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Q2XL
04-16-2010, 05:11 PM
I just racked my first mead to the secondary. It started at 1.136 and finished at 1.009-about 17%abv. It is quite "hot" going down. I know there are a lot of variables, but if this were your mead, how long would you let it age in the secondary?

Thanks.

Dan McFeeley
04-16-2010, 06:07 PM
On the average, 9 months to a year is a good general period for aging, two years can be better. It's a bit difficult to tell without knowing more about the recipe, e.g. yeast strain, varietal honey/s used, kinds of additives added such as nutrients, length of time to complete the fermentation. The starting gravity looks a bit high, did it struggle a bit to finish?

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Q2XL
04-16-2010, 11:42 PM
It's a bit difficult to tell without knowing more about the recipe, e.g. yeast strain, varietal honey/s used, kinds of additives added such as nutrients, length of time to complete the fermentation. The starting gravity looks a bit high, did it struggle a bit to finish?

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I used 18lbs raw orange blossom honey. I did not heat the honey when I made it. Without getting into great detail I added nutrients(DAP&Fermaid K) 3 different times during fermentation.

Here are some details.....

March 31st--Day 1, SG 1.136
3rd day--1.110
4th day..1.070
6th day..1.044
9th day..1.019
16th day..1.009

So it finished in 16 days with no problems.

wildaho
04-17-2010, 03:15 AM
What temperature did you ferment at? Whenever I hear "hot" taste, I also think warmer fermentation temps.

But give it a chance! It's only 16 days old! (and I'd give it a few more days of fermenting before saying it's "done"). This would be a great time to transfer it over to secondary for some clarifying and some aging for a few months.

Mead is not an impatient man's game. Just keep enough going to get over that initial hump of waiting for the next batch...

Q2XL
04-17-2010, 09:51 AM
What temperature did you ferment at? Whenever I hear "hot" taste, I also think warmer fermentation temps.

But give it a chance! It's only 16 days old! (and I'd give it a few more days of fermenting before saying it's "done"). This would be a great time to transfer it over to secondary for some clarifying and some aging for a few months.

Mead is not an impatient man's game. Just keep enough going to get over that initial hump of waiting for the next batch...

I am in NO hurry to drink this. I am also a homebrewer and have no problem with being patient. In my first post I said that I already transfered over to the secondary.

It was fermenting in the basement at about 65F.

I know it will take a long time to age. I just wanted to get a good idea on how long to keep it in the secondary before bottling.

akueck
04-17-2010, 03:57 PM
Unless you're in a hurry to get it out of the carboy it's in, wait a good long time. It might taste fine or even good after six months or so, but 1-2 years from now it will be much, much better. I've been doing small batches lately (1 gallon or less) which clear faster, so I've been going about 4-6 months before bottling. My single foray into larger volumes sat for 11 months, and I should have waited longer (that batch really started tasting good after 2 years).

Medsen Fey
04-17-2010, 07:42 PM
... but if this were your mead, how long would you let it age in the secondary?


Until it becomes smooth and drinkable.

Seriously. I'm not trying to sound snarky, but I tend to age things until I'm sure they are good enough to bottle, so I wait a long time. With a traditional mead at 17% ABV it could take years. My guess would be 18 months would be the time to see it start to come around, and it probably will continue to mellow well beyond 2-3 years.

Of course it will continue to mellow and age even if you bottle it, so whether you keep it in bulk or not, depends more on your need for the carboy space than anything else.

Angelic Alchemist
04-17-2010, 09:40 PM
Of course it will continue to mellow and age even if you bottle it, so whether you keep it in bulk or not, depends more on your need for the carboy space than anything else.

Yep. What he said. :thumbsup:

I had a dry traditional at 17.5% aging on the lees for 6 months. Didn't mean for it to be dry/high EtOH, but tricky D47 had other plans. I let it clear and bottled it after 6 months because I needed the carboys, since I'm a little more equipment-challenged than the mead mentors. It's still too hot to drink last I checked. Another year. Maybe more.

wildaho
04-18-2010, 04:27 AM
I'll go back to my first paragraph on my response. You mentioned "heat". That makes me think that you perhaps fermented at a warmer temperature. If so, look at anywhere from 12 mos. to 5 years for it to mellow out.

But then again, it depends on your definition of "heat". Is it rocket-fuel/acetone throat ripper? Or is it just a bit more heat than a big beer? When you can quantify that, we can help you qualify it. Some temperatures (both ambient and must) details would help us too.

Q2XL
04-18-2010, 12:48 PM
I'll go back to my first paragraph on my response. You mentioned "heat". That makes me think that you perhaps fermented at a warmer temperature. If so, look at anywhere from 12 mos. to 5 years for it to mellow out.

But then again, it depends on your definition of "heat". Is it rocket-fuel/acetone throat ripper? Or is it just a bit more heat than a big beer? When you can quantify that, we can help you qualify it. Some temperatures (both ambient and must) details would help us too.

As mentioned earlier, it was fermenting in a bottling bucket at 65F. I know fermentation gives off heat, but I am not sure what the actual mead temp was at peak fermentation.

The "hotness" feels like the heat when you drink a strong whiskey or vodka type liquor.