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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > advice on already bottled batch
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
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Default advice on already bottled batch

Ok, my first ever batch of mead was a peach melomel that was brewed up on 8/27/2010

5 gallon batch
5Lbs of peaches in the primary
12Lbs clover honey
1 package Cotes Des Blancs wine yeast
couple teaspoons of yeast nutrients

OG = 1.073
FG = 0.998

79 days in primary
18 days secondary
234 tetriary

During secondary I added some bentonite to try and help clear it. That didn't work so well and after 18 days I racked it. During the 234 days in tetriary it spend atleast 3 months in the kegerator trying to clear it as well. It wasn't crystal clear yet, but after 331 days in carboys, I figured it was as clear as it was going to get, so I bottled it up. However, now in the bottles, it has gotten crystal clear with a layer of sediment on the bottom which gets stirred up and makes it cloudy when you pick the bottle up. I know the sediment won't hurt anything, but am wondering if it would be worth the risk to open the bottles, and put it back in a carboy to clear some more. I'd also like to back sweeten it a bit too, but am worried that at this point, I'd do more harm than good by opening the bottles and pouring back into the carboy.

Thoughts?

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:23 AM   #2
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At this point, I do think you'd do more harm than good trying to rebottle the batch. Even back-sweetening now would be a risk.

Since you're only at 10% ABV (what's the tolerance of that yeast?) you could get another fermentation round if you added more fermentable sugars to the bottles.

If this was my batch, I'd let it age for a few years and see how it is. Have you actually tasted any to see if it really NEEDS to be back sweetened? While I don't have any mead that's been around quite that long (mine was started November 24, 2010) I do know that they tend to get even better with time. What might be perceived as dry this year, could be quite different in another year or three. Stock it away for sampling every 6-12 months and then enjoy when it's where you wanted it to be. Meanwhile, I hope you have some more either in process or soon to be.

BTW, I used all local wildflower honey in my traditional batches. They cleared up really well while in carboy. I do have some sediment in the batch that I bottled earlier, but it stays put. I have the final 3 gallons getting ready to go into bottles. I had that on some medium toast oak cubes for just over a month. I plan to get it into bottles this week

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On Deck: Caramel Ale
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:27 AM   #3
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Yes, I've made a few other batches since this one, some of which are still aging, others were 1 gallon batches that turned out well and have been consumed, and I'm in the middle of making my 2nd batch of mead for the day right now

it's much drier than I had hoped, and compared to some of the other meads I've made, also lacks quite a bit flavor. I don't mind the sediment, but if it does age and get better, I'd like to share it but don't want to share cloudy bottles. Otherwise the plan was just to keep them in the basement and forget about them for a few more years and see what happens, which sounds like that might be my best bet, but I am also looking for some other opinions on it before I go that route too.

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:33 AM   #4
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I think the basement route is going to be the one with the lowest chance of going sideways on you.

I was rather disappointed with the blackberry melomel I made at the same time last year. We tried some of it this summer (it was only about 14%). My traditional batches came out much better (and at 18%).

I have a ~1 gallon "proof of recipe" batch that I need to bottle soon too. It's my "Mocha Madness" mead. I dropped a split vanilla bean into it in February and then left it alone. I had it in the fridge all summer long, and now it's out resting again. I'll be making a 2 gallon bottling bucket this week to use with it (doesn't make sense to use the 6+ gallon bucket for this). If it tastes as great as it smells, I'll be making another batch very soon. I already have the yeast I'll probably use, I'll just need to get the honey. That's my only stumble point right now, getting local honey to use. I want to use either local, or at least regional, honey in my meads.

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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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