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Thread: Possible/advisable to carbonate a bulk-aged mead?

  1. Default Possible/advisable to carbonate a bulk-aged mead?

    Hello. I'm an experienced homebrewer but an inexperienced mead maker, so I'm posting for help. Thanks in advance.

    I have a mead that's been bulk-aging in a buddy's basement since 2009. ASSUMING IT'S NOT TRASH AT THIS POINT (I know, I know...), I'm wondering what to do with it. Obviously bottling as-is is one option. But I wonder if there's a possibility of carbonating it, since sparkling mead can be great stuff. If I were to go down the carbonation road, I would assume that I would have to add some yeast back into things since it's so old. Is that true? Or is there any chance that this thing still has some yeast floating around in it that will wake up if I prime it with a sugar solution prior to bottling?

    Some specs on the mead itself:
    16 lbs wildflower honey
    4.5 gal water
    Lalvin 71-B yeast
    yeast nutrient
    yeast energizer

    Added energizer and nutrient at inoculation, end of lag phase, 1/3 sugar break and 2/3 sugar break.

    Original gravity 1.115, ending gravity 1.004, 14.5% potential ABV.

    Racked to tertiary and stored in a 5-gal carboy in a 50F-65F basement since spring 2009.

    Tasted before storage -- certainly meady but *very* hot and in need of aging time.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on what to do with this thing. It was an experiment so any goodness that results from this is a bonus. Still, I figure I might as well come up with the best thing I can!

    Thanks for your input on what to do with this beast! Much appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by geexploitation View Post
    Hello. I'm an experienced homebrewer but an inexperienced mead maker, so I'm posting for help. Thanks in advance.

    I have a mead that's been bulk-aging in a buddy's basement since 2009. ASSUMING IT'S NOT TRASH AT THIS POINT (I know, I know...), I'm wondering what to do with it. Obviously bottling as-is is one option. But I wonder if there's a possibility of carbonating it, since sparkling mead can be great stuff. If I were to go down the carbonation road, I would assume that I would have to add some yeast back into things since it's so old. Is that true? Or is there any chance that this thing still has some yeast floating around in it that will wake up if I prime it with a sugar solution prior to bottling?

    Some specs on the mead itself:
    16 lbs wildflower honey
    4.5 gal water
    Lalvin 71-B yeast
    yeast nutrient
    yeast energizer

    Added energizer and nutrient at inoculation, end of lag phase, 1/3 sugar break and 2/3 sugar break.

    Original gravity 1.115, ending gravity 1.004, 14.5% potential ABV.

    Racked to tertiary and stored in a 5-gal carboy in a 50F-65F basement since spring 2009.

    Tasted before storage -- certainly meady but *very* hot and in need of aging time.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on what to do with this thing. It was an experiment so any goodness that results from this is a bonus. Still, I figure I might as well come up with the best thing I can!

    Thanks for your input on what to do with this beast! Much appreciated!
    was a preservative in there?

  3. #3
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    Default

    How does it taste now? What is the ABV?

  4. #4

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    Hope those airlocks were topped off periodically...
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  5. Default

    If it has been properly aged, there is nothing wrong with not bottling it earlier. Make a starter solution with a yeast that go higher than 14.5%, then add the yeast along with the sugar necessary to carbonate and you should be good to go. Be sure the new yeast solution is the same temperature as the mead.

  6. Default

    No preservative used.

    Masbustelo -- what do you mean by "properly aged"? It's been in consistent temperatures its whole life, stored in glass and racked off any flocculated yeast. After it stopped blowing off gas (and was racked to tertiary) it was sealed. Are there other aging variables I should be aware of?

    Thanks all.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwr75 View Post
    How does it taste now? What is the ABV?
    Yeah, I second the tasting. If the airlock has gone dry, possible oxidation. If it tastes like cardboard, chuck it. Not worth the transfer.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  8. #8

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    Oh just saw the sealed part. I would still taste anyway. Seals can leak.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Keg it. I would.
    Dave from New Haven County

  10. Default

    By properly aged, I was mainly thinking about maintaining the airlock or cap so it had been protected from oxygenation.

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