• PATRONS: Did you know we've a chat function for you now? Look to the bottom of the screen, you can chat, set up rooms, talk to each other individually or in groups! Click 'Chat' at the right side of the chat window to open the chat up.
  • Love Gotmead and want to see it grow? Then consider supporting the site and becoming a Patron! If you're logged in, click on your username to the right of the menu to see how as little as $30/year can get you access to the patron areas and the patron Facebook group and to support Gotmead!
  • We now have a Patron-exclusive Facebook group! Patrons my join at The Gotmead Patron Group. You MUST answer the questions, providing your Patron membership, when you request to join so I can verify your Patron membership. If the questions aren't answered, the request will be turned down.

Does heat matter much during secondary or bulk/bottle aging?

Branman1986

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Sep 10, 2020
2
0
1
Atlanta
Do high temps matter as much for secondary and bulk or bottle aging?

I'm a beekeeper in Georgia and have a warehouse that stays pretty hot in the summer, around 82-87 degrees which keeps the honey from crystallizing. I have a large industrial gas heater which keeps the warehouse warm in winter as well, but probably around 65-70 degrees and maybe slightly cooler in the connected office. The reason I like making it at the warehouse is I already have the honey there, I have almost unlimited room to store mead and equipment, have huge sinks for cleaning and can mop the floors to clean up.

I've made a few batches there and a couple have turned out fine, but I have a few that are fusels bombs. I have one that induced a nearly instant headache that has subacutely persisted(no joke) for a few days. Hoping with a year or so of age it will be drinkable, but looking to do better. The good news is that most of my mead is destined to be vinegar, so I don't really care too much, but want some solid mead to drink as well.

I figured I had a couple of options:

I could make the mead at the warehouse and put an airtight lid on and bring it to my house, then switch lids, airlock it and ferment. I have a basement area that stays around 69 degrees in the summer and can put it there for the duration of the primary fermentation. The nice thing is that TOSNA would be pretty easy since I'm always here. But I don't really have the setup to do racking here and I want to keep the house as clean as possible for the wifey. But this would require bringing the mead back for secondary and possibly bulk aging/bottle aging in the warehouse. Do the temps matter as much for secondary and bulk/bottle aging?

The other option is that I could make massive amounts of mead for half of the year from late fall and early winter when the temps in the warehouse are much much lower and make enough for the rest of the year. But that would mean I would have to wrap up all secondary before summer if temps mattered for secondary and bulk/bottle aging.

I do have a temperature controlled wine cellar and could make room to bottle age there if necessary, but I have loads of room to age in the warehouse.

I could also potentially try to air condition the office area better and but that would require some fairly expensive infrastructure changes and have a bunch of fermenting buckets in the office area.

Any suggestions? Thank you guys so much in advance for your help!
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
311
14
18
Indiana
My instincts are that it is going to matter, but I don't know that for certain. The must is both biologically and chemically active; both of which can be influenced by temperature. That being said if one of the heavy hitters comes along and says that higher temperatures are fine, they are right and I'm wrong!

Could you make an insulated storage room that you could cool with a portable air conditioner? They are pretty effective, in appropriately sized areas. If the warehouse is open space you'd just need to throw up a few stud walls and ceiling. Insulate and then you could vent the portable AC into the warehouse. Given the temperature difference isn't huge it likely wouldn't even be all that expensive WRT electricity.

If all else fails make a batch and split it down the middle. Take half into your basement and the other leave to the warehouse. Treat them the same other than temperature and see if there's a noticeable different.

A number of the Kvach (spelling might be off) strain of yeast really like warmer temperature fermentations in the primary. I'm not certain what a warmer secondary would have on them but I suspect they would handle it the best.
 

Laura_Tallo

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Aug 24, 2020
22
3
3
Independence, Louisiana
Do high temps matter as much for secondary and bulk or bottle aging?

I'm a beekeeper in Georgia and have a warehouse that stays pretty hot in the summer, around 82-87 degrees which keeps the honey from crystallizing. I have a large industrial gas heater which keeps the warehouse warm in winter as well, but probably around 65-70 degrees and maybe slightly cooler in the connected office. The reason I like making it at the warehouse is I already have the honey there, I have almost unlimited room to store mead and equipment, have huge sinks for cleaning and can mop the floors to clean up.

I've made a few batches there and a couple have turned out fine, but I have a few that are fusels bombs. I have one that induced a nearly instant headache that has subacutely persisted(no joke) for a few days. Hoping with a year or so of age it will be drinkable, but looking to do better. The good news is that most of my mead is destined to be vinegar, so I don't really care too much, but want some solid mead to drink as well.

I figured I had a couple of options:

I could make the mead at the warehouse and put an airtight lid on and bring it to my house, then switch lids, airlock it and ferment. I have a basement area that stays around 69 degrees in the summer and can put it there for the duration of the primary fermentation. The nice thing is that TOSNA would be pretty easy since I'm always here. But I don't really have the setup to do racking here and I want to keep the house as clean as possible for the wifey. But this would require bringing the mead back for secondary and possibly bulk aging/bottle aging in the warehouse. Do the temps matter as much for secondary and bulk/bottle aging?

The other option is that I could make massive amounts of mead for half of the year from late fall and early winter when the temps in the warehouse are much much lower and make enough for the rest of the year. But that would mean I would have to wrap up all secondary before summer if temps mattered for secondary and bulk/bottle aging.

I do have a temperature controlled wine cellar and could make room to bottle age there if necessary, but I have loads of room to age in the warehouse.

I could also potentially try to air condition the office area better and but that would require some fairly expensive infrastructure changes and have a bunch of fermenting buckets in the office area.

Any suggestions? Thank you guys so much in advance for your help!
I haven't been making mead very long, but I think that temperature definitely matters. I don't know the volume that you intend to make per year, but if it is a high volume, invest in a/c for your storage area. If that is not an option, use your wine cellar. Quality matters. If it were a low volume output, I would suggest that you look into an Inkbird temperature controller or an Immersion Pro (if that were in your price range). Immersion Pro by Brewjacket would be about 300-350 per fermenter and would be used in primary, and it immerses into the bucket. The Inkbird is used in conjunction with the A/C or heater to control ambient temperature, and it could be used in primary and secondary.
 

edaskew

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 19, 2018
275
5
18
North Carolina and Mississippi
If you're fermenting at those high temps, that's probably what's causing the fusels. I don't think it's possible to ferment good mead in the southeast during the warmer months without some sort of cooling setup, because really you have to get the fermentation temperature below 70. That bucket of must is like having a little puppy in there and it will be considerably warmer than ambient. I've tried all kinds of things and I think the best thing to do is break down and get a little chest freezer and an Inkbird thermostat. I've conditioned mead in the high 70's without a problem.
 

Branman1986

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Sep 10, 2020
2
0
1
Atlanta
Thanks guys, I think I may just do my primary fermentations from October through March. I can probably just bulk or bottle age in the basement at my house which is always pretty cool year round. Just means schlepping boxes or carboys between the warehouse and house a bit.

The other option I guess is create a little room with a window AC unit that vents into the warehouse like Eric said. I bet I can make that without too much trouble with some 4x8 plywood and some 2x4s with some rigid insulation. That would also create some convective cooling keeping the temps in the buckets from being too high over ambient. But I would have to have it super insulated to not have constant condensation problems off the AC unit. Would have to keep the condensation to less than a bucket of water a day.
 

Laura_Tallo

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Aug 24, 2020
22
3
3
Independence, Louisiana
My instincts are that it is going to matter, but I don't know that for certain. The must is both biologically and chemically active; both of which can be influenced by temperature. That being said if one of the heavy hitters comes along and says that higher temperatures are fine, they are right and I'm wrong!

Could you make an insulated storage room that you could cool with a portable air conditioner? They are pretty effective, in appropriately sized areas. If the warehouse is open space you'd just need to throw up a few stud walls and ceiling. Insulate and then you could vent the portable AC into the warehouse. Given the temperature difference isn't huge it likely wouldn't even be all that expensive WRT electricity.

If all else fails make a batch and split it down the middle. Take half into your basement and the other leave to the warehouse. Treat them the same other than temperature and see if there's a noticeable different.

A number of the Kvach (spelling might be off) strain of yeast really like warmer temperature fermentations in the primary. I'm not certain what a warmer secondary would have on them but I suspect they would handle it the best.
I am in Southeast Louisiana. I have an 11'x'11' room, and I put my window unit on an Inkbird. My temp is set to 68,* and the ambient temp is about 69. My fermentations smell fine, and they are sitting right in front of the A/C unit. It was actually in the sixties yesterday and today (outside), so I am hoping that the cooler temps outside will help too!
 

edaskew

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 19, 2018
275
5
18
North Carolina and Mississippi
I use duct tape to tape the ink bird sensor to the fermenter, then tape a potholder doubled up over the sensor. I’ve measured the fermentation temperature with a floating thermometer in the center of the fermenter, and have found it to be within 1 degree F of the inkbird sensed temperature which at peak fermentation can easily be 5 degrees above ambient.