Thirsty Thursday: Racking the Mead

Last weekend, I finally got around to racking the mead I started a few weeks ago.

And what does “racking” mean, in brewing parlance?

Racking is the process of transferring your brew from the container you first put it in at the beginning of fermentation into a new, usually smaller, container for further fermentation and clarifying. By racking your brew, you can clean up what mess might have been made during the initial, more vigorous fermentation, plus eliminate much of the sediment (old yeast, plus grain debris) in the bottom of your fermentor.

In the case of our mead, it’s now going to sit in its new carboy for at least two months before it’s ready to bottle. It’ll be more than half a year before it’ll be ready to drink.

After fermenting for over two weeks, this mead is ready to rack.

Here's the mead after fermenting for two and a half weeks in a five gallon carboy.
Here’s the mead after fermenting for two and a half weeks in a five gallon carboy.

Clean glassware is vital to make sure your brew is tasty when all is said and done.

Here's a nice, clean three-gallon carboy to receive the mead.
Here’s a nice, clean three-gallon carboy to receive the mead.

We use a basic siphon to get the brew from one carboy to the other.

Siphoning.
Siphoning.

We always try to keep the siphon just above the bottom of the carboy to avoid drawing the sediment into the secondary fermentor.

Sediment.
Sediment.

As it happens, we had a bit more than three gallons of mead in the five gallon carboy.

Spilled just a bit. It smelled delicious!
Spilled just a bit. It smelled delicious!

When it was all done, it was time to tuck the carboy off to somewhere warm and quiet.

All transferred!
All transferred!

A couple of days later, it’s obvious that fermentation continues.

Still fermenting after racking.
Still fermenting after racking.

Now for the long wait. I can’t wait to taste the final product!

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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