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View Full Version : Is my mead ready to bottle by this weekend?



762by54r
11-29-2011, 02:02 PM
Well I am a newbee and this is the question section for people of that ilk, so I believe this is the right section if not, I apologize.

Anywho, this is my first batch it is the JAOM recipe... only I wasn't able to find any Fleischman's anywhere where I live, so I had to settle for Red Star. The only other way I deviated from the recipe was up scaling as none of my brew shops had any 1 gallon carboys, so I opted for a 3 gallon one.

Now I started this batch on Oct. 10th 2011, it was chugging along fine and then it began to clear around Nov. On Nov. 16th-17th it was clear enough to read through. It has been sitting since and is quite clear. A few of the raisins have dropped but nothing else and I can hear a bubble move through my airlock about every 25-30 minutes.

Herein lies my question, I have a Christmas party to go to on Saturday Dec. 3rd and I would like to bring a bottle or two. Based on the pictures below (hopefully the post correctly) would I be alright in bottling?

-On a side note, the camera I am using isn't the greatest and even though it seems somewhat blurry or murky, it is actually more clear than that I can actually read every line of the newspaper.

http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/762x54R/SANY0003.jpg
http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/762x54R/SANY0001.jpg


Thanks for your time and help.

Boogaloo
11-29-2011, 02:31 PM
If it tastes good then bottle it! If you're worried about CO2 buildup then throw in a campden tablet and some potassium sorbate.

I'm somewhat of a n00b on here so please wait for more knowledgeable posts.

Chevette Girl
11-29-2011, 02:49 PM
I often bottle my unstabilized JAO's in screw-top or flip-top bottles so that I can check every few weeks to see if they've started to build up pressure and release it without having to re-cork everything. That said, I usually leave mine a little longer than the prescribed 2 months (I usually rack it when it's clear and then let it age a few more months) although I have had one batch keep fermenting in the bottles.

If you want to bring a bottle or two for consumption at the party, you can always just fill a couple of bottles while you wait for the fruit to sink in the rest of the batch (don't sweat about oxidation and headspace, I've never had it happen with a JAO and I ALWAYS have a good amount of headspace in them).

Given that your fruit is still floating, you may want to rack it to another carboy and give it a couple days before bottling, Unless you've been swirling it around from time to time, there's probably a decent amount of yeast bits stuck to the floating oranges and when you stick anything in there that disturbs them, you'll knock it off and you may end up with it going cloudy again (although it should clear within a couple days). Good luck, and welcome to the forum! (and the addiction that is meadmaking!) If I've said anything that goes over your head, just ask, someone will explain.

762by54r
11-29-2011, 03:09 PM
I actually did notice a good bit of yeast stuck to the oranges and swirled it about, to get it to fall about a week ago, so most... if not all of the yeast that was on the oranges should be on the bottom. I am sure there is still some clinging to the fruit though.

Also thanks for the welcome.

fatbloke
11-29-2011, 03:33 PM
Well, to start with, I presume that you were referring to Red Star bread yeast ?

Also, I suspect that you might be a little optimistic with your time scale. Yes, in theory, once the fruit has dropped, its ready/drinkable. In practice, I've found that it usually needs considerably longer to be really good.

If you find yourself getting too impatient (without the party factor), I'd suggest that you rack it very carefully, then stabilise it with sulphite and sorbate and then de-gas it.

If it tastes ok, then that's great, but if you could age it for 6 months it will just get better.

Personally, I'd just take a bottle of something else cheap to the party as I don't like to let anyone else taste my efforts before its ready........

762by54r
11-29-2011, 03:42 PM
Actually in all honesty, the bottle I was going to bring would be in fact only for myself as a good many of the people that will be there don't drink or can't legally.

Chevette Girl
11-29-2011, 05:09 PM
If it's just you drinking it, then it's a really good experiment for you to see how it tastes now. Take notes and compare it with how it tastes in a couple of months! :)

Loadnabox
11-30-2011, 05:45 PM
My wife has no problem drinking a young JAO. Common comments when it's young are along the lines of "Whew that packs a punch!" So most people like it more after a tiny bit of aging.

Try thiefing a sample with a turkey baster. It won't take but 1/2 an ounce to get a really good taste.

If you really want to get it to the party, rack it into another jug tonight attempting to leave as much sediment as possible behind.

The night of the party siphon from the top into a bottle to get the clearest stuff.

Give the bulk age stuff another week then rack again.

If you read the JAO thread this part of racking doesn't void the warranty and in fact is assumed it will be done before bottling. The racking in this case isn't for the purpose of changing the ferment, but to clarify and remove sediment for bottling. Sediment in a bottle generally makes most people squeamish so having a nice shiny clear look makes it more appetizing :)

Last note: generally modifying the size of a batch isn't considered breaking the recipe. As long as the proportions are still the same the recipe remains unbroken :)

THawk
12-01-2011, 02:10 AM
It typically takes 5-6 weeks for mine to go from mixing to fruit on the bottom. If you didn't have the party on the 3rd, I'd say to wait another week or so and all your fruit will drop. But your JAO looks beautiful as it is now!

Loadnabox
12-01-2011, 04:58 PM
It typically takes 5-6 weeks for mine to go from mixing to fruit on the bottom. If you didn't have the party on the 3rd, I'd say to wait another week or so and all your fruit will drop. But your JAO looks beautiful as it is now!

My larger JAO batches have never cleared that fast, it's really weird. My last batch took 5 months to clear!

I have a batch in the closet that's pulled a reversal on me, fruit dropped a month ago but it's still cloudy, it was pitched on 8/17/2011

I swear sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to when a JAO clears/readies :)

762by54r
12-01-2011, 11:18 PM
Well the party that was supposed to happen on Saturday has been moved to next weekend... so I guess now I shall just wait until the fruit drops and to help kill some time I might finish my drinking horn.

On a side note though, should rack into a second carboy to help clear it some more or would it be alright if I let it sit and just bottle from this one once the fruit drops? I mainly ask this because I don't have another carboy and I would rather spend some money on vehicle parts right now versus another carboy to initially be used for only racking.

Chevette Girl
12-01-2011, 11:32 PM
On a side note though, should rack into a second carboy to help clear it some more or would it be alright if I let it sit and just bottle from this one once the fruit drops? I mainly ask this because I don't have another carboy and I would rather spend some money on vehicle parts right now versus another carboy to initially be used for only racking.

Oooh, I hear you... mine needs a steering coupler and an engine transplant...

You certainly can leave it in there until the fruit drops. You might notice raisins bobbing up and down for a few days before the oranges start to sink, swirling it gently can sometimes knock out some of the CO2 that's holding the fruit up too.