- Feb 22, 2023
I am fairly new to brewing home brewing and have made a couple of batches of wine, mead, and beer. I have some recurring questions that I can’t seem to find any consensus on and wanted to get some clarification. Thanks in advance!
- When racking and/or taking hydrometer samples throughout the process, I feel like I’m losing too much liquid and creating extra headspace. I’m concerned about oxidation, particular when bulk aging in secondary. Should I be topping off with store bought mead?
- Is it really important to rack multiple times after transferring to the secondary? Or can I just leave it there until it clears and then bottle?
- I have almost no experience with mead, but I’ve seen a lot of recommendations to degas multiple time a day throughout the primary fermentation. Is it enough to just swirl and/or stir the mead a bit, or is this not adequate? Frankly, I find degassing tedious and try to avoid it as much as possible. I typically only degas my wines once after fermentation, but is mead different?
- I’m experimenting with lots of different recipes and only have a limited number of carboys for bulk aging (with limited space to store them). I’d like to start bottling some of my first batches to free up some carboys. Is 2-3 months bulk aging adequate, assuming I bottle age a bit after that?
- I’ve heard a lot of homebrewers talk about bottle aging for years before drinking their mead. At this point I’m just small batch experimenting and want to try out a bunch of different recipes. I understand the importance of patience, but I’m really not interested in waiting to open bottles for 3+ years. I know this is a contentious question, but what is the minimum amount of time you’d let a bottle of mead age before its “good enough”?
- Any thoughts on sulfites + sorbates vs. pasteurization? I've always felt like I have a mild averse reaction to certain drinks with sulfites, so I'd like to avoid it. That said, I've used it in my wines / meads so far just because most recipes call for it.