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Old 04-07-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Bottling My First Mead

I am thinking about bottling my first mead. I have eight 5-6 gal carboys filled with different meads (all still meads) the first having started 1/20/10 and another each week after.

I have collected and cleaned hundreds of 750 ml wine bottles from my local yacht/boat club and ready to fill.

I believe there is no fermentation left in this first mead. The last reading I took on 2/18/10 was 1.012. There has been no airlock action for a long time.

What is the proper bottling process? I do not want to ad sulfates if I can get away with it but DO NOT want "bombs". Can I just fill these bottles leaving about an inch of head space and cork, store on their sides (65-68 degrees) and wait? Or, do I leave them in the carboys for a couple more months before bottling?

Is filtering preferred? If so, how?

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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Use your hydrometer. Check the gravity on each and record it. Check again the next two successive weeks and if the gravity hasn't changed then it should be ready to bottle. You didn't mention recipes or yeast but mead will generally ferment to below 1.000 unless the beginning gravity is above 1.120 or so. If you backsweeten at all I'd advise sulfates and sorbate.

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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Another tip- if it's not completely clear, like read a newspaper through it clear, then don't bottle! It'll eventually clear, but all the crud will fall into the bottle. I've never bottled a wine or mead that was under 6-10 months old, and I have a rhubarb wine right now in a carboy that I made in May 2008 that still isn't bottled.

If you have lees on the bottom (sediment), you can rack to another carboy to get it off the lees. I wouldn't bottle until it's completely clear, and no new lees form on the bottom after 60 days.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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I'd say you really need to leave them sit. Bottle when it's both drinkable AND aesthetically pleasing. Bottling sooner means potentially longer age times, and crud in the bottle.

Yeast will drop out of mead for months and months. IMHO - 2.5 months is way way way too early to consider bottling...but if you're ok with the potential negatives, then go ahead.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:31 PM   #5
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Bentonite will clear it up fast and improve flavor:

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