Though I am new to this website I am not new to mead brewing. I started over seven years ago and brew nearly 200 gallons every 6 months or so. It sounds to me like your yeasties will be just fine. An air gap is a good thing. In my five gallon carboys I leave a good 6 to 10 inch gap. If you don't you run the risk of a mead fountain in your closet at 4 am. (Not that this ever happened to me or anything.). Personal preference I try to have my ingredients at 90 degrees give or take a degree before adding yeasties and their nutrients. I also ensure my container is in its permanent home for the next3 months or so before adding them. On a side note with a fruit mead a good couple of thoughts I use on some of mine: Fruit is best put in after being frozen, about half a cup or less per gallon of orange juice helps the mead considerably but can extend brewing period. Thanks for reading. Let me know if I can help further.
Hi smiddy. So I pulled out the bucket to give it a good stir. It still has a odd strong alcohol smell to it but tonight I pulled some out. Even with the odd smell it tasted like a mild dry mead so was pretty happy. It's hard to tell what kind off of alcohol content it will be but it still has the fruit add during 2nd fermentation ? B
It could greatly be that your air gap is four or five gallons of air. The gas has a lot of room to fill especially when opened. It looks fairly normal except usually you would see gas bubbles forming. I highly suggest buying the ingredients to make your six gallons much closer to full or a couple one gallon carboys to transfer into. It should not be ruined yet you can give the yeast a good kick start. If you transfer to one gallon mix half cup warm water with yeast nutrients to instructions on their packaging, then add in a teaspoon or two dependent on your worry of yeast and pour in with it. This should give it a boost. But if I just can't see the gas bubbles in the photo it is fine and you need to just leave it closed and let it do its work. If you go with more ingredients to fill your six gallons multiply my above suggestion by estimated gallons you have in your brewing container. As mentioned earlier I only leave about six inches between liquid and rim of carboys. This is a pretty good rule of thumb. It helps prevent overflow and still leaves desired effect with yeasties. Can always add a little water about the time you rack for aging or about the time bubbles slow to one every ten minutes or so.