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What to do after racking?

I started my first batch of mead this year using honey from my first beehive. It’s all very fun and exciting. However, I think I have missed an important step in the research I’ve been doing. After I siphon my mead from one carboy to another, I lose what seems to me a good amount of mead due to the sediment in the bottom. What started out as 5 gallons is no longer. I read a brief snippit on one site that said to top off the carboy with distilled water after racking. Is this what I should have been doing to keep up the volume? If so, can I do that now. Is it too late to top it off now?

Thank you,
Sherri

I’m new to brewing myself, but for the couple I’ve done, I’ve justified that losing some ml of alcohol is negligible at the price/liter point in making them, and if you check the volume lost with the must/wort/whatever, I’m quite sure it’s less than 1L out of 18L, unless you are leaving a more than ample amount of liquid with your sediments.

Can you quantify “good amount”?

I made a mead for a coworker. He gave me some very dark honey. It settled out and became very clear/golden. But, I did loose ~1/2 gallon of mead to keep from picking up the dark stuff again.

I’ve made meads with clear/golden honey. Only loosing 1 pint to 1 quart. Same as a beer.

I have not added water to the mead.

[quote=“sherrhod”]I started my first batch of mead this year using honey from my first beehive. It’s all very fun and exciting. However, I think I have missed an important step in the research I’ve been doing. After I siphon my mead from one carboy to another, I lose what seems to me a good amount of mead due to the sediment in the bottom. What started out as 5 gallons is no longer. I read a brief snippit on one site that said to top off the carboy with distilled water after racking. Is this what I should have been doing to keep up the volume? If so, can I do that now. Is it too late to top it off now?

Thank you,
Sherri[/quote]

You could make a small amount of must to the original O G and top off with that. It might start fermenting again, but you wouldn’t be watering down the mead.

Thank you for the replies. I guess I just expected that when you used a 5 gallons of mead recipe you would end up with 5 gallons of product. I’m glad I asked before adding water. I can post a picture, but I’m not sure I have one from when I started. I will have to be much more diligent about documenting my process next time around.

Sherri

we have that issue with beer making too. there is always some loss due to leaving behind the trub (settled out yeast carcasses, fats, wastes, hop dust etc) and it gets worse if you use a clarifier like whirlfloc (irish moss). while it makes a stellar clear beer, you end up with a little more junk settling out that gets left behind.

You can also top up with a complimenting wine. I top strawberry wine with riesling and blackberry with merlot. Even if you added a full bottle of wine to your 5 gallons, it’s only 1/25th the total volume. I don’t think it’s enough to notice.

But don’t worry about topping until fermenting is done. You’ve still got time if that was your first racking.

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