• 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.

Racking, Carboys, and hints--oh my!



Im a newbee and had a couple of quick questions. I started my mead about a month ago, and I was wondering when the best time to rack. I was fermenting in a 5 gallon glass carboy, and Im still getting a bubble every 7 seconds or so in my airlock. I was bad and never checked my hydrometer reading at first.

I also have a small batch (1 gallon) of a cranberry-juice based mead that has never seen more activity than 1 bubble/8 seconds in the airlock...I threw some yeast energizer in to try to get things going. Do smaller batches take less time, or is it all in the recipe?

any hints?



Registered Member
Jan 9, 2004
Time of racking was recently under friendly debate here on gotmead. I personally like to wait until my meads have almost completed fermentation and have begun to clear before I rack. This is usually between 6 and 12 weeks old. I've even waited as long as 6 months. However, I can tell you that many here would argue that you should rack earlier for fear of off flavors from autolysis (break down of dead yeast). Others have argued that a small amount of autolysis is GOOD for the mead. Whose right? Its hard to say.

Anyway my point is not to bog you down in details; I just want to give you a perspective on how subjective these things can be. It sounds like your mead has started to slow down a bit, so if you like you could certainly rack now…there would also be no harm in waiting a few more weeks. Personally I would probably wait a bit, but do whatever is convenient for you and listen to the mead…it will tell you when it’s ready!

Batch size has little to do with how long a mead takes to finish…it has more to do with the amount of sugars, the type of yeast, and the temp of the ferment.


Registered Member
Mar 8, 2005
Personally, I rack at 1 month, then 2 months after that.

After than only as needed if there's a lot of accumulation for some reason.