Any tips on making a mead to age a long time?

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TheTooth

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So it looks like I'm going to be a dad next year and I want to make a mead to lay down until he/she turns 21 and can legally drink. I've made a few batches of mead and they've been tasty, but I haven't had a chance to age any of it more than a year yet, so I'm flying blind as to what it'll take to lay anything down that long and have it still be decent.

I know that dry meads age longer/better than sweet meads, but does spicing or fruit help/hinder the process in any way? Should I add tannins or something to help it survive 20+ years in my cellar? Any help or recipes would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

BobF

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I have no advice to offer, but it is a kool idea!
 

Runningwolf

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Wonderful news. Congratulations!
 

Mud

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Congratulations, Tooth. To answer your original question about longevity of mead, according to Ken Schramm mead will improve indefinitely if you:
  1. are careful about sanitation, fermenting temps, and pH levels
  2. are very careful to avoid exposure to oxygen
  3. keep the alcohol content high
  4. store in cellering conditions like other wines

Tannins are probably desirable anyway, and the anti-oxidant properties certainly can't hurt anything, so you might want to consider oaking. And no, the use of fruit (making it a melomel) won't necessarily shorten its lifespan.

-aspiring meadmaker Mud
 

Wade E

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Pretty much what Mud said. Honey in itself is a preservative but you will want to add some extra k-meta and get the best orks you can find for this. If you are only going to save some for this and drink some then seperate the few you are saving and dont dble nail thenm with the k meta.
 

Mud

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Honey actually produces hydrogen peroxide via enzymatic action. Between that and acidity in most varieties it's fairly easy to keep safe from bugs.

The Compleat Meadmaker is a great book.
 

TheTooth

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Thanks, guys.

I agree that the Compleat Meadmaker is a great book. I have been scanning through it again while coming up with a recipe for this mead. I'll have to look for the section on PH again so I know where it needs to be. I just got a PH meter a few weeks ago and I want to be particularly sure that this one is in the correct range.

I'm definitely going to be sure to get some good corks, and I'm thinking I might try waxing the tops of the bottles as well as added protection.

Good idea on doubling the k-meta, Wade. I was considering it, but wasn't sure how that would work out once in the bottle. But if you're thinking it's a good idea as well, I think that's enough confirmation for me. :D
 

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