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Old 12-05-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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I have a confession. I made a mead a long time back and it sat in the carboy for I don't know how long. Years, probably.

It started fine. Tasted a bit off after a bit, but I was lax in my degassing, racking, etc. Airlock went dry more than once. I never found time to borrow a corker and get some bottles and bottle it up.

At one point it was just off enough that I decided to add some fruit juice to see if it would add a small bit of sweetness, or at least a small bit of flavor. It seemed dry and just not right.

Well, I cleaned my room and decided to bottle the 1 gallon of banana wine and clear off my other concoctions. I took a whiff and it smelled ok, but I had had enough of seeing it sitting there.

Now I do like a good mead, in small amounts. My plan is to make a small batch with the small carboy I have and try and do a better job managing the fermentation. I'll still have the same problem with corker and bottles though.

Can, or should, I use small clear glass bottles with bottle caps? I'm going on the assumption that the mead will be laid down for 1-2 years. I like the small bottle size for serving. I like the ease of using equipment I already own. Just not sure how the caps would work with something like mead. I've heard of beer being put away for years (just opened a barleywine from 2009 that I think was my last extract batch. Tasted OK, and not really even oxidized, although I do not think I'm over sensitive to that flavor.)

What do you think? I'm imagining a oaked bourbon mead, or maybe a cherry mead since my wife likes that kind of thing

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:27 AM   #2
Feb 2009
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Sorry for your loss. Dumping beverage is hard to do. The first mead I made, a five gallon batch, in 2009 never cleared and when I needed the carboy for something else I racked it to one gallon bottles. One by one those are going down the drain. Its been 3 years and last tasted it wasn't great but I still have two cloudy gallons left. Since then I've become a 1 gallon mead maker, so far so good. I scared myself by wasting a gallon of honey on the first batch.

I've heard of capping with success or using swing top bottles from Ikea. I bottle in 375 ml bottles which I cork, I like the small size since I'm mostly a beer drinker.

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
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Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
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Ah, well I never dump anything like that.

I just make sure that once batches are finished and clear, that I de-gas them after they've been racked off the lees and are clear, the use a solid bung to stopper and put them away.

I did recently buy a couple of bungs that have gas relief valves in them to try. The idea being that I can then do all the usual clearing, racking and topping up the racking loses and then just shove the relief bung in and leave them alone for however long and no worries about dry airlocks and stuff like that.

When I get time I taste them to decide whether I'll just let them carry on aging or whether I go and see a friend who has the kit to recover the alcohol so I can use it for topping up or fortifying. He's pretty helpful with that and is happy to take a payment in a bottle of mead or two for his efforts....
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
Jun 2012
West Side of, the Hand
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Someone recently started a thread on here about some mead that had been given to him. It was in capped bottles and was well over 10 years old but for some reason the fellow never did give us any feedback as to whether it was still good or not.

I would guess that your mead would be safe under a cap for a few years no problem.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:06 AM   #5
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Jun 2008
The Cold Part of AZ
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I bottle most of my meads in regular beer bottles with regular caps. Sometimes I'll use the oxygen absorbing caps if I know I'm going to age for awhile.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Mar 2012
Omaha, Nebraska
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Nooooooo (down the drain gurgling sound). I probably would have dumped also until I heard fatbloke chime in. But the lack of care during that long a period of time probably doomed it. The significant other already thinks I spend too much time looking after my mead "projects", although she is starting to like the results. Her latest comment was something along the lines of; "You never get up in the middle of the night to check and make sure I'm exhaling properly."
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