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Old 04-24-2009, 05:53 AM   #1
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Default Just bottled first mead. Questions?

I jiust bottled my first attempt at a sweet mead. I made it with 18 # of raspberry honey for a 5 gal batch. Pitched two packages of champagne yeast that was hydrated and fed lots of nutrients. I left it in the primary for two weeks and then racked to a secondary. It sat there working it's magic for another month and a half until fermentation completed and I got 4 consecutive gravities the same. SG 1.126 FG 0.994

I am planning on aging at least 6 months, is this long enough or should it age longer?

Second question is, the hydro sample had a strong yeast flavor. Will this flavor age out or is it there for eternity?

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Old 04-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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I would say you can try it after 6 months; but, with an alcohol content that high... It will probably take at least a year to really start mellowing out.

Eventually the yeast will all fall to the bottom (flocculate) and it will be as clear as a commercial wine.

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Old 04-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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+1

You said that it is a sweet mead? With that FG I don't think it is going to be sweet at all. It appears that the champagne yeast did its job and dried it out. If you were looking for a sweet mead you may need to dose them with potassium metabisulfate and then back sweeten. I prefer this method because you can have complete control over how sweet it will be.

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Old 04-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Eventually the yeast will all fall to the bottom (flocculate) and it will be as clear as a commercial wine.
It's too late now, since it's bottled, but usually you don't even consider bottling a mead until it's clear and not "yeasty" anymore. Anything still in suspension will fall out, and since it's in the bottle, it'll fall to the bottom of the bottle.

I would wait a year before bottling, then another year before sampling (besides the hydro samples) in an 18% ABV beverage. After 3-5 years, it should be a great mead.

You may find that the mead is "gassy" if not degassed before bottling when it's really young like that. Hopefully it wasn't gassy when you bottled, so that the corks don't pop out.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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Indeed you are correct Yooper, he may have bottled on the early side. I did the same thing with my first mead and there is a layer of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Unfortunately, it doesn't settle into a hard layer like beer yeast, it is very loose and unstable. So, you will want to be fairly careful when pouring near the end of the bottle to prevent the sediment from getting into your glass.

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Old 04-24-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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+1 on waiting much longer. The longer the better.

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I would wait a year before bottling, then another year before sampling (besides the hydro samples) in an 18% ABV beverage. After 3-5 years, it should be a great mead.
YooperBrew, exactly how do you manage to refrain that long? Granted, the 1.75 year bottle from my first batch was better than when it started. And my batch of orange spice mead tastes similar to how my first batch tasted young, so I get to try to age it FOREVER. Or it just seems like forever.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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It only seems like forever when you don't already have a cellar of your earlier creations built up. I just opened a bottle of a 25-year old fortified melomel last night (cranberry, citrus and pineapple melomel made with east TX wildflower honey, that I "juiced up" to a final gravity of 1.050 and 42 proof - 21% ABV, and then forgot about for a couple of decades), and boy, it is yummy!!

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Old 04-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #8
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+1 on the Cellar of Epic Proportions as proposed by WayneB.

This is why the supposedly quick-drinking meads are so popular.

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Old 04-25-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
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+1 on waiting much longer. The longer the better.



YooperBrew, exactly how do you manage to refrain that long? Granted, the 1.75 year bottle from my first batch was better than when it started. And my batch of orange spice mead tastes similar to how my first batch tasted young, so I get to try to age it FOREVER. Or it just seems like forever.
I would NEVER have the patience to wait very long if it was bottled! So, it stays in the carboy until it's not dropping any sediment, and is crystal clear. Then I rack a couple of times as needed during that time. Then, it's bulked aged in the laundry room (a cool dark place) for about a year. It's no work- you just have to refill an airlock every so often as it evaporates.

Even quick meads aren't that quick, but at least they're drinkable sooner. The more complex the mead, the higher the ABV, the longer it must age. Something that tastes like spiced rocket fuel now will be glorious in five years!
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:33 PM   #10
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Your mead went from 1.126 to 0.994 in 2 months, then you bottled? It had a FG of 0.994 and yet it's "sweet"? Every mead/melomel I've ever made sat in secondary/tertiary for at least 6 months before I bottled, some bulk age a year or more. I've never described anything with a FG of 1.002 or under as "sweet." It'll be interesting to see if any of your bottles burst, and how the mead tastes in a year. Good luck to you. Regards, GF.

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