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bathtub brewer
11-19-2014, 05:15 PM
I am new to mead making, Currently on my 4th batch. I keep hearing people say they age their mead for a year before drinking it. I guess I am curious what this does? None of my mead batches have lasted more than 3 months before they get consumed. They taste really good so wasn't too worried about it. Just wondering If I should start hiding a couple bottles per batch.

McJeff
11-19-2014, 05:50 PM
Take it as a compliment that it goes quick. I got stuff, I don't dare open it's so bad. Do try and hide 1-2 bottle out of each batch. Just so you know the difference.

bathtub brewer
11-19-2014, 06:43 PM
ok, I will. Thank you.

zapped
11-19-2014, 06:44 PM
I am new to mead making, Currently on my 4th batch. I keep hearing people say they age their mead for a year before drinking it. I guess I am curious what this does? None of my mead batches have lasted more than 3 months before they get consumed. They taste really good so wasn't too worried about it. Just wondering If I should start hiding a couple bottles per batch.

Hiding a few bottles wouldnt be a bad idea.

Im going to TRY to age my latest batch for a year and the pumpkin batch for almost a year as well (gonna open that one on Halloween)

mannye
11-20-2014, 11:47 AM
Aging does wonders. I've had some (not mine...because it goes too quick) that has been aged for one two and sometimes even more years. Night and day. It's the difference between mead tasting homemade and like a pro worked on it. But of course, that's also dependent on a myriad of factors so YMMV, FWIW and all the other acronyms. I do suggest you keep meticulous logs so that in three years when you open that bottle you forgot about and it's the best mead in the world, you remember how to reproduce it.

PitBull
11-20-2014, 05:33 PM
Take it as a compliment that it goes quick. I got stuff, I don't dare open it's so bad. Do try and hide 1-2 bottle out of each batch. Just so you know the difference.
I whole-heartedly agree.

Sweetness and a lower ABV tends to make meads drinkable earlier. I like to age my dry and off-dry meads 18 to 24 months before consuming 750 ml bottles.

One way to do this more easily is to bottle a gallon (or more) in 12 oz. beer bottles. Then you can sample every month or two without opening a bigger (750ml = 25.4 oz.) bottle. Plus each beer bottle hold 2 gasses of mead and bottle caps are much less expensive than corks.

Take notes each time on your impressions.

EJM3
11-20-2014, 05:44 PM
+1 for mannyes recommendation on copious notes, and some good stout (not the beer) labels to keep thing identifiable.

bathtub brewer
11-24-2014, 01:40 PM
Thank you all. I have been keeping detailed record of all ingredients, procedures, and dates used. I am working on the labels. I have had my wife draw up a label and will try to get the drawing converted soon.

mannye
11-24-2014, 01:55 PM
There are websites that will print your labels for relatively cheap if you upload the drawing. They are a little annoyingly expensive on shipping but you can't beat a label just showing up at your door for 30ish bucks. Saves gobs of time.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

PitBull
11-24-2014, 04:09 PM
There are websites that will print your labels for relatively cheap if you upload the drawing. They are a little annoyingly expensive on shipping but you can't beat a label just showing up at your door for 30ish bucks. Saves gobs of time.
I agree. There’s nothing like a pre-printed label for quick and easy. If I make a wine kit, I use the supplied labels.

But home-brewed honey based wines and 6 gallon buckets of wine grape juice from California, Italy and Chile obviously do not come with labels (or oak, stabilizers, fining agents, etc.). So I created a “brand” label for my honey based wines (Zeus) and a second brand label for my grape based wines (Lucy Stomping Grapes). Just like the big wineries, all the labels are essentially the same with just a change of the name and stats of each wine and maybe the background colors. It takes a fair amount of time to create the base label (template), but once that is done, the aforementioned changes can be made in a matter of minutes. Each one is an original.

Avery #8164 has six labels per sheet @ 3.3” x 4”. They stand up well to an ice bucket, are fairly easy to remove, and colors do not run when a laser printer is used. The large package of the Staples, OfficeMax, or Office Depot equivalent labels can be had for less than 10 cents per label (plus toner). They also look good on 12 oz. beer bottles, 750 ml wine bottles and 1.5 liter bottles.

My labels look like stick figure drawings compared to those of some of the really creative GotMeaders. But here is a few of photos from the “Post You Labels” thread showing the versatility. Some even have color coordinated PVC shrinks and bottle caps.

Grape wines. Same label w different color schemes. 1523
One size label for 3 sizes of bottle. 1524
Honey wines. Same label for all different wines. 1525

bathtub brewer
11-24-2014, 04:18 PM
I had a bottle from my second batch that is more then 6 months since it was bottled. I figured I'd pop it open and try it just to see if there was a difference. Unfortunately it had picked up a sour taste. I am wondering if I did some thing wrong. What would turn a crisp clean tasting mead sour. I did notice it had become carbonated. Some of my first 2 batches did this. On the third I racked it an additional time and let sit an additional 2 weeks. That appears to have solved the issue.

PitBull
11-24-2014, 04:32 PM
If it became carbonated the fermentation re-started, or perhaps never finished. Most likely the mead turned from a still, sweet or off-dry mead to a carbonated dry mead... with bottle bomb potential. The restarted fermentation would also cause some degree of sur lie aging, which may or not be beneficial depending on the amount of lees and the yeast strain.

As stated in my first post below, sweeter meads are more drinkable early than dry meads.

Stabilizing the mead before bottling will prevent this problem.

skunkboy
11-24-2014, 11:08 PM
Yes, if start aging, please put labels on them of some sort, playing guess the mead can be frustrating if you build up enough bottles. Bigger sweeter meads age very nicely mellowing up and allowing honey character to reemerge, and if you age it long enough sherry notes to develop....