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Old 02-27-2010, 02:17 PM   #1
bknifefight
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Default Time to bottle?

I have my first batch of mead in a carboy right now and I am wondering if it may be time to bottle. A little info:
- I made this mead on 11/21/09
- Sometime in early January I siphoned it into another carboy off the gunk that had settled to the bottom.
- The last I checked the SG was 0.996 and there has been no activity in the carboy other than a bubble in the airlock once every 5 minutes or something.
- In the secondary, it has become crystal clear other than another layer of gunk on the bottom.
I know many people will bulk age their mead for 6 months in the carboy, but I would like to free the carboy up if possible. I don't want to bottle it only to find a half inch of gunk in the bottom of each bottle though! Attached are some links to photos of both the mead's clarity and the gunk on the bottom.

The mead and it's clarity:
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q...t/100_3582.jpg

The gunk on the bottom:
http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q...t/100_3585.jpg

Thanks for any help!

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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It's kinda hard to tell from these photos but I believe there's room for quite a bit more clarity. You should be able to read a newspaper through it when it fianally drops completely clear. Of course, with numbers like those, it certainly should be finished but if you bottle it now you'll have sediment in the bottle that will adversely affect clarity in the glass.

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Old 02-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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Wow! That is CLEAR! Should I be racking every couple months to get it off the sediment?

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Old 02-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #4
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Some people like multiple rackings. The traditional mead in the photo above was racked once, from the primary to the secondary. I added a little extra sulfites and it sat in the secondary for eight months before this photo was taken. It sat for another month before I bottled it.

btw - you really need to top up your carboy if you plan to let it sit a while longer. Top it to at least the level you see in the photo above, or rack it to a smaller carboy to fill it.

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Old 03-01-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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Arrggg, I need more carboys.
That looks so good summersolstice, I need to find some more honey on sale.

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Old 03-01-2010, 03:35 AM   #6
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Summer, what do you use to top-up your meads?

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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Yeah, what do you use to top it off and what is the advantage?

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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I too used to struggle with finding something to top with but now I design my wines and meads to make half gallon more than I need. In other words, if I'm trying to make a 5 gallon batch I make a primary to 5.5 or six gallons and put the remainder in a growler to use for topping.

If you don't keep your secondary topped completely full you run the risk of introducing oxygen that may well result in oxidized mead or wine. If you want the best mead you can possibly make you want to avoid oxidation.

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Old 03-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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you can also hit it with c02 if you have the means, this will form a layer over the meade preventing the oxidation

FWIW I blend all my meades so there is always some for topping up!

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Old 03-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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Those pics indicate it's not quite (read: remotely) clear yet.

You'll surely want to continue aging this another few weeks to a few months until it's sure to be ready.

Or you can filter it, but something about that screams "wrong" to me when it comes to mead.

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