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vrohver
08-17-2010, 03:23 PM
I'm new to Mead and have made a few recipes that you would age for several months to a year, and then some that were Quick or Short Mead's that must be consumed in about a month or so.

My questions is this, what makes the difference between conventional Mead's and Quick Mead's as far as aging?

Also, can you simply change a Quick Mead so that you can age it?

AToE
08-17-2010, 04:06 PM
Well, I haven't actually seen a "quick" recipe that specifically said it couldn't be aged, in fact many people say they just get better, only that they are good to go sooner. Which recipes are you talking about? There are a few famous quick meads around this site.

vrohver
08-17-2010, 04:42 PM
One of the recipes comes in a kit, I'm not sure if listing their name is alright or even necessary. Its called Elderflower Short Mead. It says in the literature to store in the refrigerator and use within 3 to 6 weeks. It suggests that alternately, you can age before use in the fridge for 1-3 weeks. If it gets warm it will restart fermentation. This is a delicious Mead that I would like to be able to age. The yeast that comes with it is a mystery, which makes me suspect and that possibly I should use a Wine Yeast instead. All of the other ingredients are spices, you supply the honey and spring water.

I have added Potassium Sorbate and am waiting to see what happens next.

Aside from this one recipe I have read others that leave you hanging about aging. ex: No-Age Sweet Mead Ready in 3 Weeks. This is another tasty Quick Mead.

Any Ideas?

Jord
08-17-2010, 04:44 PM
I agree with AToE....I believe they are termed "quick" meads meaning you will produce something that is drinkable in a shorter period of time than say a high ABV traditional mead or something that will take a lot longer (possibly years) for the flavours to integrate properly. As long as you have good sanitation and bottling practices your "quick" meads will get better with age like most other alcoholic beverages.

EDIT:

After seeing your second post I think I understand what you mean. It sounds to be that the Short Mead that you made is trying to retain some sweetness by not allowing the yeast to fully ferment all of the available sugars...this is why you are putting it in the fridge. The cold temperatures will halt fermentation. In theory if you sulphited it should kill of any remaining yeast and the sorbate addition after that is accomplished will prevent any remaining yeast from multiplying. The other thing you could do is let it ferment fully and stabilize before backsweetening with more honey....this way you have a stable product that you can safely bottle and store at room temperature. I'd suggest doing some further research on stabilizing here on the GM forums as I'm certainly no expert at this stage of the game either.

I've made the Joe's Acient Orange three week no-age mead and it ages just fine and gets even better as the days go by.

vrohver
08-17-2010, 06:03 PM
Thanks, it seemed a bit confusing, I haven't seen any activity since I used the potassium sorbate. This was pretty sweet, so I hope to dry it out some and enjoy it.

As far as Joe's Ancient Orange, this stuff is great. Mine is only two months down the road, so I'm starting a new one for the holidays.


Thanks for your help

Chevette Girl
08-17-2010, 09:06 PM
A kit recommends you do that? Weird, why wouldn't they just include packets of sulphites and sorbate?? I think it's not so much a "best before date" as an "explodes sometime after" date... :eek: I doubt that would go bad or be undrinkable, just sprarkling for a while and then explosive as the fermentation continues but slowly...

If you're still interested in extending the shelf life of the elderberry stuff, I'd hit it with potassium metabisulphite as well as the sorbate you added (seriously, do a search on "stabilize" or "stabilization", this site has piles of really good info - in short, sulphites kill the yeast, sorbate prevents them from multiplying, you really want both), then you can do whatever you want with it. If you've already added sorbate to it, it's not going to dry out much more... it will probably still improve in flavour, the yeast that are there might eat some sugar but when they die off they won't have replaced themselves.

If you can figure out what the spices are in that kit, you might look into putting something together, you could probably save some cash by buying the elderberries and spices separately since you have to add your own honey anyway! :) Bread yeast works if you leave it sweet like the Joe's Ancient Orange mead recipe (all over this site!), or if you want something drier, it will take a little longer with wine yeast.

I've been calling my variations on Joe's Ancient Orange "Quick mead" in my logbook for years, it's definitely worth trying (and playing with!), but as the Jord and AToE already said, they don't HAVE to be drunk quickly, they're just ready to drink much sooner than a typical mead made with wine yeast.

(oh and welcome to Gotmead! And your avatar is awesome!)