Making mead, part 4: transferring for second fermentation

We’re back to making Meeeeeead, Baby!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

We are actually a bit late on this. After 10 days in the fermentation bucket, when we should have started sanitizing things and transferring the must to the carboy, we were instead dealing with hot water tank problems.

Pretty sure it’ll be fine. πŸ˜‰

The first thing to do was use the sanitizing powder that came with the fermentation kit. The small items are in the stock pot. The instructions on the sanitizing solution was based on weight, so we broke out the kitchen scale and used that. This stock pot has liquid measurements on the inside, which made things easier. Then we started on the carboy. Which was fun, because we had to agitate the solution. Shaking that bad boy was a blast. πŸ˜€

Then everything had to be thoroughly rinsed.

The siphon hose and racking cane was a pain in the butt.

This is what the must looked like, when we popped the lid off. It had a very light, mildly sweet smell at this point.

The instructions I read said to shake the racking cane up and down in the must to get the siphon going.

It. Did. Not. Work.

After trying various things, including starting it by mouth (good thing this is just for ourselves!), it STILL didn’t work.

I did manage to stir up sediment, though. *sigh*

Off to the internet we went.

Most of the instructions were for how to use an auto siphon, which didn’t help any, but I did find a beer making video that was actually useful.

We needed to put water in the hose.

But first, we cut about 18 inches off the end. The carboy was on the floor, but the table the bucket was on is not that tall. The excess hose was not helping things!

I did make sure there was still slack when determining where to cut it, though.

Adding water to the hose really should have been done before attaching it to the racking cane, but we didn’t know that at the time, so we left it attached. While the racking cane was held upwards, we poured water into the other end, which was held to the same level as the end attached to the racking cane.

Yeah, we spilled water all over the floor. That’s okay. It’s linoleum. πŸ˜€

Then we put the racking cane into the must, while putting the other end down over a bowl to drain the water.

Right away, the must started going through. We lost a little while moving the end into the carboy, but that’s okay. It was flowing, now!

Which the little bean found very interesting!

Yes!!! Once it got going, things went very quickly.

As the level lowered in the bucket, the yeasty fermentation smell got stronger, and even a bit sweeter.

At this point, we were talking about getting the carboy into the basement, which we really didn’t want to do. None of us are good with stairs, and certainly not while carrying a carboy with an air lock.


The instructions just say to keep it in a “cool dark” place, and the temperatures are much more pleasant right now…

Plus, there’s this little table, right there, with a tablecloth that reaches the floor.

We decided to clear out under the table and put it there.

First things first, however.

It’s air lock time!

We also made sure to label it.

To prep the airlock, it’s taken apart and water is added to a fill line. The cap is placed over the tube in the centre, sinking into the water, then the top, which has holes in it, is put on. As the mead continues to ferment, CO2 will go up through the tube, the cap will force it into the water, and then it will escape the water and exit through the holes in the lid.

As you can see in the photo, the cap has already been pushed upwards, which means fermentation is still happening. πŸ™‚ Over the next 4 weeks, we will be checking it, looking for bubbles in the water.

It can now sit under here undisturbed.

Well. Except by a kitten sniffing at it. πŸ˜€

It should be interesting to see how it transforms over the coming weeks!

The Re-Farmer

7 thoughts on “Making mead, part 4: transferring for second fermentation

  1. Pingback: Mead Baby status | The Re-Farmer

  2. Pingback: Making mead, part 5: bottling and results | The Re-Farmer

  3. Pingback: Mead Baby, redux | The Re-Farmer

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