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Old 12-13-2012, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Headspace?

A friend gave me a 3 gallon glass carboy, so naturally, I thought, "Mead!"

I've only brewed beer so far. I'm reading recipes here and elsewhere, and it looks like people fill the carboy up to within 3 inches of the top to start mead fermentation. With beer you'd get the airlock blown off, wouldn't you? Does mead not produce the same excitement in primary, because the honey is a poor nutrient for the yeasties? Can I really put a 1 gallon recipe scaled to 3 gallons in a 3 gallon carboy? Do I just need to relax and embrace the mead?


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Old 12-13-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Yeah, I thought that too at first, and I left way too much headspace in my first batch, and then had to buy a much smaller bottle for my secondary because mead can oxidize really easily. Go for it - fill the bottle. Unless you're using a bunch of fruit in it or something, you don't need a lot of headspace - Mead is not beer.


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Old 12-14-2012, 12:58 AM   #3
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Dont worry about too much head space in the primary. You can always top off the carboy as fermentation slows down. Good luck with your 1st mead, it probably wont be your last.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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Pull off enough so that it's about the same level as you'd have with a beer. If you don't, have a blow-off tube ready or installed. When you degas and aerate the mead, it WILL foam up like Cujo on 'roids.

As it calms down, or you pass the 1/3 break point, you can start adding the reserved (refrigerated) must.
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