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Are the Aesir stealing my mead?

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Could there truly be an "Angel's Share" with mead like the aging of bourbon? Probably not, but I hope you can help me figure this out.

I started a JAOM recipe two days ago. Here are my ingredients.
- 2lbs. Goldenrod Honey
- .75lbs. Wildflower Honey
- 1 Orange, cut into 1/8th, with rind on 2/8ths
- 3 Crushed Allspice
- 3 Crushed Cloves
- 5 3" Cinnamon Sticks
- 3/4 oz. Fleischmanns Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Gallon Spring Water.

Pitched it on the 26th, and the yeast reaction squeezed through the airlock, so I placed a drop tube airlock instead. A bit more foam released into the evening and finally steadied. So I lost a little on my water level, but remained around 2 inches from the top of the carboy. Upon checking it on the 27th, I noticed the water level in the carboy had decreased again, so I marked it with a pen. Today, I see in has decreased some more.

I have made an assumption that perhaps the cinnamon sticks have hydrated, stealing some liquid, and possibly the oranges have absorbed a little as well. But as for that, I'm open to suggestions.

My real concern is, should top off the carboy a bit to minimize the headspace. From what I have read, the less space at the top, the better. But, I would love to hear what everyone thinks.

Skäl Y'all
 

Seamonkey84

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As the yeast works away the sugars in the honey and break it down to alcohol and CO2, The volume will decrease a bit as a result
 

Seamonkey84

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The head space isn’t an issue during active fermentation, but you’ll want to top it off after you rack for sure.
 

NeverDie

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It depends what you're after. To avoid dilution, after racking it would be better to top it off with some spare mead than to use water. Alternatively, some people use marbles (the lead free kind, assuming they even exist). I myself generally downshift to a smaller container. Probably the best way is to just purge it with either Co2 or Nitrogen, assuming you have the equipment. That's what I'd want to do someday.

Probably the most exotic solution is the so-called "closed loop transfer." It's the holy grail, because you avoid oxygen even during the racking. Not sure how common it is with mead, but the beer people love it. To me it looks like a lot of extra cleaning/sanitizing afterward and beforehand, what with all the valves and pipes/tubes that are involved. It's probably the gold standard to aspire to, but it comes at a price.
 
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Maylar

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It's really not a problem with a JAOM. Here's how mine went:

I kept back a cup or 2 to allow for the foam at the start, then added that back when the foam subsided after a few days.
After 30 days:



At 65 days:



Racked at 75 days:



And bottled shortly afterward. I did not concern myself over the head space and losses, aging was done in the bottles.
 

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