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Thread: topping off?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Default topping off?

    short version: how should I top off the carboy on an apple mead, with about .5
    to .75 liters to go?

    Long version: above with addition. I really want to be careful with this apple mead.
    In the future I will boil anything with apples in it to kill any wild yeasts and bacteria.
    This time I used sulfites, but I'm thinking for the really low quality apples I grow, boiling
    is a MUST (pun, hee, hee). These apples are fresh, but have lots of superficial fungal
    diseases that would make them unmarketable. I can taste the wild yeasts in this 2 month old brew, but its
    not bad yet, I think it may pull through, but I don't want to screw it up now. I really enjoy
    the wild yeast flavors in my grape and berry meads that I use sulfites to sterilize, but I know how easy it can get out
    of control in an apple mead. I'm paranoid because
    the last apple mead I did turned out horrible, but it was my first mead and I tried a mediocre
    recipe that involved sterilizing the must as an optional component. Yea, don't try skipping that. I just did a
    second racking to a smaller carboy, but still need some more volume. I don't think water is
    a good idea as it already has a watery taste to it. The SG was 1.1 when I started. I'm thinking
    about adding honey water to give the yeast a boost? I don't have any compatible mead to add
    but I guess I could add a white wine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,081

    Default

    One thing to try would be glass beads, but sterilize them first. They can be found in hobby shops and aquarium stores. I've seen some dense plastic balls used to take up air space- gain sterilize anything that is used to occupy air space to kill off bacteria. I haaven't used either, yet but am considering buying some of the dense plastic balls.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,045

    Default

    I usually try to use more must or transferring to a smaller vessel(s). It'll take a LOT of marbles even to displace a half-liter. Some folks even pour a short layer of mineral oil in to protect from air, but then you have to siphon the cyser out from under that.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4

    Default

    I have never worried about this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    1,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nursebee View Post
    I have never worried about this.
    That has been my position so far, also. I rack and then whip to get some CO2 out and let this gas fill the air space. I was advised to use glass beads or floating plastic balls, but never tried either idea yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default

    I've got some old glass marbles, maybe I'll bleach those.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
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    Default

    No, don't! not just any marble can be used. Many are made with leaded glass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    mt. airy, surry county, nc
    Posts
    217

    Default

    be careful if you put in glass beads hitting the bottom can crack the carboy (if glass) i like to use either a sterile mixture like the must or a sweetener depending on what flavor i am after. the supply shop i go to recommends using a co2 injector.
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspera View Post
    No, don't! not just any marble can be used. Many are made with leaded glass.
    Yikes! I remembered something like that and decided against the marbles. I didn't
    realize it was lead though.

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