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Old 07-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #1
kaj030201
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Default Mead- When to move from Primary to Secondary?

Its been a sloooowwwww ferment so far....
I think the airlock has stopped bubbling altogether, but it never really bubbled all that much anyways. The most I noticed was about once every 9 seconds for about 3 days. Its 4 weeks in, so i wonder when should I move it to the secondary?
BTW- White Labs Sweet Mead yeast and 1 packet Pasteur Champagne Yeast, with a ton of yeast energizer.



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Old 07-23-2008, 03:38 PM   #2
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I am new to mead but isn't this point in time exactly when your hydrometer would be very handy to determine whether how far fermentation has come?



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Old 07-23-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'd probably let it sit for at very least another month. Mead takes a long time, and it will be worth the wait.
I let my Leap year Mead sit in it's original fermenter for like 4 months before racking to secondary. I would hesitate to wait more than 6 or 8 months.

Take a hydrometer reading and see what it says. If you're DONE and I mean DONE with fermentation, you could rack at any time. That Pasteur will take you pretty dry, so (just a guess cause we don't know your OG.) I'd hold out for 1.000 before racking.

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Old 07-25-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naidirem View Post
I am new to mead but isn't this point in time exactly when your hydrometer would be very handy to determine whether how far fermentation has come?
bingo.
airlock...means nothing.
hydrometer...tells all.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:49 AM   #5
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Use the hydrometer - kaj030201.
Trust the hydrometer - kaj030201.
OK, enough cheap clichés.
I think mead should be renamed to patience. Or at least imagine hunters and gathers on yearly cycle migrations that "start" a "dream water" and come back to it a year later to enjoy it, then we need to talk about multi-year cycles and then you get some good mead.

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Old 07-26-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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The nice thing about this hobby are the different ways to reach the same end. There is no single correct way to make mead and the process is usually very forgiving.

My personal preference is to rack the mead off the gross lees after about a week of nutrient fed rapid primary fermentation. I feel that when I allow the mead to sit on all that yeast poop it may adversely affect the flavors. However, look at the success with JOA mead that completes fermentation and is then bottled from the primary.

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Old 07-26-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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Well I'd just follow the hydrometer readings i.e. when it gets somewhere between 1050 and 1030, it'd go into a secondary fermenter (glass by preference) and then leave it until it's finished.

Finished is, of course, relative. Depending on how much honey to the gallon was used in the must, what the yeast was, etc etc.

If it was a yeast that will ferment to dry (champagne yeast for example), dry might mean <1000, that's making the presumption that when you started it the gravity was about the 1130 mark (1130 would ferment to 17.66% ABV) as most champagne yeasts will go to about 18% or so, if it was any higher, then you might be left with a little residual sugar and it'd be sweeter.

Of course, it probably wouldn't be anywhere near some of the commercial meads I've tried here (in the UK), as they all seem to be "dessert" meads and have gravities of about 1040. I prefer mine to be between 1000 and 1015.

Dunno if that helps any.

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Old 07-26-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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I REALLY wouldn't move it until its close to final gravity. Take half done mead that's 10% ABV and rack it off the healthy yeast cake...and now you've set yourself up for a stuck fermentation. Not guaranteed, but not ideal.

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Old 07-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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Default well i transferred to the secondary-

since the hydrometer read 1.000

and that was after 28 days!! is that weird?? it seemed to be very very fast, and i never noticed very pronounced airlock activity (the most was once every 9 seconds).
i never took an initial gravity reading (i was in between hydrometers ) but the recipe was basically 8# honey into 2.75 gallons water.

did something strange happen here??????

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Old 07-29-2008, 10:32 PM   #10
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No, that sounds normal to me. Its probably done.

Honey is about 1.034 gravity points per pound of honey, per gallon of water. So you can estimate your Original gravity by taking 34 times 8 lbs, then divide by 2.75 gallons, equals 1.099 OG...roughly.



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