Bottle time?

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Mike

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I have a mead that's been bulk aging for 5-6 months. Should I bottle it soon? If so, should I add sulfite?
 

Malkore

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Yeah, I'd probably bottle it, if its clear.

I've never sulfited a mead. Some people do...not me.
 

Mike

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Sweet. So just transfer and cork. Thanks.
 

Mike

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I was able to bottle all of the mead last night. I had actually only had mead twice before in my life before I decided to try my hand at it and they were both sparkling. I decided to just keep mine still.

For whatever reason, I guess I expected it to taste like a white wine haha. It surely didn't, though. It was much stronger and, of course had a difference taste. Tasted like honey and apples (I added apple cider).

Will the "harshness" mellow out with aging? If so, what is the typical amount of aging? The sample I tasted when I bottled was bulk aged for 5-6 months.
 

Malkore

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yes, with age it will get smooth. VERY smooth if you wait long enough (I have a few bottles that are over 10 years old in my wine cellar)

how long...depends. low ABV with light honey can be smooth in 6-8 months. high abv or stronger/darker honey can take more than a year to mellow out.
 
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mead can actually age for a good time, so in short, YES. i think a good 6 more months will help. after that it probably peaks at around 1.5-2 years and will get worse after that slowly. so, by now, you should know if it's a bad, fair or great wine. it will get better, but a bad wine won't become great in 99% of the cases. i have had a few go from, "uh this really isn't good." to,"wow it's actual pretty good now?" only time will tell.

this depends on a few things though:
-no sulphites means less protection. faster aging, but not able to get it as smooth without the extra time
-storage area. the cooler (45~55F) temps make it age slower, but allow it to mellow better this way. keeping the temps constant is benefitial also. out of light will also aid in the slow ageing process.
-sealer used. cork will allow air around it between the glass and cork material over time. it's best to store them angle upward this way or "wet." screw caps will not allow much air in at all, so they can be stored for much longer period. almost indefinetly really in a great constant temp cellar.

acid changes and liquid mixing is what make wine "age." forgot what type of acid (malaic?) slowly turns into lactic acid. lactic acid is in milk and is sweeter.

mead should taste like honey, but slightly more earthy (in my experience). it can be mixed quite well from tasting different styles of mead. the previous owner of our house had bees and also made homemade wine. the mead was ok~good, but the mixes were all good.
 

Wade E

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Meads like Malkore said will get so nice and smooth you will be amazed. I have never tried a good commercial mead and if it wasnt for my LHBS I would have never made one. 1 of the gys there makes a lot of meads,(actually i think its all he makes) and they are all to die for and last I heard he was writing a book on making meads. I have a melomel that is 4 years old and to me is still getting better so I disagree with the post abve in that area.
 

Mike

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So I guess it's not even worth drinking a bottle for another 6 months or so. Is the guy Michael Fairbrother?
 
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I have a melomel that is 4 years old and to me is still getting better so I disagree with the post abve in that area.
the only mead experience i have is with the old land owner of my parents farm. he still utilizes our garage for his business.

http://www.realbeer.com/edu/mead/tasting.php

his mead is rather light-med flavored with low abv. guess that's why he told us 2 years is max age. i would like to make some myself someday.

http://www.mainebee.com/tips/mead.php
http://www.weaselbreweries.com/mead.html
 

Wade E

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I make mine with a normal abv and hony itself is a preservative and thats why honey never really goes bad. It will crystalize after time but a simple warming up will bring it right back into liquid form.
 
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