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Shadowbreed
06-23-2016, 09:16 AM
So after the previous help we received here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/25702-Did-we-screw-up) , some of our mead is finally at the stage where we'd like to think about bottling it.
Now I've read some articles stating sulfites can cause issues for people with Asthma?
If that's true I'd like to avoid using it :S

Do we have to stabilize to avoid bottle bombs?

Our recipe was as follows:
8.1 KG Honey
2.79 grams DAP
7.9 grams Fermaid - O
2 packets lalvin 71B - 1122
OG 1.118
Original total Liquid amount 20.1 liters

We added 2 more packets 71B and 12 grams fermaid O after 7 days (after the suggestions in our original thread)
We racked the whole batch in to 5 separate 1 gallon carboys after 1 month, at which point the gravity was at 1.018 (and activity had ceased for at least 3 days)

We now have 5 separate batches:


We added 1 vanilla stick to 1 of the carboys, which is now fully cleared up and is the one we're considering bottling today.
We kept 2 carboys of the original recipe without changes, which are getting really close to fully cleared.
We used 300 ml peach puree in 1 carboy, which is not done yet (Amount is simply our first test to see how it goes)
and we also used 300 ml strawberry puree in 1 carboy which is also not done yet. (Amount is simply our first test to see how it goes)



Basically we would like to bottle the vanilla mead, and are getting close to the 2 originals, but are unsure about stabilizing.

We do have K-Meta and K-sorbate, but I'm worried about the asthma issues I read about, and am wondering if it is absolutely needed.
We will not be back sweetening it at all, and it'll go in 750ml whine bottles with natural corks, then covered in sealing wax.

Squatchy
06-23-2016, 09:24 AM
What's the hurry? I would wait a month to see if your gravity stays the same. 3 days is noting my friend :)

Shadowbreed
06-23-2016, 09:31 AM
Those 3 days were 23 days ago now ;) I should have probably mentioned it.
It has been in secondary for over 3 weeks at this stage

My partner in crime is leaving on vacation after the weekend, so ideally we'd like to bottle before then.

We just don't know if it's safe to bottle without stabilizing :S

curgoth
06-23-2016, 11:29 AM
If you have sugar left, and haven't stabilized, there's a chance the yeast can wake up and go to town again. If your yeast have stopped for now, they might be done - unless something changes. Like the ambient temperature going up, or some yeast dying and turning into something the others can eat (i.e., self-supplying nutrients).

If you were just brewing for yourself, it would be up to you to take the risk of it staying put. If you're selling this stuff, then were I you, I would be inclined to caution. there might even be regulations about stabilizing vs. not in your region.

Shadowbreed
06-23-2016, 12:01 PM
It is for just us and friends, definitely not selling, as that would be illegal here.

Just really worried about the sulfite asthma allergy warnings :S
Is there any other way to stabilize it, that doesn't use pasteurizing? (as i don't want to lose flavour etc)

Masbustelo
06-23-2016, 12:42 PM
There are individuals that do not use any of the stabilization chemicals. Technically if a mead is dry there is nothing to stabilize. If you wait a year you can bottle it without chemicals. Keep racking it until it is clear every three months. Keep an eye on the F.G. to be sure it doesn't change. If it changes lower, it is fermenting. If it is fermenting or undergoing MLF it won't clear.

Gummy
06-23-2016, 03:26 PM
Would not a .5 micron filter do the trick?

Maylar
06-24-2016, 04:04 PM
If you're not going to add any more sugars for sweetening then you don't need to stabilize it. You do need to be certain that the yeast is done, which means no change in gravity for at least a week. 3 weeks isn't much for secondary, but if it's done and clear you should be safe.

Just leave your corked bottles standing upright for a few days to be sure they won't pop out.

Sadcheese
06-26-2016, 10:19 PM
Unless you have a friend who is both severely asthmatic and has terrible food allergies I would not worry about the possible trigger of asthma from mead sulfites.

Someone with allergies like that usually knows enough to avoid triggers. Just ask your friends and if they say that they die when they drink red wine, do not give them your mead.

Or just wait a while. I've not been here long but wait has been the answer to most of my questions.

This is not gospel but based on taking care of hundreds of asthmatics/atopics/etc.


It is for just us and friends, definitely not selling, as that would be illegal here.

Just really worried about the sulfite asthma allergy warnings :S
Is there any other way to stabilize it, that doesn't use pasteurizing? (as i don't want to lose flavour etc)

Squatchy
06-26-2016, 10:54 PM
Would not a .5 micron filter do the trick?

I have been told that .5 is not a sure bet.

Shelley
06-27-2016, 06:17 AM
I don't stabilize my home brews, and I leave most of my meads sweet. The only bottle bombs I have experienced were from blackberry wines, and not my meads.

I do leave them sitting in secondary for a goodly chunk of time, partly due to benign neglect, partly because I don't stabilize. I store my mead in the basement, which is pretty steady sixties (F) temps. It's worked for me.

ETA: By "goodly chunk of time" I mean up to six months. Unless there's a pressing need to bottle before vacation, just wait until vacation's over.

Shadowbreed
06-27-2016, 08:28 AM
I have asthma and suffer from many food allergies hehe. We went for just bottling it this time. But will be looking in to the filters as well for the next batches :)

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Mazer828
06-27-2016, 08:30 AM
Same here. I've received some chiding for it on this site, but my methods have been very reliable. If I let my mead stabilize on its own in secondary at least a couple of months with no changes in gravity, and my secondary temp is the same as my long term storage (cellaring) temp is going to be, I'll bottle without concern. I don't use sulfites or sorbate as a rule. They only times I've ever had problems with unintended bottle carbonation are with meads I did attempt to chemically stabilize and then back sweeten.

It takes more attention to detail, and a heaping dose of patience, but it can be done.

stephanie.palmatier
06-29-2016, 10:38 AM
If you want to avoid bottle bombs, it is best to stabilize, but I have had a good experience with 71b not becoming bottle bombs after taking the ABV up to 14% (I'm estimating) and letting it sit in a carboy about 7 months before bottling.

I just had an experience with bottle bombs recently with my cyser. The yeast we used was from an ez-cap package and it said it could go up to 17%. By my estimates, the cyser got to around 14%, and we let it sit in the carboy for a good 6 months or so, but when it warmed up in June the batch started fermenting again and we had a bottle bomb. My husband heard it in the middle of the night. The next day we opened the remaining bottles of that batch. My husband got a mead shower, and we drank what was left.

We have had no problems with the pyment batch, however, and we used 71b for that one.

I plan on getting some sulfates to use with anything that we use the ez-cap yeast on because I don't trust it and it seems pretty unstable. There hadn't been any activity in the cyser batch in months. So if you are confident that you have pushed the yeast to its limit, you could chance it. Our pyment that we used the 71b on has been fine with no signs of refermentation (we opened one after the bottle bomb incident) and it finished a month before the cyser.

jflanigan244
07-01-2016, 02:45 PM
I have similar concerns.

Thinking about adding some new fruit to my blueberry mel in secondary, next week and perhaps honey, as well. It's fermented totally dry now and gravity appears to be stable but just wondering if the fruit in secondary or possible honey could wake the yeast up?

Chevette Girl
07-03-2016, 01:48 AM
If you're not going to add any more sugars for sweetening then you don't need to stabilize it. You do need to be certain that the yeast is done, which means no change in gravity for at least a week. 3 weeks isn't much for secondary, but if it's done and clear you should be safe.

Just leave your corked bottles standing upright for a few days to be sure they won't pop out.

"no change in gravity for at least a week" does NOT mean it's safe to bottle unless it's bone dry, I did that with my first traditional which still had some residual sugars and had a few popped corks and a sticky mess. Sometimes the SG looks like it's stopped, but it's only moving very, very slowly. If I'm going to bottle anything with a SG over 1.000 without stabilizing it, I'm going to leave it at least a year in the carboy OR I'm going to bottle it in something where I can check on it and release gas if required.

Shadowbreed, keep an eye on these, pop a cork out in a few weeks just to make sure nothing's fermenting. If you're going to bottle that soon without stabilizing, it's a good idea to have at least one bottle with screw top or swing top so that you can check for gas buildup.

As for asthma, sulphites only bother mine when I inhale over my sanitizer jar, drinking the stuff is fine (yes, I accidentally slugged back some potassium metabisulphite solution at sanitizer strength during a siphoning incident, no asthma issues, no digestive issues). If you're highly sensitive to sulphites, be aware that certain yeasts can throw off a measurable amount of sulphites naturally as a part of fermentation (I think EC-1118 is relatively high), and a lot of commercial wines also use sulphites (at least, they do around here, I was told by one winery that it was required by law).

Chevette Girl
07-03-2016, 01:54 AM
I have similar concerns.

Thinking about adding some new fruit to my blueberry mel in secondary, next week and perhaps honey, as well. It's fermented totally dry now and gravity appears to be stable but just wondering if the fruit in secondary or possible honey could wake the yeast up?

What is your goal, more fruit flavour or some sweetness?

Adding fruit or honey will very likely wake the yeast back up at this point, especially if your final alcohol percentage is less than the yeast's listed tolerance. This isn't the end of the world though, it should be a nice gentle fermentation that should leave you lots of fruit flavour, and it will eventually finish fermenting. If you want it to stay sweet and not just keep eating the additional sugars you add, then you might want to chemially stabilize it but if you do, you may end up with a more fruit juice flavour than a wine/mead flavour from additional fruit. And if you just add honey, the yeast might just keep eating it on you.

jflanigan244
07-04-2016, 03:12 PM
Thanks for your advice, Chevette Girl!

I'm just looking to add a bit of sweetness as, if gravity is any indication (haven't tasted it yet) it will be quite a dry mead, at .995 or so.

I do want to maintain a bit of attitude, though.

At the moment, I plan to stabilize after racking out of primary, then based on the taste test, I'll probably add about 2 lbs of fresh blueberries in a muslin/grain bag and about 1 pound or so of honey, after the stabilizers do their job.

Shadowbreed
07-04-2016, 07:11 PM
As for asthma, sulphites only bother mine when I inhale over my sanitizer jar, drinking the stuff is fine (yes, I accidentally slugged back some potassium metabisulphite solution at sanitizer strength during a siphoning incident, no asthma issues, no digestive issues). If you're highly sensitive to sulphites, be aware that certain yeasts can throw off a measurable amount of sulphites naturally as a part of fermentation (I think EC-1118 is relatively high), and a lot of commercial wines also use sulphites (at least, they do around here, I was told by one winery that it was required by law).

Interesting, I used EC-1118 on a few ciders and have had no issues drinking those.
We have 2 bottles that we intend to open quite soon, so we'll definitely keep an eye on the cork with those :)