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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    3,503

    Default Racking first mead

    I carefully read the book but it wasn't supposed to be this way! I carefully sanitized everything and started trying to syphon mead out of primary fermenter. I don't know how I lost syphon several times but in the process of getting it back, I am sure I got a whole lot of oxygen into the mead and a whole lot of lubricant into me! Holy Honeybee but that stuff is stought! By my addled calculations of specific gravity then and now, about 18 1/2 percent torpedo fuel. Is there a better way than that racking cane or a better tool? Now I will let it age for a half a year or so before bottling it. How bad is all that O2 going to mess things up? I just hope it turns up drinkable, well it is drinkable now if you have a sixteen year old boys decerning pallette and desire to catch a buzz!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Troy, OH
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Generally speaking, you just have to make sure to the source container is higher than the destination container and the racking cane works fine.

    Also, the higher the alchol percentage, the longer that you'll need to let it sit to mellow out. With 18% I would recommend somewhere around 2 years.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Are you 16?

    Let it age. If it is done fermenting you can bottle any time, and sample any time. I've had some nasty ones get good at 2-3 years (ie sams club honey)

    I suspect the O2 issue is not an issue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,503

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    I most definately would not want to be sixteen again. I would steal gallons of my parents home made chokecherry wine and put them outside to freeze down to alcohol and mix that in coke! That is what I mean! but that was many many moons ago. This mead is really cloudy too. The flavor is not nasty, it is just pretty raw. I used good honey but a delicately flavored one. Hopefully I will last a couple more years to see if it matures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    sounds like my first experience. im sure it will be fine. i only have one bottle left. its about 2 years old. mine tasted ok and is kind of sparkling wine. it is good and strong also.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    to keep the alcohol low I stated using a 12/13% yeast .. this way I don't get rocket fuel .. My mead has turned out good ,, the first 3 batches of wine were rocket fuel , and I didn't care for it ( to strong ) so now I use the 12/13% and have some good stuff now ..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Redstone Meadery in Boulder, Colo. freezes their meads for two reasons. It kills off yeast to prevent refermentation and helps clarify the product also. I will be honest and have to admit that I haven't frozen meads yet, but will the next time as an experiment. I will probably use my daughter's freezer since it's a chest type (ours is an upright) and most importantly, I don't have permission to use our new freezer for that purpose yet. A question or two- the kid mentioned 12/13% yeast - what type of yeast did you use? Lalvin 1118 will take a high alcohol before dropping out, so you may want to use Montrachet, Lalvin 1112 or some other lower alcohol yeast next time. The freezing thing may clarify - but you'll have to be our guinea pig! As for the oxygen, sometimes a little may not hurt much if any at all, but there's no good way to tell how much O2 exposure your mead experienced. It will probably be fine. As mentioned earlier, I too have had some meads taste nasty initially only to mellow out real nicely a couple years later. That is part of the mystery with mead -it's a crap shoot sometimes as to what you end up with, but it may take a birthday or two to find out.
    Don't confuse me with facts... my mind is made up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,503

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Thought I should look back at my fumblings from last year when I started making mead. I have learned a lot in the last year and the mead in this thread is starting to grow up. The heat is gone and the honey hangs on your tongue--at least til it goes tingly because this is still potent stuff. I feel the need to tinker and oak it or maybe backsweeten and add nutmeg and a little ginger. It is in a 6 1/2 gallon carboy so maybe I should rack it into a five gallon for long term aging and play with a gallon and a half.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Keedysville, Maryland
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    I used an old recipe to make my mead its honey,orange,cinnamon,clove and I used regular bread yeast
    it smells and tastes fantastic and has cleared well after only one racking.
    you can buy a self priming cane for cheap at any beer/wine store.
    here is the day I started it 2 months ago

    here is a pic from yesterday

    I would degas before bottling so they dont turn into wine bombs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Your old recipe sounds like Joe's Ancient Orange Mead! Always a good one. Nice display. I wish I was artistic.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Keedysville, Maryland
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Your old recipe sounds like Joe's Ancient Orange Mead! Always a good one. Nice display. I wish I was artistic.
    yep! it is Joes only with a personal twist the darker colored mead is made with orange spiced tea, the carboy on the far right is red beer then I have a peach wine and liefraumilch in the works.
    I cant wait to start getting my own honey the honey I used was from a local beekeeper when we visited I was hooked and want to learn more about keeping bee's

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Racking first mead

    I had my first bees when I was 12 and I am still hooked and wanting to know more about bees! It is a never ending deal.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Keedysville, Maryland
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    thats cool Vance I haven't got bee's but I'm in the planning and learning stages I cant wait.
    I ordered Beekeeping for dummies hopefully that will help me get started

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: Racking first mead

    Go to Michael Bush's site and read his book or if a big spender buy it. Better than the dummies route.

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