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Old 02-12-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
kennywd
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Default "Me"ad need help

This is of course my first batch, it's just a plain mead no heat recipe. It's been going strong 7 months. A little dry but good, we wanted to back sweeten, got kinda lead a stray. Used sodium meta and two days later back-sweeten than I noticed a that some fermentation is happening just a few hours ago. Not much, I never saw air lock action but could smell it was doing something in my closet.

My question is what can I do now?
I now did a Much more extensive search and know that I needed the potassium sorbate, but was suppose to add that before sweeting. And what the sodium/potassium meta is used for. I was hoping to bottle next week.

Any ideas?

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Old 02-12-2012, 08:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kennywd View Post
This is of course my first batch, it's just a plain mead no heat recipe. It's been going strong 7 months. A little dry but good, we wanted to back sweeten, got kinda lead a stray. Used sodium meta and two days later back-sweeten than I noticed a that some fermentation is happening just a few hours ago. Not much, I never saw air lock action but could smell it was doing something in my closet.

My question is what can I do now?
I now did a Much more extensive search and know that I needed the potassium sorbate, but was suppose to add that before sweeting. And what the sodium/potassium meta is used for. I was hoping to bottle next week.

Any ideas?
Yes, don't bottle it until you know what's going on......

Bottle bombs aren't good.....

Anyway, you can use more sodium/potassium metabisulfite (or sulphate ? can't remember the spelling) and some potassium sorbate in the brew (pack instructions should give dosage levels per gallon). The sulphites stun any yeast cells left in the brew, while the sorbate stops it from multiplying again.

It's also possible that if you've previously racked the brew off the main sediment, that it's either starting to re-ferment, or that the addition of the sweetening material has allowed some of the CO2 to be liberated, hence the smell.

Unless you test with a hydrometer, you're not going to know what is going on. You want to get about 3 identical hydrometer readings, taken across about a week or so, to confirm that the ferment has actually finished and that the yeast hasn't restarted. If it has, then you'd have to let it finish again, then rack it off the sediment, onto the sorbate/sulphite mix to stabilise it, then either let it clear over time, or hit it with fining of some sort to remove any sediment. Then think about back sweetening before bottling.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I had to drive into Dallas to pick up the sorbate. Before I got ur message the guy at the brew shop said something similar. But yours was much more informative so thank you.

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Old 02-13-2012, 08:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply, I had to drive into Dallas to pick up the sorbate. Before I got ur message the guy at the brew shop said something similar. But yours was much more informative so thank you.
Well, apart from me being on the "other side of the pond" and not really knowing how far it might be from your place to Dallas (but being aware of how spread apart places can be in the US), it's just a case of working out how much your time and the cost of fuel etc equate too (compared to shipping costs).

You're already in the US, so you have access to the best market for the range of home brewing materials. Plus a bit of a search will give you the locations of some, apparently, well stocked home brew supplies places, and the internal mail/shipping costs are much less than I have to pay to get stuff from the US ()

If you look at my blog link, in my sig, you'll see a number of places worth looking at, for honey, and other supplies (obviously you'll have to dig through the links - and yes I realise some of them are right across the other side of the country from you). HomeBrew heaven has some good stuff, Beefolks sell some excellent varietal honey, and Morewine (don't know if I've linked them) advertise a truely amazing range of yeasts (some of them are repackaged commercial ones not normally available).

Either way, it sounds like you're well on your way with mead making. So good luck with your efforts.

regards

fatbloke
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:04 AM   #5
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Dallas is about a 2 hour drive. So pretty much $30 shipping cost. But me and the wife were already going there for a date. Good thing too cause I didn't want to wait till my brew shop could order some in. Well started to take some gravity readings. I am at 1.020 gravity. Now I am sure I will get crap for this, but unlike my beer. I really didn't take great notes on this mead, I do know it was at 0.998 before back sweetening. I did not record after sweetening. I don't remember why, I just know I didn't.

But all in all I am thinking the mead will be fine.flavor is good, color is good. I appreciate all the advice. Thanks for clearing some things up.

I will message again once every thing checks out.

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Old 02-18-2012, 04:06 AM   #6
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Just wanted to show you guys, where we are standing now. Today was bottling day! Gravity readings have been consistence so we got it all bottled and corked. Thanks again for the help

img_0443.jpg  
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:16 AM   #7
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Unless you like sediment in bottles. I usually wait till mead completely clear before bottling

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Old 02-18-2012, 04:37 AM   #8
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Picture really doesn't do it justice on clarity.. Is it complete clear , no but but it's not as dark as that picture shows.

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