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Old 08-05-2007, 09:27 AM   #1
Dionysus42
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Default when do i transfer?

I started a batch of "Wassail" mead from Charlie Papazian's book Brewing Mead (in case anyone else has read it). It has been fermenting well for about a month now and I think its getting near ready to transfer. The book is kind of vague about the end of the fermentation. I said the mead would become fairly clear and from there I would needs to siphon it to a second carboy and let it sit for three more weeks or until the yeast settles again. My mead is kind of an amber clear right now. I have been monitoring the CO2 bubbles and rate of escape (I use a standard fermentation lock on a five gallon carboy). When it started the gas welled up in the water of the fermentation lock for 2 seconds and then escaped. Over the last month or so i have seen it change to 4 seconds, then 8, and just today 10. There are still plenty of bubbles flowing, but definitely less than before. My main question here is; Should there be no CO2 bubbles when I transfer, is that the proper time? Also, really how clear should the mead be?

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Old 08-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #2
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I'd wait until it is down to twice a minute. It will continue fermenting and clearing in the secondary, maybe as long as 6 months.

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Old 08-06-2007, 12:17 AM   #3
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There are several schools of thought on racking. For years I have been racking about once a month. Maybe more because I was shown that way. But with the last 2 batches I have not been racking the same way. I now know a a couple brewers that don't rack very much at all. So I would say no sooner than 30 days, but check your gravity.

Really Mead can and should be crystal clear. Before I bottle I do a light test with high intensity light with the vial I do the hydrometer test in. Shine the light through it and look at it with a white back ground (white paper works). It should shine.

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Old 08-06-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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Ive got a mead ive had going for almost a year. I think i racked it a total of three or four times. I racked it the other day and it didnt start fermenting so i think its about done. Now I get to try bottling wine for the first time soon.

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Old 08-06-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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I would check the gravity every couple of days for a week to insure it is finished. I do believe as long as it been that it would be done but checking is always the best bet. A lot of times it is just throwing off the CO2 that is suspended after the 6 month period.

Best of luck in your bottling! I would use a bottling wand/cane on the first few batches. I still like to use them as it puts it to the correct level and saves me from splashing and wasting precious ounces!

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Old 08-20-2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice.

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Old 09-04-2007, 04:22 AM   #7
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Good thread!! I'm new to mead and want to thank everyone that answers the tough questions.

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Old 09-04-2007, 07:06 PM   #8
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the main purpose of racking (besides clarifying) is to get it off the yeast before it autolyzes. about 1 month in primary on average, or when its truly done fermenting.
a lot less yeast in secondary so its more 'stable'.
if you put it to tertiary and saw no yeast sediment after a month, I think its safe to say its not going to get any off flavors from yeast die-off...you could bulk age quite some time this way if necessary.

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