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Old 01-05-2009, 01:52 AM   #1
Eves
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Default Bottling mead

I'm new mead. In fact, I've yet to make a batch. However, I was planning on starting a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead in the next couple days and probably make a blueberry mead in the next couple of weeks when I have another carboy available. For the most part the manner in which mead is made is relatively simple but I am concerned about the bottling. I've bottled beer and cardonated apflewein before but never anything into wine bottles. When the time comes I'd like to have as much knowledge on the subject as possible....

Can anyone recommend a decent source of information on bottling non-carbonated wine/mead (or just mead if it makes a difference)?

I doubt I'll be investing into anything more expensive than a double level corker so any info on their use would be helpful. As would info on which types of corks the standard wine bottle uses (I assume 9 x 1 1/2?).

Do bottles of mead need to be resting on their side after the first couple days to keep the cork moist (or whatever)? Do the synthetic corks need that as well?

Thanks

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:38 AM   #2
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Well for starters you can bottle mead "still" in beer bottles with caps. If they continue to ferment a bit, then they'll end up lightly sparkling, of course, but this is probably your safest bet. This doesn't require any equipment that you don't already have. Also, maintenance for capped bottles over long aging periods is a lot easier.

I've never bottled with corks, so I'll let others chime in more on this, but what I understand is first that you need to be absolutely sure that fermentation is complete (either b/c it's just as done as it's ever going to get, or because you've killed the yeast with campden tablets). Then you want to degas it in the bottling bucket with something like a Mix Stir.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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You can bottle in champage bottles with champage plastic corks and forgo the laying on side bit, that also lets you bottle still or sparkeling(which i would sugest because a little car in the mead is quite refreshing at times) without much of an issue... You dont need a special corker for those either just a rubber or wooden mallet, the corks (avaiable at your LHBS), and the bailing wire to wire them down. You dont have to worry about having champage bottles explode... I have shot them with a 22, I have used them as rockets, Molitoff cocktails, etc etc etc... it takes alot to break real quality champage bottles... Also you can bottle in regular beer bottles just like beer, the only issue is that the age time for mead after bottleing (that is if you dont bulk age) is sevral months and thats a long time to have bottles tied up.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:55 AM   #4
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I like mead still, so I just bottle it in wine bottles with #9 corks. For a hand corker, you may find that #8 might work a bit easier for you. I don't think the synthetic corks need to be stored on their sides, but I store them that way in the racks in my cellar anyway.

Jack Keller's wine making website might have some info on bottling, but it's very simple. It's just like beer, except no priming and using corks in the wine bottles.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonpile View Post
...Also, maintenance for capped bottles over long aging periods is a lot easier.
What Maintenance is required for capped bottles? I'm within a month or two of bottling my first batch of mead and am planning to do it in 12/22 oz bottles with o2 absorbing caps. I've read that if they are going to sit for extended periods it helps to coat with wax. Does anyone here do this?
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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I bottle almost all my wine and mead in wine bottles with #9 corks, as Yooper said. I also bottle several 12 oz crown caps for quick consumption. I drink these first to try the wine or mead as it ages so I don't have to uncork a full bottle. Crown caps aren't really designed for longer term storage but, then again, I realize that a lot of us don't keep our meads that long anyway. It's really a matter of aesthetics.

If you plan on aging your meads for over 3-4 years, I recommend buying the best corks you can afford. This typically means natural corks, though the synthetics are getting better. Natural corks do need to rest on their sides but synthetics don't.

Swing tops work well and will last about as long as crown caps. Also, someone mentioned sparkling wine bottles. Most of these can be crown capped as well, which I feel is preferable over using the plastic stoppers.

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Old 01-08-2009, 12:18 PM   #7
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I, like others who have replied to this topic, bottle my still mead in wine bottles of various sizes and types. Some bottles use #9 corks, and the Polish mead bottles use #8 corks (natural & synthetic corks). Ocassionally I'll use 32 oz filp-top bottles.

For carbonated meads, I've used both 22 oz crown cap & Champagne bottles.

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Old 01-08-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
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ok So I've reviewed Sticky Notes and previous posts on the forum. When you bottle mead the way i was taught is to run it through a wine filter before bottling however here no one mentions anything of the sort. Do you not filter it through? u knwo to get all the yeast out of it make sure it doesn't ferment in the bottle and possibly explode?

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Old 01-08-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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If you let it fully ferment to dryness there won't be anything for the yeast to use. Or alternatively, if you ramped it up, there will still be fermentable sugars but the yeast will have been killed off by the alcohol level. I've always just fermented to full dryness, never had a cork pop yet. Of course, if you're making a sweet mead, or naturally carbonating, things can get a little more tricky.

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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...When you bottle mead the way i was taught is to run it through a wine filter before bottling however here no one mentions anything of the sort?
If I recall correctly I might have filtered 1 batch of mead, but that was decades ago. Since that time, I have never found the need to filter my mead - still or sparkling.
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