Author Topic: Degassing Mead?  (Read 2133 times)

Offline mastfalk

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Degassing Mead?
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:32:39 am »
New to mead making and I have a batch going, on day 4. Adding nutrient additions per recipe at 24, 48 and 72 hours while degassing the mead.

When I either added the nutrients or my paddle or spoon , the mead foamed up quite vigorously - so I immediately began stirring fast and vigorously to get the reaction to settle down and mix the nutrients in. However, I wasn’t real careful about stirring it up or slouching it a bit with the paddle.

Did I mess something up with this? I don’t want to oxidize the mead, but the reaction of foam was fast and I wanted to settle it down.

Also, is there a Mead section here? I don’t see one?

Michael

Offline purduekenn

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 10:14:45 am »
It should be fine. There is a a Mead section under Other Fermentables.  AHA also has good information about making mead on the home page. I'm not an expert but when I degass mead I remove the fermenter lid and gently swirl it for a minute or two and thats how I add nutrients too. I recently made a basswood mead that is still fermenting. What honey did you use for your mead?

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 10:36:59 am »
You are completely fine.  Degassing during the early days of fermentation is often a recommended practice if you're making a mead with a high OG.  Your mead foaming up when you added the nutrient is also a common thing.  I'll usually stir a mead quite a bit and get as much CO2 out as possible right before a nutrient addition.

Offline mastfalk

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 12:18:41 pm »
What honey did you use for your mead?

I used mesquite honey. It is a recipe for a Key Lime Session Mead from a magazine article. Bought the honey at Trader Joe’s. Used to be 3.3 lbs for about $10. Now they got rid of that packaging and raised the price. Will have to find a new source if I need to use that type of honey again.

How long should I let the finished product condition after I finish the recipe? It will come in around 7% ABV?

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 08:11:17 am »
How long should I let the finished product condition after I finish the recipe? It will come in around 7% ABV?

This is something you're likely to get varying opinions on.  And unfortunately it's only the mead itself that's going to be able to give you the answer.  The flavors of honey can sometimes take a while to come out after fermentation.  This is true for mead as well as beer made with honey.  My recommendation would be to give it about 3-4 months, then take a sample.  If you like the flavor, you're good to go for bottling (or kegging).  If the flavor isn't where you want it, give it another couple months.  Repeat.  If you keep making mead, you'll start getting a feel for the amount of time certain types of honey and yeast need to mature before reaching a good flavor.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 09:11:02 am »
How long should I let the finished product condition after I finish the recipe? It will come in around 7% ABV?

This is something you're likely to get varying opinions on.  And unfortunately it's only the mead itself that's going to be able to give you the answer.  The flavors of honey can sometimes take a while to come out after fermentation.  This is true for mead as well as beer made with honey.  My recommendation would be to give it about 3-4 months, then take a sample.  If you like the flavor, you're good to go for bottling (or kegging).  If the flavor isn't where you want it, give it another couple months.  Repeat.  If you keep making mead, you'll start getting a feel for the amount of time certain types of honey and yeast need to mature before reaching a good flavor.

I'll give my varying opinion here  ;D  A fruit-forward session mead can be ready as soon as a few weeks. What I will agree on is to let your tastebuds be your guide. It could certainly peak further out, but I'm not of the opinion that all meads necessarily take months to be ready.

Also, there's no reason you have to age in the fermenter once the mead is relatively clear (which can be aided by fining agents if you wish). This way you can just sample a bottle every now and then rather than dipping into a fermenter.
Eric B.

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 12:05:09 pm »
We don't need no stinkin' degassing.
I just finished the last of a mead brewed in 2002 that was excellent. And a mead brewed in 2004; also very good. I'd never heard of degassing when I brewed either one.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 02:35:43 pm »
I don’t degas mine. And it turns out great. Mead is not wine.
Dave

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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 04:56:06 pm »
I only degas mead when I add fruit to it. I push the fruit cap down and degas for the first 4-5 days.


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Offline pete b

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2020, 05:27:11 pm »
As to your original question the eruption of foam is normal. I degas first, then add nutrient and stir gently, that keeps it to a dull roar. It’s always good to have plenty of head space.
As to the amount of time I usually advocate for patience: transfer to secondary until clear (at least a month) and then bulk age for several months to years before bottling (with corks).
However, I am making wine strength (11-16%) meads. I notice lots of folks making these smaller meads now. I trust Eric’s advice above here as he seems to have been quite successful with smaller meads and quick turnovers and I know him to be honest about his brewing outcomes, good and bad.
If you choose to try a several week to a couple month turnaround and are not using finings I would still suggest racking from the fermenter to a carboy and letting sit until very clear. Some time towards the end that is cellar temperature or colder would be good.
As to the suggestion that degassing isn’t necessary my hunch is that its necessity is proportional to gravity.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 05:57:35 pm by pete b »
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Degassing Mead?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2020, 07:12:36 pm »
Degassing for me is a necessity.  Most of the batches I do are 1/2 barrel.  And I like using a staggered nutrient addition.  If the liquid is saturated with CO2 when that nutrient hits it, it's all coming out in a rush.  Having a 1/2 barrel batch of mead doing its best impression of a volcano is definitely an 'Oh Sh!t' moment.