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KevinJ
12-14-2009, 06:52 PM
How long do you let your mead bulk age before bottling? I've got one that is really clear and has bulk aged for about 5 months now. Should it be safe to bottle? There appears to be no activity in the airlock and now visible bubbles on the side of the carboy.

Thanks
Kevin

Medsen Fey
12-14-2009, 06:55 PM
Please provide your recipe and process details. This will help you to get better answers.

6 months is about the minimum I age anything.

storm1969
12-14-2009, 07:46 PM
These days it's rarely under 1.5-2 years, occasionally 1 year, especially for the brighter fruit mels

KevinJ
12-14-2009, 09:52 PM
Please provide your recipe and process details. This will help you to get better answers.

6 months is about the minimum I age anything.

* 1.75 gallons Orange Blossom honey (Unfiltered unpasteurized, unboiled etc )
* Spring water to fill up to 5 gallons
* D47 yeast
* 1 tsp Super Ferment
* 1/4 tsp Yeast Enerizer
OG around 1.125

Wiped the heck out of it with the drill and wine whip. Added 1/2tsp Superferment on day 3 and day 10. Wiped the heck out of it with the drill and wine whip for the first 3 days.

Medsen Fey
12-14-2009, 10:22 PM
I'm a little surprised the original gravity was not higher. 1.75 gallons should be close to 20 pounds, and in a 5 gallon batch I would expect that to produce a gravity closer to 1.140-1.150. Was all the honey dissolved when you took your reading?

What is the current gravity?
At what temperature has this been stored?

The answers to these questions will help us determine if it is safe to bottle.

Medsen

Dan McFeeley
12-15-2009, 05:20 AM
Anywhere from 9 months to 2 years has been given as a good framework for bulk aging, but much comes from the mead itself, type of varietal honey used, how well the mead finished out, whether oak was used, and many other variables.

One possibility -- rack to a three gallon carboy, if you have one handy, then bottle the rest in small bottles, e.g., 12 ounce beer bottles. This way, you can sample small amounts from time to time and guage how the aging process is progressing.

--

Fisher kel Tath
12-15-2009, 09:30 AM
I've so far managed to age my JAO a month...

Not sure if it'll make two...

Kee
12-15-2009, 03:48 PM
It gets easier to have patience once you have a small supply of mead on hand. Patience seems to be part of the learning curve.

Don't go with airlock activity. It's unreliable. Instead, buy a hydrometer. They're fairly cheap but a great help. Make sure your hydrometer readings are stable for a few months before you bottle. You might also want to ponder chemical stabilization. Fermentation can restart pretty easily or can go along slowly for months without visible signs.

slowbie
12-15-2009, 03:58 PM
It gets easier to have patience once you have a small supply of mead on hand. Patience seems to be part of the learning curve.

I'm hoping this is the case. I'm considering starting a gallon each of Joe's quick pyment and sweet mead to help me wait longer with my five gallon batch of traditional. I already have JAO that's been going a couple of weeks, so hopefully a few gallons of mead will hold me over.

Kee
12-15-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm hoping this is the case. I'm considering starting a gallon each of Joe's quick pyment and sweet mead to help me wait longer with my five gallon batch of traditional. I already have JAO that's been going a couple of weeks, so hopefully a few gallons of mead will hold me over.

Slowbie, go for it. If you can, put a bottle of each batch away so you can see how they age as well. It does get easier.

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-16-2009, 11:48 AM
Quick answer is that I bulk age until I am ready to bottle. While that seems like an obnoxious answer, it is only partially so. Big thing is that I am a procrastinator and so I have batches bulk aging that are going on 4 and 5 years old. I generally have been bottling only when I need something in bottles to take to an SCA event or when I need a carboy cleared out to start a new batch.

As a minimum, absolute minimum, for anything other than a specific quick recipe (like JAO) I age 10 months. I like to age at least 1.5 to 2 years for a normal wine or mead.

dogglebe
12-16-2009, 06:20 PM
Generally, I don't bottle until the batch is a year old... and then I age it in the bottles a little. I have a batch of maple-flavored mead in a carboy for seven or eight years now.

Mead is a patient man's (woman's) game.


Phil