View Full Version : Trying to Avoid Bottle Bombs

12-22-2010, 10:40 PM
I had a 6 gallon mead I started in early August, half of which I added priming sugar to and bottled in champaign bottles (mentioned in a post earlier today). For the other half, I added K-meta, followed by sorbate an hour later. I know this should prevent any fermentation from starting back up, especially since it had been bulk ageing for several months. However, I decided to back sweeten and added 12 oz of honey (mixed with hot water) about an hour after the sorbate addition. I bottled soon after that. I'm looking back now and realizing that I probably should have waited before back sweetening, and then waited after that before bottling (I was in a hurry and wanted to get it done). I'm just wondering what the odds are that I've just made a dozen bottle bombs.

12-22-2010, 11:07 PM
First thing everyone is going to ask for it more info, what was the SG before priming/backsweetening, and after, what doses of stabilizer as well would be good to know.

12-23-2010, 12:42 AM
Also what yeast was used. ;)

12-23-2010, 01:23 AM
The yeast I used was Lalvin RC212, the starting gravity was 1.105, and the gravity right before back sweetening was 1.002. I followed the dosages on the packages for the stabilizers; for three gallons it came to about 1/5 tsp K-meta (package called for 1/4 tsp for 5 gallons, I was just a little bit over that) and 3tsp of sorbate (package called for 1/2 tsp/g when back sweetening).

12-23-2010, 11:23 AM
Was this a traditional mead, or a melomel? It seems to me that your process and dosages would be more than sufficient for a traditional, but if there were other compounds in there that could bind SO2, then you may or may not have had enough K-meta in there to adequately dispatch any remaining dormant yeast.

When I'm backsweetening still meads and I use the K-meta/sorbate "one-two punch" to prevent refermentation, I'll often allow the mead to set in bulk after the backsweetening and initial stabilizer dosage, just to make sure that things don't start back up. Then, when I bottle, I'll dose it with some more K-meta to bring the free sulphite level up to around the 50-60 ppm point.

12-23-2010, 01:36 PM
In the six gallon primary, I had 5 Valencia oranges cut in quarters, a 12oz package of assorted dried fruits, three vanilla beans, and two sticks of crushed cinnamon; all of which were removed after the third week.

12-23-2010, 04:45 PM
The "assorted dried fruits" might bind SO2, depending on what they are. To be on the safe side I might have added a little more K-meta; at the levels you're talking about you could safely double the dose you've added without affecting the aroma or flavor. Still, I suspect that you're fine as-is.