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Unferth 12-10-2012 06:55 AM

Timing question
Just bottled 3 gallons of mead (OG 1.1, FG .095) and added half a cup of dextrose to it. It tasted flipping awesome at bottlingwhich was unexpected, so it will be difficult to stay out of it once it carbs.

How long will it take for a mead at this ABV to carb up? I'm using Lalvin ec1118 and I'm assuming a couple months at least. Any ideas?

fatbloke 12-10-2012 07:58 AM

Most of the guidance says about keeping it somewhere warm for between 2 to 4 weeks before moving it to somewhere cooler.

Though I suppose it depends on local temps. Like how cold it is in your part of Canada now.

How are you managing this ? just with priming sugar and temperature or are you trying the whole "methode champenoise" hog ?

Unferth 12-11-2012 06:10 AM

I'm in Vancouver, so it's generally above 0 c even at night. The house is at about 20-22.

I'm just doing the priming sugar method... I realize it will effect clarity, but i don't care enough about that to go through the champagne method.

I'm a little worried its too high ABV for the yeast to kick back up. I know ec1118 can get up there but isn't that only when it's being actively fed?

Fermentation had more or less stopped on this mead when I bottled it.

Golddiggie 12-11-2012 06:19 AM

You were at 14% when you primed and bottled it. Depending on how much sugar you added (weight measure, volume measurement is useless for this) and what you used for bottles, you could have one of a few results.
1. Good carbonation and cloudy mead until you give it time to settle.
2. Too much carbonation and you could get 'bottle bombs'.
3. Nothing, although that's extremely unlikely due to EC-1118 having a tolerance of 18%

I would leave the bottles at 70F for at least a month or two. Then chill one down for 2-4 weeks and sample. I'm using longer time frames than you would with a normal beer due to the higher ABV of what you bottled. Even though EC-1118 can easily restart fermentation, you could have left a lot behind when racking. You did rack until the mead was clear, right?

Once you establish that carbonation is where you want it to be, chill the rest of the bottles. For EC-1118, I'd get it below 50F, more like 40F to make sure you stop it.

Unferth 12-12-2012 05:49 PM

Awesome, will do.

Yeah it was really clear when I bottled it, so much so that I had a hard time telling where my siphoning water ended and where the mead began.

Thanks for all the help guys. If I remember to ill post an update when I try one a few months from now.

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