paddy711 -- you should consider switching to a blow off tube...you'll never have to worry about blowing out airlocks! I don't put on a regular airlock until fermentation has been pretty much done for at least a week or two
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:27 AM   #9
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I have tried the degas during first week of primary and I'm sold on the idea. Better fermentation, less yeast stress (as evidenced by the total drinkability of the mead right out of primary),
I've have found that drinkability out of primary seems more related to recipe, temperature control, and yeast choice than to aeration/de-gassing. Still, I'm open to learn from any side by side comparisons.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I've have found that drinkability out of primary seems more related to recipe, temperature control, and yeast choice than to aeration/de-gassing. Still, I'm open to learn from any side by side comparisons.
Brad Dahlhofer at B Nectar Meadery seems to think it is related to the staggered nutrients and aeration. At least that was the impression I got from speaking with him about his process (which he admittedly did not reveal in full detail). I am sure temp control is a variable they keep consistent as well, but it did not come up in our brief convo about it.

They make a wide variety of very good meads that are less than 6 months from pitch to glass and smooth as silk so that indicates to me that the recipe/ingredients aren't necessarily the important aspect in the equation.4

As for degassing. I basically have done it like I do for wine. This seems to have worked for me in my very limited mead making experience. Link Yooper posted is a great reference


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