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Secondary Fermentation of Mead is Completed

My mead has stopped its fermentation so I decided to rack it off the lees. I had to decide what size container to rack it into. The current three-gallon carboy had too much headspace. For aging, the mead should be filled into the neck of the container. Less oxygen will come in contact with the mead. I had this issue with a previous Cabernet Sauvignon that I made. Several winemakers suggested going to the wine store and purchasing a bottle of wine to top off the wine in the carboy. Mead isn’t the easiest thing to find so I took a different approach.

Knowing that I had less than three gallons and that I would not rack off all the mead, I decided to rack into two one-gallon jugs. I filled each into the neck and inserted the air lock. I had less than a gallon left over so I put this in a half-gallon container and inserted an air lock. My plan is to use the mead in the half-gallon container to top off the mead in the gallon jugs. However it occurred to me that if I take mead out of the half-gallon container, then the mead in that container would come in contact with more oxygen. So how do you solve that challenge? Fortunately I have the opportunity to interview many winemakers. Two solutions were presented, one common sense and the other rather unique. The common sense solution is to pour the remaining mead from the half-gallon container into a smaller container. You can always drink anything left over. The more unique solution, which is the one I’ll use, is to place marbles in the half-gallon jug until the level of the mead rises into the neck. I never would have thought of that.

Most winemakers are eager to talk about their craft. They have a wealth of knowledge, some learned from textbooks, some passed down from multiple generations and some learned from trial and error.

Home winemaking is an interesting hobby, one that is filled with trial and error, and much learning as well as the potential enjoyable results to drink. Enjoy a trip into the world of home winemaking.

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