Step feeding must vs oxygen "pollution"

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Dec 12, 2018
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I’ve got a question I’m hoping can get answered by the wealth of knowledge stored here. I’ve started my first larger batch and I’m afraid I may have made a mistake. My first attempt was a single gallon, well over a year ago, that was about as basic as it gets and tasted harsh. Since that time I have studied and learned more about mead and yeast so I’ve tried something a bit more ambitious.

This time I’ve started a larger 4 gallon batch that I plan to split into metheglins and melomels during the secondary. Here is my concern. I’ve decided to do a staggered addition of not only nutrients but must as well. Oxygen is where it gets tricky. As I understand it having plenty of oxygen in your must is a good thing, in the beginning. After that oxygen tends to shift from helpful to harmful to the desired outcome. Watching Coleen Bos talk about yeast health made a lot of sense to me but I have seen no one else discuss a staggered must addition to help yeast stay strong and healthy. I’m having my doubts that success is in my future after the realization that oxygen “pollution” is a bit unavoidable with my tools.

I’ve done my level best to oxygenate the hell out of the first must while avoiding excess agitation of the remaining additions but I’m curious what the overall consensus is as far as the potential damage to my mead.

Any thoughts?

Also that first mead did age into something drinkable after that year. Although it is a bit dry.


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Jun 21, 2014
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New Haven County
Mead is much less prone to oxidation than wine, cider, or beer. If you are adding honey incrementally you have no choice but to stir it in. You don't have to mix it violently with an electric stirrer, just a spoon or paddle works especially if the honey is warmed up first. Pour it in slowly and mix it without aerating it. It'll be fine.