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View Full Version : OOPS that could've been bad!



youngmeadman
06-24-2007, 08:35 PM
So the other night I had the plessure to open my very first batch of mead (last time I had some was Easter). The good news is it is wonderful, better as it ages, which we all know. However there is one difference between how it was then, back in Easter, and that is, it's now a sparkling mead. Now, there is sediment at the bottom, so I hope it's done, and I'm not going to end up with a granade, but just in case, I threw it into the fridge today. Is this the right way to handle it? How long should I store it in the fridge? What did I do wrong, well obviously I bottled too early, but I swear there was no airlock activity for months before I bottled it. I know when I bottled it (being the first time bottling anything) airated it quite a bit, is this what caused the yeast to return from vacation? Any advice on how to prevent such a hazardous event from happening again?

Advice please,
YoungMeadman

wayneb
06-24-2007, 11:42 PM
Did you dose it with metabisulfite (and if it "finished" off-dry to sweet, some potassium sorbate)? If not, and if there are any fermentable sugars left in the mead, your yeasties just woke back up. If you were pretty near to dry, then you probably don't have bottle bombs, just a nice sparkling mead! ;D However, if this is a semi-sweet to sweet mead you may be in for problems with some blown corks. Did you cork it, or use swing top bottles, or are these bottles crown-capped? If the mead is sweet rather than dry, nothing short of popping open those bottles will relieve that pressure... and it will continue to grow until all the sugars are used up, or the yeast hit their alcohol tolerance and finally die off.

Metabisulfite (and sorbate, when called for) is the only guaranteed way to stabilize your mead, short of pasteurization (not a good idea) or repeated careful rackings to make sure that ALL the yeast are out of the mead before it finally gets bottled. Cold crashing will probably work to stop immediate fermentation activity, but all you've done to stop yeast activity is treat it to cold and if the bottles are later brought back up to room temp and allowed to stay there, the yeast could start up again.

youngmeadman
06-25-2007, 12:13 AM
It was a natural batch so I used no chemicals, and its sweet. I believe I used 4 pounds of honey for the one UK gallon batch. Yes the bottles are cork adn are now In the fridge, and I guess they will have to stay there for a while.