Bottling 7 year old traditional mead??

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Intheswamp

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I'm standing here iwith a siphon hose primed and ready to rack into the second carboy. Getting the k-meta ready to pitch in and then the acid...if I indeed need to add it. Then rack to the carboy and bottle. I've gotta admit, it's not a candy wine, but sure is good. :d
 

sour_grapes

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I'm thinking the pH needs to be longer for storage purposes. More prone to spoil with the high pH...???
This is mead that has sat untouched for 7 years, right?
 

Intheswamp

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<chuckle> Well, you've got a point there, Paul. I really had a premonition that I'd be using it for week-killer, but (to me) it's doggone good!

Everything went rather smoothly, though slowly. That little Portuguese corker is nice item!!! I learned quick I needed to check the cork-setting depth gauge. I'm thinking of putting some teflon tape on it or maybe even a spot or two of some blue Loctite.

During the bottling I tried a touch of the mead after adding the tartaric acid. Seemed like it had a bit more crispness or something to it. I'm no expert wine taster, but I do believe it tasted better. It's a done deal. Corked and capped and in the clean-up stage now. I'm hoping I left enough space between cork and wine.

11 - 750ml bottles
4 - 375 ml bottles
2 - 12oz beer bottles
1 - pint jar
And a few small glasses that disappeared throughout the bottling (must of had a hole in it).
I do believe the hydrometer isn't lying and that the ABV% *is* around 14%. :d

IMG_9669a (Custom) by Ed Welch, on Flickr

IMG_9671a (Custom) by Ed Welch, on Flickr

IMG_9670a (Custom) by Ed Welch, on Flickr
 

sour_grapes

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Your ullage looks just fine.

Congrats, 6 years in arrears.
 

Intheswamp

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Your ullage looks just fine.

Congrats, 6 years in arrears.
I was a little concerned about how much space to leave. There's one bottle that may be a little close but hopefully it'll be ok.

Thanks Paul. I've gotta be the king of procrastinators. 2012 vintage. ;)

I just ain't a good supper and now going to waddle myself to bed.
Take care and thank you (and everybody) for the feedback and help!!! I hope to be starting a fruit wine of some kind soon...most likely will try a variety of the lowly Welch's Grape Juice wine...a gallon or two worth. White grape and peach, maybe.
 

Brettanomyces

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Oops...didn't see the last few posts. Glad bottling went well, and it seems to taste good.

If it tastes good, why mess with it? At least do a trial if you're really wanting to do something.

And it's already aged 7 years, how much longer are you planning to let it sit in the bottle?
 

Intheswamp

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Yeah, it's tasting good. I'll just let it sit, gradually opening a bottle. No set time limit now, but I'd like to still have a bottle in a little over eight years...that'll make it roughly 15 years old and I'll be 70. :D I might put a label on a bottle stating "Do not open til'....".

As of yesterday evening, there isn't as much left as I started out with.<g> A little slow moving today, too.
 

Scooter68

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If they can fish bottles of wine from the ocean floor (Shipwrecks ) and find drinkable wine.... why not a 7 year old mead? :b
 

Intheswamp

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Update...

I gave a bottle to my best friend and told him to let it sit a week or so before drinking. Well, yesterday I went over to watch the second half of the Alabama/Mississippi gave with him and he was wanting really bad to open the bottle of mead. So, at the start of the second half of the game we put it on ice. I had things I needed to do after the game but I hung around long enough for him to open the bottle so I could try a cupful of it chilled nicely. WOW!!!!!!!!! This is some FINE STUFF!!!! I don't know how to describe it. Good refreshing taste, easy on the alcohol taste, hint of a floral taste but then again a cotton candy-like taste...hard to describe. I've gotta admit it is an excellent honey wine!!! I might have to try another 7-year batch!!!! Hmm, I guess I should check on my buddy...I haven't heard from him since I left. :D
 

Sasquatch

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Do you happen to remember what kind of honey you used? Enquiring minds want to know.

Congratulations on it coming out so tasty! There's nothing so satisfying as enjoying a fine bottle you made yourself that you know you is better than anything you can buy in any store. You've got greater discipline than I in letting it sit for 7 years (!!!) untouched.
 

Intheswamp

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Type of honey? Oh yeah...wildflower honey. ;) Seriously, unless there is really a predominant nectar source honey is termed "wildflower" honey. Tupelo trees are the predominant nectar source for tupelo honey but there is still certainly other flower nectars included in it, bees are smart and will head to the most nutritious source of nectar they can find. I've seen honey bees zip right past patches of white clover making a beeline to something further away that they deemed "better", who knows what it was. In vast acreage of mono-cropping where migratory beekeepers place their bees then a varietal type of honey could be produced. I had an old beekeeper let me taste a bit of honey he had bottled. It came from patches of honeycomb on two different frames of honey that were facing each other in the super (honey box). He said that when he pulled the frames he noticed the honey had a blueish tint to it, or at least a much darker honey than the surrounding honey. He scratched a couple of the honey cells and tasted the honey...he was delighted with the taste!!! He then carefully decapped those dark areas on the frames and let the two different frames gravity drip that darker honey into a bowl. He ended up with roughly a pint. Blackberry!!!! It was a distinctively blackberry-flavored honey!!! Delicious!!! Apparently the bees found a really nice spot of blackberry bushes and worked it hard for a period of time. He raised queens and of course harvested honey but out of all the years he kept bees I think that little pint of blackberry honey was one of the highlights of his beekeeping journey, and he started keeping bees at the ripe old age of 6!!!!!

As for the honey used in my mead, it really was just wildflower honey but it did have a predominate nectar source...chinese privet hedge. South Alabama is infested with. It is a nuisance similar to kudzu in that it will take over a piece of ground. It's only redeeming (and most people will say it's no redemption at all!) is that the tiny white flowers that have a nauseatingly sweet smell when blooming makes some really good light honey. The honey came from hives about 150 feet behind my house. ;)

The honest part of the aging story is that it really wasn't intentional. Life got in the way, the 3-gal carboy got shuffled to a back-burner of things to do. But, I kept a good airlock on it filled with vodka the entire time. Man, it amazes me that it turned out this well!!! *Really* good!!! :)
 
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Intheswamp

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Final tests:
OG: 1.1080
SG: 1.0060 Hydrometer#1
SG: 1.0070 Hydrometer#2
ABV%: around 14%
Apparently did not ferment all sugar out. ???
Looking back at GotMead.com where I worked through the recipe and fermentation of this traditional mead it is interesting that in my initial post there that I guessed/guesstimated/mad-a-WAG that the final SG might be 1.0080....looks like it hit pretty doggone close to that mark!! Maybe just a tiny grunt (.0010 drier).

(I read on through the GM thread before posting this message and...)

Looking further into that thread I see where I posted that the hydrometer, when tested with distilled water, read 1.0020. So the final SG readings were probably closer to 1.004-1.005...a little bit drier than first thought. I used two different hydrometers to measure the final SG but I used only one to measure the OG.

FWIW.
 

Lwrightjs

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Looking back at GotMead.com where I worked through the recipe and fermentation of this traditional mead it is interesting that in my initial post there that I guessed/guesstimated/mad-a-WAG that the final SG might be 1.0080....looks like it hit pretty doggone close to that mark!! Maybe just a tiny grunt (.0010 drier).

(I read on through the GM thread before posting this message and...)

Looking further into that thread I see where I posted that the hydrometer, when tested with distilled water, read 1.0020. So the final SG readings were probably closer to 1.004-1.005...a little bit drier than first thought. I used two different hydrometers to measure the final SG but I used only one to measure the OG.

FWIW.
Was it just a basic mead? Honey, water, yeast?
 
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