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pagan
02-07-2014, 10:28 PM
So i'm on my 7th & 8th brew now, but i've always left them on the lees whilst i syphoned and drank, but now i'm needing to bottle some for the summer solstice.

Question is, how do i bottle safely ? It's never been an issue before now.

I'll be bottling when the mead is ready for me, about 16 weeks in, without any racking, so straight into a few sparkling wine bottles i've been given. I do have an hydrometer, but didn't have when i started these, so no starting gravity. What's the easiest way to be sure fermentation has stopped ? In this situation ?

Thanks in advance.

xanderphillips
02-07-2014, 10:39 PM
Take multiple hydrometer readings over the course of a week or longer, if fermentation is complete the readings should be steady. If you mix in potassium sorbate and metabisulfite (per their instructions) those will stop the yeast from fermenting any further preventing bottle bombs from happening. You will need to sterilize everything for the bottling just like you should have for the original setup of the must. After that, just watch a few youtube videos and you will get the process down better than I could describe in words. Short version is you siphon the good stuff into the bottles leaving the crap in the bottom of the carboy behind.

pagan
02-07-2014, 10:57 PM
Take multiple hydrometer readings over the course of a week or longer, if fermentation is complete the readings should be steady. If you mix in potassium sorbate and metabisulfite (per their instructions) those will stop the yeast from fermenting any further preventing bottle bombs from happening. You will need to sterilize everything for the bottling just like you should have for the original setup of the must. After that, just watch a few youtube videos and you will get the process down better than I could describe in words. Short version is you siphon the good stuff into the bottles leaving the crap in the bottom of the carboy behind.

Thanks for that.
Yeah, mead guzzler that i am even i don't drink the dead yeast. :D
I thought those two we're the way to go from reading previous posts, but i've no idea of quantity per gallon (i brew 1 gallon batches) etc, and signs to be sure i've definitely killed fermentation.

Btw, this is the blurb on batch 8, which i did have the hydrometer in time to take a starting gravity for. It's pretty much the same as batch 7, though i experimented a bit and let the water lay on top of the honey, to watch the beasties eat it away. :D (batch 8 was shaken)

16/1/2014
SG 1.110
4lbs honey
zest of 1 lime and juice
25 raisins
1 clove
Water to 1 gallon-ish

27/1/14
SG 1.080

GntlKnigt1
02-08-2014, 05:33 AM
You are using bread yeast?

For stabilizing, you can check for the inter-relationship between sulfite, pH, and alcohol content, as per the chart in this article.... http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FS/FS-52-W.pdf (http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FS/FS-52-W.pdf)

Or, you can take the less precise approach....
When fermentation is complete, I will rack the mead and nearly always stabilize it with tsp potassium metabisulfite per gallon and tsp potassium sorbate per gallon, especially if I am planning on backsweetening at some future time. This keeps the yeast from reproducing, kills bacteria, and retards oxidation.

Chevette Girl
02-08-2014, 12:20 PM
1 campden tablet per gallon of sulphites is the easiest way to measure, and 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate per gallon (or whatever it says on the package, it may differ depending on the manufacturer).

pagan
02-08-2014, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Yes, bread yeast.

So i can use campden tablets OR metabisulfite & sorbate.
And how long should they be left to work before bottling ?

mannye
02-08-2014, 02:30 PM
I know this is heresy in bottling terms but so far I haven't added sulphited to any of my mead. I let the yeasty beasties do the work they do then rack/wait/rack again/clarify/filter/bottle. Results so far have been crystal clear mead anyone can drink without worrying about sulfite allergies. But that's me.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

pagan
02-08-2014, 02:55 PM
Well i'd obviously rather use nothing, but it's ultra important these don't turn into bombs on me, as a couple of the bottles will be in a back pack travelling several hundred miles with me. Eeeeeek !

GntlKnigt1
02-08-2014, 02:58 PM
Yeah.... you want to be sure it has been stabilized...then, I rinse my bottles with sulfite and leave the drops that cling to the inside of the bottles....a little added insurance.

mannye
02-08-2014, 04:16 PM
See? Heresy. ;)


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G