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CanadianBacon
11-16-2010, 01:42 AM
This is my first mead attempt. I have two on the go both straight JAO. one has been going since Oct 6 and the other Oct 21 both are clear enough to see through and i am anxious to bottle. but i am put off by the 2 months specified by joe. should i wait longer or just bottle now and risk having guk in the bottles. there are zero bubbles in the locks, watched both for say 5 mins. only the raisins have dropped and the cinnamon. My question is really how clear is clear enough to bottle? Thanks in advance!

[edit] okay i took some pics the small one is the oct 6 and also got a bit disturbed cause i hit it today, its as clear as the other one. the big clear one is the one from oct 21. thoughts?

First Batch (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56042248@N08/5180603967/)

Second (http://www.flickr.com/photos/56042248@N08/5180603965/)

YogiBearMead726
11-16-2010, 10:49 AM
First off, welcome to GotMead!

Now, my first question is do you have a hydrometer/access to one from your LHBS? A hydrometer is an essential tool for any brewing endeavor. Basically, the bubbles from the airlock are not a good representation of what is going on in your must. It may look clear/not bubbling, but unless you check the specific gravity using a hydrometer, it may not be done and restart fermentation in your bottles. The safest thing to do is to see if it is "dry" (ie a hydrometer reading of <1.000. If it is, you can bottle with the assurance that you won't have any bottle bombs.

If you wanted to sweeten these two, you'll have to use sulfite and sorbate together to put the yeast into hibernation (aka stabilizing). Then, once you get the same reading on your hydrometer for a few weeks, you can backsweeten to your taste.

The only other thing to do at this point would be to transfer, or rack, into clean containers to pet them clear even more and to get the mead off of the ingredients in primary. But for JAO, I think it was designed to just be drank a few weeks after fermentation stops.

Also, yes, you'll probably get some sediment in your bottles. But if you don't mind, that shouldn't matter. Especially if you plan on drinking these soon. The only caution I have is that not all yeast are good for aging on. So in the future, I'd let a batch sit in secondary until it's completely clear (ie 10 months-ish...could be sooner, or longer) and then get ready to bottle. The flavors will also improve with age as the mead settles down and some volatile compounds are allowed to escape solution. Then you can brew more JAO to drink while your other batches are bulk aging. ;D

My last thought. Since you're making JAO, I assume you've read the NewBee Guide up on the left hand side of links. It's really useful and has plenty of info about the whole process.

Keep it up, and welcome to the community!

tatgeer
11-16-2010, 11:31 AM
The safest thing to do is to see if it is "dry" (ie a hydrometer reading of <1.000. If it is, you can bottle with the assurance that you won't have any bottle bombs.

I'm pretty sure that Joe's isn't designed to finish that dry.

CanadianBacon, another test to do with your hydrometer is to take readings a few days apart - if the specific gravity hasn't changed, your fermentation should be done.
Also, as YogiBearMead726 said, stabilizing is also a way to ensure you won't get bottle bombs.

YogiBearMead726
11-16-2010, 11:47 AM
I'm pretty sure that Joe's isn't designed to finish that dry.

Makes sense with bread yeast. I used an ale yeast for my first version of JAO. It wasn't ready to drink as early as strict adherence to the recipe would yield.

CanadianBacon
11-16-2010, 01:05 PM
Thanks for all the responses. yeah i do not have a hydrometer but am going to pick one up today along with some other stuff. think i may just risk it with the clear one but the other may sit for a while. once i have the hydrometer my next batch i will know for sure.

CanadianBacon
11-18-2010, 03:03 AM
bottled the clear one, went smoothly. there is a bit of stuff in the bottles but not so bad. tasted it and although it needs time for sure, it was very good. think my next batch will be a lot dryer.

Chevette Girl
11-26-2010, 04:46 AM
Hey, welcome to the addiction :)

My little cheat for bottling JAO without stabilizing is that I use sanitized screwtop bottles so I can check on them every week or two and if they do continue to ferment and build up pressure, I can let it off without having to recork. The e-z cap fliptop bottles are also great for this.