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Old 06-20-2008, 05:23 PM   #1
beergears
 
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My first JAO's lees just settled down to bottom and is getting clear (yeah!) after two months.

I am thinking of raking to another vessel, and I may use either:
- a plastic one gal. (apple juice) container
- or a glass 1.5 gal. flask

Can I use either/is glass that much more preferable?

If using the 1.5 gal glass, should I be concerned about the head space?


Note that I am tempted to keep the glass free for some other project (!)
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:48 PM   #2

You absolutely need to be concerned with headspace in a secondary for either mead or wine. Some people use marbles (sanitized of course) as filler in an overly large secondary container. Others use an inert gas that can be found in some liquor stores as a blanket on top of the mead/wine to preserve it and keep it from oxidizing. Really, as little as a few unprotected days may damage it.

Having said that, there's likely nothing wrong with using a plastic container as a secondary for a few weeks, as long as you have it topped and a good tight fitting bung with an air lock on it. Be sure to use vodka in the air lock because the plastic isn't rigid and any movement may cause the airlock liquid to suck back into the container, as it sometimes does with Better Bottles.

 
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
GinKings
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Glass would be preferable to a plastic apple cider jug, but a half gallon headspace in a one gallon mead isn't good either. Given the choice, I'd probably go with the plastic jug. I use one gallon glass wine jugs. They're not that hard to find.

 
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:56 PM   #4
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Headspace does not equal oxidation.

If you're not mixing it around, the gas isn't going to dissolve into solution.

I've aged for more than a month with +1 gallon headspace. NO PROBLEMS.

people worry too much about headspace I think.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:02 PM   #5

I'm always very careful with headspace. If you don't think headspace makes a difference, take a bottle of wine or mead, pour yourself a glass and replace the cork. Come back in two weeks and see if it tastes the same. As long as there's a protective layer of C02, as in a young mead or wine or an application of inert gas, headspace is ok.

 
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:26 PM   #6
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but when you poured the bottle, you aerated the bottle in addition to increasing the headspace. plus the contents weren't active any more so there would be no CO2 to gas out of solution like there is in secondary.

/shrugs

I've just never noticed any signs of staleness when I've done 2 month secondary with some headspace and no manual CO2 blanketing process.
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Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
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