Bottling 7 year old traditional mead??

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Intheswamp

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This weekend I hope to bottle 3 gallons of mead that I made seven years ago. 3.5 quarts of honey, KIV-1116 w/Go-Ferm, staggered nutrients. The last recorded SG was 1.008This mead came out of primary and into a 3-gallon carboy and has sat on the lees ever since then. It has had an airlock on it filled with 100% vodka. It is clear and a dark reddish gold. During this time nothing was added to it, no k-meta, nothing. It has sat at room temperature

It may be vinegar when I open it. It may be the best drink I've ever had. It may be buzzard puke. I don't know yet.

I figured I need to use k-meta when I bottle but I'm not sure about k-sorbate. After this long of a period should I be concerned about re-fermentation? Should I use some k-sorbate?

Of course, it may turn out being a stinking wet spot in the backyard...we'll see. :)

Thanks,
Ed
 

Brettanomyces

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After 7 years, any yeast present in there is dead. It's possible to introduce something new at bottling time, but how likely that is depends on a number of factors. What was the OG?
 

Intheswamp

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Ok, the only answer that I've received about stabilizing has been not to worry about it. I'll omit the sorbate but will go ahead and add some K-meta. Being as I really don't won't to stir this up since it's been still for seven years I'm thinking of mixing up the K-meta with a bit (a couple of ounces) of "extra" mead of the same batch that I have and pour it into the carboy. Maybe use a sanitized racking tube to gently swirl the K-meta around a little bit. Then let sit for a few hours before bottling straight off the lees.

I will draw a test tube from the carboy and check the SG with my hydrometer and afterwards with great expectations decide whether it's the greatest think I've ever drank...or whether it's buzzard effluent.
 

Intheswamp

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Some things came up yesterday that kept me from bottling. Basically all I got accomplished was getting some bottles soaking to remove labels. I figure after seven years another week or so isn't going to hurt it too much. :e

We'll get there soon!!!! :h
 

BernardSmith

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I dunno. Mead is far less subject to oxidation than fruit wines so if there was no headroom in the carboy my guess is that this mead is likely to taste really good. Of course, if the yeast was stressed when the sugars were fermenting then I my money is not on a very tasty mead. Aging improves a good mead. It does little or nothing to a poor one. And vinegar needs oxygen and alcohol and acetobacter. Any one factor that is missing means that you still have mead...
 

Intheswamp

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<chuckle> I *promise* I'm going to get around to either dumping or bottling this mead. :D

Regarding whether it will be good...or not. When I racked this from the bucket to the carboy I had probably a quart or so of must left over that I put in bottles to top off with on the next racking. There was even enough to sip a couple of glasses of...it was actually good tasting at that time and I got a surprising buzz from it considering the small amount I drank.;) The particulars of the ferment I discussed in my opening post. One thing I didn't state was that I used an aquarium pump turned on a couple of times a day for an hour each time to put oxygen into the must. The ferment was a very active one and once racked over into the carboy the airlock continued to bubble for quiet a while. It cleared nicely and has been airlocked since then with vodka in the lock. The mead has only been exposed to area of the carboy's neck during this time...it has been full. Once, that I know of the airlock was dislodged, but not for long. It is dark reddish but very clear. I think the fermentation was a good one...but, that has yet to be seen or in this case...tasted. :)
 

Intheswamp

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Need a quick answer...hopefully, please, purdy please...:)

I'm not sure about using k-sorbate but I know I need to use k-meta. The question is...can I add k-meta (and sorbate for that matter) and immediately start bottling. It seems in most "fresh" batches you add the stabilizers and wait a few days to be sure fermenting doesn't start up. Being as I don't think there's any active fermentation going on (after 7 yearso_O?) I really don't need to wait for the fermentation but should I wait for the k-meta to become more thoroughly dispersed throughout the mead? Bottle now or wait for the k-meta to incorporate with the mead? We're on the precipice here... :D
 

Lwrightjs

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It's hard to say. If you were back sweetening, you'd want to wait and add both. Buy if you're not, just add the kmeta and bottle. That's what I'd do anyway.
 

Intheswamp

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<ARGGGHHHHH!!!!!> Looks like I'll add the k-meta and hold off of bottling tonight and see if I can get it done in the morning before I go in to work. Will 8-9 hours be enough time for the k-meta before bottling? If not in the morning then I'll have to wait a few days. Whatever the case, it will give the k-meta several hours or days in the mead before bottling. It's probably better to wait, anyhow. Oh well, at least I got my gear all together and bottles washed. Only thing will be sanitizing before bottling.

I don't know why I didn't think of the
 

franc1969

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I would add kmeta to a bottling bucket, rack mead into it, and bottle. All in one go, but racking out of the carboy avoids any sediment, and mixes the kmeta as mead is racked. Just wait until you have time, it's not a rush. I wouldn't do it before work, my first time was a mess and took lots of time working the corker, etc.
 
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