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danr
01-19-2013, 07:03 PM
My first mead, made with Orange Blossom Honey, has been aging in 5 gallon carboys for 5 months at 60 degrees F. I have not kept very good records, but I know that I racked it three times after the primary fermentation and I added Potassium Sorbate when fermentation was complete - i.e. no airlock bubbles and final gravity below 1.00 after starting around 1.11. I have, but did not add, Potassium Metasulfite (Campden tablets). The mead is now very clear with no sediment after the last racking about a month ago. I have a Better Bottle DryTrap airlock on the carboy.

I would like to bottle some, but not all, of my mead so that I can experiment with some modifications later (ex. backsweetening) if I am not happy with the results. I intend to transfer 3 gallons of the mead into a 3 gallon carboy for bulk aging while bottling the rest.

Question #1: Should I use a solid stopper in the 3 gallon carboy or do I still need to use an airlock? I would prefer to be able to "leave and forget" the bulk aging mead without having to monitor the liquid in the airlock. The 3 gallon airlock is glass, and I intend to use my DryTap with the 5 gallon Better Bottle and batch of Tupelo Honey mead that is currently mid-way through its primary bucket fermentation.

Question #2: Can I bottle the rest of the mead into corked wine bottles without any additives, or do I need to add Potassium Sorbate and/or Potassium Metasulfite first? I want this to be still mead.

Question #3: How long do you recommend I let the mead bottle age before I try the first bottle?

Thank you in advance for any advice!

Dan

Marshmallow Blue
01-19-2013, 11:43 PM
I can't answer all your questions but from what I know if your bottling after 5 months you should see about taking it up to a year. I've drank my first mead at 5 months and it actually tasted pretty close to the chaucers brand you can get in stores. But typically meads get only better with age. You could always drink a couple bottles and age the rest as desired.

akueck
01-19-2013, 11:54 PM
I would recommend leaving the airlock in there. Mead tends to degas for a long time, so you want a way for the CO2 to get out.

It's a good idea to add sulfite when you add sorbate. You don't need to add more sorbate at this time, but I'd recommend adding some sulfites before bottling. 50 ppm maybe?

I like to try a batch at the one year mark and see how it's going. Each batch is different though, so you can do whatever you like. :)

fatbloke
01-20-2013, 12:01 AM
Well its all well and good wanting make "organic" nonsense (i dont know if that was your aim or just an oversight - its one of the regular justifications for similar omissions) you should search for "geraniols in wine making" to understand the enormity of sorbate without sulphite. A basic error with batch threatening potential results.

As for bottling and storage. It matters little about the bung if you want to use a solid stopper make sure the level of liquid gives minimum airspace and wire a solid stopper on place. Maybe partial degassing if you're worried about changes in atmospheric pressure being an issue.

If you do want to bottle then glass and cork is fine but if you're unsure how long it'll be in the bottles the wax dipping should prevent any issue's there.

If you want some to sample but dont want to crack a whole bottle then put some in beer bottles with oxygen absorbing caps then taste one quarterly.

danr
01-20-2013, 04:07 PM
Well its all well and good wanting make "organic" nonsense (i dont know if that was your aim or just an oversight - its one of the regular justifications for similar omissions) you should search for "geraniols in wine making" to understand the enormity of sorbate without sulphite. A basic error with batch threatening potential results.

I made the mead from a Northern Brewer kit. The instructions called for sorbate but not for metasulphite.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/meadkits/CKSweetVarietal.pdf

fatbloke
01-20-2013, 05:33 PM
So with that, they condem some of the kit makers to the most expensive drain wash possible.

Hey ho.....