View Full Version : Bottle bombs?

09-03-2013, 09:00 PM
First mead should be done. Made "Mambo in Your Mouth" from The Compleat Meadmaker, back in April. Bottled 3 weeks ago, heard the lids making popping sound. Ingredient list is below. I racked 3 times, then bottled to mason jars (just because I had them,) that's why I can hear the lids popping. Opened a jar and the melomel was "fizzing." Sterilized a carboy, decided to backsweeten with wine conditioner which has potassium sorbate in it. Let sit 3 weeks, then Bottled again. Half hour later the lids are expanding! Back into the carboyed with 2 Campden tabs (as suggested by my local HB shop.)

So what the hell am I doing wrong? In 7 years of homebrewing i brewed one batch of bottle bombs, and dont need that again. I'm about ready to say screw the bottling, get a beer funnel, chug the 2 gallons down and call it a day!

Mambo in your mouth Melomel
12lb honey
3 gal water
2 t yeast energizer
2 t yeast nutrient
9.5 lbs mixed fruit
Yeast Montrachet

I made a 1/3 size batch of this recipe. Suggestions, ideas?

Medsen Fey
09-03-2013, 09:04 PM
What was your starting gravity and what is the current gravity?
Usually Montrachet doesn't act up, but in this case, clearly the fermentation has not finished. Let it finish, and let it clear completely, and let it sit under airlock until it is fully de-gassed, and the gravity is stable for a couple of months. Then bottle and enjoy.

The only way to truly go wrong with mead making is to be in a hurry.

09-03-2013, 09:14 PM
First gravity reading after 2 months of no bubbles in airlock was 1.000. Back sweetened up to 1.020. Thanks for the feedback, I'll plan on drinking at Christmas.

Medsen Fey
09-03-2013, 09:20 PM
OK. So if you backsweeten and the yeast haven't reached their ABV tolerance they will restart unless you dose them with a proper amount of sulfite and sorbate. Using either alone is not reliable. Using the combination usually won't work if the fermentation is active. The yeast need to be dormant, and most of them cleared before stabilizing and backsweetening to prevent restarting the fermentation.

In this case let them finish and clear, and then check the gravity and taste it to see if it need more sweetening. At that point another dose of sulfites (and possibly some sorbate) may be needed.

What was the starting gravity?

09-03-2013, 09:22 PM
If I remember correctly, 1.040.

Medsen Fey
09-03-2013, 09:24 PM
Seems a bit low. From your recipe I'd guess closer to 1.100.

09-03-2013, 09:42 PM
Yep, poor handwriting in my log book. Reads 1.090 not 1.040! Thanks again.

Medsen Fey
09-03-2013, 09:49 PM
So that sounds about right. Going from 1.090 to 1.000 would not be past the ABV tolerance of the Montrachet, so the additional sugar you added would start it up again (as you saw). By the time it finishes with this new sugar you added, it should be at a point where it will be done for good.

Chevette Girl
09-03-2013, 11:32 PM
...but I still wouldn't trust it to backsweeten and bottle without stabilizing unless you're gonna leave it in the carboy another 6 months :).

Medsen Fey
09-04-2013, 08:44 AM
So true!

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