Stirring/aerating/oxygenating mead in primary

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zipmont

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Has anyone done any side by side bench tests to compare the effects of oxygen during primary fermentation of meads? It's my understanding that yeast need oxygen during the first few days (at least) of fermentation, though beyond that it seems to be very much a matter of opinion. There is the 1/3 sugar break theory, which resonates with me, though my own method, at present, involves stirring all the way to the 2/3 sugar break, when I transfer to secondary. Now, I'm talking about a vigorous stirring, as opposed to a gentle stir or a mere punching down.

Am I perhaps overdoing the stirring/oxygenation? Would I be better served stopping the vigorous stirring at the 1/3 break? If it has any bearing, I am referring to the fermentation of pretty high gravity (14-15% abv) cysers and melomels, which are very well fed. They are turning out pretty well, but they could always be better, I suppose! Thanks -
 

fatbloke

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Side by side ? No but the theory is to do with yeast cell wall development. So that when you close it off with air locking, you have a nice strong, well developed colony.

It suggests that its importance is increased the higher the starting gravity, as the likelihood of stressing the yeast increases.

Whether the 1/3rd method is backed by any formal research/testing, I don't know, but the method seems to work well, plus the side effect of removing dissolved CO2 helps reduce the chance of an eruption in the early stages when they're most likely to occur.....
 
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zipmont

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Yeah, I'm seriously considering changing my stirring regimen. I currently stir vigorously throughout primary fermentation, which for me is all the way down to the 2/3 sugar break. My concern with this method is that I might actually be introducing too much oxygen.
 
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