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View Full Version : How long will a mead last with adding Preservatives



McJeff
08-05-2014, 01:53 PM
Bottle, corked and stored in ideal conditions. What is the "shelf life" of a mead?

fuelish
08-05-2014, 02:27 PM
Many years.....although mine get consumed before the "many" part...

McJeff
08-05-2014, 02:29 PM
So are preservatives truly needed? Really trying to avoid using sulfites.

fatbloke
08-05-2014, 04:24 PM
So are preservatives truly needed? Really trying to avoid using sulfites.

Sulphites are anti fungal, anti oxidant etc. They're produced naturally during ferment anyway, we just add them at a slightly higher level to have a certain amount of preservative effect..

They should only be used at levels where they have that effect and no higher so as not to cause flavour issues.

The "contains sulphites" warning is mostly arse covering by the producers. Sulphur being a natural substance, doesn't cause issues generally, the warning is about asthmatics and older people who have breathing problems.....

They get worse exposure from cleaning materials.......

Of course, it maybe just me that doesn't follow what I think of as irrational worrying.....

You can always just make stronger batches or fortify it. Alcohol at high enough levels is a preservative anyway. Wine strength and above usually works, just can take longer to age/mellow.....

Just my tuppence worth.....

McJeff
08-05-2014, 04:49 PM
always appreciated

Chevette Girl
08-05-2014, 10:03 PM
...so... I had a bottle from my first batch of traditional (2004) recently. It had been corked for a couple of months. Then I found out it was still fermenting (early newbee mistake), uncorked it, put a piece of plastic wrap over the open bottle with a rubber band, and left it on the kitchen floor for... nine years. The rubber band cracked and fell off around three years ago but the plastic looked sealed around the glass. On the kitchen floor in an un-airconditioned house, not completely out of natural light.

It was still pretty damn good.

Don't ever store a mead this badly. I'm sure things like this are the only kind of luck I get.

Noe Palacios
08-15-2014, 05:18 PM
Sulphites are anti fungal, anti oxidant etc. They're produced naturally during ferment anyway, we just add them at a slightly higher level to have a certain amount of preservative effect..

They should only be used at levels where they have that effect and no higher so as not to cause flavour issues.

The "contains sulphites" warning is mostly arse covering by the producers. Sulphur being a natural substance, doesn't cause issues generally, the warning is about asthmatics and older people who have breathing problems.....

They get worse exposure from cleaning materials.......

Of course, it maybe just me that doesn't follow what I think of as irrational worrying.....

You can always just make stronger batches or fortify it. Alcohol at high enough levels is a preservative anyway. Wine strength and above usually works, just can take longer to age/mellow.....

Just my tuppence worth.....

Sulphites are unstable in water solutions, mead is a water solution, when metabisulphite is added to your must or to your mead during racking time or bottling it will dissociate, it will form NaOH and S02, the SO2 is what kills bacteries and fungus, but it will work for few hours only, which make it great for mead making. SO2 in bottles will take a little bit longer to "leak".

However, mead doesn't need preservants as other foods do, alcohol does the preserving job, the main thing is avoid contamination during prior processes before bottling.

Saludos,

GntlKnigt1
08-16-2014, 05:50 AM
...so... I had a bottle from my first batch of traditional (2004) recently. It had been corked for a couple of months. Then I found out it was still fermenting (early newbee mistake), uncorked it, put a piece of plastic wrap over the open bottle with a rubber band, and left it on the kitchen floor for... nine years. The rubber band cracked and fell off around three years ago but the plastic looked sealed around the glass. On the kitchen floor in an un-airconditioned house, not completely out of natural light.

It was still pretty damn good.

Don't ever store a mead this badly. I'm sure things like this are the only kind of luck I get.

I an storing some traditional in stoneware bottles with screwcaps or those pushin corks with the plastic tops (T corks). Your story gives me ideas about using them long term. Oxidation? Hah! I laugh at thee....

Chevette Girl
08-16-2014, 11:36 AM
I an storing some traditional in stoneware bottles with screwcaps or those pushin corks with the plastic tops (T corks). Your story gives me ideas about using them long term. Oxidation? Hah! I laugh at thee....

You're supposed to be learning from my bad example, not following it!! :)

Medsen Fey
08-16-2014, 04:19 PM
Although traditional meads are less prone to oxidation than wines are, it can still happen,and melomels can easily oxidize. Sulfites can prevent this, and prevent premature darkening. The other potential problem is spoilage organisms.

High ABV, high acid levels (and low pH), and high residual sugar content can all help meads survive better, but I make it a routine practice to use sulfites and this tends to help meads survive even in my sub-optimal, room-temperature storage.

McJeff
08-21-2014, 02:05 PM
http://winemakersacademy.com/potassium-sorbate-wine-making/

What are peoples thoughts on what this guy is saying about short self life and after/off taste of K Sorbate? Is there an alternative of K Sorbate for long(ish) aging?

jameshan
06-08-2016, 03:07 AM
it depens on which kind of preservative you use, for example,sodium benzoate (http://www.yameiaspartame.com/sodium-benzoate), potassium sorbate (http://www.yameiaspartame.com/potassium-sorbate), natamycin? the valid time differs