Bulk Aging Question

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nelsongg

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Right up front i'm asking...please be kind.
My question is: When bulk aging instead of bottling is there a point where you remove the airlock and seal the carboy?

Thanks,
Greg
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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You can pretty much do it right after primary if you want to. As long as it's not actively fermenting and outgassing, you won't suffer any ill effect, I don't think.
 

Nurmey

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How long has it been in the carboy? It's not something I would do but if I did, I would be darn positive that ALL fermentation is finished. What's the problem leaving the airlock on? I have some coming up on 1 year that is been just fine sitting with the airlock.
 

northcountry

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I wouldn't after the primary, good possibility, especially with a mead to keep fermenting albeit slowly. You might end up with some carbed mead, or worse yet if there happened to be any weak points in the glass carboy = giant bottle bomb and,,,booom.
My dad actually had this happen to him, I was about 9-10 and in the middle of the night he hears what sounds like a shot gun going off, his immediate thought was....they've found me. He gets up, goes to the spare bedroom and the room was covered in red...chokecherry wine, glass shards and all stuck into the wall. I was right next door in the other bedroom and slept thru the whole thing, of course back then I could sleep thru a train wreck. What I do now when bulk aging is fill the airlock with vodka, put the cover on and that comes with the airlock, and tape over all but one of the holes, if you get the airlock that doesn't come with a cover, just tape over the top with scotch tape and poke a hole in it with a needle, this will prevent evaporation of the vodka.
 
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nelsongg

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Thanks for the replies. It's about 2 months old. It was a five gallon batch that I put into 1 gal carboys for primary, then racked onto fruit I brought back from Hawaii. When I rack it off the fruit I wanted to bulk age it. I don't have a problem leaving the airlocks on. Just didn't know if that was how bulk aging was done.

Thanks,
Greg
 
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nelsongg

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Since I have 5 1 gal carboys bulk aging is it resigned to being still mead? I was thinking of making one or two gallons sparkling but I'm guessing that the yeast will be dead by then. Do I have alternatives?

Thanks,
Greg
 

EvilTOJ

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I don't understand your question. Why would you think it's not going to be mead? The ingredients would have to change, bulk aging doesn't do it. If you want carbonation at bottling and you're worried about dead yeast, just pitch more at bottling.
 
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nelsongg

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I don't understand your question. Why would you think it's not going to be mead? The ingredients would have to change, bulk aging doesn't do it. If you want carbonation at bottling and you're worried about dead yeast, just pitch more at bottling.
Sorry. I thought "still" referred to noncarbonated. What is the proper term for noncarbonated mead for future reference?

Greg
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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If I'm only bottling a gallon (maybe two), how much yeast do I use?
You don't need much, even for 5 gallons... the real question is, though, what are you going to do with the rest of the yeast if not this?

More yeast won't hurt anything. They won't reproduce all that much fermenting the priming sugar, you'll probably get a little more sediment than you normally would, but it won't ruin anything.

If you're nervous about it, you can easily use probably a quarter of a packet without any risk, but I've not done it myself. I'd use the whole packet just to be certain, but I don't mind sediment.
 
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nelsongg

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I'm OK with a little toothpaste at the end of a bottle too. Thanks for the info.

Greg
 
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