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I have always used a secondary fermentation container for my beers and meads in the past. Today I had a conversation with two different coworkers who mentioned they put their mead from the primary into bottles.

What is gained (or lost) by using a secondary?

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An advantage would be the addition of clarifiers and stabilizers in bulk, with the ability to rack off of the settled stuff prior to bottling.

When we make meads there are usually three to four rackings prior to bottling.

A downside is oxidation and potential contamination.

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In addition, bulk aging will make the mead less susceptible to temperature fluctuations. –  sugaredlightning Dec 15 '12 at 23:03

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