How long can I leave mead in the primary
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  1. #1
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    Default How long can I leave mead in the primary

    I made a 6 gallon batch of mead two weeks ago. A few days later I was admitted to hospital for an out of control case of Lyme's disease that went into my nervous system and brain. Now I'm being transferred WVU hospital for an unknown amount of time. My question is how long can that batch stay in the primary without getting off flavors from sitting on the lees for so long?

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  3. #2
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    Mar 2015
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    St Louis, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    When I first started making mead, the lady at the brewing supply store told me not to leave the mead in the primary fermenter for more than 2 weeks, lest it start taking on an overly-yeasty flavor. So I've stuck with that, with a couple exceptions when I let it go a few extra days.

    That said, in your case I wouldn't worry about it. Just get well, and if you can find someone you trust to rack into a secondary, do that.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Thanks bee that's what I was afraid of. That stinks.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    I'll bet it'll be just fine.

    Your first order of business is to take care of yourself. As a Lyme disease sufferer (more than once), I suggest that you can always make more mead. Other things in life have more difficult recipes with ingredients far more scarce. I'll bet you one whole dollar that you'll be happily drinking that mead sometime in the future, toasting to our health.

    No worries. No worries.

    ps...if it matters at all, my second mead was a wonderful honey lemon mead that stuck. I restarted and the batch bubbled forever. All in, I think it was over two months from pitching to secondary, maybe longer. It's still downstairs aging now but it tastes so good that I can hardly wait till I bottle. No yeasty flavor...just wonderful mead.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #5
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Thanks for the reply that makes me feel better about the mead. I know it's the least important thing at the moment but I would like it to turn out well. I have hives swarming, traps that have been occupied for two weeks or more, falling behind on work around the house and just generally frustrated. I'm sorry to hear that you had Lyme's, I hope you are well now.

  7. #6
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    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Off flavors are a rather subjective thing. Many aficionados have taken decades to develop a pallet that can even define them. The average jerky chewer who walks the farm with a sprig of timothy hanging out his mouth would call most off flavors Robust character at worst. Believe me I have judged many a competition where good ole boys have entered the best batch they ever made. and it was horrid to a educated pallet. I would not worry at all. If she is a bit unsatisfactory, Oak her for a few weeks' Add a sprig of rosemary, or maybe a few vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and create the next local delight! there are always good ole boys out there who will rave about your efforts!

  8. #7
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    there are always good ole boys out there who will rave about your efforts!
    Besides, after the second glass they dont care nearly as much.
    Zone 5B

  9. #8
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    and it was horrid to a educated pallet.
    As horrid as this sentence?

    Educated?

    Pallet?

    [a] educated pallet?

    Sorry Tenbears, but the irony here was too strong to resist.

    https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/...alette-pallet/
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  10. #9
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Quote Originally Posted by mcon672 View Post
    I made a 6 gallon batch of mead two weeks ago. A few days later I was admitted to hospital for an out of control case of Lyme's disease that went into my nervous system and brain. Now I'm being transferred WVU hospital for an unknown amount of time. My question is how long can that batch stay in the primary without getting off flavors from sitting on the lees for so long?
    Depends on temperature in the brew space and the yeast you used. Hope your back on your feet soon.

  11. #10
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    Apr 2017
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    Jospehine County, Oregon
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    MOst ikely way to late now with op being in May 14th, but the primary will take on nasty flavors unless you rerack into a secondary to finish off, seriously don't let it set past it's blow out, ie...carbonation phase or it will take on the worst taste ever, and waste all that mead.
    you don't want your mead sitting in your primary past 21days at most, then racked into your secondary to fizz out for 60days+ then bottled for a year or 5

  12. #11
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    May 2013
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    Sherburne County MN USA
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Oops, started a batch in April and forgot about it until tonight. So I thought, what the heck, I'll have a snort and see how it tastes. Not sweet. Strong alcohol smell. orangy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Smoother on ice. I sure don't want to waste it so... bottoms up! Hope I live!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Funny this thread got revived today i just told my wife i need to add bentonite and rack that batch. I was able to rack it about 3 weeks after that post in between hospital stays. Still really sick but it is what it is. I'll get better sooner or later. No idea what it tastes like, i'm not allowed even a sip of alcohol. One of the many meds i'm on is flagyl and doc was very clear that even food cooked with alcohol could cause a bad reaction. Going to bottle next week if i'm up to it. It's been up and down. Just a word of caution, be tick aware. If caught early lymes is no big deal but if left to spread throughout your whole body it can be a nightmare. I've spent most of this summer in bed on iv's and oral antibiotics without really making any progress other than getting my speech right.

    Stella maybe you could try to backsweeten or do something else to cover the bitterness? IDK maybe one of the more experienced mead makers will chime in.

  14. #13
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    Oct 2014
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    Lisbon, Portugal
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Bentonite why ? Is it cloudy ?

    Put in the refrigerator for a week or so and rack it again. If not cristal clear, try super klear instead.

    Before backsweeten you should stabilise it or you risk to restart fermentation. And bitterness will melt down with time. Maybe a little oak ?

    Hope you will be fine soon.

  15. #14
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    May 2017
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    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Hope your back on your feet again.
    I was reading this not a week after reading about bee stings and propolis possibly helping Lyme's. As I have friends and family with it. I also spend most all of my time outside with no regard to ticks other than they are excepted as part of life (not to say I haven't sprayed a pasture to help me and my horses) and life goes on.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    On my 9th month of IV antibiotics. Not better but better than I was. Getting 4 or 5 decent hours a day. Don't feel like I'm dying anyore and haven't been hospitalized since September so things are getting better.

    My wife and daughter drank a few bottles of that mead last night for new year's. Both still in bed lol. They said it was good. I can't drink alcohol at all right now because of some of the meds I'm on so I'll have to take their word on it. I have 5 gallons of paw paw mead in the works now.

  17. #16
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    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Glad your ok and that they liked the mead.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: How long can I leave mead in the primary

    Thank you

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