Oxygen in Mead

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georgeW

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Being new to the world of making mead there are things that appear to go against the grain from a beer brewer's point of view.
I have a mead in the primary and need to add yeast nutrient and I have read in several places to add the nutrient and stir. Does additional oxygen not affect mead the same as it does ales and lagers? Should I add the nutrient dry?
Regards,
georgeW
 
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I've only done one batch of mead thus far but I didn't stir when I added additional nutrient during the ferment cycle. My opinion it'll dissolve and be moved about with the yeast exercise action going on. I believe adding o2 after ferment has started is still a bad thing just like wort.
 

Yooper

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Mead is much like wine. When you make wine/mead, oxygen in the primary is a very good thing. In fact, I primary in an open container with just a dishcloth to cover it (to keep fruitflies out) and stir several times a day to break up the cap and to oxygenate. Once the sg gets to 1.020 or less, you rack into a carboy and keep under airlock.
 

malkore

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plus, you can stir without splashing/aerating. just gotta be gentle about it.
 

ALPS

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georgeW said:
Does additional oxygen not affect mead the same as it does ales and lagers? Should I add the nutrient dry?
Do not add the nutrient dry. Dissolve it in 1/4 cup boiled, cooled water and stir it in gently. If this mead is still in an early enough stage to have nutrients added to it, some oxygen won't hurt. After fermentation slows, oxygen is the enemy.
 

Gusizhuo

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I am curious about this point as well. I am just about to get into homebrewing with me first batch but I am thinking about doing both mead and beer within the year. Reading about making mead at the same time I have been reading about making beer has led to some confusion. So, let me just ask...

1) when mead is in the PRIMARY you want to occasionally oxygenate it?

2) how about mead in the secondary?

3) with beer to avoide oxygenation all together? For instance, would Yooper Chick's dish cloth method be a bad choice for beer?

4) do you ever areate beer?

5) do you absolutley need an airlock or blow off tube for every stage of beer brewing or could you use some other method?

and in an unrelated vein

6) Yooper Chick, what part of the UP are you from? I was born and raised in the lower peninsula before I moved here to Asia.
 

Yooper

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I'm from the central UP, on the Wisconsin border. I love it here!

I suggest going to gotmead.com to give more you more complete information than I'm providing here. I'm no mead expert so I would defer to the experts. Still, it's very much like wine making and I've got a good grasp on that!

Ok, let's see:

1. Yes, oxygen is good to get fermentation going.

Aeration: (from gotmead.com)
To avoid stressing the yeast during their growth phase, it is important to provide them with the oxygen they need. Aerate the Must a couple of times a day for the first three days by using an aeration stone, shaking, or stirring with a Lees stirrer. Make sure you sanitize whatever equipment you are going to use before putting it into the Must. Aerate for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the method, and then cover the Must again. WARNING - There will be CO2 dissolved in the solution that will begin to bubble out when you begin to aerate the must. This can sometimes result in a geyser effect that could spray your walls and ceiling, and will result in the loss of some of the must. To avoid this, gently agitate the liquid to expel the CO2 before you begin to add the oxygen. This is particularly important if you are using the shaking method.

2. After primary fermentation, all wine and beer and mead should be very quietly racked and protected from oxygen. The amount of co2 coming out of the fermenter is no longer enough to protect it.

3. Yes, close up the primary tightly (with an airlock) for beer. Still, you aerate beer like mad before pitching the yeast because it needs it. But then keep it airlocked.

4. See above. I have a fish tank aerator that I run before I pitch the yeast. This is more crucial for full boils or AG because you boil off all the oxygen in the water. If you're using bottled water that hasn't been boiled to top off, this is not as important.

5. You need an airlock or blow off tube so that your container doesn't explode. The airlock allows the co2 to leave without allowing in oxygen or bugs. The way my grandpa did it was with an uninflated ballon with a pinhole it in. Most of the time it worked, occasionally he made vinegar.

A great place for winemaking is here: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp

And for beer: howtobrew.com.
 

mgayer

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There have been several new methods discovered in the last few years of how to provide a better environment for yeast within the mead community. A study was done at the University of California concerning yeast and nutrients. What they found was that yeast produced beter results when nutrients were staggered in 3 stages; the begining 1/3, middle of the primary 1/3 and as secondary starts 1/3. I noticed by using this method with the last batch it worked much quicker and was a bit mellower when finished, the batch is still aging. What I mean by the 1/3 above is to add 1/3 of the total amount.

Adding the nutrient I would mix it with a bit of water first for easy of mixing, and yes stir it in the must. Not a hard stir but mix it in. There is a difference in beer and wines or mead. I am not a beer brewer but I love wines, meads and ciders. With Mead and Wine like Yooperchick I just cover the primary with a cloth to keep the baddies out but allow the must to get the O2 it needs to reproduce. No need to oxygenate while in the primary, you should shake the snot out of it before pitching the yeast to get the O2 in there. When in the secondary absolutly NO O2 contact. When you transfer to the primary put the airlock on and keep it there except for racking and then get it back on.

Hope this helped answer your questions!
 
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I'm from the central UP, on the Wisconsin border. I love it here!

I suggest going to gotmead.com to give more you more complete information than I'm providing here. I'm no mead expert so I would defer to the experts. Still, it's very much like wine making and I've got a good grasp on that!

Ok, let's see:

1. Yes, oxygen is good to get fermentation going.

Aeration: (from gotmead.com)
To avoid stressing the yeast during their growth phase, it is important to provide them with the oxygen they need. Aerate the Must a couple of times a day for the first three days by using an aeration stone, shaking, or stirring with a Lees stirrer. Make sure you sanitize whatever equipment you are going to use before putting it into the Must. Aerate for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the method, and then cover the Must again. WARNING - There will be CO2 dissolved in the solution that will begin to bubble out when you begin to aerate the must. This can sometimes result in a geyser effect that could spray your walls and ceiling, and will result in the loss of some of the must. To avoid this, gently agitate the liquid to expel the CO2 before you begin to add the oxygen. This is particularly important if you are using the shaking method.

2. After primary fermentation, all wine and beer and mead should be very quietly racked and protected from oxygen. The amount of co2 coming out of the fermenter is no longer enough to protect it.

3. Yes, close up the primary tightly (with an airlock) for beer. Still, you aerate beer like mad before pitching the yeast because it needs it. But then keep it airlocked.

4. See above. I have a fish tank aerator that I run before I pitch the yeast. This is more crucial for full boils or AG because you boil off all the oxygen in the water. If you're using bottled water that hasn't been boiled to top off, this is not as important.

5. You need an airlock or blow off tube so that your container doesn't explode. The airlock allows the co2 to leave without allowing in oxygen or bugs. The way my grandpa did it was with an uninflated ballon with a pinhole it in. Most of the time it worked, occasionally he made vinegar.

A great place for winemaking is here: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp

And for beer: howtobrew.com.
Even though it's been 9 years since you wrote this, thank you :mug:
 
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