View Full Version : How do you know it's done?

08-22-2009, 11:22 PM
I was checking on my cyser today, and it's looking pretty darn clear. It's probably not newsprint-worthy yet, but I would say it looks like apple-juice you'd find at the store (considering the cider I started with was completely opaque, that's saying a lot).

It's only about a month old, so I'm not planning on bottling anytime soon, but it got me thinking: How do you know when it's time to go from bulk aging to bottle aging? Taste? Unchanging hydrometer readings? Mystical Gnosis that I, as a newbee, haven't earned yet?

08-23-2009, 12:57 AM
Magic! The masters just have a sense.

For us newbees, three months or more of unchanged hydrometer readings is a good indicator.

08-23-2009, 03:07 AM
Usually I bottle when I can't wait any longer to start another batch and I'm out of empty carboys. ;) The longer you can wait, the better. You'd be surprised how much crud can drop out of a seemingly-clear mead. Best to leave all that behind and not bring it into the bottles, if for nothing else than aesthetics. Once your gravity is at a point that makes sense and stable, it is safe to bottle. But if you can hold out a few more months you won't be sorry.

08-23-2009, 04:57 AM
3 consecutive identical hydrometer readings will tell you if the ferment is finished.

Then it's just a case of deciding when to rack off the lees etc.

Yes, meads are pretty good at resisting oxidation, but once you've got the batch off the lees, then I'd be looking for something to top it up with, so I'd be thinking that sulphite and sorbate first, then top it off with some clear apple juice..... just to remove the airspace, unless you've got something better i.e. a similar mead/wine etc