Originally Posted by kc_in_wv
I will probably rack next October in November. From what I have read this mead needs to set on the lees for at least a year.
Right now there is some new CO2 being formed because of the honey water I topped of with.
Thanks for your reply.
This is incorrect. Sitting on the lees for a year can be detrimental. I usually rack to the secondary fermentation vessel(IE just rack to another carboy or into the brew pot and back to the carboy once cleaned) to rack it off of the lees. Basically, I would recomend that if the airlock is only going 1 bubble a minute or so to rack off, leave the lees and sediment behind.
Mead needs to AGE for a year, chocolate mead I would do 1 1/2 years as it takes longer for the oils to break down.
I have 2 chocolate batches going now and I put the chocolate nibs in the must in the secondary and then left it in for only a month.
You will more than likely end up with a bit more bitter flavor than you want if you leave the chocolate in the must for a year.
1. primary, with or without chocolate.
2. Rack to secondary, off the chocolate if it is in the primary, onto the chocolate if it is not.
3. after about 1 month rack off of the chocolate if it was put in the secondary.
4. Allow to settle and rack off of sediment if sediment gets to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
5. Wait til it is clear enough to read through, might not happen with chocolate but it should look smooth and be even.
6. Then age for a year, bulk age in carboy if you wish or bottle and put the bottles in the bastement for over a year.
This is my recomendation based on other meads I have made, non-chocolate, and form forums like this or on Gotmead.com
The most chocolate or any spice/fruit would need in the mead is 2 months. The rest of the time it should be clearing. Pectic Enzyme (for fruit) helps, and Sparkloid helps (for general clearing).
Hope this helps.