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Old 12-04-2011, 03:17 AM   #1
DisturbdChemist
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I just made some Joe's ancient orange mead today. I didnt use bread yeast i used white labs sweet mead yeast instead. Everything seemed to come out alright and has a og of 1.130 which is because of the honey. I'm going to let it sit till next christmas (if i can) and my question is should i move it off the bed of yeast in a couple of months or it should be fine just leaving it in the carboy the whole time? Also made some Apfelwien and cant wait to try that in a couple of months.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:31 AM   #2
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Once it clears, you should rack off the less. after that rack everytime you have more than a 1/4" of less.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:40 AM   #3
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ok. Another post i read said once the mead gets below 1.000 final gravity to move it and rack it. or could i bottle it once it clears and put it aside for the remainder of the time

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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You can rack once it hits terminal gravity, but you'll have to rack again pretty quick once the lees settles.

By waiting until it clears you 1) know its completely fermented and 2) save yourself a racking.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:24 AM   #5
DisturbdChemist
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Ok that sounds like a better idea. You know the ideal time to age this mead? I dont think it will go bad or form unwanted stuff. Like i said in the first post, i like to keep it in till next christmas or so

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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It shouldn't go bad at all if you don't do anything wrong, and will only get better with time. Next Christmas it should be great!

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:39 AM   #7
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problem is waiting that long haha but i'll put it out of my mind till then. just to clarify less = yeast

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:42 AM   #8
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Sorry, yeah, lees is the wine/mead term for stuff that sinks to the bottom...

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:03 AM   #9
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i'm to savvy with the lingo yet but i'm learning. I had to goggle some just to get what they are talking about

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:16 AM   #10
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Well, as you've made it basically as a JAO type mead, but with the sweet mead yeast (tolerance of about 11% ABV - and a notoriously difficult yeast to use), if you can, take a gravity reading of the must, then you have some idea of what's going on, given that the yeast can be hard work to use successfully (though it's not impossible).

Then, once it's finished fermenting and the "fruit has dropped" like with a bench mark batch of JAO, then just age it for the time frame that you've chosen - which is quite a good one for a JAO, which can taste good when young (though not in my experience), and just improves with age.

The theory seems to be that once it's cleared (so you can read a newspaper through it) and the fruit has dropped, you can rack off the lees a.k.a. sediment, carefully and when you get to a point where you think you're likely to pull some sediment, then you carry on and rack that into a plastic pop/soda bottle. That bottle is then placed in the fridge for a couple of days to allow the sediment to settle, then any cleared mead can be racked off the last of the sediment that drops out.

Yes you can rack straight into bottles if you want to, but that's actually harder to control/manage than it seems. It's better to rack into a bucket or carboy, with as little splashing as possible, then to rack/syphon it into bottles and cap/close.
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