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Old 11-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Re-Racking: Cautious about splashing?

Greetings all!

I have a spiced mead that I have been aging in bottles for over a year now. There is some silt in the bottom, so I wanted to rack off of that and re-bottle. I want to make sure that if I splash the mead I won't kill it.

I know with beer that if you introduce oxygen after fermentation then you get terrible off-flavors. Does mead have the same issues?

Trying to figure out how careful I have to be. Thanks for any info!

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:14 PM   #2
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Yes, oxidation can be a huge risk with wine and mead (and cider). If you rack, you want to siphon very gently without splashing and reduce headspace. If you want to be extra cautious (I am), you could crush and dissolved one campden tablet per gallon, and rack the wine into that. Sulfites are great as antioxidants as they bind to the wine so 02 can't, and then dissipate with time. That's what I do.

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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Honestly, I always thought this was just a wine issue not a Mead issue. I am not sure how much oxyidation occurs. I personally haven't had any off flavors and I don't really take much care, now I am not sloppy and shake or slosh it about on purpose. But many times when I rack I don't have a vessel so I rack to my brew bucket and then back to my same carboy after I have rinsed and cleaned the lees and dregs out of it. The taste of my mead has not suffered for this. Again, I am not sure how much oxyidation occurs.

Has anyone done a side by side on taste on this, being super careful about oxyidation and on another identical batch being purposely sloppy? Then tasted the results?

Sounds Like I have another canidate for a test.

Matrix

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Old 11-30-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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does shaking fermentor vigorously qualifies as splashing and oxidizing? When my meads ferment I usually give them really good shake, like upside down few dosen times to release some CO2 trapped in there. I do same after fermentation is over when I backsweetening to mix honey into mead. It foams a LOT. But I always thought that if there is no oxygen in there you not oxidizing anything.

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Old 11-30-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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You want to re-bottle it? That seems like more of a risk/hassle that it's worth. What's the big deal with a little sediment? Any aged beverage is going to have sedimentation over time.

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Old 12-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
Has anyone done a side by side on taste on this, being super careful about oxyidation and on another identical batch being purposely sloppy? Then tasted the results?

Sounds Like I have another canidate for a test.

Matrix
We haven't tested, but we ruined a pretty expensive batch of berry mead to oxidation. It's still drinkable (I use that term loosely) but has a "cardboard" taste to it. Also, instead of the beautiful purple color it started with, it is now tinged brown. Let me know the results of your test!

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Originally Posted by paraordnance View Post
does shaking fermentor vigorously qualifies as splashing and oxidizing?
Yes, it can. There are no worries up to 50% sugar depletion. I usually use a FG of 1.000 to determine where to stop. After that, when you degas you want to be careful not to agitate the top of the mead too much.

Lastly, I am in full agreement with Bigbeergeek. A little sediment never hurt anyone. You really risk hurting the batch for a little aesthetics.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #7
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How the heck do you degas without aerating at the same time?

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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How the heck do you degas without aerating at the same time?
I used to use a long handled spoon and now use a carboy mixer that attaches to a drill. You just do your best to not mix vigorously enough to cause a vortex or a lot of splashing. There's no way to introduce *no* oxygen while degassing, but you just try to not add a lot.
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