Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Campden alternatives for stabilizing
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-03-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
Blackbyrd2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 20
Default Campden alternatives for stabilizing

My understanding is that campden tablets are great for stabilizing your mead/melomel/whatever after it's cooked, making it safer to bottle. Along with killing the yeast, it sterilizes it to prevent oxidation, apparently.

Since my meads and melomels never actually seem to completely finish percolating, this seems like a great way to say "Done! Let's bottle it!" without the sorrows and mess of exploding bottles, or keeping it in airlocked carboys for months on end. (Live mead is very tasty, but it ties up my workspace.)

The drawback, as I understand it, is that there is a slight chance of flavor change from the campden tablets, and then there's the issue of having sulfites in your beverage. (Not a problem for me, but for some of my friends it can be.)

So, I'm wondering if there are alternatives to finishing off a batch.
Can you heat the finished mead up to, say, 150 degrees and kill the yeast, or does this change the flavor?
Does freezing (or near-freezing temps) kill the yeast, or simply put it into hibernation until it warms up again?

I understand this may be a fairly stupid question, so I'll apologize now, and also thank you for your patience and help.

BB2

__________________
Blackbyrd2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2008, 02:03 AM   #2
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,667
Liked 4636 Times on 3367 Posts
Likes Given: 909

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbyrd2 View Post
My understanding is that campden tablets are great for stabilizing your mead/melomel/whatever after it's cooked, making it safer to bottle. Along with killing the yeast, it sterilizes it to prevent oxidation, apparently.
That's incorrect. Campden tablets are simply potassium metabisulfite in tablet form. They don't kill yeast, particularly wine yeast. Some people will tell you that, but that's flat out wrong. Sometimes the yeast are about done anyway, and the campden might stun them some- but that's not the purpose of campden tablets. Campden tablets kill or otherwise inhibit most wild yeast strains and bacteria. It does help protect it from oxidation- not by "sterilizing" it, but by forming a gas (so2) that binds to the wine/mead/cider and gradually dissapates so that o2 can't bind to it. The so2 does disperse with time, so I generally add it at every other racking and at bottling, to protect the wine/mead from oxidation and infection.

To properly stabilize, you need two things- potassium sorbate and campden. Neither one of those items kills yeast, either, but it stops them from reproducing which then inhibits fermentation. The sorbate does the actual "work" here, but it works better in the presence of sulfite. Also, if you doing a grape wine ( or something else that might undergo spontaneous MLF), sorbate without campden can cause a flavor similar to geraniums. That's why sorbate is used in conjunction with sulfites.

That said, you probably can't stop fermentation with those. You can stabilize with them when the wine is finished and backsweeten without restarting fermentation, and that's what most people do. Trying to stop an active fermentation by stabilizing it is like trying to stop a train by dragging your feet behind. Possible in theory, but not very likely to be effective.

I wouldn't try heating up my mead- you'd ruin the taste of it, and set any pectins you have in there from the fruit.

The best thing to do is just wait. Your issues will be 100% solved with some patience. Wait until fermentation is done, stabilize, and sweeten to taste. Then bottle. It's actually also the easiest choice, too.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2008, 05:24 AM   #3
Blackbyrd2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 20
Default

Shoot.

I had some quickmede left over from a batch I put together several years ago. I knew it was bad and was going to toss it. (I'd tasted some last year, and apart from being barely alcoholic it tasted terrible. Not vinegar-y, just..old and blah. I hesitate to use the term musty because I don't think it's quite right.)
One of the bottles was only half-full. (We'd apparently tasted it and returned it to the box) and when I opened it, there was a solid POP as it blew off the pressure.

That stuff was well done a long time ago. Indicates that the stuff I'm brewing now may have to sit for several years before it's safe to bottle. (One batch of Pom mead is still cooking from July of 07.)

I'm going to need more space.

Thanks for the info though. It was helpful.

__________________

Apple mead, moderate; .5 gal bottled (Dec 05)
Apple mead, moderate; 2.75 gals bottled Apr 06. 1 gal left.
Apple mead, strong; 3 gals racked, turned out great.
B Cherry mead, strong; 1.75 gals bottled Apr 06 .5 gal left
Pomengranate mead, moderate; 3 fifths bottled. (Mar 06) 1 fifth left
Spiced Apple melomel, 3/4 gal, Jul 07
Pom melomel, strong, 3 gals, Jul 07
Peach melomel, 2 3/4 gals, Jul 07

Blackbyrd2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2008, 12:25 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,667
Liked 4636 Times on 3367 Posts
Likes Given: 909

Default

Do you use a hydrometer? That's the way to tell if and when fermentation is finished. It won't take years to ferment- but it might take a year or two before the mead will really taste well.

Fermentation should be about finished in under 2 months if you use some yeast nutrient and yeast energizer. The rest of the time in the carboy is mellowing the flavor and clearing the mead. If you use a hydrometer, you can tell when it's done. When it's clear and done fermenting is when you can think about bottling, or sweetening.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
BigKahuna
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BigKahuna's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern Colorado
Posts: 5,940
Liked 48 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbyrd2 View Post
Shoot.

I had some quickmede left over from a batch I put together several years ago.
Quick mead will do that to you.
The problem with "QUICK" mead is that you get in a hurry, and end up bottling long before you should, thus causing bottle bombs or fizzy mead. Even quick meads need several months before they are bottled, and rarely are any good within the intended time frame.
__________________
Seriously. I'm here for BEER
It's Not The Size Of Your Rig That Counts....It's How Often You Use It.
BigKahuna is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2008, 02:11 AM   #6
Ecnerwal
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Williamstown, MA
Posts: 425
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Mead just plain takes time. Rather than fuss with too much chemistry, I make sure to ferment out a long while, and then bottle with the idea in mind that the end product will be dry and probably a bit sparkling, despite the long while.

And at that - it can STILL take a long while. And don't get too hasty with a "bad" batch. I had some which I bottled in '96 (started '94, '95?) that was OK for a year or so after bottling, then it lost all honey flavor (while picking up a nasty bitterness) and remained in that vile state through about '01, and has been great (honey flavor back, weirdness indeed) since '01.

Would have been sad if I "cleared out storage space" by dumping it.

Down to the last couple of bottles, however - just about to bottle some I made in '04, or was it '06? Probably ought to get another batch going here, and generally get some fermenters filled with beer - try and track down a source for un-adulterated cider, too.

I forget the proper term for it, but if you want speed-of-ferment, go with the half-beer, half mead product. The beer half makes for happy yeast. I've also used un-hopped malt starters to get happier yeast without too much impact on the flavor of the mead. Braggot.

__________________

Ecnerwal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 06:10 AM   #7
Blackbyrd2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 20
Default

Well, the quickmede wasn't really much more than honeyflavored water to start with. (9 parts water to one part honey- pretty thin stuff.)
So I'm not going to mourn the 3 or 4 bottles I poured out.

And really, I'm not all about the quick ferment. The last couple batches I've been over a year each before even tasting them, and another year before serving them up to others, although even then I'm not sure this last batch is ever going to finish cooking.

I make 'em high in honey content with fruit juice on top of that, which makes for a slow cook. I'm experimenting a little with basic recipes, trying to avoid the use of nutrients. So if it bubbles for two years, that's fine. I keep it sealed up, and anticpate the day when the bubbles finally quit so I can bottle. Up until now, I haven't actually managed to hang onto a batch long enough to actually bottle it. Once it's drinkable, it usually disappears fairly quick. The problem there is that the span of time between a bubble every 10 minutes and no bubbles is months long, and usually, the mead is pretty darn tasty when the bubbles are nearly stopped. I'm hoping that my new job schedule will keep me away from my babies long enough to let them truly finish.

__________________

Apple mead, moderate; .5 gal bottled (Dec 05)
Apple mead, moderate; 2.75 gals bottled Apr 06. 1 gal left.
Apple mead, strong; 3 gals racked, turned out great.
B Cherry mead, strong; 1.75 gals bottled Apr 06 .5 gal left
Pomengranate mead, moderate; 3 fifths bottled. (Mar 06) 1 fifth left
Spiced Apple melomel, 3/4 gal, Jul 07
Pom melomel, strong, 3 gals, Jul 07
Peach melomel, 2 3/4 gals, Jul 07

Blackbyrd2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-12-2008, 09:58 AM   #8
Kauai_Kahuna
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,276
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
Would have been sad if I "cleared out storage space" by dumping it.
go with the half-beer, half mead product. The beer half makes for happy yeast.
I make a lot of braggots, but I can't keep any in stock. I keg everything and hopefully I remember to bottle a few from the keg. I have caught friend searching through my storage for any bottle that says braggot.
Also, since I started all grain brewing, when I make a clear "big beer", I will draw what I need for my brew, and then still run 1-2 gallons more wort above a SG of 1.010, boil it and use it as a base for my next mead. It helps balance the PH of the fermentation and the yeast loves it. I can't call it a braggot because there is so little malt in the end batch. But I don't ague with any fantic purist. I make true meads, and any mix I can read about and with this minor addition I can not tell the difference in the end, but fermentation goes so much better and faster.
__________________

---
In Primary: Belgium Chimay clones.
In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
Conditioning: Mead, Cider, braggot, Belgium Wheat.
On Tap: Clones, Chimay Blue, Red, Porter, malted cider.
Bottles: Far, far, too many to list.

Kauai_Kahuna is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-12-2008, 01:23 PM   #9
Ecnerwal
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Williamstown, MA
Posts: 425
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
Also, since I started all grain brewing, when I make a clear "big beer", I will draw what I need for my brew, and then still run 1-2 gallons more wort above a SG of 1.010, boil it and use it as a base for my next mead. It helps balance the PH of the fermentation and the yeast loves it. I can't call it a braggot because there is so little malt in the end batch. But I don't ague with any fantic purist. I make true meads, and any mix I can read about and with this minor addition I can not tell the difference in the end, but fermentation goes so much better and faster.
You are essentially providing the "Yeast nutrient" and "yeast energizer" that most people add to their mead in a manner that does not require running out and buying more "stuff" - works for me. IMHO it's not a braggot until you put hops in it, not to mention a lot more malt.

Yeast loves barley-malt, they do, they do, they do.
__________________
Ecnerwal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
Hoppinator
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 3
Default UV Sterilization

Ive been wanting to do the same thing with various fruit and citrus wines Im developing since I don't want to use excess sugar. My best guess is UV lamps (used for surgical instruments). There are $30 ones that screw onto Nalgenes. UV also works by altering cell membranes and DNA to inhibit reproduction like sorbate + P metabisulphate. I hate the flavor imparted by sulfites and they are unhealthy ( so they limit my wine drinking lol)

My current plan is to bottle in plastic 2 liters for the test run from my 3 gallon carboys. Im doing a sugar based citrus sparkling wine / malt beverage and I want to bottle before fermentation is complete at about 6 % ABV and keep some of the original sugars. I believe the sterilization Via UV radiation will maintain flavor and eliminate my need for sorbate + campden, though I might use a small amount of p sorbate anyway.
My first test will be in plastic 2 liters so any explosions will not result in injury - these also usually swell up about 2x before exploding so easy to detect.
This is a method I might name "bootstrap champagne" since time is reduced from years to weeks for a sparkling wine like beverage.

Other guys are right, while stabilizing is a good and common practice, in the old days a long time in the barrel would ensure fermentation was complete, then no chance of bomb-bottles.

Here is my current test recipe for a sparkling malt beverage, UV method, adapted from a fast alcoholic ginger ale recipe.

2 can OJ concentrate
1 can tropical juice concentrate
~ 7 lb sugar
3 gal water
lemon rinds
fast yeast for champagne


UV sterilize "must"
Fast ferment 3 days at 60-70 deg f.
use fridge to drop sediment (chill haze), slow ferment
transfer to secondary
mixture is still sugar, flavor rich, will carbonate
allow to pressurize / prime in clear plastic 2 liters (for test) 2 days at room temp
sterilize yeast from outside carbonated 2 liter with uv lamp.
store in fridge

Enjoy my patented "one week champagne"




Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbyrd2 View Post
My understanding is that campden tablets are great for stabilizing your mead/melomel/whatever after it's cooked, making it safer to bottle. Along with killing the yeast, it sterilizes it to prevent oxidation, apparently.

Since my meads and melomels never actually seem to completely finish percolating, this seems like a great way to say "Done! Let's bottle it!" without the sorrows and mess of exploding bottles, or keeping it in airlocked carboys for months on end. (Live mead is very tasty, but it ties up my workspace.)

The drawback, as I understand it, is that there is a slight chance of flavor change from the campden tablets, and then there's the issue of having sulfites in your beverage. (Not a problem for me, but for some of my friends it can be.)

So, I'm wondering if there are alternatives to finishing off a batch.
Can you heat the finished mead up to, say, 150 degrees and kill the yeast, or does this change the flavor?
Does freezing (or near-freezing temps) kill the yeast, or simply put it into hibernation until it warms up again?

I understand this may be a fairly stupid question, so I'll apologize now, and also thank you for your patience and help.

BB2
__________________
Hoppinator is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stabilizing without Potassium Sorbate bsay Wine Making Forum 11 05-30-2009 03:10 AM
Stabilizing Scrow Wine Making Forum 1 05-01-2009 11:08 PM
Cold Stabilizing? pbdist Wine Making Forum 2 11-24-2008 10:02 PM
Metabisulfite Needed for stabilizing? Levers101 Wine Making Forum 5 10-29-2008 12:39 PM
So bout Stabilizing the mash Tun Water Temp BEFORE adding Grain Technique RLinNH All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 14 01-07-2008 02:46 AM