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Do I top off after transfer

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tellish33

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I started this mead 2-26-12 and I just transferred my honey mead from primary bucket to carboy tonight. Do I need to top it off or leave it be? Thx in advance.

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Yooper

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That's too much headspace! You need to top off. A similar mead would be ideal, but if you don't have that, a wine or something else similar would be fine.
 

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I dont have anything but bottled water, whiskey, rum, vodka and some "special" stuff. Will water ruin it?
Water will water it down! If the recipe can support it, you can use water but that would be the least favorite choice. What size batch is it? Normally, you make more than the "batch size" just for this reason- when you rack, you need to make sure the fermenter is filled.
 
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tellish33

tellish33

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I used 9lbs of honey, 2lbs brown sugar, roughly 2 1/2 gallons water and 2 packets of D47 yeast. I used the traditional recipe from hightest sticky.
 

ScottSingleton

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tellish33 said:
So what would you do to solve my problem of too much head space?
It's not exactly the oxygen that does it but the fact that the critters that can live in the O2 that do it. You Will also oxidize the mead. I think you've had several opinions here on what to do from some very smart folks. Go buy a bottle of of wine and pour it in. Get the level within 1 to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the bung
 

Zbay

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Couldn't you get something to put in there and displace the liquid untill its a bit higher? Maybe drop some marbles in there to take up space increasing the water level and fixing your head space problem?
 

ExoticMeadMaker

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Oxygen turns the wine into vinegar.
oxygen does not turn it into vinegar, that would be acetobacter bacteria. which if you use proper sanitation practices it shouldnt be a problem. Oxygen will oxidize your mead, which will alter the color to a brownish and will cause some funky flavors. yes oxygen will help the acetobacter convert the ethanol to vinegar.
IMO, if you keep your paws off of the airlock and keep it closed, you should be fine. Ive had 3 gallon batches in 5 gallon carboys with out issues. but I leave my mead alone as much as possible- hence my signature.
 

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Sorry my phone is special. What that was supposed to say was, I know this is the mead forum but would too much head room cause similar problems in beer?
Over the long term, yes, but not short term. Once co2 production slows/stops then it could be an issue. Usually, beer is not in a carboy long enough for oxidation or infection to be a real issue like it is for wine or mead.
 

Jukas

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Yooper said:
Over the long term, yes, but not short term. Once co2 production slows/stops then it could be an issue. Usually, beer is not in a carboy long enough for oxidation or infection to be a real issue like it is for wine or mead.
Yooper, couldn't you get around the headspace issue by putting a good co2 blanket on it, then a bung & airlock? That was my plan for bulk aging meads in carbon or kegs, rack them to a clean carboy or keg, and then put a co2 blanket on them with the tank from my kegerator.
 

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Yooper, couldn't you get around the headspace issue by putting a good co2 blanket on it, then a bung & airlock? That was my plan for bulk aging meads in carbon or kegs, rack them to a clean carboy or keg, and then put a co2 blanket on them with the tank from my kegerator.
Sure. But you'd have to re-do it a couple of times since the gas will sneak out the airlock with some time and even with sparging with co2, it's never going to be 100% co2 in there. Short term, it would work great, but for long term I'd still plan on topping up.
 

Jukas

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Yooper said:
Sure. But you'd have to re-do it a couple of times since the gas will sneak out the airlock with some time and even with sparging with co2, it's never going to be 100% co2 in there. Short term, it would work great, but for long term I'd still plan on topping up.
What do you consider too much headspace? Attached is a pic of a raspberry melomel I intend to bulk age for at least the next 9-10 months. I did put a co2 blanket on it when I racked.

image-4194373449.jpg
 

roadkill611

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I have bulk aged many meads with head space with no problems at all, you will not have the same oxygenation problems with mead as you would with wine or beer.
 

Taise

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Thanks RoadKill. I've been digging around trying to find info on how much head space is too much. I have a couple of batches of JAOM that should be ready in a week or two but since everything is in 1 gallon sizes I was trying to figure out how to handle the extra space after removing the lees and fruit.
 
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