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Old 10-06-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default Topping off

If I wanted to top-off my brewing meads with honey, how should I go about it? Simply pour honey in? Pour and stir? Dissolve honey in water and add?
Also, when should I top-off and how much should I be adding? I have two batches going in 5-gal carboys.

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:30 PM   #2
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There is not a single answer for all those questions... Do you currently have too much headspace? What is the volume of each of the two batches in 5gal carboys? You generally top off to minimize headspace when racking. Because when you rack, you are bound to lose some brew with the sediment.

Are you wanting to raise the abv more then it currently is? Then add a honey/water mixture that can raise your SG to something you are shooting for.

Are you trying to maintain your current potential abv? If so add a honey/water mix that is equal to the original SG.

What are you recipes, why are you topping off, do you need to? So many questions haha.

Not giving you a hard time, just not much we can do without more info.

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:31 PM   #3
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I think a lot of people use a honey / water solution that is roughly equal to the ratio used in the original batch.

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKahuna View Post
I think a lot of people use a honey / water solution that is roughly equal to the ratio used in the original batch.
+2 - that's what I do. Sometimes I'll use another mead of a similar style.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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I don't need to top off for some time yet as I just brewed them on Saturday (2 days ago). They're full to about an inch past the obvious shoulder line on the carboy. And at the time of brewing, I had more honey than necessary to do 1 batch, but not quite enough for me to be happy with two. So I may want to increase the SG at some point.

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Old 10-17-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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I have several followup questions about this. I have a cyser going right now in a 5 gal carboy. It has a volume of about 4.5 gallons and should finish up at around 14.5% abv. I intended to rack to another 5 gal carboy when the primary is finished (just about there) and let it age for several months in bulk. But when I rack it will be reduced in volume a bit and the top of the fluid will be below the shoulder of a 5 gallon carboy. Is this bad? Do I need to top it off after racking to eliminate the headspace? I am concenered about oxygenation of the cyser during bulk aging...is this a real concern? Can I charge the carboy with CO2 after racking instead of topping? Can I rack to a 3 gal and a 1 gal and age then seperately? If I top off with a honey/water mixture, wont it then continue to ferment? Should I just top off now before the primary is quite finished? What would you do?

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Old 10-17-2008, 03:44 PM   #7
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Regardless of whether you top it off now or not, you will lose some to racking losses, you simply can't and don't want to rack everything over. I am not experienced with co2 charging, so I am not sure, but I am sure that there are those that support both trains of thought. I personally would rack over and top off with an apple juice and honey mixture equal to your starting SG. But yes it will continue to ferment, but I don't mind this. It won't create much lees, but if you have a problem with that then don't do it. Your other option, racking to a 3 and 1 gal carboys is the simplest. You won't lose much if any, if you are starting with 4.5 gals. Once you count in the losses due to racking, you should be able to top off both carboys perfectly for aging.

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