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Old 01-23-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
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Default I screwed up! What should I do now?

Hello, new member, first post.

I'm pretty new to brewing, and after a successful beer batch I decided to try some mead. I used a bead-yeast recipe that called for a 2-4 week primary fermentation. Anyway, I bottled the mead in mason jars after 3 weeks.

Now, 4 days later the mead is carbonating like crazy. A quick google search informed me that I've made the common noob mistake of bottling the mead too early, so the mead is still fermenting and releasing C02/Alcohol.

So, my question is how do I recover from this juncture?

The three options I see are:

-Get the mead back into the primary and wait another week or two then try again.
-Keep the mead in the mason jars, bleeding the excess gas out of the jars in order to prevent explosions.
-Dump it all out and try again.

I really don't want to lose the batch since my taste test when bottling was amazing, but I also don't want to do anything unsafe. Let me know what you guys think.

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Old 01-23-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Whatever you do, don't dump it!

If you choose your option 1, you can let it ferment out then repackage it when it's really done, but it's more risk of contamination with extra transferds.

If you choose your option 2, you will have to be very good about your remembering to 'burp' the jars very frequently so you don't get bottle bombs. Even then, I'd try to keep them in a fairly cool place to keep the speed of fermentation down, and keep them in something watertight that will also contain glass, just in case! You could also just drink it now, and get ready to start a new batch with a whole new set of experience!

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Old 01-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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If you sanitize correctly and don't eff it up, getting it back in the primary would be best. You will have to burp bottles for months....

Either way, don't dump it!!

You said you like the taste right now, so I'm assuming you like it sweeter. You might not let it dry all the way out... People who have made tons of mead can fill you in more on that though.

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Old 01-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys!

Glad to hear I don't have to dump it. I've got them in a big plastic storage tub for now, I'll be moving them from my closet into the basement to keep a little cooler.

As far as sweet vs dry, I actually prefer dry normally. The spiced flavor is what I liked about it. If this turns out to be successful I'll post the recipe I used, the main flavors are honey, tea, cloves, and ginger... And now with the carbonation, this could come out better than I had hoped. Like a spicy mead/ginger ale type drink.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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I would get it back in the fermented if it were me, just not worth the risk.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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id pop it all back in primary except maybe one jar, depending on size, so i can drink some now

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Next time, check your gravity before you bottle. Your hydrometer is your friend!

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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I'd throw it back in the primary, but I figure this will be an interesting experiment if nothing else... Besides, now I can get another batch started while the other one waits.

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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I know you said you prefer dry meads, but if its already in mason jars wouldn't it be pretty easy to pasteurize them by water bath canning? Maybe this would be too damaging to the flavor profile of the mead, but its just an influenced thought I had

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Old 01-23-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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That actually might be the best idea ever really... Unless pasteurizing will mess it up?!

I would say use some sorb to kill the yeast buuut they are bottled...

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