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Old 12-20-2008, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Mead first racking help please!

My traditional mead has been in the primary for a month and a half now. While its still fermenting at a very good clip, about a bubble every 10 sec, there is alot of lees forming in the fermenter, maybe like an inch worth. Should I rack it off the lees to a secondary, and let it resume course? Also, when I do rack, should I top off the secondary with boiled, cooled, spring water?

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Old 12-20-2008, 06:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pingi View Post
My traditional mead has been in the primary for a month and a half now. While its still fermenting at a very good clip, about a bubble every 10 sec, there is alot of lees forming in the fermenter, maybe like an inch worth. Should I rack it off the lees to a secondary, and let it resume course? Also, when I do rack, should I top off the secondary with boiled, cooled, spring water?
This brings up a good point and I also have a question. Now this is in reference to a one gallon batch...but if I wait until im getting one bubble every 30 seconds or so, and then rack it off...will the fermentation process pick up after that or remain slow until it eventually stops and begins to clear over several months?

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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a few of the folks on here would say to rack once it hits ~1.020 and then everytime the lees is 1/4"

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Old 12-20-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingi View Post
My traditional mead has been in the primary for a month and a half now. While its still fermenting at a very good clip, about a bubble every 10 sec, there is alot of lees forming in the fermenter, maybe like an inch worth. Should I rack it off the lees to a secondary, and let it resume course? Also, when I do rack, should I top off the secondary with boiled, cooled, spring water?
I would not make any decision until I knew:
  • The OG
  • The present SG
  • The type of yeast used
  • The batch volume
Leaving mead on the lees is not necessarily a bad thing... FWIW, I have a Barbera pyment that is still in the primary going on 2 months, and last year I bottled a Riesling pyment after it was rack off the primary lees after 9 months.

Almost forgot. I rarely top-off...
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:36 AM   #5
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og 1.100
sg 1.010
lalvin d 47
5 gallons

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Old 12-21-2008, 12:39 AM   #6
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oops. sorry that was my cider yeast. i used a dry mead activator from wyeast. no starter. too many homebrews tonight.

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Old 12-21-2008, 03:23 AM   #7
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At this point you could rack it or leave it alone. IMO it makes little difference, but if you'd feel more at ease rack it...

I would like to clarify my comment about topping-off. I noted that I rarely do it, and there are a couple of reasons.

First, I try to size the initial batch volume to account for racking losses - about ½ gallon. Second If I rack while there's still some chance of fermentation remaining, it will create a CO2 blanket on mead's surface. Lastly, I dislike the idea of adding water to my mead as it simply dilutes it.

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