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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Mead blowing the corks out of the bottles
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:01 AM   #1
gnomebrew
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Default Mead blowing the corks out of the bottles

Ok, I could use some help here.

I made a batch of mead back at the beginning of April. I used White Labs Sweet Mead yeast. It left a lot of residual sugar, but the gravity has been stable since about since I first racked it in May. I racked it 3 or 4 times total, and didn't see any lees after the final racking. It seemed a good a time as any, so I bottled it about a month ago. I'd used sulfite for a couple of the rackings.

After several weeks though I noticed new yeast forming in the bottles. Kind of a bummer, I figured, but whatever it will be ok. Then I came home one day to find that a couple of the corks popped out.

So my question is: What can I do to save the rest of the batch?
Should I try to open and recork to let off the pressure? Or use champagne wires? Or...?

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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What was the gravity at start and now? White labs mead yeast is notoriously touchy and itvsounds like it stalled and has now restarted fermentation. Without knowing how much sugars are left we dont know how much more it could potentially ferment

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Goofynewfie View Post
What was the gravity at start and now? White labs mead yeast is notoriously touchy and itvsounds like it stalled and has now restarted fermentation. Without knowing how much sugars are left we dont know how much more it could potentially ferment
It's wyeast sweet mead thats the PITA yeast. The white labs one is usually fine and from memory, tolerant to 15% ABV.

I'm thinking get it back into a carboy and finish the ferment, then decide because champoo cages are no good on normal bottles, the OP would just get bottle bombs....

Fuller details like gravity, recipe and method would indeed be useful...
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Pretty basic recipe:
16lbs Texas Clover Honey
.25 teaspoon Fermaid K
.5 Diammonium Phosphate
White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast

I also added additional nutrients for the next 4 days, after degassing:
.25 teaspoon Fermaid K, .5 Diammonium Phosphate

Original Gravity: 1.122
Final Gravity: 1.051

The FG looked high to me, but it seemed stable and it wasn't undrinkably sweet, so I figured I was good.

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Old 09-26-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gnomebrew View Post
Pretty basic recipe:
16lbs Texas Clover Honey
.25 teaspoon Fermaid K
.5 Diammonium Phosphate
White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast

I also added additional nutrients for the next 4 days, after degassing:
.25 teaspoon Fermaid K, .5 Diammonium Phosphate

Original Gravity: 1.122
Final Gravity: 1.051

The FG looked high to me, but it seemed stable and it wasn't undrinkably sweet, so I figured I was good.
I'd say it was stuck, either a pH thing or underfed....

Traditionals need to be in the 3.4 to 3.8 area for the sweet spot but can swing around during ferment. If they drop below 3.0, can stick.

At 1.050 or so, if its not cloyingly sweet, that suggests that it could be low....

With feeding, honey is famously low in nutrients especially nitrogen.

Fermaidk gives 110 ppm nitrogen per gramme per litre. Batches of 12 to 14% ABV would need about 200 ppm. So about 1.5 grammes per litre wouldn't have been far short (DAP gives 200 ppm but doesn't have the other non-nitrogen nutrients and enzymes etc, which is usually why people often mix them - DAP is cheaper as well).

Ideally, I'm suspecting you're probably safest getting it back into a fermenter and then either a good dose of FermaidO (as different from the K formulation) or if you can't get that a good dose of yeast hulls or boiled bread yeast, a good stir then let it run some more.....

If the pH is low (test strips for about 2.6 to 4.8 pH sort of range or a cheap pH meter), then some potassium carbonate. .....
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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U could always try to pasteurize in the dishwasher if it gets hot enough... And have a sparkling mead

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Old 09-27-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Hm, well I'll see if I can get it into a carboy this weekend and see what happens. I know I've got some yeast hulls somewhere.
Thanks for the advice guys!

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