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Old 05-09-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
bribo179
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Default Fermenting Mead in Plastic Primary Fermenter

I have found a mead recipe I would like to try. The ferment/condition time is 2 years. After one year you are suppose to rack the mead to a secondary.

My question for this mead and all others. Can both the primary and rack to a secondary be in standard 6.5 gallon plastic fermenters with an airlock? Or do you have to rack to a glass carboy.

The reason I am asking - Glass carboys = $35+ . Plastic fermenters = $13

If headspace is an issue I can always make the 5 gallon recipe a 6 gallon. Heck, if it is sitting for 2 years and I can get an extra gallon ...why not?

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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The problems with buckets is the HDPE plastic is permeable and oxygen can pass through it. Even if there is no headspace, there is potential for oxidation, and I recommend getting a carboy for aging. However, with that said, there is at least one person on the NorthernBrewer forums that does age in buckets, though he generally skips the racking and seems to have no problem with aging for up to two years in the bucket. You pay your money, you take your chances...

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Old 05-09-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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Well there are other options out there if you are adventurous.

You could ferment in a corny keg (which is about the same cost as a carboy. People have aged mead in them with good results as well.

As for your original question I will say that you can primary in a bucket and in some cases it will make things, like melomels, easier. (in my opinion) As for long term storage I do not have a great answer for you on that one. I am sure that is has been done with good results but I have on personal experience with it.

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Old 05-10-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
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I personally ferment first 1-2 weeks in a bucket depending on how long it takes me to get my sg down near where I want it. Then I transfer to a carboy/better bottle until crystal clear. Finally I throw it in a keg and bulk age until I am ready/want to bottle it.

Its just worth the extra effort to ensure anything in my control does not screw up my batch of mead that will cost a good deal for ingredient wise.

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bribo179 View Post
I have found a mead recipe I would like to try. The ferment/condition time is 2 years. After one year you are suppose to rack the mead to a secondary.

My question for this mead and all others. Can both the primary and rack to a secondary be in standard 6.5 gallon plastic fermenters with an airlock? Or do you have to rack to a glass carboy.

The reason I am asking - Glass carboys = $35+ . Plastic fermenters = $13

If headspace is an issue I can always make the 5 gallon recipe a 6 gallon. Heck, if it is sitting for 2 years and I can get an extra gallon ...why not?
what yeast does it call for?
a lot of yeast will be done within a month unless your running it really cold or in extreme conditions.
i use plastic fermenter then rack into carboy, you can leave in that as long as you like/need. any long term storage should not be in plastic.
thats one curse of meads is them having to spend a long time aging tieing up expensive carboys.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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It calls for 2 packs of d-47. I've brewed two batches with this stuff and it seems pretty aggressive.

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Old 05-12-2011, 06:56 AM   #7
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i havn't used it but i guess it will be done within 2-3 weeks depending on temp. the 2 year time table will be mainly aging.
i'm not a fan of fermenting in carboys so i would ferment in food grade plastic bucket (2-3 weeks) then transfer to carboy, rack when yeast settles out, then leave in carboy for a year or until its good enough to bottle.

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