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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > What I racked the other day:
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
PinkFrog
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Default What I racked the other day:

Just sharing what I racked the other day so you all can tell me your thoughts. Because you're all fascinating meat creatures and your words are music.

Recipe used:
Mixture of "Sweet Raspberry Mead" recipes from http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/mead-recipes.htm and http://beerrecipes.org/showrecipe.php?recipeid=850 (though they're basically the exact same recipe)
Started on 11/29/12

• Yeast: EC-1118 (1 packet)
• 1 Gallon Spring Water
• 5 pounds wildflower honey
• 1.5 pounds red raspberries
• The juice from 1 lemon
• The juice from 1 orange
• 3 Tablespoons of strong english tea
• 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Crushed frozen (then thawed) raspberries.
Added all the ingredients into primary carboy. (SG at 1.075)
Pitched the yeast at 65 F. A few hours later, looks like this:

After two months, racked into secondary carboy. (1/26/13 - Everything had settled, SG was at 1.00)

Smell and taste: rancid.
Now, to forget about it and let it sit for a bunch of months.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 AM   #2
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Did you leave that much headspace in the primary--viewed the video? Is it topped up now? When did you remove the fruit--as in how long was it in primary?

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Wow!! Lots of head space.

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
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I ran out of 1-gallon carboys so for the primary it, sadly, got a 3-gallon. It's happily sitting in a new one gallon as the secondary now.
As my post says, racked onto secondary after 2 months, that's when fruit pulp was racked out. It would have been sooner, but I got in a skiing accident and couldn't stand to do any of the work required. Everything was downstairs and... stairs were hard.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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Well, you may have a ruined mead. All that headspace for two months in addition to all that pulp... gross lees are appropriately named. Fingers crossed. Do you have a rotten egg smell? Hope you are on the mend.

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Old 02-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #6
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What is too long with that kind of headspace? I was under the impression that if you still have some active fermentation that the extra headspace would just be filled with gas and oxidation is not an issue yet.

I have a 2 gallon batch sitting on blueberries in a 3 gallon carboy that is 3 weeks old. Still some activity in the airlock (maybe a bubble every few minutes. Planned on racking to 1 gallons next week. Should I rack now or is it ok?

Thanks

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allhailRITTER View Post
What is too long with that kind of headspace? I was under the impression that if you still have some active fermentation that the extra headspace would just be filled with gas and oxidation is not an issue yet.

I have a 2 gallon batch sitting on blueberries in a 3 gallon carboy that is 3 weeks old. Still some activity in the airlock (maybe a bubble every few minutes. Planned on racking to 1 gallons next week. Should I rack now or is it ok?

Thanks
Wow, you may get loads of different answers. So many variables. I simply ensure headspace is not an issue after 8-10 days. As time goes on the amount of gas protecting your ferment decreases, plus the more headspace to fill the more gas needed and when that blanket is gone you can get into trouble. Then if you have fruit intact for an extended time you have issues with gross lees and such. Fine line. Just so much easier to address headspace. Plus, airlock activity is a horrid way to measure fermentation weeks into it, could simply be offgassing, pressure changes, etc. At this stage, I check SG with hydrometer and do not assume airlock bubbles equal fermentation.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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someone worked out the amount of CO2 generated in a 5 gallon batch of beer with an OG of 1.040- it was 300 atmospheric gallons (ie a volume of air equal to 300 gallons at about standard temp and preasure). So, if you are in the original ferment phase (ie not racked, still fermenting away, etc) then no worries as 1 gallon of fermentable liquid with an OG of 1.040 should make about 60 gallons of CO2 that displaces the space above it - in your case about 120 gallon into 1 gallon, yeah I'd not worry. - and of course mead is usually an OG of 1.080 with a lower FG than the beer.

Now after you rack, you want to leave as little free space as possible, but at that point, you have very little CO2 coming out of your mead. (close to zero). If your vessel (I didn't watch the video) was sealed the entire time, (ie with airlock) then you should be fine interms oxidation.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post
Then if you have fruit intact for an extended time you have issues with gross lees and such.
To clarify, it has not been on the fruit for the whole 3 weeks. I racked onto the blueberries after the first week.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the headspace clarification, everyone! Very helpful. Yet another reason why I love this forum.

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