Mead Lover's Digest #40 Fri 20 November 1992
Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1992 13:12:00 +0000
From: "Rick (R.) Cavasin" <email@example.com>
Subject: re:Mead Lover's Digest #39 (November 19, 1992)
A few comments about Julie Kangas's questions:
Having too much headspace is not really an issue during primary
fermentation since the yeast needs oxygen during the early 'respiration'
phase of it's life cycle (indeed, if the must is not aerated or
open to the outside atmosphere, fermentation is likely to proceed
at a snail's pace). Whatever oxygen is left in the headspace will be
forced out by the CO2 evolved during active fermentation. In short,
go ahead and use the 5 gallon carboy for a one gallon primary
fermentation (it's what I do). I prefer glass to plastic since it
is easier to be sure it's clean (no scratches to hide critters).
Once active fermentation has begun, and there is alcohol present,
introducing oxygen is a bad idea (it reacts with the alcohol).
So when you rack from your primary to a secondary you have to be
careful not to aerate the mead, and since your mead is no longer
producing large amounts of CO2, you want to keep the headspace to
a minimum. When I do a 2 gallon batch, I do the primary ferment
in a 5 gallon carboy and do the secondary in two gallon jugs.
re: acid blend
This is a matter of personal taste. Some will argue that you NEED
some tartness to balance the sweetness/alcohol, so that the mead will
taste like a wine. Others use none, and enjoy the unique
flavour of the mead as is. If you're adding fruit, you will get
a certain amount of acid from them. Yes, the acid will help prevent
spoilage, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
hope this helps, Rick C.
End of Mead Lover's Digest