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Old 12-05-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
Oisterboy
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Default Newbie to the hobby...a little help?

OK, so I used (more or less) this recipe:

Quote:
1 Gallon Water
3 lbs Honey (1 quart)
1 Lemon
1 cup strong tea
Champagne Yeast
Add the honey to one gallon of boiling water. Turn off the heat and stir well. Slice or juice the lemons and add along with the clove and tea. Let stand covered until cool. Pour into a gallon jug and add the yeast.

Let it ferment for 18 days, and then siphon into bottles. Seal or cap the bottles and let sit at room temperature for two weeks, then put in the refrigerator. You can drink it at any. time now.
I also used a pinch of activator from wyeast as a suggestion from the homebrew store guy.

18 days was last Wednesday, and I bottled into 1 liter liquor bottles. Oddly enough, it is still bubbling (which I understand to be a sign of fermentation). I didn't put the caps on tight (I know all about explosions) and set the bottles out to continue clearing.

So now its been a few days. The bottles are still bubbling. I kept 3 bottles out of the fridge, and placed one in the fridge immediately (the "cold crashing" thing).

I took a tiny sip of the one in the fridge (also still bubbling away) and it was awesome. It tasted really good and I decided that I rather enjoy the bubbling..."sparkling" if you will.

My questions are...if I put the rest of my 3 bottles in the fridge, will it keep them from finishing fermenting so I can enjoy them sparkling? Will they continue to "sparkle" after the recommended waiting period of 2 weeks? If I re-rack them again to get rid of the sediment, will it ruin this sparkling feature? Is it sparkling simply because I used champagne yeast rather than mead yeast?

Sorry to be a newb. I did a bit of reading around, but couldn't find anyone with my exact question.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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It's sparkling b/c it's still fermenting, and the yeast is still creating CO2! Has nothing to do with the type of yeast per se...

18 days of primary is a very short time for a mead, so the continued fermentation doesn't surprise me. You can start to inhibit fermentation with cold crashing, and preserve whatever dissolved CO2 you have, but you certainly have the risk for continued fermentation and bottle bombs -- *even in the cold,* but especially if you ever allow them to warm up.

Normally if you want a sparkling mead, you add a small amount of fermentable sugar to the mead right before bottling, and intentionally allow the yeast to eat that and produce a controlled amount of CO2 in the sealed bottle. In your case, it'd be difficult to know exactly when to seal the bottles. Even if you took gravity readings, it's hard to know exactly when the yeast would stop naturally.

Your other choice is to just drink them now...

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Old 12-06-2011, 12:54 AM   #3
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I'll be honest and say the only other type of brewing experience I have is with Turbo Yeast wine (aka - terrible, terrible stuff) which I just made for the alcohol - not the taste.

So, I'm pretty used to drinking yeast and have no real qualms about it. I might opt to drink some of it now and save some of it for later. I just simply won't seal the caps tight until I notice it is done in the bottles I'm saving.

It tastes pretty awesome as is though, so I'm sure if I age it properly it'll just taste better. This was a small test batch. I also bought a big pack of mead specific yeast I plan on doing a 5 gallon thing with (after I get a gift certificate for Christmas ) I know that'll take longer and I'm cool with that. I just wanted to test this to see if I'd like it before I went all out, ya know?

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Old 12-06-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Jeez - I would almost be inclined to call that a kombucha. Cool idea though

The brewing part almost looks like a beer recipe - brewing it for three weeks in something that'll let the gas off and then capping it lets the tail end of the gas produced carbonate your brew. At this point it's prudent to add, just to be extradoublesure, that beer, champagne, soda bottles are designed to hold pressure, while wine and liquor bottles are most definitely not. But you knew that, right?

So if you do it in a vesssel designed to hold pressure and let that pressure build - yes, the sparkle will remain even after/if the yeast poop out. To answer your other question, dormant yeast may sink (depending on the strain you use) and so racking won't do any harm to the living critters that are still zipping around.

Lastly, it may get better and it may not, the only guarantee is that if you leave it out it will get *drier*. Yeast will continue to nom up that delicious honey sugar until they run out of food. So if you like it now, drink it now!

Can we get a link to that recipe? I'm curious to try it meself

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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Stole the first one off of here:

Mead Recipes

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:38 PM   #6
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You still have to be careful with beer bottles. Sure, they can handle pressure - but there's always a limit. Had one exploding on me, the rest of the batch was fine though.

And I would strongly recommend you let the mead ferment through.

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Old 12-08-2011, 01:11 AM   #7
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Yeah, I'm just gonna let this batch finish up. Next time I'll let it finish in the jug, I was just trying to follow the recipe.

Its slowed quite a bit now. Almost all the way. A lotta stuff has settled out, I'm gonna need to rack these fo sho if I wanna give some away for xmas.

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