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My first mead- bottling question

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Tristenbrews

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Hi all,

Just put the airlock on my first batch of mead. The person who was helping me doesn't usually bottle it, so he couldn't give me any advice on when. So I guess that's my question. when is it safe to bottle it? was thinking wait until the fermentation has "finished" and then cold crash it and bottle it then.

Thanks.
 

valverij

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Correct, when your fermentation is finished (use a hydrometer), it is safe to bottle. If you bottle before it is clear, though, you will end up with a ton of lees in the bottle. It will clear naturally in a few months, or you can cold crash it as you said. Then, rack one last time if there's dust/lees buildup, and bottle.

I normally rack after primary is complete, then rack as needed as lees builds up (I clear naturally most of the time), then once more right before bottling, if there's any dust buildup on the bottom. It normally comes out to 3 rackings altogether.
 
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Tristenbrews

Tristenbrews

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OK. great. that was my general thought on it. He recommended I rack it once a month. I plan to do that for at least the first few months. then it probably won't need it as often. I'm figuring it'll take about 6 months, cold crash, then re-rack for a bit longer, then bottle and let set for another 6 months.
 

bernardsmith

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Once a month seems to me a little excessive. You could reasonably allow the mead to stand on the lees for 60 days or even 90 before you rack a second or third time. Racking too frequently means that you lose too much of the mead with no real benefit as you are also racking off the yeast and you do want the yeast to metabolize all kinds of other chemicals in the mead to enhance the flavor profile of the wine... But I am sure that others on this forum may have very different views /experiences...
 
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Tristenbrews

Tristenbrews

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ok. I'll kind of just let it go for a bit, if after a month it's starting to get a good pile of yeast on the bottom, I'll rack it, then let it go for a few months. Thanks for the advice. After brewing beer, starting to brew mead is entirely way too simple, and I think I'm kind of just looking for the complicated steps that I think I'm missing.
 

bernardsmith

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wine making - IMO - involves far less complex processes than brewing - Must is far more robust than wort and less susceptible to infections and contamination, the sugars are less complex and the yeast will do what you allow it but will do so in its own time and to its own rhythm. Wine making, however requires patience. That is the secret ingredient.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Good discussion, I'm new at doing small batches. My first 3 are mead, to start because the process seemed fairly uncomplicated. I jumped the gun a little with a metheglin, and have a little sediment in the bottles, but my racking is improving. Waiting for a traditional mead to clear, and have a blueberry melomel in secondary. Had to get my first beer small kit though, Oktoberfest should be ready just in time. Cheers, and thanks.
 
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Tristenbrews

Tristenbrews

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Yeah, Having moved into a house that has a big basement that we're not going to finish, I've got lots of room for long term brewing storage. Besides just being interested in expanding my brewing abilities to new things, I've got the space to just let things sit for a long time. Patience is something that I've always had a hard time with for beer, so I'm hoping this will help balance that out.
 
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