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Ithok1
10-13-2010, 06:22 PM
Silly question but after racking can you bottle your mead and then let it age that way or does it have to be done in a carboy or barrel?

mmclean
10-13-2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Ithok1,

Welcome to GotMead?

I think bottle aging is the most common way to store mead.

Bulk aging may be better for the mead I think.

Depends to on how much you want to drink and how soon.

Fisher kel Tath
10-13-2010, 06:45 PM
I believe it can work both ways.

I just decided to split the difference and reracked 1g of my 3g cyser from bottles to a 1g carboy. I figure it'll be an interesting little experience.

JamesP
10-13-2010, 07:06 PM
For me, the issue is more about sediment in the bottles that drops out as it ages, so I bulk age then bottle.

If you filter, then bottle aging is fine (pardon the unintentional pun).

If you need to make adjustments to the mead as it ages (oaking, sweetness, ...), then obvously bulk aging is the way to go. Get it right, then bottle.

tatgeer
10-13-2010, 07:41 PM
Most of my aging takes place in the bottles. I leave things in the carboy until they are quite clear, using fining agents if its been a few months and it's still cloudy (probably most things stay in the carboy for about 4-5 months). Sometimes I still end up with some sediment in the bottle, but that doesn't bother me too much. I wouldn't bottle before it's pretty clear, because then you're going to end up with a lot of sediment.

If I had the carboys and the space, I might do more bulk aging.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'd just end up bottle ageing and use those carboys to make more mead.... :)

Ithok1
10-13-2010, 09:58 PM
Well this is the first batch I ever made and just finished first racking. Planning on 2 more times but I still want it aged after that. The soonest I would plan on drinking a bottle is January to celebrate a birth, another bottle we are keeping for that childs 21st and whatevers left it really doesn't matter how long it ages.

On the other hand, I only have 2 carboys and I really wanna get another batch started so bulk aging might not be an option for long.

Whats the worst that happens with bottle aging? Sediment? Or is there something worse?

Chevette Girl
10-13-2010, 10:27 PM
Whats the worst that happens with bottle aging? Sediment? Or is there something worse?

Worst case, your fermentation wasn't complete, and/or you didn't stabilize it first and you get a bottle bomb.

Presuming you took care of that and it's NOT going to start fermenting in the bottles, probably your biggest enemy will be oxidation. You'll want to do some research as to how you'll want to bottle it if you haven't already looked into it... long natural corks vs crown capping vs synthetic corks vs screw caps...

Sediment doesn't look pretty but as long as it's settled out to looking very clear before you bottle it, there shouldn't be anything in it that will hurt the mead.

PitBull
10-14-2010, 08:50 AM
On the other hand, I only have 2 carboys and I really wanna get another batch started so bulk aging might not be an option for long.

Hello Ithok1!

Welcome to GotMEAD!

I do a "little" of both" when aging. Often I rack my 5 or 6 gallon batch to one gallon carboys (wine jugs) for small bulk aging and experimenting/playing. Then you can back-sweenten some, oak some, back-sweeten & oak some, leave some "as is", etc.

Since this is your first batch, it's a great experience to compare the different resulting flavors side-by-side when you finally bottle. (I'd suggest 12 oz. beer bottles for tastings.) You'll find what you like best. The downside is that you'll only have one gallon of your favorite, but you may end up with a new favorite.

Now go out and drink 6, one-gallon jugs of cheap wine! You'll be glad you did (except for the hangover)!

crimsondrac
10-22-2010, 12:54 PM
The best argument I have ever heard for bulk aging is consistancy of flavor. If you bulk age, then bottle later dwn the road, you have a better chance for all of your bottles to have a more consistant flavor when compared to other bottles of the same batch. If you rack everything to bottles to be aged, some may contain more sediment then others or a number of other factors could cause one bottle to maybe be a little sweeter or dryer then another bottle of the same batch.

I do not know if this is true or not and undoubtedly the debate will rage on for eternity, but because of the reason above, I am siding with the Bulk Aging group.

AToE
10-22-2010, 01:14 PM
I don't know how true that is when the bottles have no sediment and are stored in perfect conditions - but I can testify that in poor (warm) conditions and with some sediment in the bottles, and inconsistant air bubble size etc, there is definitely the danger of differences between bottles.

I've had 4 different meads so far that have varied from bottle to bottle in as little as 5 or so months after bottling.

Ithok1
10-30-2010, 11:29 AM
I don't know how true that is when the bottles have no sediment and are stored in perfect conditions - but I can testify that in poor (warm) conditions and with some sediment in the bottles, and inconsistant air bubble size etc, there is definitely the danger of differences between bottles.

I've had 4 different meads so far that have varied from bottle to bottle in as little as 5 or so months after bottling.



Well that begs the question what is the proper temp to age bottles at? I doubt I will have much if any sediment and all bubbles are out of my mead so from what I can see temp is my main concern.

YogiBearMead726
10-30-2010, 02:20 PM
Well that begs the question what is the proper temp to age bottles at? I doubt I will have much if any sediment and all bubbles are out of my mead so from what I can see temp is my main concern.

Ideally, you'd store the bottles in cellar conditions. 50-80% humidity (I think), and around 50*F. This is just from memory though, someone correct these numbers if they're off please. :)

AToE
10-30-2010, 02:30 PM
Somewhere around 14 degrees Celcius seems to be the norm for aging, but I wouldn't take my word for that. It's impossible for me so I've never worried about that.

If you're bottling before 8-10 months and not using a fining agent you're almost certain to wind up with some sediment in my experience. It never seems to be as clear as it looks, plus the slight oxidization that occurs when bottling can trigger some particulate to bind to eachother and fall out of suspension even if it seemed clear (tannin is what I've had this happen with).

mmclean
10-30-2010, 06:47 PM
Is storing mead the same as storing wine?


The "golden temperature" for wine is 55F. Wine should normally be stored between 50-60F, although a range of 45-65F is considered OK and the most easily maintained by the normal collector. A lower, colder temperature causes the aging process to slow down, preventing the wine from aging properly. A higher, warmer temperature causes premature aging, although not in a "good" way.

Found at http://wineintro.com/

YogiBearMead726
10-30-2010, 06:52 PM
Is storing mead the same as storing wine?

Yes, it's basically the same. Beer does very well when stored like this too, provided the alcohol content is high enough (~8%)